Wrong ringbone, right bottom line PLUS Kathyp's horse issue

Tsavo
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Wrong ringbone, right bottom line PLUS Kathyp's horse issue

Postby Tsavo » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:37 pm

It's been a month since the coffin joint injection. We are where we were... 1.5/5 on LF when going right.

This tends to support the idea it is not low ringbone that is causing the lameness but rather high ringbone.

No matter... my horse is done with dressage training. The vet suggested rather than pasture him, he would be more comfortable with some easy work a few times a week... trails, straight lines, nothing smaller than a 20 m circle. I suggested pasturing him with an annoying pony to run him around. LOL. That suggestion was not deemed superior to continue to ride him a few times a week. The vet suggested I lease him to some lower level rider but I am not able to consider letting him go yet even just on lease. My horse will never be for sale.

I guess I thought my horse might go in some catastrophic way. I never imagined he would be 1.5/5 into perpetuity on a leg he has never been lame on.

I was preparing myself for this but still wasn't ready when it happened.

I am officially looking for a little sister for my horse.
Last edited by Tsavo on Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby Flight » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:41 pm

Sorry that it's happened.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby Srhorselady » Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:21 am

A different kind of loss and grief, in some ways harder since it doesn't have a quick end. Do, however, consider following your Vet's recommendations for keeping him in light work. Most horses do better when kept active when they are arthritic.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby Tsavo » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:57 pm

Thanks Flight and Srhorselady.

The instructions are to ride him easy 3-4 times a week. Does that mean as he limps I am still supposed to work him even lightly? I am not sure I can ride a horse who is limping from pain. That goes against everything.

He is sound on straight lines and going left but how long is that going to last given the documented rapid increase in the OA?

I am going to clarify these issues with the vet.

I asked about fusing the low motion upper joint and he discouraged me saying it would be a long lay up.

The other thing is we were talking about therapies and he said IRAP has proven results in some circumstances not necessarily my horse as I understood it. I am going to investigate that a bit. Separately I heard some orthopedic surgeons on Doctor Radio saying there are no proven results for PRP in people. That means there are less than none in horses so I am not investigating that at all. They also said there is no good evidence magnetic anything works in people. That means it is the same situation for horses. I am going to call into them and ask about some other therapies (shockwave, laser, etc.).

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby Chisamba » Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:45 am

Well, the pony that i previously told you did not do well with shoes that has ringbone has improved to being almost totally sound after nearly a year of light work, hacking , hundred percent sound in walk, for nearly a year. She is definitely not able to manage the daily grind of regular work, but has gradually increased to being a more sound horse for her rider. Its definitely not a perfect situation, i am an advocate for moving

I an very sorry for your gradual ill defined loss of use in your horse. it is complicated

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby Tsavo » Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:28 am

That is hopeful that the pony got sounder.

I rode my horse today. He was limping on the LF and a hind on a straight line. He has been out of work since late August and is deconditioned. I think I am going to have to essentially rehab him to get back to a point where we are just trying to move the OA joints around. That work can't start until he is sound on the hinds.

I suspect I will need about a year to find another horse so I will have all kinds of time to rehab my horse as much as I can.
Last edited by Tsavo on Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby musical comedy » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:17 pm

I don't believe riding or exercise is best for all types of lameness. Each case is different, so what worked for one horse is not necessarily what would work for all. If there is an arthritis in a joint like hocks, where with movement the horse limbers up, then I can see where exercise is ok. Personally, I would not be riding a horse that was limping at the walk. Is there a point when we retire a horse to pasture with no riding or lunging? What is that point? When does horse deserve true retirement? Do we just keep on riding them until they eventually die or get so crippled they have to be put down?
When a horse limps, he is hurting. Do we want to ride a hurting horse? I don't.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby Chisamba » Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:37 pm

while nature is very cruel and i have no desire to duplicate nature's cruelty, the horse keeps up with the herd or dies, so it is that most of non acute unsoundness has evolved over the many generations, to heal on the move.

