Sunday, 30 August 2009

Lovely jiggling muscles!

On Friday, Quadi had another visit from Liz Briscoe

This was his second treatment from her. Given the change in him since her first visit, I believe this aspect of his rehab is fundamental to getting him working correctly, and with ease. Shoeing/foot balance, saddle fit, medication, etc are all pieces of the puzzle we couldn't be without, but regular physio and now also equine massage have really brought about a change in him.

Liz said she noticed immediately, before setting foot in his stable, that he looked different. She said he was more interested in his surroundings and was looking over the door to see who I was speaking to. And the change in his physique was as much of a pleasant surprise to her as it was to me when I got home from offshore :D

I think I'd already relayed from his previous session, via reports from Kate, that he didn't exactly enjoy the first session. He's always been ok with physio manipulation, but didn't enjoy the massage as such. On that occassion Liz didn't try to manipulate any particular area or issue, instead focussing on the session being a positive experience for Quadi.

This time he was much more genial towards us, aided I'm sure by a big pile of hay to munch on whilst Liz got to work.

The great news is that he is much, much improved on his last treatment. This is completely down to his care in my absence, I take no credit for his progress! His lumbar region, loin and over his hindquarters are all much looser. If you gently wiggle his bottom, the muscle jiggles whereas before he was completely tight in this area. He is reacting to pressure points when before he wouldn't. In fact, Liz couldn't believe this and checked them a few times because it just didn't seem quite possible given how resistant he was before! Still a little tight in both shoulders and a little bit of tension in the left lumbar area, but this is expected. And he looks good considering he's been out of action for nearly a month with the forelimb lameness. We are all in agreement the next part to fall into place will be when we can further unlock his shoulders. This area has proved more of an issue than where he was diagnosed with a problem. As soon as we have the all clear for work I hope we can crack on with polework and lateral work.

Liz agreed that some TTouch work for body awareness and increased proprioception would be a good idea, so I am reading up on that at the moment. In between lots of other things, including feed balancers, joint supplements, soil testing (for the new yard!), etc. Oh, and I should strap his muscles. He prefers hearty slaps to rubs. I've always been led to believe horses like to be stroked, and certainly when he needs reassurance that helps, but Quadi likes to be told he's a good lad with a flat palm to the buttocks *lol*

I went home from the yard on Friday absolutely beaming, just so happy that everyone thinks Quadi is looking better, and obviously feeling better too. Happy that he's happy. Now I just need to get myself a massage.

The weekend was spent grooming, doing stretches and trailer training. The latter went wonderfully, we are very happy to stand in the trailer with the partition in the middle. Of course, an abundance of food in buckets and in pockets helps! Hopefully we can progress to practicing with travel gear on the rest of the week before Visiting Horsepital on Friday.

Tomorrow I am off to the vet to see the latest x-rays. I feel sorry for the vet, I have many, many questions!

Friday, 28 August 2009


...over a month since my last update, oops!

I made it home at the end of July, elated to see my pony, and what a transformation! I was bowled over with the change in him, physically, mentally and emotionally. I spent the first fifteen minutes just standing back, regarding him, almost wanting to pinch myself as I couldn't quite believe my eyes. Then I rode him and I grinned so much my face ached :D Lifting through his back, setting off nice and relaxed from the off. And despite having seven weeks off the riding bit, I didn't forget anything and we had a great session. Kate really worked wonders, I couldn't have been more pleased!

Progress was positive and steady from there, I caught up on what Kate had been doing in terms of groundwork. Quadi was going so well without the Pessoa that we have progressed to just a bungee aid in front which only comes into play when he really moves outwith the range we like him to be in. It was even more encouraging to see him stretching himself on the lunge, a sort of self-physio session.

We were almost at the point of a saddle fitting, since he'd bulked out to a more consistent shape...and then he went lame.

As I've previously documented, it's been a little more of a chore to obtain right bend and there was the historical issue of lameness in his off-fore which I was told to work through unless it came to something. I assumed it was just another piece that would fall into place with time and remediation. Well, it came to something!

First stop was our lovely physio. She was actually already scheduled before Quadi went lame, and we (Kate and I) were all prepped to show him off. Sadly the appointment became a lameness investigation. The good news, it wasn't his back and it wasn't soft tissue in the shoulder. Bad news is we were none the wiser, and he wasn't weighting that leg very much. So we had a lameness work-up from the vet and eventually settled on front foot x-rays, to include the lower joints and specifically looking for navicular. They couldn't see too much wrong but the x-rays were sent to Glasgow Vet School because the vet here didn't feel experienced enough to sign off on the images.

It's a very good thing that he sent them off, along with the x-rays from April, because bony changes can be seen in the coffin joint. They mentioned early osteoarthritis. Although they said there was extra bone growth and I'm not sure whether that means arthritis, it could just be irritation in the joint.

The latest is that we are heading off to a local veterinary hospital next Friday to have that joint medicated and then we can crack on. I was initially despondent but he's already putting weight on the leg. Poor lad's been on paddock rest for a couple of weeks now. But at least it's not a tendon and we have an answer!

We are due to move yards soon. It was supposed to be this weekend but we're putting that off until after horsepital now. But Fin and Quadi will soon be masters of their domain as we sub-let part of a yard all to ourselves! We have our own wheelbarrow and everything, very exciting!

He had a massage today but I'll write about that tomorrow. It's almost bedtime!