Thursday, January 27, 2011

I rode Cruiser!

Well, after a month of only hand walking and occasionally hand trotting just to check his soundness, I decided it was time to ride Cruiser.

I quit riding him in December when he persistently was showing lameness at a trot when I rode him. It was primarily when his head was up in the air like a Saddlebred. When I could get him to relax, he would lower his head and trot sound. Unfortunately, over Christmas, he only wanted to trot with his back hollow and his head straight up. The lameness got worse, so I was time to quit riding.

I was going to get the vet out the next week after the holidays, but by then, the lameness was gone.

About 4 years ago, Cruiser bowed his tendon very bad. I was leading him on the street and a dog came flying out of the house we were walking by. Cruise was terrified, and I couldn’t hold him. He got loose, jumped a ditch and came out lame on the other side. It took a full year for him to recover, and then a few moths later, he had a relapse. At that time, the vet checked him for Insulin Resistance—bingo! Even though he didn’t look like a typical Insulin Resistant horse, he had it, and it weakens the tendons making them more susceptible to injury. We changed his diet, and I exercise him 5 days a week to control it.

It appeared the lameness was from his bowed tendon leg, the opposite hind and possibly his back. Over the summer, he had a horrible case of hives in the saddle area. I put him on steroids to get them to heal. They did, but he still has a bump right where the saddle and the hives intersect. I have been suspicious about this for months.

Anyway, back to my ride. It was so great to be back in the saddle with Cruiser. I felt like I was home, again. After a long warmup, I got my nerve up to trot a little. I knew he would be excited, so his head would go straight up—putting pressure on whatever was sore in the past. I was really, really nervous.

We went about 10 strides. His head was up, but there was on limp!!! A minute later, I did it again—10 more strides. He was still okay. I decided I should try it at a sitting trot, too, since it seemed worse at the sitting trot—plus, it is easier to see a head bob. Still, he was fine. I was so happy.

The plan is to slowly add trotting to his ride. In about a month, we will be out on the trail and I will just slowly and carefully add more work. I am assuming that it is the tendon, and I will treat it as such. I am hopeful that I will get another summer of trail riding. Maybe it won’t be as fast or as far as it was in his younger years, but I have Cole for that, now. I will be happy just to be able to take him out and ride.

Cruiser is a great horse, and a joy to ride on trail.

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

I'm glad he's sound again. Do bowed tendons ever completely heal or will he always have reoccurring problems with it? I'm glad you get to keep riding him this year. :)