Ava Update 2

After posting about how I thought Ava looked better, as of yesterday she is as lame (or worse) than she was 23 days ago.

I am devastated.

I don’t want a new horse. I want MY horse. I don’t want to ride other people’s horses. I want to ride MY horse. I want my horse back, dammit!

I keep reading up on stifle injuries, and nothing makes sense. She’s never had heat or swelling in the stifle. She’s nearly sound some days and then horribly lame the next (even though nothing has changed). She isn’t lame at the walk at all. She swings the leg way up under herself, over-tracks the front hoof print by a hoof length (which is the norm for Ava).  Shouldn’t she be lame at the walk too? I don’t understand that…

I don’t have $2,000 – $3,000 to do arthroscopic surgery. And it’s no guarantee that they’ll be able to fix the problem. The only thing it’s being billed as is a diagnostic tool to hopefully tell me what was wrong with Ava.  But maybe they won’t be able to tell me. Or worse, they find out that the joint is totally destroyed.

I am utterly depressed about this. It feels hopeless.

5 thoughts on “Ava Update 2

  1. I read your previous post re: update on Ava and was sad to hear that she isn’t making a faster recovery.
    Actually, I sent the link to your original post about the lameness to a friend of mine who has been dealing with issues in her Arab gelding. She was going to write to you about some of the
    therapies (massage, physical therapy, etc) that she’s using with Strider. She is also an equine massage therapist so has a keen understanding of equine anatomy and physiology. I’ll ask her if she would drop you a comment, too.
    I was lucky in that the chiro adjustment on Sage made such a tremendous difference in his movement. He gets locked up in the SI joint (possible injury?; he was a team roping horse in his prior life before being rescued) and the chiropractor gave me several stretches that have helped improve flexibility. This was apparent in July when I wasn’t able to work with Sage for about a week and he became reluctant to move into a good walk, much less trot; it once again felt like I was riding 2 horses, with the one in back being particularly short, stiff and very slow. Chiropractor came out and found the SI region locked up like it was last year. Sage is nowhere near your Ava’s training…he is definitely my project horse..but when this happens to him it also feels like his stifles are affected. Loss of balance on his right rear leg (which is the side the SI is more locked), wherein he buckles under himself, especially at trot.
    If I’m a good about making sure I stretch him after our rides, plus trail/training rides in the park minimum 4 days a week as well as arena work, he continues to improve.
    I wish I could be of more help to figure out what is going on with Ava. I’ll be sure to ask my friend to send you a comment, too!
    ps: Do any of your fellow riding friends/trainers have any suggestions?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I looked up SI joint problems after reading your comment. It could be part of the problem, but I’m not clear on how the SI & stifle joints eaffect each other. I did see that the SI affects the stifle, but they mentioned it would appear to switch legs, or affect both. Has Sage shown issues in both hinds, or just one?

      I would love it if your friend had any suggestions or ideas!! Ava had chiropractic and acupuncture done, but no decernable improvements. Or maybe it did and I didn’t realize it. I’m not sure.


  2. Not sure if my earlier reached you or maybe I messed up and accidentally deleted it (one of my “duh” moments!), but it got me thinking that I should do some online research too.
    I found this article that you may also find interesting: http://erinhackney.weebly.com/sacroiliac-pain-in-the-horse.html
    I’m going to re-read it right after I post this to you! She described so well many of the symptoms that Sage presented.

    I did send an email to my friend but I think she may be out of town, although I know she’ll respond as soon as she can.
    If the reply I wrote this morning didn’t reach you then I’ll write up details re: Sage’s symptoms again.


    • Amy, your first comment is showing for me. It looks like it’s approved and posted. I take another look and see if my settings are wrong.

      I’ll check out the article. Thank you!

      I heard from your friend. I’m going to email her back in the morning. Thank you again!


      • Actually I did write follow up comment yesterday morning that further discussed Sage’s issues..but I’m pretty sure I messed up somehow and lost all the text! oh well.
        In brief, this is what we (me, trainer, my friends,including Des, who sent you email) saw in Sage:
        Stiff, inflexible on right hind. Short stride, slight toe dragging(more pronounced in right hoof, somewhat in left hoof..very apparent worn toes on shoes).
        Stiff back, even when at liberty. Could really see how stiff his back when he cantered at liberty.
        Reluctant to move forward into even a working walk, trot was short, stiff,
        He was like this 4 years ago when I acquired him, and he had barely turned 5, so you can imagine I didn’t think he could improve enough for merely trail riding, much less even low level dressage!
        I did get him to a certain degree of improvement just through better riding, but made very slow progress. Last year we found a new trainer; she watched, then rode him and suggested before I spent a lot of money on vet exams (I had just purchased property where I could keep my horses and board horses for 3 of my friends. Empty pockets!), that I might want to find a good equine chiropractor and see if adjustment could help. The fellow I found is a human chiro but also equine, dog n cat, and has spent his life around horses.
        He watched Sage walk n trot, could see he was locked up. Made the adjustments but also with caveat that he is not a veterinarian so if there is any trouble in hocks, hooves, etc, he would not be able to diagnose. He said, “you must feel like you ride 2 horses, one in front, one in back”. yep. So, yes we saw a difference right away and I had the chiro back 2 months later for a tune up.
        We were working real well, making a lot of progress. More willingness, suppleness, flexibility, when boom, in July something happened and it was like the old Sage again. Trainer watched him and said “lets go for a trail ride and see if he improves”. Nope. He was dragging behind again!
        Couldn’t get the chiro out for 2 weeks so Sage was off duty with turnout only. To watch him run and play, he looked fine and happy. But if I got on, he was draggy and gimpy.
        Once he got the SI adjusted again it was amazing. The chiro suspects Sage may have had a flip over accident (roping horse), and there could even be nerve damage.
        My farrier, who I’ve known now for 8 years, is amazed at the improvement in Sage’s hoof walls and the evenness of growth and turnover pattern. Something must be working.
        I wrote a brief post along with 4 or 5 photos of Sage from 2010 to 2014, showing the change over the years, especially since our new trainer started working with us and teaching us biomechanical methods to improve movement.
        I watched the vid last night but need to review it again. Ava sure looks happy, to say the least! Glad to hear that you got Des’s email, too.
        Hope you can get this figured out and back to working with your lovely mare.


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