but she is HORRIBLE with needles (took us several hours, a twitch, and 3-4 different sedatives to get the last injection in) so I’d prefer to stick to other solutions if possible, to keep her stress to a minimum.[/QUOTE]
You might give this product a try - it’s not cheap but picky horse found it very palatable & it did sort out whatever was bothering him (vet & bodyworker found nothing conclusive … but we know this horse is ridiculously sensitive …).
If you see improvement with this sort of product, then you can look for less $$ ways to get there (initial outlay for the components cost more, than for me to just try the combination, & I was looking for acute rather than chronic relief - I also found a shop that sold it for 10 - 20% less).
I wish I could have her turned out, but there’s really no pasture available where I live – believe me, I’ve looked. She’s in a decent sized pen though, and I get her out to walk/ lunge for an hour at least 5 days each week.
Place her food & water & salt block at farthest distance from each other as that will also encourage movement, same if her hay is just scattered about (& she’ll eat it that way).
I am doing mostly W/T with a bit of canter on the ground right now, and she’s certainly capable of more (she gallops and bucks and rears and spins when I let her run loose), and we’re just walking under saddle for the moment, as she actually refuses to trot.
I agree that if she’s much more expressive at liberty than u/s, look at her back comfort - this includes saddle fit but also strength/development of those back muscle: fortunately you can really build up topline on the lunge, so you might walk in hand & lunge rather than ride, for 4-6 weeks, then reassess her u/s.
Obviously ensure that she has a suitable diet as well (protein, fats, vitamins, minerals).
I’d also have her on at least MSM & preferably a supplement such as Recovery EQ HA - again for me, this particular product works out cheaper than similar versions, but shop around & look at active ingredient/dose … obviously don’t use MSM and a product such as Recovery.
Note that that First Response offers “non-bute” pain relief, in addition to the similar joint supplements.
So… what kind of bodywork would likely help her the most?
Look at who’s in your area, observe each at “work” if possible, then make an appointment
We “tried” 4, I observed another 6, & now just alway call our favourite (very much the horse’s choice as well) who does a combination of massage/acupressure/chiro.
Generally you should see an improvement in the horse after each session, though it may take several (many) months work to sort out issues where there is muscle atrophy.
There is an older horse that came out of a not very nice lesson program (lucky for him, his leaser fell in love) & his recovery has been amazing - from sway backed & very much “not sound” to quite a nice topline & moving out freely (she also stopped jumping him & intends to only do flatwork, though he may surprise her )
Sorry not clear, but his bodyworker has made a huge difference in this horse’s recovery.