Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Wondermare's Opinions, V 2.0

I made it out to the barn before Toni, our lovely chiro, showed up. I quickly turned Izzy out in the arena to get any silliness out and let her roll, then gave her a thorough grooming so Toni would get minimal mud-and-shed on her while she was working.

Izzy was pretty laid back and happy. No inclination of what was to come from either side.

All went well at first. Toni started at Izzy's head and worked back towards her tail. She had some issues with her head/face (anyone else not surprised?) and a little bit in her neck. So far, reasonably good. As Kate suggested, Izzy did have a rib out on her right side, which definitely contributed to her unwillingness to do anything to the right.

Then we hit Izzy's lower back.
The area marked by the red arrow.

Izzy took a flying cow kick at Toni, who scrambled back and commented, "I knew that was coming."

Now, here's a visual for you. Izzy is 16.0 hh. I am 5'8". Toni is not as tall as I am.

The red line indicates how tall Toni is.

Not tall.

Anyways, there are various challenges to working around large, athletic horses, as Izzy was demonstrating for us. Toni commented that if we weren't careful, Izzy would punt-kick us to Pluto.

"Actually," I informed her, "due to the size differential, you'd go slightly beyond Pluto."

We laughed, but we talked about the problem we were presented with. Izzy did not want us handling her lower back, period. Toni tried going very slowly and lightly, and Izzy gave us another big reaction.

Sigh. Mare.

This is directly above her kidneys, so Toni asked if I'd wormed lately. The wormer can cause pain in the kidneys. I hadn't. However, she did get her teeth done while sedated, so part of the problem is most likely the sedation working it's way out of her body. Oh, and also her hind legs have been a little messy the past two days, which means she's coming into her first heat of the year. Yay hormones!!

Ok, plan B. There is still something wrong up front. Maybe we can work on that while we think about how to address the back end. Toni goes to Izzy's side and we get ready to move sideways. First time--ok. Need to do it again.

Izzy rears up and plunges forward as we leap out of her way. She doesn't continue being upset after that. She let us know that it was definitely not ok to do that, then stood quietly.

At least she's honest, right? We turned her out to see if she had any issues to work out. Nope, just stood around eating. Hmmm. Toni doesn't want to push her anymore. We take her to the indoor. She does seem to be moving better--not so tight and slow as she has been. She also gets in a very thorough roll, going over several times.

While she wanders around, we decide to try a new approach. Izzy now has a vitamin/mineral supplement and a mare/hormonal one (with oodles of magnesium) to help sort her out. Oh, and Toni didn't think we made enough progress, so she didn't charge me for the session.

Izzy wandered over to us to demand that Toni scratch her. No hard feelings, apparently.


  1. Sometimes you do have to move slowly to get improvements - Maisie had lumbar issues and eventually we got most of them sorted out. Perhaps as Toni does things that make her feel better, she'll be more accepting of the work.

  2. Yowza! Poor girl sounds like she is hurting. Great chiro taking her cues from the horses and then not charging you. You are doing everything right it just sounds like time and patience is what is needed.

  3. The animals are always so honest aren't they? Tt is a bit refreshing, although it is never any fun to have ANY kind of problem with Izzy or any other creature! I hope Izzy feel better soon. Poor dear.

  4. Man, that sounds almost exactly like the chiro session that Salem had. His pain was just a bit further back than Izzy's, but he was bucking and freaking out when that area was manipulated, even after being sedated.

    It's great that the chiro is so understanding and didn't even charge you. At least she got some of Izzy's issues straightened out and hopefully a future session will improve things even more.

    And maybe you could slip her some Midol! ;-)

  5. Poor Izzy. At least you now know that her problems were physical.

    This is where sometimes acupuncture can really help. But, all that being said, my PJ had to be sedated for his first two acupuncture treatments. Then he realized how much better it made him feel and he was fine. He was also good for the chiropractor once he realized it made him feel good.

    If Toni can get some of those adjustments made, maybe Izzy will be more accepting. Both my vets were tall, so they had less difficulty.

    Maybe you can do some massage to help out?

  6. You know, I've never had a chiro out for Miles, but I can totally see ANY horse reacting like that if they actually have an issue.
    When my sciatic nerve was at it's worst, I had a massage therapist really dig in and work the area. HURT LIKE HELL. If I had been a horse and was being worked on without my consent you're damn right I would have freaked out! Of course, after she was done, about 24 hours later the area was better than it had been in months. All of this to say, I can't imagine how hard equine massage and chiro people have it...to really "fix" an area, it helps to be kind of aggressive, but of course our horses don't know that. Hey, at least you know where the problem is, right? Your chiro does sound like a good one.

  7. You know, i wonder if by petting Denali you took her attitude home to Izzy? Like it's contagious or something....Hum....

  8. The animals are always so honest aren't they? Tt is a bit refreshing, although it is never any fun to have ANY kind of problem with Izzy or any other creature! I


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