I joined N and Willow at the lake Thursday a.m. in high spirits, with all my extra boot bags and this and that, thinking I was doing a last longer test ride with all my trail accouterments before heading to Run for the Gold ride down south next weekend. Actually I did not have all my tack, having forgotten my pommel pack at home. It’s a rather essential but also well tested item of tack. I had washed it the day before and there it remained, clean and dry–and on the porch. I’ve now concluded carrying your keys, phone, water bottle etc in a side boot bag is incredibly inconvenient and annoying. Especially if you don’t re-zip the boot bag. Fortunately I caught that one as my phone and camera teetered dangerously out the gaping zipper, and unfortunately our ride only lasted about 4 miles total anyway. A mile and a half of chatting, a weird step, a 1/2 mile of concern and serious Desire’s left hind leg scrutiny, and a 2 mile walk back to the rigs. I felt her take the occasional very faint odd step, and N thought she could see something weird about the left hind, boot or movement or something. It was all pretty faint and intermittent, and then N noticed that Desire’s right hip was higher than her left! So clearly she was out of whack, and most likely the odd steps were compensating for whatever was going on. Still sometimes she looked completely up under herself and sound as I hand walked her the couple miles back up the trailers. But that hip was definitely wrong.
I got on the phone when I got home and miracle of miracles, got through to D, the chiropractor I had out to work on Desire last fall and she even promised to be out the next afternoon! That’s incredibly good turnaround for getting a horse service out to where we are in the foothills. Upon seeing her, D promptly agreed Desire’s right hip was higher, and she also quickly discovered a few of the ribs on her left side were out as well. Matter of fact she put Desire’s hip, back, ribs, shoulders, and poll area back into place! I have had massage and chiropractic done on Desire multiple times in the last year but she seems to get herself out of whack pretty often. We theorized she had thrown things out of place on the violent spook that had thrown me a week or so before, though I had ridden her since and hadn’t noticed the hip or any weird steps. That’s the thing about horses, so often there isn’t a clear cut answer right off the bat! I don’t mind continuing to get Desire adjusted if she needs it but I also would really like to know the underlying issue that is causing it to happen over and over, and also about some of her other balance/hind end issues. The vet is coming out Tuesday to do spring vaccines and I’m going to have her draw blood and test for EPM and anything else she thinks might be possible, if anything. Xrays/ultrasounds to check out it’s looking like in her hind end, maybe? D also said she had never seen a horse lift the opposite hind hoof when you lift a front hoof, like Desire does with both fronts. Neither of us can figure if it’s pain or habit or what. She also sort of falls out from under herself when I’m setting her front hooves back down during trims, even setting them down slowly, she sort of jerks and catches herself. Weird.
After the adjustment her hips looked even and she moved out looking even, no weird steps or compensating that I could see. Which is great! But I am still suspicious something else is up, and will investigate it.
One thought on “Out of Whack”
Hip issues are hard. They are difficult to diagnose and resolve.
I have had the issue of feeling like Ashke's hind end is falling out from under me and he struggles to take a step. I always assumed it was due to the emaciated condition he was in when I got him and overall PT issues as he rehabbed. It has gotten significantly less common as I have worked to build symmetry and muscle in his back. He also has under developed muscle in his left wither because he was compensating with his right front and left rear for the damaged muscle in his right hamstring.
I will be curious to see what your vet thinks.