And not just bad things. At Riesling's lameness exam, it was discovered my horse has three bad legs. Three. I should have just turned him out and let him kill the fourth leg because naturally that would happen (kidding).
My vet was convinced it was in his right front hoof that he was off. So he proceeded to block it. After trotting out, it appeared he was now off in his left front. This was a major concern because my vet said this is a sign of navicular.
We then blocked the left front, and he trotted out off on his left hind. At this point I wanted to shoot myself because I knew it would be a hefty vet bill and because I felt like a terrible horse mom. My vet suspected his hocks because he had a very positive flexion test back in 2014. Luckily, after flexions, both hocks were negative.
My vet looked at me and wanted to know where I wanted to go from there. Since I figured I already had plenty of money sunken in, I wanted to get to the bottom of it. Which meant x-rays.
Both coffin bones in his front feet were angled slightly interior. However, his feet looked strong, and there were no signs of navicular. My vet thought with some different trimming/shoeing procedures, his coffin bones would be back to balanced in no time.
But unfortunately it didn't end there. You may remember I spoke about Riesling's left hind fetlock being swollen and lame this past spring. I had the vet out and he put him on previcox for 5 days. It never got to 100% and the swelling never went down but Riesling still seemed happy to work so I didn't worry about it. Well, x-rays of that shows he did something gnarly to it back in spring. He had bone chips floating around and advanced arthritis.
My vet believes the injury triggered the arthritis. The major bummer is I have Ries on some pretty heavy joint supps, and while they are leaving the rest of his body feeling good, they couldn't compete in this area.
So, what are the next steps?
Riesling's feet will be better balanced and that should solve the NQR in his front feet. The hind leg is the real issue. My vet wants to inject HA into the joint, and some steroids into the swelling. Because the arthritis is so bad he wants Riesling to be put on monthly Adequan injections. The prognosis depends on how he responds to the Adequan. He will be lightly worked until winter (and immediately put on Adequan) where he will have the winter off and we will see how he comes out in spring. My vet believes there are a few more years of competition left with Riesling, but without the Adequan he will be a trail horse.
I've thought long and hard, and I'll share my personal plans in my next post. But don't worry, Ries is my heart horse and he is always my main priority.