Now, obviously there are weight bearing and breeding for characteristics that have complicated that preliminary statement, and I also do not advocate riding a horse that is unsound in the walk. However, moving is so essential to healing that hand walking over gradually increased periods, eventually graduating to riding at the walk, etc is routinely prescribed for horses with re habitation prospects.

I am of the opinion that if the horse is not walking sound in pasture, with no prospect of improvement is not a retirement case.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby Tsavo » Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:17 pm

Ah I don't think I was clear. He is sound at walk. He is not sound at trot going right. He is usually sound at trot on straight and to the left except not yesterday.

I am going to lunge him today to see what we have. If he is sound on straight and to the left then I will ride him. If not then no.

I have a huge mental block with riding a horse that is limping every time I go right. I am not sure I can do this. I think my horse may just have to take his chances in pasture.

I don't think his OA prevents him from moving around in pasture but if it did, I would consider nerving him so he would move himself more. If I did that I would never ride him again.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby Tsavo » Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:20 pm

I guess I am also not convinced that if the ridden work is confined to walk that that is going to be so much better than just pasture in terms of moving the joints. I am struggling with that.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby kande50 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:58 pm

Tsavo wrote:I guess I am also not convinced that if the ridden work is confined to walk that that is going to be so much better than just pasture in terms of moving the joints. I am struggling with that.


That's consistent with my feelings on lame horses. If they have sufficient turnout and move around themselves then why would I need to ride them, too? I suppose more/forced movement could be better for some problems, but how would you figure out how much riding was therapeutic and how much was just contributing to further breakdown?

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby Tsavo » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:29 pm

That's a good question.

I lunged him on the track today. He is limping on the straight. It is not large but another boarder offered to watch him and she says he is limping. He looks sound on the hinds which of course triggers the question if he is unsound on the hind with a rider's weight. I easily felt that hind problem on Saturday but didn't see it today. He is so deconditioned that I think anything is possible lameness-wise

The other boarder reminded me that the vet wanted the shoes rolled and that's a good point. He might be better with rolling all around. My horse is out of work so he hasn't rolled the plastic shoes at all by himself.

I am going to have the shoes rolled all around and then see how he does. If he is still limping on the straight which means that I can only ride him at walk then I am done. He will be pastured with or without an annoying pony to run him around. :-)

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby orono » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:36 am

I would have a mental block with it too, I also don't see the benefit if he has good turnout. The fact is that if you're riding at some point you may have to turn sharply, or end up faster than a walk.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby Tsavo » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:15 pm

Yes good points. I will ask the vet again about this. He did not trot him straight, just wanted to see the circles. My horse was sound on a circle to the left that day. I wish we trotted him straight that day.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby Chisamba » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:51 pm

If you think he is sore, do not ride him. There is nothing wrong with retirement pasture sound, in my opinion. I do have a problem with not rehabbing a horse just because he is not going to be ridden anymore, and i have a huge problem with horses being retired in pain. I do not suppose i was clear when i tried to say that earlier.

I have had a couple of horses live perfectly happy lives for a decade, pasture sound but not riding sound. I do however rehab a horse as much as possible, following vet care instructions, etc, before retiring them

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby musical comedy » Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:47 pm

Chisamba wrote:If you think he is sore, do not ride him. There is nothing wrong with retirement pasture sound, in my opinion. I do have a problem with not rehabbing a horse just because he is not going to be ridden anymore, and i have a huge problem with horses being retired in pain. I do not suppose i was clear when i tried to say that earlier.

I have had a couple of horses live perfectly happy lives for a decade, pasture sound but not riding sound. I do however rehab a horse as much as possible, following vet care instructions, etc, before retiring them
I can't like this post enough. My bolding. I know someone quite well that does that; i.e. horses break down and they just get thrown out to fend for themselves whether they are gimping along or not. The worst part is that the person is extremely well off financially. My old guy is starting to eat into my cash reserves for sure. I'll keep paying so long as it makes him comfortable.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby texsuze » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:31 pm

My gelding was retired, pasture sound, in 2011, after evaluations by 3 different vets, x-rays, shock wave, adequan. Talk about the rug being yanked out from under you. I might have posted all this somewhere already.

