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Wizard Session 296; Rides 297, 298: Under a Cloud

October 17, 2011


Friday, 10/14/11

After work, I longed Wizard in the indoor arena. Before he worked, my friend did a little massage work on him. She said he’s VERY body sore- still. It’s not just on the topline or on the saddle area, but extends all the way down the rump. When he longed, he was really good. He has gotten SO much better about going to the right. He used to be mentally incapable of walking to the right (always broke into a nervous trot), but now he can do all three gaits quite willingly. I put him through his paces, and he did some work in side reins as well.

Saturday, 10/15/11

I got two saddles from the tack shop on consignment. One is a Hampson & Scott Jimmy Wofford model, and the other is a Smith-Worthington Danzig. On the tack shop bucks, the Hampson & Scott felt much better to me as a rider. The twist was a little wider, and it had that flat seat that I really love. The Smith-Worthington has a lot more puff to it- it’s like a puffy cloud :^)

I brought the saddles to the barn and tried them on Wizard. The Hampson & Scott looked like it did not have enough withers clearance, so I rode in the Smith-Worthington. It took some getting used to for me, because I have ridden in simple, flat Stubbens forever and ever. The saddle is comfortable enough, and Wizard seemed better in it than he was in the County and my current saddle, the Stubben. He began the ride with his recent habit of ear-pinning and tail swishing and kicking up at his belly. But as we rode more and more, he stopped tensing up and snarling so much. The ride was not very long, and we just did a little cantering, but the saddle seems like a winner.

After our ride, my equine massage friend was doing a little evaluation on Wizard, and while she had her hands on him, I heard the loudest C-R-U-N-C-H! I assumed it was one hoof stepping on the other, but my friend said it came from high up in his pelvis. It was SO loud. But Wizard barely batted an eye. I wonder if something was out of alignment?

Sunday, 10/16/11

I tried the Hampson & Scott saddle, just in case it suddenly fit Wizard better once it was on his back. Boy, oh boy, do I LOVE that saddle. SO, SO, SO comfortable. And Wizard rode pretty nicely in it. He snarled again, with kicking and pinned ears when we were walking, but then really stretched nicely at the trot. But when I checked the gullet, I could only get one finger in the front, and then it stopped where the top of the saddle was crushing his withers. The panels looked good, but without that clear channel down his spine, the saddle was not going to work. What a shame. Someone is going to get a really nice saddle.

I put the Smith-Worthington back on Wizard, and we rode for a while. It was not a ride with a plan, more of a test drive. He was pretty good, but got really wound up by the end of the ride. He threw a few kicks at the canter, and pinned his ears during a few trot exercises. The reason I kept riding was to check the sweat pattern on his back from the saddle. There was no bridging, which is wonderful- there were two perfect strips of sweat down the panels on the sides on his spine. There were dry spots on the sides of his withers, but I’ve read so many different opinions of that. I think the saddle fits better than any other saddle I can currently find, and I’m pretty sure we’re going to keep it. And once I’m comfortable with the saddle I have, I can go back to slowly bringing him back from whatever is causing this body soreness.

I have been putting his Back on Track sheet on him overnight for the past three days. Sunday was Day 6 of his magnesium. Sunday was Day 11 of his Omeprazole treatment. I wish I could have isolated each treatment to see which were working and which were not, but at this point, I really want SOMETHING to work.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 17, 2011 8:26 am

    I’m not sure if I missed it, but did you rule out Lyme disease? A lot of horses in this area have been exposed, and I think it tends to be a little overdiagnosed by those without their medical licenses, but it may be worth getting him tested.

    • October 17, 2011 1:13 pm

      Thank you for the suggestion! I’ve mentioned it to the vet in the past, and she did not think he was symptomatic, but I am having her out again sometime soon so I will be sure to ask again. I agree that it is the diagnosis du jour, but he seems to exhibit some of the symptoms. I wanted to try the first round of treatments (ulcers, magnesium, saddle) before putting him on week of heavy antibiotics. Thank you for your thoughts!

      • October 17, 2011 2:53 pm

        I agree, try the least invasive options first! I just couldn’t help compare him to two or three horses that I have seen diagnosed with Lyme — similar behavior under saddle, general body soreness, being “goosey” for grooming… Hopefully you get to the bottom of it soon!

      • October 17, 2011 5:31 pm

        Thank you! Will keep you posted.

  2. October 17, 2011 10:48 pm

    So it’s been 10 days. Curious to know if you have seen an improvement since using the pop rocks?

    • October 18, 2011 3:28 pm

      Zero improvement, unfortunately. I’m leaning more and more toward a Lyme test, but I hate the idea of doing 2 months of doxy unless we’re pretty sure he needs it. Last time I asked the vet, she did not think he was symptomatic. But I will be asking again for sure!

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