Dolla Dolla (Vet) Billz Yo

So last week we had the vet out to give Frankie his full head-to-toe eval! Here’s what we found:

  • Fixing the saddle fit gets a thumbs up. The spots in his back that were sore before are much improved. I think it’s also likely that the chiro helped.
  • Keep up the carrot stretches. He’s a tall guy, but more importantly he is a LONG guy. Total long brontosaurus neck. He’s not naturally flexible, so we need to help him by encouraging him to stretch. As a side note- Frankie seems to really love his stretches! I don’t even have to use a cookie or anything, I just snap a little where I want his nose, and he comes sniffing around. He gets lots of face scratches as a reward. I thought he would lose interest once I stopped using cookies to bribe him, but he’ll ignore all distractions and even his hay to do his stretches with me. Sweet boy.
  • His SI joint needed some happy juice…like, yesterday. This was a big big ouchie point for him. I’m not super surprised since he got it done last May, so we’re coming up on a year. I think we may switch to a 9mo schedule instead of the full year though, so we don’t get to the point where he’s this sore. Poor guy.
  • The lameness locator picked up just a hint of something in his right hind when he’s traveling to the left (I’m going to ask for more detailed results of this so I can share with you, I think it’s such interesting technology!). This is the same leg that has mild arthritis in his hock- we found that in his pre-purchase exam. While we knew this was likely to just be a progression of that arthritis due to work and age, we decided to go ahead and do an ultrasound to completely rule out any sort of soft tissue injury on that leg. The vet said that his suspensory looked totally fine, so we decided to inject his hocks to keep him more comfortable there. We have a few other ideas just in case this doesn’t get him feeling 100%, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it- the vet is pretty confident that this will do the trick.
Handsome boy bein’ sweet

I have a lot of feelings about all of this. On the one hand, I’m so so so glad we’re doing all of this BEFORE Frankie takes a bad step. He has been cheerfully coming out of his stall and doing his job without protest, so we didn’t wait until he was demonstratively off. He’s had a quiet schedule since Ohio, so he hasn’t had to work too hard in a while. I’m also INCREDIBLY relieved that we were able to rule out soft tissue injury, and that all he needed was some more aggressive maintenance.

On the other hand, my poor boy has been sore in a couple areas- his back from my saddle not fitting properly anymore, his SI from needing support, and his hocks from the arthritis. The few stops we got in Ohio make more sense now- they were not unreasonable stops and not dirty at all, but you all know it’s very unlike Francis to stop EVER. Between the SI and the hocks, it was probably just too uncomfortable for him to really rock his weight back when I got him to a tough spot.

So there’s definitely a mixture of relief at finding this early while it’s all still very manageable and treatable, guilt at not figuring it out earlier, and more guilt at letting this happen at all. I don’t know how I expected to halt the progress of arthritis, but we’re not always logical when it comes to our horses, right?! This was definitely a useful learning experience on what he needs from me and how often he needs it.

His face hole is also healing well, so we’ll put his noseband back on shortly. Could he have a sweeter expression??

He’s been on a long-low-stretchy routine lately while we’ve been scanning him, and will be on light work a little while longer as we do this series of injections, but luckily after that we should be cleared for full work! It looks like I’ll need to take a show off the calendar to pay for all this, but that means I’ll have a happy, healthy horse. And with all that bouncy juice running through his veins, I’m guessing I’ll have a happy healthy horse with MAD ups. #blessed

Yet again, I am so so so grateful for my trainers. Assistant Trainer was the one who thought it would be a good idea to get him scanned, she arranged the vet visits and coordinated the whole thing, and kept me in the loop throughout the whole process. Her standards of horsemanship and care are second to none, and Frankie and I are so lucky to work with such a great role model!

26 thoughts on “Dolla Dolla (Vet) Billz Yo

  1. Tracy 04/10/2018 / 7:52 am

    Maintaining a show horse (especially as they progress up the levels and cart a mistake-prone amateur around) is EXPENSIVE… but so, so worth it IMHO. Glad Frankie got checked out and that you found some stuff early and were able to nip it in the butt! ā¤


    • hellomylivia 04/10/2018 / 8:32 am

      Absolutely worth every penny! Homeboy puts up with A LOT from his ammy mama šŸ˜‰


  2. Emily 04/10/2018 / 8:04 am

    Glad you got Frankie all sorted out! When you find a unicorn, you want to preserve them forever. ā¤


    • hellomylivia 04/10/2018 / 8:33 am

      He needs to live forever!! Best horse on the planet ā¤


  3. Amanda C 04/10/2018 / 8:10 am

    Henry’s SI doesn’t seem capable of making it a full year between injections either, despite the shit ton of conditioning and other care that I do for it. We’re usually at like 7-9 months before I start feeling that it needs to be done again. Fun times!


