I'm Excited for Arrow!!
I have to say I am excited about the possibilities of Arrow’s future!!! It really does bother me that my boy is only 11 years old and has Kissing Spine which seemed to be something that could be managed but not without pain at various points of his life. That is not a life for him. I started thinking about not riding him at all and just let him live the pasture life. I don’t think that is exactly what he would want but we would deal with it. Lots of hand walks and snuggle time but horses are like humans in that they too get bored. Horses want a job. He seems to relax most when going on nice quiet trail rides. That was what I wanted for him but last time we just walked around a few weeks ago he was definitely back sore. I don’t want that for him. I don’t want anyone thinking this is leading to me putting him down, I just don’t want to continue putting him in pain for several days so I can have my horse ride fix with him. I decided to start doing my own research on it and came across an article that may have sent us in a new direction and it’s a positive direction. It is called “How to help your horse kiss ‘Kissing Spine’ goodbye. It was written by Visconte (yes he is ) Simon Cocozza who is from Italy but currently resides in France. He successfully brought a horse to Grand Prix level in Dressage with Kissing Spine! He works with top international riders to keep their horses in top condition. His resume is extensive and he has spent much time studying KS. He reversed the KS. I have been told by several people that KS could not be reversed so I accepted that for a short time but after reading his article and researching his achievements I believe it can and I believe Arrow deserves the chance for me to try to do this for him. It takes a long time, patience and skill at doing Dressage moves accurately to give the most benefit. It’s a scary task. He said 10 minutes of a bad sitting trot can ruin 3 months of progress. If you are interested to learn more I highly recommend the article! It pops right up when you google! After reading it, I decided to email him Arrow’s story not really expecting a reply or at least NOT the reply I got. He responded within 8 hours and requested his Bone Scan, X-Rays, Vet report and videos of him trotting on a longe line. I have everything to him except the videos and Chloe will be getting him that. Once he has everything together he said we will go from there. I was overwhelmed with JOY!! Here is the challenge and maybe this was why I had started to want to focus on Dressage before I even knew why. His method includes stretches done from the back of the horse that mimic Yoga/Pilates moves. The idea is to build up the back and shoulder muscles to be able to pull the spine up. Of course, I am writing this from layman’s point of view so it would probably be best to read the article to get the full benefit of what I am trying to say. His rehab is based on four elements that are all needed to be successful. Stretch, Trust, Strength and Education. In order to do this, your riding skills become a huge factor. He told me that right now, it will be a challenge for me at my level but with the help of Chloe (she is such a beautiful rider) he is confident we can do this. She would need to be the rider on him for some time while working on my skills to get me to the level to be able to do the exercises without causing more damage. YIKES!! Dressage training will be necessary for me. I have already started focusing my lessons on that. I’m even challenging myself and competing at a higher level for my next show at the beginning of June. I’m committed to his recovery and will do what it takes. I will definitely keep my blog updated starting with the plan he puts together for us when he has all of the info he needs to assess his situation. Even if it turns out that his condition is further advanced so that it cannot be completely reversed any change would be positive and beneficial to his quality of life. Makes me one happy Mama!!
Now to the not so happy side of Arrow’s past. I can only do a short overview of what is going on. Due to circumstances not related to him, I cannot disclose the whole story for awhile but will eventually. The rescue Arrow came from has been under investigation and what I have been finding out from those involved or know about the rescue has been very disturbing. I have read news articles that indicate it is in the processing of closing. We will see where that goes. I’ve heard from several different people that not all horses that are rescued end up on the ‘freedom walk’. Some have been euthanized even after the Vet cleared them to be perfectly fine pasture pets. The vet did not euthanize them. Their lives were ended with a bullet in the head because the expense to keep a horse that had a very small chance of being adopted was too expensive. Arrow’s days were numbered. While KS had not been diagnosed, he was definitely lame and was not cleared as a horse that could be ridden. None of this was disclosed to me. It is in my contract that Arrow must be returned to the rescue should I not be able to keep him. After what I learned, there is no way in hell he would go back. I love him so much!! I have made arrangements for him should something happen to me. I know Joe loves him tons and tons but he is not a 'horse' person and I don’t expect him to take on the huge responsibility of his care. Especially with his condition. It wouldn’t be fair to him or Joe. He is set to go to a very loving home and Chloe is aware of this and I’m sure will facilitate his move. Of course, I hope this never happens but it gives me peace of mind knowing my boy will be well taken care of!! It takes a special person to take on a horse with his challenges so I am lucky to know this person! I Can’t disclose more than that at this moment.
Right now, until I have Simon’s input I am holding off on even the Pessoa work with Arrow. He gets PEMF sessions, chiropractic and long hand walks. He has had another shockwave treatment and Osphos which is new and like ANY drug we take or our equine babies take it comes with its opponents but I trust my Vet who works on this part of his vet needs to do what she thinks is best and we did it for him. It’s to help with issues in his front limbs. He had no adverse reaction to it and is fine so even if it didn’t have a huge effect which isn’t known yet, he didn’t have a bad reaction. I have found that everyone has an opinion on Arrow’s treatment but I am comfortable enough with what I know about him to now be a key person in the final decisions. Anything I question, I go to Chloe with and have complete confidence in her. She knows her Shit!! She also cares about Arrow’s future and would never put him at risk for future detrimental damage. I’m over the moon to know that there is a possibility my Arrow could be a light trail horse with no pain. Again, it is not a definite AND we have a lot of work ahead of us. He is worth it!! To me, he is a priceless horse! The pic is a fun one of Arrow portraying Hannibal Lecter. He is actually making everyone aware of the fact that his bucket needs some grain!