DiDi - Whither goeth SHe? - Page 17 - The Horse Forum
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post #161 of 371 Old 02-27-2012, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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We have just had a family conference. The bute test has shown that DiDi is in sufficient pain for her to stand awkwardly. The bute relieves the pain of standing correctly and allows her to do so. The fact is she may, subject to confirmation, have at some time suffered injury to her pelvic area.

A Bowen test conducted last summer gave some clues, now with the benefit of hindsight, the detailed report we have from the practitioner makes sense.

DiDi will have to be X rayed. It is the only way.

So we have ulcer test, lung test and X ray - good job she is insured.
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post #162 of 371 Old 02-27-2012, 04:36 PM
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Sorry to hear she is in pain, but the good news is you know that is why she is acting up. So at least you know it is not a behavioral problem and she really does want to be good.
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post #163 of 371 Old 02-28-2012, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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It is all booked up, DiDi gets taken to the vet's clinic on Thursday for a series of tests at the end of which we ought to have some answers.

She's had the last dose of Bute - now she is going 'cold turkey'.
Tomorrow is her last food at around lunch time.

So then if we are right in our prognosis she'll start to feel pain, she'll get fractious, and she'll be a whirling dervish in the horse box on the way to the vets.

At the vet she'll come out like a rocket only to be led by a veterinary aide to a strange loose box which will stink of 'anguish of horse'.
I have to make up my mind whether to stay and watch helpless. trying not to interfere with a vet doing his/her job.

All I can hope for is that she has an ulcer and nothing like a hair fracture of some bone.
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post #164 of 371 Old 03-01-2012, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Well Ladies - after a demanding day when mostly we stood around waiting for various overalled ladies rushed hither and thither we eventually got an answer to DiDi's undoubted problem. The junior vets all went thru the motions and DIDI got bless her, responded kindly. EVentually they found a possible cause for discomfort with some early indications of arthritis in a 12 year old horse.

Finally five hours after her arrival on the veterinary hospital premeses along came what is reputed to be one of Britain's experts in ulcers. Three other vets belonging to the same practice had already said that the DiDi's symptoms did not match up with a problem of ulcers. He performed the scoping and was astounded to see that DiDi had a grade 4 ulcer condition - it was a miracle that she had not already suffered from colic.

So, my mare has done well and her occasional bouts of unpredictability have been to do with pain. When the pain gets too bad, she freaks out. Not unreasonably one might say.

I reckon since I have had her she has been seen seven vets. In the end the bute test indicated that something serious was wrong - somewhere.
Now we know where.

For some reason I feel very angry. Even today we waited what seemed indefinitely for a report - finally at around 6.30 pm we were given an answer.
Yesterday I was even wondering if DiDi would have to be put down - if the symptoms continued and we could not find a curable cause.

The treatment has already started. Let's hope she is on her way to being the placid kindly horse that originally I decided to buy. Apparently the drugs should leave no ill effects but we shall have to keep an eye on her for the future.

So Ladies, for those of you who suggested 'ulcers' you were right. I should have listened to you and not the vets.

As for suspected pain in your horse, consider that bute test - it might give you a clue. And, always repeat always, query why your horse is not behaving typically - they usually have a good reason.
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post #165 of 371 Old 03-01-2012, 06:20 PM
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Barry, I must say, I like to hear that. Not that she's in pain - that's not good, but the fact that you've figured out why she acts the way she does, and are working to fix it. I know how much you wanted a quiet 'gentleman's horse', and maybe Didi will be ready for that when she's done treatment.

What do you think you'll do with her? How long does the treatment take?

Will you continue her dressage career, even if she does turn out to be the horse you wanted when you bought her?

"The problem with quotes on the internet is that many are not genuine." -Abraham Lincoln
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post #166 of 371 Old 03-01-2012, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Well Pinto - you asked - here it is:

One is often asked: What is DiDi’s role in life - well it is to be a
Gentleman’s Riding Horse - no more - no less and herewith is what that means:


The single term “hacking” definitely does not convey “ that the horse should :
“Go anywhere its rider asks: at any pace over any terrain alone or in company“,

The phrase, Gentleman’s Riding Horse” actually means much, much more.

