Navigator's Progress - Page 11 - The Horse Forum
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post #101 of 710 Old 08-19-2016, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
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Nice ride yesterday, although Nav threw in a few bucks when I insisted he be forward. I really focused on what we did in my lesson last month, keeping my toes forward, legs quiet, and thumbs up. It was a little bit of a struggle, though it got easier as I went. It's hard to focus on so many things!

I'm going out tomorrow morning to trim the pony's feet again, and then do a short ride on Nav.
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post #102 of 710 Old 09-03-2016, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Nav is lame again. Took him to the vet since it's been recurring and she said that it is not an abscess. He wasn't terribly lame yesterday (at the vet), she took the hoof testers to him and even in the large/deep cracks on the bottoms of his feet he didn't flinch or have any sensitivity. She did say that for a draft cross he had very nice feet, I guess usually drafts come in with pancake feet.

We didn't get a conclusive answer. He's on bute and rest for the next few weeks, and I just need to keep an eye on him and make sure he doesn't get worse. If there is no improvement within the next three weeks, then I'll need to bring him back for nerve block tests and a radiograph to check for navicular. :( I'm disappointed that I didn't get a straight answer and have to play the waiting game now. My mentor suggested that we take him to a different vet in the next couple of weeks if he doesn't improve, but we'll have to wait and see.

It's frustrating. I just wish I knew exactly what was going wrong.
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post #103 of 710 Old 09-12-2016, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Rode Nav two days ago and he seemed sound. He had gone 24 hours since his last dose of bute so I think it was totally out of his system and wasn't making him seem sound when he really wasn't. His hooves are cracking a bit where he has flares and I will need to do a little with them but I don't think I'll do a big trim for a while. His feet still look quite flat and I know that will take a while to fix, but I don't want to mess with them too much and put us backward.

I'm planning to go and ride again tonight and see how he is. He doesn't have much separation except on one foot and that's being treated so hopefully we're getting out of the woods for the time being. Will see about getting a riding video and pictures of hooves tonight.
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post #104 of 710 Old 09-19-2016, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
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Nav was lame the next time I went and saw him (last Thursday), so we decided it was time for another trip to the vet. We went to a different one this time.

He found a very soft and sore spot on the right front, near a deep separation. He had Nav lunged and he was clearly off going both directions, but definitely on the right front, so he blocked the nerves to see if the lameness was anywhere up the leg. Thankfully, after blocking his hoof he lunged "sound". Vet determined that the separation is a pretty deep white line disease, and that's what we are treating for now. I'm currently packing his hoof once a day with cotton and saturating it with a solution. If this does what it's supposed to, he should start to heal up and we'll just need to keep the separation very clean as the hoof grows out. But if it doesn't clear up with the current treatment we'll likely have to resect that hoof, which will be a huge ordeal and much more to take care of. I'm praying that this will clear up with the packing and solution application.

Nav can go out in the pasture with the packed hoof, the crack is narrow so the cotton doesn't dislodge easily, but for now he's being stalled just to keep him from moving too much - he was super lame the day after the vet visit - and to keep it dry, since we've had rainy days lately.

This is all quite frustrating, I usually am very careful about clearing and cleaning separations so that they don't get this deep, so I feel like it's a bit my fault. But, I'm glad it's nothing like a joint problem, and I am glad we have an answer this time.
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post #105 of 710 Old 09-29-2016, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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As of a couple days ago Nav is officially sound!

The white line has cleared up, and there is nothing left in the crevice in his hoof. I'm still cleaning and packing it every day with cotton and Medihoney, which has honestly been a huge lifesaver and seems to have made a great difference in Nav's healing. I'll post a picture of the hoof so you can see how deep the crack goes. I'm so so thankful that we don't have to do a resection, and I'm convinced that the honey helped prevent this.

I did a little rasp/trim on all his feet the other day. I'm planning to be really proactive and take care of flares and things so that this hopefully doesn't happen again.
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post #106 of 710 Old 10-01-2016, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Rode tonight. Took Nav around the neighboring pasture instead of trekking up to the arena and he did surprisingly well! He was quite calm and well behaved, responding to light forward cues and coming down from mostly seat cues. I really thought he'd be wound up because of the open area and friends within sight but he was so good, I was reminded again of just how good of a horse he is. We even did a short hand gallop and he came right back for me. :)

There was one issue however, and it was his stiffness going to the left. This is a problem that we were working on before he became lame, and I guess after about two months without work he just became more stiff. I can get him flexing during walk and some at trot but when we go to canter he counter bends completely. Probably because he isn't as balanced and combined with the stiffness correct bend is hard to get. So now I'm on the search for good exercises I can do undersaddle and from the ground. I'll be out to see him every day to pack his hoof, so even if I don't ride I could work on stretching and flexibility.

Here are a couple pictures too from tonight, of Nav and his herd. He just got moved back with all the geldings, including two half brothers, and he is so happy to be with them.
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post #107 of 710 Old 10-03-2016, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Rode today and just focused on bending. I read a very interesting article on Jane Savoie's website on working a stiff-sided horse. Article claimed that a horse who won't bend to one direction, left in our case, is having trouble because the muscles on the opposite side are contracted and can't stretch as much. This actually makes huge sense to me, and seems to match up with how Nav has been moving.

We did some 10 meter circle exercises, to get him really flexing to the left. He did fabulously at the walk, but trot was a challenge. It's like any kind of muscle training, he's weak and it will take time before he is strong enough to do it correctly and consistently. We did get a couple good steps at the trot, especially as we got closer to the end of the ride, but it will take a while. Didn't try it at all at canter.

Will be out tomorrow to check the hoof and maybe ride.
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post #108 of 710 Old 10-04-2016, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Today was super busy, in spite of me not having any classes, so all I had time for was to re-pack his hoof. I noticed his hooves look ready for a bit of a rasp and maybe slight trim so I plan on doing that within the next couple of days.

I also started Nav on a biotin supplement today, as suggested by my mentor. Hopefully this will help make his hooves healthier, and maybe grow out a bit quicker.
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post #109 of 710 Old 10-10-2016, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Packed Nav's hoof, trimmed the backs and then just did a short ride tonight.

Nav is getting more flexible and can bend correctly most of the time at walk, and some of the time at trot. He is stretching down and forward much better than he had been. I decided to try some left lead canter tonight, and he was super stiff and bracing. Frustrating. But, I got him on a 20 meter circle and did a lot of give and take with the inside rein. We had a couple moments of softening, and even a couple times when he bent correctly while stretching for me. I know it will take a lot of time. But there was some progress tonight! It's just so so frustrating to feel him bending completely incorrectly and not being able to do much about it. Will try to get some video next time, as I think it would be helpful to see what is happening.
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post #110 of 710 Old 10-10-2016, 10:50 PM
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I am so glad you had a decent ride!
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