Update at beginning because the whole post is long but I would encourage you to read it if you don’t know how this started it may help you!!
Update 1: I went into this thinking it was SI, symptoms at the canter checked out with a lot of research that I did online about SI and my trainer agreed. The other symptom of main concern was muscle soreness along the spine and down over his rump and overall lack of muscle especially for a big athletic warmblood in full work, we kept gradually working up expecting muscle to come up but it wasn’t. I had the vet out and we now have a plan of action. I will put in paragraphs.
Update 2: We started with a basic lameness with flexions and trot up. We brought him out and she did a mobility test with his back legs and tail to check SI. She said his SI seemed totally fine, but was slightly less flexible and stable she thinks due to lack of muscle. He trotted up clear and perfectly sound. He has a slight fusion in one hock but that is very small the vet said it didn’t effect him or any performance career he would have. Lunging went well and he passed that too. He often becomes disunited and switches front or back or both at different times or at the same time while lunging, he didn’t during that session but I did inform the vet of what is normal for him. So lunging is also check, all clear but issues at canter I informed her of noted.
Update 3: We then moved on to a neurological test. Neuro test done and we went back to his stall so he could eat hay while we talked to the vet about her findings, conclusion, and a plan moving forward.
Update 4: We talked about what she found which I will bullet point:
- Lack of muscle is concerning for age of horse, body weight, and work level
- SI looked fine and within normal if a little bit stiff and inflexible again she thinks due to lack of muscle and hock was fine as well despite the baby fusion, maybe some kind of injections down the road but not needed currently
- trot and lunge were clear but the usual disunitedness was noted
- She also stretched his neck and was slightly stiff but he does have a bone chip that he has had from birth in his neck so one side is not as flexible
- In the neurological exam he showed a few mistakes
- She also recommended that we give him a Vitamin E supplement as his level was within normal but very low
Update 5: Treatment plan we decided on
For the next two weeks
- Start the Marquis Treatment for EPM
- Get a Vitamin E supplement
- Work on only light riding once or maybe twice a week–work the other days using either the Pessoa or Equiband system and incorporate poles with lunging–focusing on non ridden work
Update 6: Treatment Plan after the two weeks
everything here is based on what she finds when she comes back after the two weeks and how he responds to EPM treatment
- Continue with Vitamin E supplement for muscle building
- Continue using lunging exercises to build muscle but gradually move in more riding work with and without the EquiBand
- Finish up the Marquis and take it from there. Hopefully that solves the issues but if not we are back to diagnostics
Original Post Starts Here:
Ok, I recently moved my horse after about 6 months of ownership. He was getting more back sore every week and developing some issues because the barn wasn’t turning him out enough. I had some pro rides set up for him as I was struggling with his gaits, particularly his canter.
The very first ride with my new trainer and she said she suspected he had some SI issues. I bought him a custom saddle as nothing second hand was working so saddle issues are not what we are dealing with.
I am pretty sure he has had issues with his SI for a few years as some very very minor arthritis came up on his hocks, probably caused by SI pain and not being in proper work before I bought him. I am looking into PEMF treatment for him (maybe), does anyone have any experience with it and does it work? Vitamin B12 injections were also suggested by my trainer for his back muscles. Anyone ever tried these? Overall injections kind of make me back off a bit.
Please share any experience or knowledge you have learned! I have a vet set up to look at him but would like to go ready with questions about any possible treatments if for no other reason than to learn about them and why they may or may not work.
His walk and trot seem fine even though he struggles to work through his back, but his canter is very hollow and inverted, rushing, switching leads, becoming disunited. I have not been cantering him because I do not have the ability to do so well considering how bad he can get in it, not his fault and thats why I am having the vet out, I just am not good enough to help him through it so I do walk/trot with him and we are happy until we can figure stuff out.
So anyway, I am looking to get him back in shape but the mystery issue is holding us back a bit. He is only 10 and really well built and has Grand Prix jumping bloodlines. I want to take him in the jumpers or an event or two for fun after his former career of fox hunting. I don’t want to “just make him comfortable” and cause damage to his joint just to jump the sticks. I am very injection wary because at my old barn they would inject everything just to keep it going.
I looked into PEMF because we did a blood test to eliminate EPM and Lyme and his inflammation numbers were high but not positive for either. He demonstrated sensitivity along muscle and not on spine along his back. The vet put pressure on his SI/hunters bump area and that was sensitive but the muscle around it was more sensitive. Hence, I looked into more muscular things like PEMF and massage (anyone tried Equilibrium, not gonna solve the problem but looked interesting).
I want to have some ideas before the vet appointment so I can ask my questions. I appreciate any and all responses!