The full description might read:

The horse should: readily respond to all of the rider’s instructions.
and to actively pass: over highway, along a road, a lane, a path, or a track
at: ground level or along the top of a ridge, thru wood or open countryside
at any pace: walk: active or extended; rhythmic or fast
trot: medium or extended
canter: collected or extended
gallop : fast or flat out
on any surface ie : tarmac, grass, stoney path, cobble stones or rock,
through: puddle, flood water or wadeable stream
alone or in company of: other riders of every ability from novice to expert;
at the front of the line, in the middle of the line or at the end of the line
amongst: pedestrians, cars, motor cycles, push bikes, lorries, tractors
under: birds, kites, balloons, aircraft or helicopters
in: wind and rain or thunderstorm
despite: plastic bags, umbrellas, road signs, footballs
in the presence of: barking & aggressive dogs, goats, pigs, donkeys & mules

The horse must stand on the kerb, awaiting instruction to cross a busy and fast arterial road.
It must pass over a narrow bridge across a motorway
It must pass through a tunnel laid underneath a motorway
It should hold its line of march down a high street or a country lane with passing places
It must wait upon command at traffic lights or other stops signs.
It must stand attentively whilst its rider converses with passers by
It should move forward and move backwards to permit the opening of field gates
It should never ever, whirl or bolt in fright, in fear or as an evasion.
It should hop over ditches, streams and fallen trees.
It must submit to being tied to a hitching point without resistance whilst patiently awaiting its master.
It must stand to be mounted. It must ride on or off the bit.

If the rider loses his/her balance, it must pick up the shift of weight and compensate.
The riders job is to set the route,

The horse’s job is to carry safely both itself & rider over the terrain, whatsoever that may prove to be.
If asked to trot, then the horse should trot, uphill or downhill until asked to change the pace.
If asked to halt, the horse should come to a halt and then stand awaiting it’s master’s pleasure.
Never should the horse evade the bit nor jerk the reins from the rider’s hands.
If the reins are dropped onto the horse’s neck and no further instruction is given, then the horse
should make its way at the walk back to the stable by the shortest route.

Under no circumstance must the horse, balk, rear, buck or swerve for any reason except in circumstances when the horse might realize that the way ahead is unsafe for example in land prone to bogs.
Neither should it show any signs of aggression towards humans unless to protect itself from unwarranted aggression
Neither should the horse snatch succulent plants from the hedgerow however tempting.


But as you might have guessed, such horses are not easy to find.
But if DiDi were not so skittish, and I believe deep down she has a sense of responsibility towards her rider
then maybe she could make the grade.

As for dressage is concerned , well she can go as far as the judges will let her - as long as she is not terrified of the arena in front of a large crowd.

Barry G

Last edited by xxBarry Godden; 03-01-2012 at 07:03 PM.
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post #167 of 371 Old 03-01-2012, 07:11 PM
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I'm so glad to hear you have isolated her issue and can work now steadily towards her goal of well being
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post #168 of 371 Old 03-01-2012, 08:06 PM
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Barry.. This is big news. I remember when you stated that DiDi would in fact Not continue to be 'your' riding horse, but to be exclusively a dressage diva.
Does this diagnosis mean she may once again carry You over the countryside? If so, you must be very excited!
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post #169 of 371 Old 03-01-2012, 08:31 PM
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It is upsetting to hear what you have gone thru, but it sounds like you are now trotting down the right path. My own experience with my skittish mare has me following this thread regularly. With Mia, it seems to have been largely a training issue - she had never had much, although she was sold as 'good for a beginner'.

In Nov, the trainer told me Mia might never be safe to ride. The next day, the clue bird dropped a load on her, and she thought she had a way ahead. Today, she joined my daughter-in-law & me in riding all 3 horses together in our little arena. She now thinks Mia is ready to start riding off property next week. Mia is a LONG way from being a "Gentleman’s Riding Horse". Maybe she will never be.

But once the 'root cause' was identified, the progress has been steady.

I hope and pray Didi will also be able to make progress. For her to do as well as she did for as long as she did with such a problem indicates she is an exceptionally well-intentioned mare. Your love of horses is palpable. You both deserve to be able to enjoy each other!

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #170 of 371 Old 03-01-2012, 09:13 PM
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Like I said elsewhere, you may be kicking yourself for not getting it diagnosed earlier, but hindsight is 20/20 and you now have a way forward that may well mean that you can happily ride your mare. I've seen horses really turn around after being treated for ulcers.
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