Monday, February 16, 2009


I'm feeling sorry for myself today. I want to ride. Badly. Beau is my main man these days, and we are working to figure out an ongoing lameness issue and I have made the commitment not to ride until he goes in for a lameness evaluation (hurry up tax refund!!) I suspect there is something going on here and need to know what it is before we continue... He is sound now- but I have given him over a month off and put him on 3 supplements (and bute when the issue was more acute) Bill suspects some preexisting condition (prior to when we purchased him) I have my fingers crossed for something manageable. I'm not going to get worked up about it yet- any way you slice it, it can't be good. So I just want to know how to proceed!
I purchased Beau in September after having a trial. He was underfed and out of shape. He was basically sitting in a field as his owner didn't have enough time or space to work him. She had purchased him as a yearling, and according to what she told me- after he was broke to ride very little was done with him. So, I got myself a green 8yr old appendix QH for my new buddy. After selling Bagira, I hadn't had MY horse to ride, and I was really missing it. I wanted something saner, and safer and that could do with more/less work based on what I had going on. I wanted to work on my dressage and trail ride and have a new best friend to hang out with. More of an all around kind of guy as opposed to a "show" horse.
I really liked him from the start, he has a kind eye and was good with the kids and dogs. He trailered well, and after many many quarts of grain easily put weight on. There didn't seem to be any medical reason for his thin condition and I didn't have any reason to not trust the stories I was being told about him. I gave him plenty of time to beef up and then started him under saddle.
He was going to be more of a project than I originally intended. First we had to work on "go." "Whoa" was pretty solid (in fact park, or back were his favorite gears!) We had no steering and balance was nonexistent! He was a geeky 3 year old in an 8yr old body! He tried, and I loved him- he is such a ham; he loves attention, and thrives on neck scratches and cookies!

I worked with him most of the fall- he is exactly what I wanted- all-be-it more work than I had figured. He was a peach off farm (as long as his buddy sonny was either not with us, or in sight!) we went to the beach, for trail rides and to various farms and equestrian facilities to school. Looking back, he was always tight through the back, and short up front when we started working- he took small steps during the warm up and then worked out of it. Not ever "lame" but certainly short. I decided it was a training issue, not a physical one and left it at that. He did have a really off day once after working in deep footing- took some really lame steps, I got right off and he walked out of it ok and seemed fine after that. He did take short steps now and again, but I always chocked it up to tension or sore feet. We worked with his angles and he did wear a 1degree wedge for the rest of the fall. He was going nicely- working 3 or 4 days a week, and going all sorts of places.
His ring work was coming along- I even had aspirations of going for some lessons on him! He had basic connection down, came through from behind for the most part (he did have lazy moments) working over his back well. We had baby leg yields- he was learning to move off the lateral aids. His canter needed more impulsion- more of a lope that I would like, but I figured the beach and out in the fields would be better than an indoor to school that, and we were slipping into winter.

Then as we got well into winter thing went down hill- he has been off and on lame most of the winter. He had days where he was really shuffling. There was never any heat or swelling indicating an injury- and then there was the fact that he has always come out short/tight when we worked- it was getting better this fall, but is now something I took more notice of. One evening at the indoor he was pretty much 3 legged. I had to get off and put him up after just walking him. Bill thought it looked like his feet- but we couldn't isolate anything with the hoof testers. He was on bute/stall rest for a week, and since then we have been closely monitoring him. Did he slip on the ice and hurt himself? Does he have a bone chip in the knee? Navicular? Are the short steps and lameness from the fall connected to this newest event? Are these all related symptoms or totally unconnected? Your guess is as good as mine! After a few weeks of good days and bad days- time off and on bute, he seems fine. He does get buteless pellets, a joint supplement and e/selenium and that is keeping him sound. But, for as long as it took us to get here (almost a month now!) I'm not going to risk it. Ill wait for my tax refund, and make an appointment so we can see for sure what is going on! But days like today I REALLY want to ride!


  1. Ah, poor Al~ It is a beautiful day out there, but with snow and ice all over you would have to trailer somewhere anyway. Have you given him plenty of massages??

  2. Oh Alex... I will send all good wishes that this is a "managable issue" and that your "refund" will get here quick... please keep us posted on Beau's progress.....