Okay, so my horse has had a tiny lameness issue all winter and it seemed to be that his SI (sacroiliac) joint was always out. I had the chiropractor out a lot to reset it and he’d be good for a couple weeks, but not great. I could see the inflammation around the joint and he was always off in his left hind, especially when the joint was out.
Recently, my farrier suggested I start using a thrush treatment because my horse has very straight feet and very deep grooves along the frog and of the sulcus. We thought it was his front feet giving him trouble, and they were, since I had elected to let him go barefoot since January. He was getting more ouchy as spring came so we put him back in shoes and he’s sound again.
Back to the rest…He had shoes put on a few days after his last chiropractic adjustment, in which the chiropractor also showed me some stretches to help my horse stay aligned (hopefully) longer. I started putting the thrush remedy on the hind feet then too. Add to that the application of liniment over my horse’s loins and croup (to help the muscles holding the trouble spot in place).
In the last week, all signs of lameness have vanished. He regained his HUGE overtrack (about two feet at the walk when he really moves out)–that’s where the hind foot oversteps the print left by the fore foot. And we’re once again schooling medium canter, walk-canter/canter-walk, and medium trot. Granted, he now has to rebuild muscles, so he’s sore the next day, but he’s holding together.
He even took a nasty stumble the other day, because he tripped over his front feet while being lazy with me on his back, before going on to some heavy lifting. After yesterday off for his birthday–seven years old–today, we kept the ride a little lighter, but he still had the strength and soundness for lateral work and some collection, although he wanted a LOT of stretching. Afterwards, when I put the liniment on his rump, within a couple minutes there was a dramatic disappearance of the roundness and I realized how inflamed the tissue was, probably still from Monday’s work. His shoulders needed it too. I used to put liniment on after every ride, but sometime last fall, I got out of the habit. For him and the heavy work he’s doing schooling second level dressage, liniment will now be seen as a necessity.
Fingers crossed that I found the secret to keeping my horse sound and strong. If he’s not a special needs horse, with all this and his allergies and having been treated for ulcers last year, I don’t know what is!