Bottom line: each vet suggested retirement, i.e. no longer being ridden. One vet noted that even if my guy managed to go 'sound' for a short period of time, he'd likely go lame again given his situation. I event attempted work in-hand, which my gelding was used to, but he was still off. I would gladly have done straight, short walks or simple trail walking if I felt he could handle that; being in greatly reduced work is preferable to complete retirement, but only if it has benefits and doesn't exacerbate a problem. But I couldn't fathom him under saddle with any degree of lameness, and drugging just to ride is against my principles. We marked our 20 year partnership this October (he is 26) and he'll be with me till one of us drops dead in the traces. Not the way I envisioned his twilight years, but he is in otherwise good health with continued routine care, farrier work, etc.

All this just to say, I really empathize with your situation, Tsavo.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby Tsavo » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:32 am

Thank you Texsuze for that post. It sounds like you exhausted every possibility and then some.

It would be easier for me to process no more riding. Instead I am to ride 3-4 times a week to make him more comfortable with the OA. I am just going to clear this up what the vet means by that. If he says walk him, I will ask is if that is so different from pasturing. My sense is that the vet things I can do light work to include trot ad maybe canter which I actually can't do unless he stops limping at least on the straight.

Twenty years is great! I just passed 13 years with my horse in November. Once I get another horse, I will more him closer to me so I can see him easily after riding or going to the gym. He is only about 25 minutes from me now but I need him closer if he is retired so I can easily see him any time.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby kande50 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:41 pm

Tsavo wrote:
It would be easier for me to process no more riding. Instead I am to ride 3-4 times a week to make him more comfortable with the OA. I am just going to clear this up what the vet means by that. If he says walk him, I will ask is if that is so different from pasturing. My sense is that the vet things I can do light work to include trot ad maybe canter which I actually can't do unless he stops limping at least on the straight.


Vets, just like the rest of us, have very different opinions when it comes to how much work is safe enough, how much pain a horse is likely in, how much work a horse in pain should be expected to do, what the best course of action might be, etc., etc.

What I'd want to know at this point is if I asked multiple different vets what they would recommend would I be likely to get some kind of a consensus? If not then I'd probably keep reading to see if I could find out why/how more exercise might help, and how to tell how much is optimal so that I could decide for myself what seemed to benefit my horse the most.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby texsuze » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:43 pm

Something else, just on the management end: get a set of radiographs (presume you've done already) taken of the "suspect" foot and the corresponding "normal" foot, as a baseline. Then, annually, get just one or two views taken of them again, so you can compare any changes that may or may not take place over time, regardless of whether he is in some type of work, or retired to pasture. My guy started to have some changes on his "normal" foot, seen on radiograph, a couple years after his retirement. I feel it just provides information which might be helpful in ongoing decision-making.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby khall » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:47 am

If he has low ringbone showing on rads and he is lame on that leg then IMO he is lame and will be lame period. Low ringbone does not improve with riding. High ringbone can and sometimes will fuse and you have a sound horse again. Hind end lameness: do not discount he is compensating for his front end lameness.

My mare Anna that I lost to colic in 2016 showed low ringbone on rads in one foot only for several years. She was not high/lo ever but had some mild rotation from bad white line issues when she was younger. We knew the issue was there, she was shod for years to address the low ringbone but it did finally catch up to her in 2016 just before I lost her. She was starting to consistently be lame on the leg at 16. One of the reasons I declined to put her through colic surgery.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby Tsavo » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:33 pm

Well the block could not be used to rule out high ringbone. The fact that the steroid in the coffin joint didn't change anything may mean he is limping from the high ringbone.

He seems okay lately on the hind but he hasn't carried weight.