  4. the_everything_pony 04/10/2018 / 8:26 am

    Glad Frankie is all sorted! We all do everything we can to keep our unicorns happy ā¤


    • hellomylivia 04/10/2018 / 8:34 am

      So glad we’re on the right track! He deserves ALL the good things!!


  5. tntibbetts 04/10/2018 / 8:52 am

    My hunter was showing signs of back pain and my vet diagnosed the cause to be pain in his hocks. Maybe Frankie’s hock pain was contributing to his SI pain? It would really be nice if they could just TELL us where it hurts…….but yes, maintaining performance horses is $$$$$$$$!


    • hellomylivia 04/10/2018 / 1:37 pm

      I so wish he could just point and say “Mahm ouch,” it would be so much simpler!! I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case- we did his SI last year but not his hocks, so he may just have really needed more support there.


  6. Stacie Seidman 04/10/2018 / 8:56 am

    Honestly, that’s all pretty normal wear and tear on a show jumper. I wouldn’t beat myself up over that stuff! When I used to board and could ride year round, we would do these kinds of checks twice a year just to keep on top of it all. Spring and fall usually. Sometimes we didn’t have to do anything, sometimes they might need something injected. I just do spring now since we don’t ride in the winter.


    • hellomylivia 04/10/2018 / 8:59 am

      Yeah my horse in high school got his hocks done religiously, and we stuck around the 2’6″ level- not surprised that Frankie needs more support for the bigger jumps! I think we’re going to do that twice-a-year check in moving forward too. Spring check before our busy show season, and then fall as we’re coming off to make sure he’s still feeling good.


  7. CallyJumps 04/10/2018 / 9:27 am

    Sounds like Frankie will be feeling good in no time. Is he on any regular maintenance like Adequan/Pentosan? I know that makes an enormous difference with mine.


    • hellomylivia 04/10/2018 / 9:42 am

      He’s on a joint support supplement in his Smartpak- I’m not convinced it’s super helpful, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. That’s a really good idea for us to look into!

      Liked by 1 person

      • CallyJumps 04/10/2018 / 12:26 pm

        IME it does much more than feed through supps do, for about the same cost. (Not that mine doesn’t also get a feed through.) Horses seem to do better on either pentosan or Adequan, no real rhyme or reason to which works for what horse. Pentosan works for Cally, pretty immediate improvement her quality of gait.

        I also want to hear more about the “lameness locator” –did you do a bone scan, or blocking or what? It sounds very efficient!


      • hellomylivia 04/10/2018 / 1:38 pm

        This is what our vet uses! I’m gathering info so I can share how it works with y’all- I’ve seen lots of bloggers talking about different sensors lately, so I think it’ll be a fun blog post!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Stacie Seidman 04/10/2018 / 10:57 am

      Pentosan made a HUGE difference in my older horse! More so than the Adequan for him. Tried it last year for the first time and was amazed.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. roamingridersite 04/10/2018 / 10:19 am

    Show horses are a new world but it makes sense they need some support. They work hard and put up with a lot. Iā€™m so glad nothing major popped up and you have the green light to get back at it


    • hellomylivia 04/10/2018 / 10:24 am

      This is definitely new to me too, glad I’ve got such great people around to teach me! Very excited to get back at it with the big guy šŸ™‚


  9. Genny - A Gift Horse Blog 04/10/2018 / 12:08 pm

    I love hearing about how different trainers and owners look at long term care, so thank you for sharing! Most of our bigger jumpers appreciate the extra happy juice in the SI and hocks too! You guys sound like you have an awesome plan mapped out for him.


    • hellomylivia 04/10/2018 / 12:13 pm

      I’m very thankful to have such knowledgeable people in our corner- I still have a lot to learn, so it’s a big relief to know they’re thinking about Frankie’s health and happiness (and teaching me along the way)


  10. Bette 04/10/2018 / 2:40 pm

    Chimi just had a check up and the vet was hoping Adequan would do the trick before looking at injections. Goodbye money!!!!! But definitely worth it for all that they do for us šŸ™‚

    Glad Frankie is enjoying all the TLC!!! And excited to hear about the lameness scanner in another post šŸ™‚


  11. L. Williams 04/17/2018 / 12:10 pm

    It’s always good to nip these things early on! What was that saying about an ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure or something something.


    • hellomylivia 04/17/2018 / 12:43 pm

      That’s exactly what we’re hoping- trying to stay ahead of it to make sure he has many happy healthy years to do his job!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s