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Damnit Eeyore, Part 2

When last I left off in Part 1, I had had the vet out due to swelling and sensitivity in Eeyore’s left loin. She had prescribed Equinox and was a little iffy on what was causing the issue but planned to come back out to recheck after completion.

Eeyore was a good boy about his meds and ate the pills whole in his food. I was unconcerned about the follow up as the weird area of swelling was gone, he was feeling amazing and we had the best jump school of my life.

This day. I’ll never forget this day.

So when she came out yesterday I didn’t think much of the follow up. Heck, I had ridden a short w/t/c flat ride in the arena Monday night and while he was behind my leg and a bit fussy he was fine and willing enough.

Until the hubby told me over lunch that she called to let him know Eeyore was grade 3 massively lame on the left front. WTF? All I had wanted was a darn chiro adjustment!

I finally got to talk to her this morning though I had patients waiting so I didn’t get as into the weeds as I would have liked. Apparently she was extremely pleased with the left loin stating that it was 100% amazing just as I had thought.

Contemplating life after an easy ground work session

She had wanted to be very thorough though so she had her assistant walk and trot him straight on the grass and on pavement (my driveway) and saw no issues. She then had her lunge him and bam! Grade 3 lame front left on a circle going left. Going right? Fine. She decided to look more into it and did flexions. If anyone is counting, this is now his third set of flexions in a year.

As expected, he was fine. Not a single hint of anything wrong. As happened the last two times he was flexed. The boy flexes nicely. Hoof testers were negative. She asked if we want xrays. No. No I don’t. I’ve had him xrayed. Twice. Everything inside is fine. Just like last year only this time it was the front left instead of the front right. Thankfully. If it was his front right all over again I’d shoot him myself. Just kidding. Sorta.

A gung ho very much not lame horse

We talked a while and the end analysis from her is that he has crap conformation, the left leg twists at an ungodly angle and well sometimes that is going to show up as a lameness when he is on a circle and the leg is torqued. She does not think this is at all soft tissue related and sees no reason I can’t do low level eventing/jumping for years to come.

Her biggest suggestion was to change his shoes a bit and uh….get him a muzzle to match Gem as he could stand to lose 100lbs and being fit will only help his longevity with regards to his legs. He will HATE it. Gem is pretty darn good about it and has figured out she can still graze and drink just fine and has already lost some weight. Eeyore. Well. This won’t end well but I’ll be ordering one for him today. Plus we are amping up his riding so that can only help.

Is he still good for what I want? Yup. Not perfect but I knew that when I chose him. I want to do low level eventing. Maybe get to BN. A few shows a year. Two lessons a month. Some hunter paces. A lot of back yard flat work. All things he should be able to do for many years to come. She said there really are no limits at the moment and since he is anything but stoic he will let me know when something isn’t right.

Never going to stop using this picture

At the moment we are moving ahead as normal. Any dreams of potential endurance have been shattered because there is no way he will pass the vetting but that is ok. I wasn’t set on that and thought maybe a 25 at Biltmore next year but oh well. She gave the green light to keep riding and keep jumping. If I ever get the lady bits to go higher, I may need to relook into things but for now it’s full steam ahead on my slightly wonky, little bit goofy gelding.

19 thoughts on “Damnit Eeyore, Part 2”

  1. Okay…so it is possible to change his conformation and balance to overcome this issue. The Murdoch Method Surefoot pads help the horses to realign balance and make them aware of structure. And Felicitas Von-neuman Cassel (sp?), and Renee Carter/Essence of Horses both have programs that create hind carriage that allows for structure change in the front end. It sounds hinky, trust me I know…but it works. I have a horse that was essentially paralyzed with Lymes and not great angles/conformation that can do 3rd level and is currently kicking ass on the show circuit with a youth rider. I always thought I’d have to do western pleasure with her bc she didn’t have the movement to do anything else, and after Lyme I wasn’t sure I’d ride her again as she couldn’t take a step forward. It’s worth the research, and even if you do decide to not event, it will only improve the level you’re choosing.