In the last week, at least, he is consistently limping on the leg on a straight line.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby KathyP » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:25 am

I am so sorry about the diagnosis/prognosis of your horse, and I'm posting about another injury though, but relates to handwalking.

I have been reading about hand-walking and wanted to pose a question. The handwalking curse is something that many of us know about and have been prescribed: no matter frozen ground and fractious frustated tired owners and no guaranteed benefit, and the danger...That said, I sympathize with you others in the same Hanwalking Hell...Sorry to be depressing.

My question is, if you should be kind enough to respond to is; my horse injured ligaments/tendons in hind limb and after numerous ESWT's has been prescribed to more than 40 minutes per day MINIMUM (by now) handwalking--preferably 3x per day!! I just can't deal. The barn is an hour round trip for me: I am 67 years old. A damned pity. lol.

But, what I need to ask, and I will NOT ask my vet, is : IF you were me, and you were very petite, WOULD you consider riding your horse at a walk for this rehab??? I realize he could blast and blow off, but that's my problem. My former vet (as I had a high suspensory blowout with my former horse) said," You aren't heavy enough to make a difference!" So, I rode him during the rehab, and, IMHO, that made the duration of walking doeable and did no harm...I would appreciate your opinions. I do wish I could do whatever is perfectly "best, " but I cannot. The most that has been asked is 60 minutes per 3 times per day; figure that out with one hour RT. I feel so bad, but I don't really know if all I can do will make a difference. I know how serious these injuries are; how they can 'seem" to be healed, but reoccur. And then it's all over.

Thanks. Sorry to intrude. Hope to be of some help to anyone else in this situation.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby kande50 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:27 am

KathyP wrote:I feel so bad, but I don't really know if all I can do will make a difference.


There is no right answer, because we can only do what we can do.

And yes, if I felt that the prescription was impractical I wouldn't worry about trying to achieve 100% compliance, and would just do as much as I could do and hope it was enough. I'd also ask other vets what they thought, and read up on the treatment to try to understand what the handwalking might accomplish, and then decide if I thought it was worth it to make a bigger effort (maybe hire someone at the barn to do part of it), or if it wasn't that important.

Why don't you want to ask your vet about riding him?

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby musical comedy » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:29 pm

KathyP wrote:But, what I need to ask, and I will NOT ask my vet, is : IF you were me, and you were very petite, WOULD you consider riding your horse at a walk for this rehab???
Yes, I would. People that could/would handwalk that long and that frequently are few and far between. Even with paying someone to do it, you can't trust they would. I would probably put the horse in a rehab facility where they had a tread mill. My neighbor friend had a horse with colic surgery that had complications afterwards and required a long rehab with walking. The horse was hot and she couldn't handle hand walking. She bought a treadmill. She doesn't regret it because it has been used many times since for various injuries. I'm not sure if a walking machine would work with all the circling.

What is the prognosis for this injury insofar as coming back to riding/pasture soundness? That, along with the horse's age, would play a role in how I decided to proceed with something like this.

While it's ok to put this question in the Tsavo's ringbone thread, you might get more response on your own thread and you might get some additional responses if you put up a thread over on the COTH horse care forum where there is always a lot of action on horse health topics.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line

Postby Tsavo » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:46 pm

KathyP wrote:But, what I need to ask, and I will NOT ask my vet, is : IF you were me, and you were very petite, WOULD you consider riding your horse at a walk for this rehab??? I realize he could blast and blow off, but that's my problem. My former vet (as I had a high suspensory blowout with my former horse) said," You aren't heavy enough to make a difference!" So, I rode him during the rehab, and, IMHO, that made the duration of walking doeable and did no harm...I would appreciate your opinions. I do wish I could do whatever is perfectly "best, " but I cannot. The most that has been asked is 60 minutes per 3 times per day; figure that out with one hour RT. I feel so bad, but I don't really know if all I can do will make a difference. I know how serious these injuries are; how they can 'seem" to be healed, but reoccur. And then it's all over.

