Hi everyone! Sorry that I have been away for so long. I left off my last post pretty upset and didn't really tell you all the whole story. Long story short, I had the vet come out to do some routine allergy checks on Cool's lungs, eyes, etc. I happened to mention to her that he had been tripping a lot lately, both up front and behind, and I asked her to check his stifles and hock joints. After finding everything to be alright, she asked to see him free lunge int he arena. He trotted and cantered and she suggested adding a glucosamine supplement to his feed along with his MSM and allergy meds. Then, just to finish up, our vet suggested running him through a quick neurological exam. Out of 5 tests, Cool didn't pass two of them.
Needless to say, I freaked out. I'd never had a horse that was "neurological" before. Our vet told me to ride him with boots on all 4 of his legs and to never ride him alone. Then she suggested that we schedule a re-check in two months. I had a meltdown. And rightly so I believe...the treatment for EPM and neuro diseases are VERY expensive and I was crushed at the idea that my 9 year old gelding's life might be completely put on hold.
The more I read about neuro diseases and the more I talked to people though, the more I thought that Cool's "symptoms" really didn't fit the classic symptoms of neurological diseases. He had no muscle atrophy, no other apparent problems...I mean, the horse could gallop across a field of frozen mud divots and never trip or take a mis-step...how could he be neurological? He could gallop full speed at a fence and make a sliding stop and turn...how could he not be able to sense where his legs were?
So I started looking into other alternatives. I was convinced that a chiropractor should look at him, but after having trouble arranging a chiro appointment, I went out on a limb and called a miracle working woman that had work on Emmy 4 years ago when I was a freshman in college...an equine massotherapist. I set up an appointment with her to come work on Emmy and Cool.
This miracle working woman spent over an hour working on Cool's back...and I felt terrible when she was done. Cool's back was literally a rock (thank god I called the massuse and not the chiro...). She was actually amazed that he could even canter, let alone jump. All of his younger years of living outside in a muddy field had mad his back muscles rock hard...so hard that Cool was actually in excruciating pain basically all the time. The massuse had a rough time working on him too...he was bucking and kicking at her while she working on him. She worked most of the knots out of his back in one session, but couldn't get them all.
The next day I rode him and he was AMAZING. Totally different! And the tripping totally went away. He really hasn't had any issues since, THANK GOD. I don't think that he was ever actually neurological, but his back was so messed up that he literally couldn't pass his neuro tests. He's been totally fine ever since. This past Wednesday I had he massuse come out again to work on him and she couldn't believe the difference! He didn't protest at all to the deep therapy massing like he did last time. The massuse was totally amazed! She said he felt like a completely different horse! Yayyy Coolie!!
In other news, I have been showing Cool over fences in the hunter divisions. We were reserve champion at out last show! Here is the professional photo that I purchased!
I have one more update for you guys for my next post...you will have to check back and see what it is!