Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Since Thanksgiving

Since getting back home, Penn's life has been turned upside down.

He's still a pretty happy, cuddly guy.

Activity Level. He's back to tack walking and the first few rides were interesting... He was hot and spooky and was as naughty as a horse can be without actually doing anything bad. The first ride back, I brought him into the indoor and he proceeded to stare at the footing and snort at it for 15 min straight. Seriously dude? Though, he's never done well with time off.

He's being aced for turnout and tied in his stall when he wants to stall walk. True story, sorry not sorry. This will continue for months sadly until we figure out a long term situation for him and for when his ligament damage is more healed/not freshly healed.

Snoozing in an ace-and-sun-aided trance on an unusually warm December day.

Interestingly, his stall walking may have played a roll in the collateral ligament tears. Did it do the actual tearing? I don't think so. Did it not help the situation? I think so. Penn has been an avid stall walker for the 3 years I've owned him. I've tried a bunch of things to make him stop (Quiessence, Total Calm and Focus powder, CBD were the big ones), and they did help to some degree but didn't make it stop. For the record, the CBD made the biggest impact on that aspect of Penn's life. It brought the stall walking down from an intermittent night time affair with mad walking at feed time to "I only walk at breakfast and dinner while I'm waiting excitedly for my food to arrive."

Penn always, ALWAYS stall walks to the left. That puts both collateral ligament tears on the inside and he pivots hard on them. I meant to mention the stall walking in my previous 2 posts, but I simply forgot because we didn't really think of it until the drive home.

Silent protest

New Shoes and Accessories. He got his new duds, that my farrier so graciously made for him ON THANKSGIVING, so they'd be ready to put back on ASAP. He got them back on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

You'd think by now I could take a picture that wasn't blurry.
They make very unique footprints.

I ordered him new bell boots on Black Friday, since my favorite Italian Pull Ons can't be removed once his larger than life shoes are on his feet. I tried. The vets tried. We gave up and took them off after his shoes were pulled for his MRI.

He's a Back on Track poster child.
The medium BOT bell boots are actually slightly taller than the large KL Select Italian bell boots. I was very happy that they would provide the same excessive heel coverage that Penn needs! And if there's anything to the product, they'll help increase circulation in the hoof, which won't hurt Penn at all!

More X Ray Review (last bit, I promise). I got a little focused on the P1 imbalances in Penn's front legs for a hot second, because why not? I have all these images, may as well obsess over them and do some learning. I should have had this ready for the last post, but honestly I just didn't think about it. The program that handles the x-rays and the online viewer has a measuring tool. I decided to measure how different each side of Penn's P1s are.

Right Medial: 3.96", Right Lateral: 3.74", 0.22" difference
Left Medial: 3.76", Left Lateral: 3.43", 0.33" difference
Uh, that's a big difference. I think I'm lucky to have gotten to 3rd Level with him. Apparently some difference is normal, but I don't have a value for the max of normal.

Other Medications/Supplements. As the group think tank started cranking after we got home, we figured one thing: the healing of the collateral ligaments is so low because the hoof has poor circulation. What can we do to increase the circulation in his feet? Vasodilators and blood doping techniques. Blood doping, the way it was explained to me: athletes draw an amount of blood out of their body, oxygenate it, and at least a month later after the body has replenished the blood drawn, they have the drawn blood put back in. That way they have more red cells available to carry oxygen for sporting events. That's not really an option for Penn, so we focused on the second one: vasodilators. A common drug for navicular horses is isoxsuprine hcl. I asked home vet and VEI vets if it could help him, and got the same answer from both: It probably won't help him, but it certainly won't hurt him. I did get him some, with the logic of: it's relatively cheap, it should increase blood flow to the hoof which may help, and he's got a shit ton of navicular issues so why not?

All the meds.

The other thing I did was up his CBD to 150 mg per day, 75 in the morning and 75 in the evening. It's right in the middle of the chronic pain dosage. Overkill? I donno. It was easy enough and I found someone who would split the 10lb size, which we bought on a huge discount on Black Friday. It's enough to see him through until April for a "reasonable" price and then we can reevaluate his situation. Again, it should promote healing. If it doesn't, oh well. I can truly say, I tried everything.

I also put him on OrthoPur Si from HorseTech (he's been on it for a month and a half now). HorseTech makes products like SportWerks, Hylasport, Hylasport CTS, Reitsport, etc. A farm friend and I got talking about supplements and she had really good luck with that company. She called them and together with vet information, they made up a support plan for her horse (who had a freak accident involving a porcupine of all things and shredded his suspensory). I did talk to rep from the company and gave them a detailed run down on Penn's issues, and they custom made a supplement for him and recommended OrthoPur Si as additional support since it's more bio-available than dry silica. I'm not ready to make judgement on the custom mix (which I'll probably be changing in light of his last vet visits) or the OrthoPur, so we'll see how that goes!

I found a horse I can borrow for a couple months at least while Penn's situation develops. There's more plans in the works for another horse for me, but I have to stop hemorrhaging money on Penn first. I have some other fun horsey plans scheduled for the end of January, so I'm working hard to get back into real riding shape instead of just tack walking shape!


  1. I owned a chronic stall walker for many years who would only walk in one direction as well. During high activity times in the barn (which was a trigger for him) he would be tied on a breakaway tie near his hay, similar to the setup in your picture. My guy actually found this to be very reassuring and it helped to keep him relaxed since he just could not resist the urge to stall walk if left untied. At night check he would be let loose for the night (if there was no one in the barn he would not stall walk). This worked well for us for many years (he lived to be 29) and helped to avoid a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on his legs. I hope you have similar success with this approach.

  2. The CBD stuff absolutely fascinates me!! Fingers crossed you can get Penn to as good a place as possible. I'm so glad to hear you've got a horse to borrow for awhile to get the needed riding time in. <3

  3. I hope it all works wonders on your boy!

  4. Love that CBD helped...wonder plant for sure.

  5. Interesting about the stall walking and what helped - good bout of info to tuck away!