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  2. Oh, Eeyore! But you’re right, he may not be perfect but he’s perfectly suited to all you hope to do for most disciplines. You’ll be crushing BN in no time at all 😉

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  3. i like your attitude about this. folks get so preoccupied with perfection and symmetry and all that, but honestly i tend to be a pragmatist when it comes to matching a horse’s physical condition with the job at hand. no horse is perfect — i sometimes jokingly (sorta) whisper into charlie’s ear that ‘not every horse is destined to pass the fei jog up!’ — but the vast majority of them are perfectly capable and able and EAGER to do the things we want to do.

    also, yea crooked legs are super common and good hoof care can make a world of difference. tho. ya know, it’s also always possible that maybe he’s brewing a little abscess or bruise too even tho the hoof testers were negative. we can always hope, right?? lol…

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    1. Eeyore isn’t destined to be an upper level horse of any discipline. I wanted a horse to ride 2-3 days a week at home in a flat arena with good footing, take 2 lessons a month, do maybe a spring and fall baby HT and some hunter paces and he can do all that. I refuse to get all stressed. I also sorta wonder about the grade 3 lameness. Not that I don’t trust her. I love her. But I threw him on the lunge when I got home and he was fine. Lazy but fine. She had him lunge in a small circle in my barnyard which is sloped. Eeyore has exactly zero ability to control his limbs on uneven terrain. It’s a death wish. He really just closes his eyes and relies on gravity to get him to the bottom so I’m wondering if that’s not more what she was seeing from him out there. We will see. For now I’m going to enjoy him because he brings me laughter and joy on the daily.

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  4. I hope that you are able to figure out what is going on… I am SUPER confused as to how the horse being lame on a circle makes it grade 3 lame… Below is my understanding of the lameness grades (taken from Kentucky Equine Research):

    Grade 0 means the horse shows no perceptible lameness under any conditions.

    Grade 1 describes a horse in which lameness is difficult to see and is not consistent. The horse may look slightly lame at some times and not at others, regardless of whether it is worked in hand or under saddle, on hard or soft ground, and in straight or circular patterns.

    Grade 2 means the lameness is hard to detect at a walk or trot in a straight line. However, it can consistently be seen under certain conditions such as when the horse is ridden, moves in a circle, goes up or down an incline, or works on a hard surface.

    Grade 3 refers to a horse in which lameness is easy to see when the horse is trotting, regardless of surface, speed, direction, or incline.

    Grade 4 means lameness is easy to see when the horse is walking.

    Grade 5 describes a horse that is reluctant to bear weight on the affected limb, either standing still or moving, or is completely unwilling or unable to move.

    As such, I would think that, at most, he would be grade 2? He certainly looked sound in your lessons, so who knows! Hopefully, it is a quick fix.

    https://ker.com/equinews/how-lame-is-lame/

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    1. When I threw him on the lunge in my arena Tuesday night (exam was Tuesday morning) he was fine. Not a single odd step. He can be a really big asshole for strangers and my guess is that he was doing his best shuffling “I’m too lame to move why are you torturing me?” Trot around in top of the slopes ground which he has zero capability of maneuvering (great feature in a future event horse) on coupled with his wonky legs and she saw lameness. But I don’t know.

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      1. Yeah. Obviously, I have no video to go on other than him looking totally fine in your lesson hahaha. Soooo I definitely don’t think his BN eventing career is in danger. 😉

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  5. woof grade 3 is pretty lame… when runkle went grade 3 after he popped a splint I had a surgical consult. I hope you get to the bottom of his surprise lameness!!

    as far as conformation – I think keeping him thinner will go a long way for his soundness. I rode a mare who had really terrible feet. Like, not the hooves but the bones inside. She was an air fern, but the thinner I kept her the sounder she stayed. Kinda sucks, because I don’t WANT to keep my horses on the thin side, but in her case I had to pick 😛

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    1. Grade 3 was not what I saw myself later that day. More like “maybe if I squint real hard I can see a NQR something going on” but I don’t know. I wasn’t there when she did it.

      His muzzle will be on its way shortly. It’s the issue with having large lush pastures and very few horses. Hey wait!! Maybe that’s the solution here. More horses!!!!!!

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