Friday I woke up feeling "kinda crappy" which I assumed to be a result of the martinis/anxiety/nerves that were a result of the vet visit, but by 10am it ws EXTREMELY apparent that it was in fact the flu. YUCK.
thankfully though it was only the flu for about 24 hours which meant I was up and at 'em out to the barn on Saturday.
Or rather it was "up" then 3 hours watching the Rolex cross country (woo) before heading to the barn. My plan was to ride P, then help S take new video of Charlie for his online ad.
P was a bad, bad girl. I know she had a day off, but dear GOD, she was amped up. thoroughly convinced that the mud puddles AND drainage pipe was going to eat her, as well as certain that the deafening downpours were masking the sound of a heard of pumas that were quietly stalking her in the trees. She was just all snorty and uppity. which was fine until she grabbed the bit, bucked, then did the turn-buck-run-buck-buck-buck. move.
MARE, seriously!? don't you know you're a "3" wobbler and in danger of falling down at the canter!? stop it.
she did, and we finally had a nice lesson. worked on lengthening and shortening her stride. I'm not gonna say "collected" cause we weren't exactly using our hind end (the hind end P doesn't know she has), but she was listening really nicely to my leg in terms of opening up and coming back, so that was neat.
Then we worked on her bending in and out at the walk. That was more difficult of a concept, but she worked into it really well. I was glad to see some serious progress on her at least moving away from my leg in both directions. All in all after the turn-buck-run-buck-buck-buck move, I considered it a good ride.
This "wobbler" diagnosis is making me hyper sensitive to her balance, and paying attention to where her hind end is. She does seem to have a hard time on smaller circles keeping her haunches in line, sometimes they just swing out and blow through my outside leg. I'm trying to be "understanding" and not overreact to this since Pia might have no clue about it. Instead I'm trying to gently correct and be a little more forgiving without letting her walk all over me and ignore my aids compeltely. It's a fine balance.
Pia "eyeballing" that that hind end that's always following her around...
After our ride, I pulled her tack and had the Chiro take a look at her. He made two adjustments at her neck, which was enough to make Pia absolutely fall in love with the guy. She wouldn't take her nose off of him, and any time he took a step away, she followed and just snuggled back up with him. The chiro seems to see a lot of "mechanical" issues that could be addressed with adjustments and "might" alleviate some of these wobbler symptoms. Everything in me wants to think that P's misaligned hind end is due to some sticky points and locked up muscles instead of a compressed spinal cord, but the realistic side of me is guessing that a few adjustments won't make this go away.
It DID however, instantly make her much, much nicer about her curry comb again. like instantly. all the sudden I can rub and poke and brush all of those areas that got all sensitive a few weeks ago. weird, no? maybe there is something more going on that the Chiro can assist with.... Either way, I'm going to have him keep making small adjustments on her and see where it gets us. She seems to love it, and so far it only seems to be helping, so why the hell not.
My current plan is to still wait for blood work this week, but assuming that's clear to schedule the radiographs that will determine whether or not we will (most likely) need a myelogram. I exchanged emails all weekend with Dr. Barrie Grant (www.equinewobblers.com), who pioneered the technique behind the "basket" surgery that fuses vertebrae in order to remove pressure from the spinal cord. He performed the surgery on Seattle Slew, and has made a career out of streamlining and perfecting the process. He runs a clinic down in California but flies all over the country performing this procedure and training other surgeons. He has already offered to take a look at P's films and offer an opinion as to whether or not she is a good candidate for the surgery and what he thinks her prognosis is. I'm encouraged and excited to already have him aware of her "case" and situation.
I had to cancel my lesson today because I completely forgot about a board meeting downtown, which bums me out, since I really want to see P a few days post-adjustment. So I just have to wait one more day. The good news is that S got her a new treat for her stall, one of those giant granola balls. I hung it in place of her Likit, since she DESTROYED her Likit and I'm sure is currently hopped up on electrolytes.
She's obsessed and this toy has the added benefit of getting "sticky," so when it swings and she smacks herself in the face with the ball she gets stamped with gooey molasses. WHICH makes for a very dirty, very sticky mare. but she seems thrilled. Plus it makes all the other horses want to lick her face. which is cute. she's like a big, giant lollipop.