Monday, May 20, 2013
The Downward Spiral
For the last three weeks or so, Alex and I have been having a lot of trouble with the canter. He'd either buck or depart rocking and throwing his head up. At first I thought it was behavioral/strength related, maybe he was just weak in the back end, having trouble balancing. I spent several very frustrating nights wondering what I was doing wrong.
Finally I decided it had to be pain related and called the vet. After examining Alex and watching him jog, he pronounced him in need of hock injections, which we did the same day.
Alex returned to light work after a day off, and a day of lunging. Both trot and canter felt great although there was a little anticipation, and I thought our troubles were over.
A week ago today, I went out to ride after giving Alex the weekend off and it was bad... he would canter and then buck and run sideways almost into the fence. The vet came back out the next day, pronounced him back sore, gave me some muscle relaxers to see if we could get him to relax and therefore alleviate some of his soreness. I was told to ride him lightly on the flat and ask him to stretch.
Wednesday we had an absolutely terrible ride even though I lunged Alex beforehand, as soon as I asked him to canter, he began alternating bucks and rears and felt like he was going to fall over with me. This was not a behavioral thing... this was extreme pain. After talking to the vet again (I'm sure he's probably tired of me by this point) we agreed to continue the muscle relaxers for a week, working him only from the ground and see if things improved.
I saw slight improvements with the meds, but Alex was still tender to even medium pressure on his back, definitely didn't want to be ridden and just generally appeared to be uncomfortable. Apparently he'd been compensating for pain in his hocks (which are just perfect now) and really done a number on his back.
Since the pain he's in is not likely to subside entirely with rest and Alex seems to be in so much pain, I've decided, with the vet's guidance, that he's going to have his back injected.
This whole thing has been so depressing and frustrating, which is why I just haven't had the heart to blog. All I can hope for now is that this finally gets him some relief.