Well, today was the visit. Pluses and minuses here:
– vet is very impressed with her general condition and topline, says she’s at a perfect weight and our feed plan is ideal**, plus whatever work I am doing with her is “just right.”
– for a horse her age and with her history and leg conformation, she’s doing quite well
– no obvious sight issues
– she is easy to work with
– shoeing looks good but she has pads all around, so hoof testers don’t really work. He doesn’t think her hooves are part of the problem.
– slight lameness on left hind (this is basically normal for her.)
– her shoulders are very tight. He showed me some stretches to help with that
– she flexed +1 in lower front legs and +2 for hocks, mild +1 for stifles
– some reactivity in SI area
– needed a pelvic adjustment (he does chiro so he did that.)
– some issues are behavioral. This is “on me” to some degree; I should adjust my approach to be more calm and patient.
– she definitely needs hock injections. He agrees that Pro-Stride is a better choice than steroids. He wondered whether we should wait until trail riding season, but I said it’s better to do them sooner, because in a way, her winter work is harder (more dressage-y, more trot and canter) and of course she’s more stiff in the winter. But he wants the blood work results before scheduling this.
– blood draws for Cushings, non-fasting insulin (as long as she had nothing but hay to eat for 6-8 hours, which was the case), CBC+kidney values since she is on Equioxx long-term
– try a switch from a PPI to Gut X but can go back to a PPI if needed
– is there any way to have hay in front of her for most of the night? (answer: probably not… she eats very quickly even with a small-hole Nibble Net, and she can’t have more hay or she will get too fat.)
– weekly massage would help, especially her front end
** Her food: first cut grass hay ~20 to 25 pounds per day in 6 or 7 feedings (one of the reasons I LOVE this barn – they do not short horses on hay and make it up with concentrates.)
Breakfast is 1/2 small bucket Triple Crown Stress Less chopped forage, SmartPak of SmartCirculate and Quiessence, 1 scoop Thyro-L (12 mg thyroxine), currently 2 generic Nexium (40 mg) but will switch to Gut X as a trial. May add Equishure, but it hasn’t done a lot for her previously.
Dinner is 1 cup Outlast pellets, 1 1/2 dose Grand Meadows Premuim Plus (vitamin/mineral, joint, hoof, pre and probiotics), 6000 IU vitamin E (UltraCruz Natural – she had mild EPM a few years ago), 1 Equioxx, 1 scoop Thyro-L, about 1/2 cup dried raspberry leaves. (The raspberry leaves aren’t really necessary, but they are inexpensive, very low in calories, and help hide the taste of the medicines, so why not?)
When there is grass, I hand graze her some. She will dig through snow and ice to get at early spring grass. (Like many Morgans, she’s genetically predisposed to think that whatever she’s eating right now may be the last thing she eats for a long while!)