Sunday, November 14, 2010

Meanwhile...


Darling edited this video I shot over the last couple of visits to Oregon

I've been hauling Tika to the riding club to work with her while Darling rides. She's been a frantic mess, and I have no clue as to why. On top of that, while working her in the round pen I noticed something that I'd nearly forgotten...a funny mis-step in her hind end as she trotted around. I'm not exactly sure what the deal is, but wonder if it's scar tissue from her entanglement in barbed wire? It was odd...she'd be trotting then suddenly her hind end would drop out from under her. It happened both directions...

I mentioned it to Darling, who wasn't happy to hear. She's been pestering me to just get busy and get up on that horse already. Well, I've been on her, haven't I? Plenty of times. I was thinking that after a week of consistent work I'd grab my good friend Roz and have her pony me. But now...what was this nervous bit about? And what is the whole back end issue thing about?

The following day, Darling was sitting on Steve Holt! as I was working Tika. "What!?" She exclaimed. "You saw that?" I asked. She nodded. So it wasn't my imagination...Tika has an issue. Well...one more issue than the others she's already packing along.

Photobucket

Tika's scars are on both hind legs, as well as one foreleg.

While I'm trying to figure a plan of action for the red headed fury, I'm also needing to get busy with Lefty. With the trips to Oregon here of late, I've not spent a good amount of time with anyone here, and the big boy really needs to get going. So that's what we did. We went. I loaded him up today and hauled out to the riding club. I was met with 4 other horse trailers there, however, and a severe lack of time to attempt to fight that much distraction. I opened the trailer door, though, and allowed the backward facing boy to stand and munch on hay while I stood in the parking lot talking to Roz for a bit. Good for him to learn to stand patiently and not worry about doors opening to unfamiliar scenes.

Upon arriving back home, the winter daylight was fading and we unloaded into a fairly dark driveway. Lefty did fine, stepping out carefully and slowly, then leading nicely to the barn. Certainly not a difficult work out, but it's good for him to travel without added stress of workouts now and then.

10 comments:

wilsonc said...

hauntingly beautiful video. I hope nothing is seriously wrong with Tika. Are you going to have a vet evaluate her? Nice laid back trailer trip for Lefty. Always good for a pony to get out and about.

Kate said...

The occasional hind leg dropping out could just be a stifle catching. If it were the scar tissue, it would probably be a consistent thing with every step as that doesn't change. If it is stifle, slow muscling up will likely take care of it, as the muscles will support the joint.

Shirley said...

I was thinking the same thing as Kate, if it was the scar tissue it would be a chronic condition that you would have noticed before. Does it happen to both legs, or just the same leg both directions? If not the stifle, it may be in the lumbar vertebrae.

Tracey said...

Yes, I've noticed it before. Just hadn't had her out at the riding club for so long that I'd kind of forgotten. But it's not each and every time, so you may be right about the stifle. Makes me wonder if she'll ever be sound enough to do the sort of work I do?

Blob said...

I've had a couple of horses that when they came to us their back end would give out from under them every now and then. If it's the same thing you're describing, it's a strength issue. They didn't have the muscling or strength to carry themselves consistently in 'working mode.' The circle size of the round pen requires enough strength and balance that it's not at all surprising that she's struggling a bit, especially considering that she's suddenly having to do a lot more consistent work than she's used to.

Unless she seems actually lame on it, I would keep working her. If it doesn't improve over a couple weeks then you should re-evaluate. But it's something I've seen a lot in horses that are just getting to work, getting back to work, or who are old.

Good luck, I hope it works out!

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

Tika's hind end problem sounds a lot like Bella's stifle problem, but also not, because I think she was best at the trot, and the stifle caught more when she stopped or turned.

Could it be something as simple as stepping on a rock in the footing and adjusting her stride to keep from bruising her foot? I hope that's all it is.

If it's her stifles, I've been advised not to do a lot of things with a horse like that... And Bella's problem was so painful for her she couldn't be ridden more than 10 minutes or so... I really hope Tika's trouble resolves with work, like Blob suggested.

Another thing you might look up that affects the hind end is EPSM, also known as PSSM. Tonka has a weird hitch in his stride sometimes when I ride him, and loping is extremely difficult for him.

Laura said...

Assuming she doesn't have arthritis in the stifle (you'd see it very consistently with almost every step), I'm going to third the locking/slipping stifle idea. If that's the case, a lot of slow, consistent work to build up the muscles around it will help. Also, walking up and down hills (or backing up) will help as well.

I've got a gelding with 1 very bad and 1 sort of bad stifles and you can see it in every step he takes.

Tracey said...

Thank you all. Sandy had the same sort of hitch when we were in Sacramento and I was pretty sure it was his stifle. He didn't drag quite like Tika did, but stifle does seem more likely.

Friend McDebbie has loaned me a broke mare to ride and she has been ponied off from, so I'll see if I can get Tika out on a trail or two and get her strengthened up a bit. Of course, it's pouring down rain...

Tina said...

Another guess at stifles here! Sometimes the patella slips over and pops back rather than totally locking, so that could be what you are seeing. I had a mare with this and it certainly made her nervy because she seemed to think it was me punishing her when it happened. In one way it was my fault, because left to her own devices she could mostly manage it so it didn't happen. It was when she was being lunged or ridden that things got out of her control. Some horses are really stoic about it, but my girl, and I bet Tika too, are more reactive.

She turned out to also have knee arthritis so I didn't bother to have the op on her stifles as she was fine in the paddock and not a riding prospect once we x-rayed those knees. I would have done it if not for the knees, though. I hear the results are usually really good.

photogchic said...

I was thinking stifle catch like Kate...hope not. Hoping for good news for Tika. Heading out to watch Darlings video.