The Horse, Of Course.

What's that, Google?  You want me to start incorporating G+ in my posts? ...But then I'd actually have to use your social network.

So, the Archman had his six-month check up with the vet.  This was probably the first time that we've ever had awkward silence, the vet and I.  I really do adore my vet (and I'll tell the horrid story of why BO doesn't pretty soon, I think), but, dammit.. my horse is pretty awesome right now.

The appointment was scheduled for 8:00 am.  I got to the barn at about 7:30 and thought I would have enough time to get in a little ride.  So, I got Archie all tacked up and hopped on.

As soon as I got to the front pasture, the vet pulled up.  Archie wasn't really warmed up at all, because I'm a horrible mother, but I asked him to trot.  When he went up instead of forward, I pushed him into a canter.  When he got the wrong lead, I made him do a simple change.  Then we trotted up to meet the vet.  I spent all of five minutes riding.  (But that's five excellent minutes in the sunlight.)

The Doc started with his physical assessment while I pulled off tack and shoved Skinny Guy in a stall with his breakfast.  I'm not going to bash the vet prior to this guy, but I've never had another vet listen to Archie's heart, lungs and gut sounds.  This guy prods and runs his hands over Archie's body.  It's not a super-thorough exam, but it's significantly more than the last guys did.

We talked about the changes that I've made in the last six months: the chiro, the implementation of more downward transitions and exercises after we work (sit ups and stretches).  He was really complimentary about the muscle tone and how fit Archie is in general.  It made me feel good.  Actually, it make me feel like a fucking rock star super mom.

And we talked about Archie's recent propensity for shredding his back ankles.  He checked the symmetry back there (we're symmetrical!) and we talked a little bit about what Archie's actually doing.  He asked if, in canter, Archie was short-strided.  I said, yes, yes, yes.  More so on the right lead.  Without doing any weird hand figures or drawing me a diagram, he explained that the legs are just thwacking each other because of the short stride and that I need to stretch him out more at the canter.  Makes sense.  Give the legs some room.  Annnnnnd there go the dreams of Grand Prix dressage with our canter pirouette, collected canter and single-stride changes (there's a name for that, right?).

As he administered the vaccines, I told him about the things that the chiro had said, like that his back pain may be chronic, that my shitty nearly-broken back and even shittier broken ass may be to blame, and how she called him dynamic, as his pain moved and his body changed.  He pretty much affirmed everything the chiro said.  And told me about how a chiro had helped his back (I think that was a hint that I should at least try a chiro.)

And, finally, he did a dental exam.  Archie has perfect teeth.  And, if you think about it, it's not just the teefers themselves, but the entire structure of his head.  I just got lucky.

He said that there were a couple spots he could mess with, just to take my money, but that Archie really didn't need it.  I reminded him that it has been two years since Arch had his teeth floated; he responded that we'll shoot for 2 ½.

We closed the visit touching on his ring bone and prior history.  I said that he was still asymptomatic and he reminded me, again, that Archie may never have symptoms.  He may be one of the lucky ones.  (Or, dear sweet baby Jésus, it may travel down the joint and cripple him.)  And he asked how the chiro affected, if at all, the swapping of the back end.  Oh, god, have I even mentioned it to y'all?  A million years ago, the Arch had his hocks injected because he swapped constantly in the back end and when he wasn't cross cantering, he was bucking.  The hock injections offered no improvement.  The Adaquan offered no improvement.  But the chiro, I think, is improving him.  So I told the vet that.

Last night, I went out and pulled his mane.  He had a ginormous bug bite on his esophagus, so I didn't plan on doing a lot of pulling.  But... once I started, it was hard not to pull a couple inches.

Shorter!
Hello, giant disgusting bug bite.

I suck.


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2 comments

  1. Yay, I'm so glad the vet appointment went well! I haven't been reading your blog very long but having read your introductory page for Archie, I expected your rides would be a little quieter. I'm so happy to read about you guys doing more stuff like cantering, cantering poles, JUMPS! I hope the chiro continues to help your boy. :)

    Oh, and my dad swears by his chiro, basically says he's he only reason he's still walking around after all the crap he's done to his body. If you haven't seen one yet, it might not be a terrible idea.

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    Replies
    1. You know, at some point (hopefully not a near point), I'm going to have to say that he's reached his limit. Walks and small trots. But I really feel like if we maintain the muscle, the body work, the semi-sane mind and keep the pain to a minimum, there's absolutely no reason why we can't continue to do small things and do them well. Like little canter poles and crossrails and ghetto jumps.

      And, yeah.. I've got two doctor appointments scheduled over the next two weeks. I might as well see if a chiro can squeeze me in before year end. The only problem is that my husband is a PA for a spinal surgeon. When people bring in rads from their chiros, he scoffs because image quality is so horrible. He's never really believed in them, but I have to because Archie feels much better.

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