Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Pony Troubles

 Realizing I'm putting more bedding in her stall because she is going to be spending more time in it.

Some of you have been wondering where Mochi has been the past month.  Unfortunately Mochi has been having somewhat of a lameness mystery.  This is depressing and frustrating.  I have never had to deal with a lame horse aside from Klein getting a tiny abscess when she was four.  That problem was immediately solved when the vet came out and opened it.  No problems ever again.  My horses prior to Klein never had any lameness issues either.  Ever.

It all started on November 15th.  That was a week after our last show.  Mochi had been on break that week because we had made a trip to NJ to see the new house, sign paperwork, and drop off cars.  I rode her on the 15th after we got back from that trip.  We were going to do some dressage work and I had been on her about ten minutes.  We weren't doing anything more than walking and trotting to warm up when all of a sudden it was like her right front gave out from under her and she started limping on it.

At first I wondered if she had stepped on something or in something, but there was nothing.  I jumped off of her and put her on the lunge line.  She was very noticeably lame on her right front at the trot.  I wasn't sure what to make of it because it was so sudden and there was no obvious reason for it.  She's never had any issues.

I texted my vet the videos from the 15th and she came out the next day to see her.  I jogged Moch for the vet and she took a good look at her and found no obvious issues.  She was sound in a straight line, and she gave her a 2 on a circle.  The lameness was intermittent too.  She was fine walking around, so we decided to give her some Bute for a couple days and a week of rest.  Put her on the lunge line the next Sunday (Nov 22nd) and see how she looked.

The 22nd comes around and on the lunge line she was looking good at the trot...until she stumbled then immediately was lame on the right front at the trot.  It was like she just wasn't paying attention and tripped.  It was enough to irritate whatever the issue is.  I texted my vet those videos of after her stumble and she came out the next day again.  Here they are:

This time she did a lameness exam and took a radiograph.  Again, nothing obvious was showing up.  She blocked the majority of her right front hoof and Mochs went sound.  The vet was suspecting she had bruised her heel some how, or maybe pulled/strained something.  She does not suspect navicular (a couple friends have suggested that).

By this time we were about to make the trip to NJ, like, the next week.  She was still fine out walking around in the pasture.  The radiograph did show that some serious toe needed to come off.  I was hoping maybe a change in her trim would help.  More time off and some modification to her trims was the plan.

She was trimmed on the 28th.


The week before we left I also had her adjusted by our chiro for the second time that month.  She didn't find anything out of the ordinary in her shoulders.  That suggests whatever it is isn't bothering her enough to present itself in her shoulders suggesting compensation for pain or other issues. 

We left for NJ on the 1st, arrived on the 2nd.  The trip didn't bother her at all.  The Sunday after we got here, Dec 6th, I put her on the lunge line to see how she was looking at the trot.  She was looking pretty good!  There was still some intermittent lameness going on but it was barely noticeable (see videos below).  She was improving!

The Friday after that, the 11th, I got on her bareback to just walk around the property and have a drink after work.  She felt fine at the walk.  I had to trot just a couple steps to see how she felt and she felt GREAT.  She was forward and ready to go!  No lameness.

The next day I tacked her up (her Total Saddle Fit Shoulder Relief Dressage Girth showed up)  and was just going to walk around the property because obviously I wasn't going to just throw her right back into her previous routine until I was SURE the issue was gone.


We walked around for about 15 mins and I decided to just test the trot.  About two steps into it I felt something off in her gait.  I immediately stopped and dismounted.  *sigh*  You're playing with my emotions little mare.  I decided to just leave her rest a couple more weeks.  We are in no hurry for anything right now.  Sure, she was going really nicely, but there is plenty of time for that after she heals from whatever this bs is.

The next weekend I'm down the road taking Klein out for a gallop.  Normally, when we leave Mochs will whinny, but that's the extent of it.  For whatever reason she decided to lose her mind that day.  I get a phone call from The Other Half saying Moch had been galloping laps around the pasture, had started limping at the walk, and had a bloody nose............WHAT?  I said,"I'm on my way, put her in a stall."  Every ride since then, Mochs has been in a stall so there is no risk of that happening again right now.

She had a tiny spot of blood in her nose where she must have broke a little blood vessel during her mental breakdown.  I am attributing that whole episode to her being in the other pasture, which she hadn't spent a whole lot of time in yet and Klein leaving. Wes was still there with her but I guess that wasn't good enough.

Ever since that day she has been intermittently lame at the walk.  It's not a glaring lameness, just slight.  Still.  Cue panic.  I kept her in the next two nights and she looked better.  She wasn't happy about having to stay in, but she brought that on herself.  Klein and Wes come and hang out with her too.

This past weekend I saw her a little intermittently lame at the walk in the pasture again.  I started feeling sick.  I really started to worry about her.  It had been about a week since she ran around like an idiot.  She obviously irritated the injury more, or potentially made it worse.  I hadn't been keeping her in as long as she was walking around fine.  I hate stalling my horses.  They hate being stalled.  Just the other week while I was at the Sally Cousins clinic she went on about how turn out is the best thing for a horse and to let them be out and be a horse.  I also worried about her getting stiff on it from just standing in a stall.  That is why I would put her in at night for a few nights.

Anyway, Mid-Atlantic isn't far from us and I pretty much had decided that I would be making her an appt there and we are going to figure this thing out like, NOW.  The Other Half said just wait a few days because our new DAEP was coming and to just let him take a look at her.  A friend told me the same thing.

I talked to my vet in GA because she knows Mochs the best.  She actually knew her for years before I came along and bought her, and she has ridden her a few times too in those years.  She still suspects she has pulled or strained something, especially with her improving then going back to square one after she ran around freaking out.  She said stall her.  So...Mochs is on a week of stall rest right now.  She also suggested to just take a breath and wait until the DAEP sees her.

Our new DAEP came today.  He rocks.  I'm super excited we found a great trimmer here.  What a relief.  He took a good look at her today and decided to cast her.  She was sensitive to the hoof testers on her right front sole.  That is the only sensitive spot she has.  The rest of her hoof, and her entire leg, are not showing anything out of the ordinary.  She is moving better with the casts on too.  Despite that fact, I am still going to keep her on the week of stall rest and see how she looks after that, combined with the casts.

If there is no improvement after a week of rest and with the casts, off to Mid-Atlantic we go.


  1. Poor pony! Hopefully the casts and a week of stall rest gets her feeling better!

  2. Poor Mochi. NQR land is the worst place to be -hugs-

  3. How frustrating! Fingers crossed Mochi pony is better soon.

  4. I can't believe you've escaped lameness for so long. I hope she gets better soon.

  5. Oh no Mochi! Hopefully everything will be back to normal soon. I will be thinking of you and praying to the lameness gods.

  6. I appreciate the good thoughts! Fingers crossed she starts to improve again. She was looking slightly better when we trotted her yesterday.

  7. Soooo your new DAEP is my DAEP ;) Small world! You're in good hands with him. He has done wonders for so many horses I have known over the years :)