I hope you & your family had a great Thanksgiving! On Wednesday, Dr. Kendal Smith made it up to work on horses. She didn't even recognize Cactus & thought he looked great!
Primarily, Dr. Kendal noted that Cactus had some inflammation & heat in both stifles. She recommended having them ultrasounded/radiographed by Dr. Brunk in Grand Island, as they may need to be injected. She also recommended putting him on Osteo-Max & poulticing after rides. Because Cactus is so stoic, she said it's likely that he does his best to hide any soreness. However, it fits with why he can be so sensitive under saddle, especially at the lope & when backing (think engaging his hindquarters). He's obviously improved leaps & bounds through training, but having him injected may be the thing that takes him to the next level by bringing him more comfort.
Here are the rest of my notes from his session:
Poll stuck up to L
TMJ stuck to R
1st rib out on L
Front of withers out to L
Lower withers out to R
L shoulder dropped
LF Coffin & Fetlock
Head of L femur kicked out
L hind fetlock
Both pubic symphysis
Lower Back up & to L
Mid back up to R
Tip of tail
While it sounds like a lot, some of it is typical wear & tear on an 11-year-old horse in training & she believes a lot of it could be due to compensating for his sore stifles.
Let me know if you'd be interested in having him injected & I can get an appointment set up to have him looked at. I'll also get the Osteo-Max ordered if you're okay with putting him on that as well.
Here are some of the photos that we took back in September (more to come):
Next week's update will be posted on Friday.