Thanks. Sorry to intrude. Hope to be of some help to anyone else in this situation.


I think your post is relevant and I changed the title of the thread. That said, you should also consider what MC suggested so you get more answers. This forum is not very busy and COTH sounds better.

I have never been a topic-drift Nazi so please do't worry about "intruding". :-)

That is quite the problem. I don't see how you can do that three times a day thing with the commute. Can you pay someone to hand walk? I was going to suggest putting him with a rehab trainer but I bet you would pay more than the going rate if your horse needs 3 times at least 40 minutes a day of anything. The treadmill idea sounds good if you can pay someone to put your horse on it at least twice a day.

Can you move him closer to your home/work to a barn with no riding facilities but where you can walk him?

I tend to agree that if you are a micro-woman and your horse is fairly large that riding is not going to be different than hand walking.

God luck with this. You sound like a wonderful Mommy!

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line PLUS Kathyp's horse issue

Postby Abby Kogler » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:04 pm

I would totally ride at the walk with the situation you describe.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line PLUS Kathyp's horse issue

Postby KathyP » Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:30 pm

Thank you all for your replies to handwalking vs riding at a walk. (Abbey : like yours the best, lol!) Haven't asked the vet yet as I'm afraid I'll get the 'wrong answer, " (kidding) and am working up my courage to ride him very briefly as part of the rehab program. Either way if you read between the lines I'm a bit intimidated by this process (I'm 67), and of course, like all of you with injured horses, a bit upset... (I had to put my other horse down a few weeks following this horse's injuries.) Best.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line PLUS Kathyp's horse issue

Postby musical comedy » Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:25 pm

KathyP, I just read something you wrote on another thread:
I personally did NOT go to extreme measures with my 28 year old horse (who was my soulmate, BTW,) because those measures would not have really helped. He was Cushings but Pergolide would only have prevented symptoms (like long hair coat) and he never had other symptoms related to this.
Pergolide does more than prevent symptoms. He delays the growth of the tumor and helps prevent laminitis. Every Cushings horse needs to be on Pergolide imo and that of the vast majority of vets.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line PLUS Kathyp's horse issue

Postby Moutaineer » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:18 pm

KathyP, You've got to wonder how on earth any vet thought that was a practical prescription, for anyone. I think I'd talk to another vet or rehab expert, myself, and see if they had a more sensible suggestion.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line PLUS Kathyp's horse issue

Postby tlkidding » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:48 pm

When I got to 30 minutes of hand walking is when I started sitting on my horse for the rehab. For me, the timing of it all was perfect as we were coming into spring right as I started sitting on him and my horse was able to be put in a small pen outside during the day rather than in his stall.

But, if you are uncomfortable about your safety sitting on him, don't do it. Find someone to help you by hand walking or riding or get some drugs on board (for the horse; you might want a glass of wine first). I helped a less experience AA hand walk and rehab her horse from Dec-Apr a few years ago. She was nervous about hand walking and the horse would blow up - so I would hand walk him 4x per week and she would do the rest but give him some Ace first. Then we started under saddle rehab and I did all of that for her; he went back to full turnout before she sat on him I think. I think we had to compromise during the rehab and he wasn't ridden every single day but she would hand walk him the days I couldn't ride.

I did know someone who lived close (~15 minutes) who did 1 hour of under saddle walking 2x day before and after her full time job.

I think you need to lay it out to your vet what your time constraints are and what you are comfortable doing - the vet should be able to design a rehab program that will fit within your parameters or help come up with other rehab options.

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Re: Wrong ringbone, right bottom line PLUS Kathyp's horse issue

Postby kande50 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:58 am

Something else I've done when I had to walk a hot horse, was to put her in side reins and a tie down that were adjusted so that she could walk in a natural posture, but when she got squirrelly the reins would help restrict her. I also did quite a bit of walking from the other side of the electric fence so that she couldn't run over me. I did turn off the electric first, but she didn't know that.


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