Arrow is lame
Arrow had his appointment with Dr. Huth for his immunizations at the beginning of April. At the recommendation of the Vet who does his chiropractic, I also scheduled a lameness exam. He had been getting more and more difficult during his training and my lessons. Chloe and Amber noticed it too. He reared up on me. Arrow doesn’t do that when he is just irritated at training. It wasn’t a dramatic rear. I don’t think his hooves went above his chest but it is still not safe. Arrow is also a horse that practically fell asleep while I groomed him. Over the last month or so he would pin his ears and move away from the brushes. He also tossed his head up and down. More clues that something was not right in the House of Arrow. His lameness exam results were that he was lame in his left stifle. He had a cortisone injection. He still has not been ridden since his injection. Amber will be riding him soon so I will get an update as to if there was any change in his riding. Fingers crossed for that! Dr. Huth will be doing his follow up exam next week and giving him his immunizations. He didn’t want to do them last time because of the cortisone shot. Fingers crossed for that too! His birthday is April 28th and he has a chiropractor appointment scheduled. He is very relaxed after those. Of course, he will get treats and love too. The pic is Arrow getting X-Rays.
I also noticed that Arrow was still nipping at his sides. I saw this ad on Facebook about Daily Gold. It is a natural supplement that is supposed to work as well as Gastroguard only ½ the cost. I first tried the clay which he absolutely HATED! I was giving it to him with his smartpak and that caused him to stop eating that. Anything it touched was an absolute no no to eat, including his psyllium to get the sand out of his tummy. He definitely no likey. I then spent $300 on the 12 day syringe program I put him on. It’s a more concentrated paste. He hated that too but at least I got it down. Today was his last dose. If he did get his ulcers again this should have taken care of it. He is actually looking really good! I should have a good feel for if any of this improves his riding behavior over the next few weeks. If not, it’s back to the drawing board. I did notice there was no ear pinning the last time I used his Sleek-EZ on him. My dream was to have a horse that I could ride all around wine country in Temecula. We would go on nice trail rides and all of that. I was able to ride alone off of the property with Lake. I started to think about what I would do if I found out that Arrow had issues whether it is with his back or now his stifle that made him a horse that couldn’t be ridden. I can’t afford 2 if I wanted to keep him and have another to ride. There were a few options I thought of. I could give him back to the rescue. His chances of being adopted would be close to none. There are ‘pasture pets’ at the rescue I got Lake from that were there when I got her and still there today. While I know he would be well cared for, he still wouldn’t have his human and forever home. I could find a nice family to give him to that may need a companion horse for their horse. While people are well intentioned in the beginning, their situation may change and off goes the horse to an auction. I finally laughed at myself because I couldn’t believe I had even entertained the idea. Arrow is my forever horse just like I am his forever Mama. If I was told tomorrow I couldn’t ride him ever again, I would just have a horse to love on. Just writing this makes me cry to even think I thought of any other option. Believe me, it was very very brief! This subject will not be spoken of again. Moving on….
Arrow has a sensitive mouth. I had recently read that a thinner bit can actually be painful for a horse with a sensitive mouth. I just ordered him a thicker one with a rubber covered bit. I want to try this out to see if there is any difference. Chloe and Amber ride him with a thicker bit and he doesn’t seem to toss his head like he does with me. I should have it by Friday. I have a feeling it could partly be my heavier hands. I get so tense when I ride him I start to use more rein than leg. Continued lessons will help with this. Today I rode Gracie just so I could focus on me and not always be thinking about the possibility of what the horse I am riding will do. My lesson confirmed to me that a lot of my problems with riding are in my head. It is amazing how differently you ride a horse when relaxed than when tense. Your horse senses that too. My point was proven when she got a little irritated by my leg being too far back while she cantered and the little girl bucked. I was comfortable enough on her to not even know for sure that she bucked. Granted she is a small horse but she can pack a punch when messed with! If that had been Arrow I can guarantee I would have eaten dirt. I also wanted to canter in my new saddle. I never have and thought it might be a good idea to see how it felt. Chloe had me canter with my feet out of the stirrups. She wanted me to feel what that was like because I also have a problem with pushing up in the stirrups when I canter. She thinks some of it has to do with the fact that I wear heals all day for work. I think she is right. Anywho……I thought she was crazy for having me try it. Chloe has more confidence in me than I do. Turns out it was easier to canter without my feet in the stirrups. My booty stayed closer to the saddle as it should. I’m just as much of a project as Arrow is. We are definitely 2 peas in a pod!
This week I am hoping to ride Arrow bareback in the small round pen to help with my balance and try out his new bit. Chloe is off to a show until Sunday evening so I will not be doing any lessons with her. I may try to set up one with Amber after I find out how he was when she rides him next. Getting him healthy and pain free is my first priority. I’m hoping I’m on the right track. Thankful for my Village that I had talked about in past posts!