So… Here is the Melissa tip for the decade!! Always trust yourself.
As we know, from Fred’s profile, he has always been hard to Canter to the right. This has been a 4 year battle to get us to the point where we can pick up correct canter leads without bucking, bolting, disunited back legs and plain old moodiness.
To start with I thought it was psychological. The girl who owned Fred previously had said to me and I quote for your amusement “He doesn’t like to canter to the right, so we only canter to the left”. ???????? I seriously had a Zoolander moment!!
Perhaps Fred could just have a modelling career and then they can hit the end of the runway and Fred turn left and Zoolander turn right. It does sound like a plan 🙂
Whilst a great deal of horses are hard to canter to the right, (this is because most of us humans are right handed and so our weight naturally sits to the right, directly on top of that shoulder) it should never have been as big an issue as it was.
About 2 years ago I thought when I was riding ‘It’s his Stifle’. To be honest I didn’t know exactly why I thought that, it just popped into my head!
Whilst, as you can see, I wasn’t close to what the problem actually is (which is the Hock) at least I was somehow realising it was physical not mental.
Instead of trusting myself, which I normally always do, I took the advice of other people and didn’t look into it further. This is because I was worried about looking silly, even if I only subconsciously thought that. That is a mistake! Always trust yourself, after all, nobody rides Fred but me; so how could they possibly know what I am feeling when he moves…
So moving on… I got a vet out, I wanted X-rays but of course I got talked into Nerve Blocking him (GRRR – $200 bucks down the drain) and once he was nerve blocked at the front their was a problem with the right Hock. It was at this moment on a intensely warm Winters day whilst I was jogging around a dressage arena at midday in jeans I felt the penny drop “Yes, this is what is wrong!!”
Fred was trotting beside me with a strong energy of “Well der Mel, been trying to tell you for years!” but happy that mum had finally discovered the issue.
So a week later I took him to be X-rayed. I figured why not get the two front done as well as the Hock (as he does have sore heels so I wanted to rule out Navicular).. I was so tired, i’d started work at 4am and his appointment was 2pm so by the time I got there I was buggered.
But in true Fred style he gave me no drama’s and was a good boy, even in a strange environment with all the happenings of a vet clinic. When he turned up he was like, “um where are the Dressage Arena’s mum?”
Then we took an X-ray of the Right Hock…..
Oh boy!!! Take a look… So see all that black stuff on the right, thats Arthritis and it must be painful. 😦
I decided to spend the money and get the left Hock X-ray as well. Best to have a comparison I thought.
So here is the Left Hock…
As you can see, there is no Arthritis.
This explains so much.
Now even though the first foot-fall of the Canter comes from the opposite hind, he can’t get his right under him to balance and that’s why he falls out of Canter or can’t stay in it without it being rocky and awful to watch and ride.
The Vet wants me to start him on on injection directly into the Hock of Depo Medrol then a spell of two weeks. Then either a supplement called Technyflex (or the likes) or injections of either Pentosan or Epitalis Forte. So of course I googled all of these things. I detest pharmaceuticals on so many levels!!
I’m still undecided what to do, for the moment I have popped him on some Tumeric and I am keeping him warm. I always use herbs for myself rather than prescribed medications.
He is a lot better and more happy then a few weeks ago, that is because it is also warmer here now. Yesterday it was 31 degree’s and he was in no pain at all… Any idea’s and comments are welcome from anyone, please comment below or send me a direct email using the Contact Form on this site… Knowledge is power as they say. 🙂
Here are the front legs/hooves… No Navicular, a good Pedal Bone and lovely thick and even soles on both sides. 🙂
So, what did I learn. A bunch of stuff about my horses skeleton but also to trust myself also. Never underestimate the power of your gut-feelings and follow them always
Happy Riding & Keep Smiling