“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”
The worst feeling in the world is to be worried about someone you love. The last weeks have been exhausting. Batman is not 100% healthy (again), and this time we don’t only have one problem to deal with; there are two more. I knew SOMETHING was wrong, but it has been hard to say exactly what it is. We discovered a reaction in his feet a month ago, his front hooves have changed in shape, and that has caused pain and discomfort for some time. We have tried so much to find out why he did not feel like he normally does, and finally, we had an answer. Very small, vague things such as him refusing to walk down the steep hill to the spot I usually groom him, but going fine everywhere else, not moving so elegantly as he usually does, not wanting to rear as high as he can do, less uphill in his canter etc..
The front hooves. It has probably appeared over time, so it was hard to notice. But now, it explains everything! Because all the muscular pain and the trouble with his shoulders and back might have been because of that. We checked everything, except from change in his feet. The saddle, my way of riding, his neck, his jaw, his shoulders and front legs in general … It might all have been caused by discomfort in his hooves. The hoof trimmer is coming on Wednesday to get them back in the correct, natural balance and the vet is taking x-ray on Monday. Right now it is only four weeks since last trim, and they are growing so rapidly, he is in desperate need of a trim already! I think they will be easy to fix, he has very strong and healthy feet in general. We discovered the problem at a very early stage, so everything will be okay.
The blood test results came back as well and Batman is also very low on selenium again. He had that problem a year ago as well, even although I have fed him with supplements. There is basically no selenium in the soil, so we must give the horses supplements, but it was apparently not enough. I’m now the most controlling horse owner on the planet, and he does not eat one single thing without me having a complete analysis with both nutrition and minerals on it. Why am I not simply building myself a lab in the backyard?
On top of all that, he is now also lame in his left hind leg … Grade 3! We are not sure what caused it yet, but with pain in two front hooves, an old injury in the knee above, it makes sense. Another joint this time, last time it was the knee, after his accident last January. He has been so uncomfortable with others than me handling his hind quarters, he did even kick my vet, and we had to drug him to do a flexion test. He has never kicked anyone in his entire life. That’s Batman screaming “fix my leg guys”! I knew something did not feel right, but it did take a full examination and blood tests of the horse to find out what it exactly was. During the flexion test, we discovered the painful joint. And now, finally, I have some answers! The left hind leg will be treated, and he will spend 14 days in a paddock to get some rest. The front hooves look better already, we are not sure what caused the reaction, and it might have been a combination of factors, but he is getting help from the best vets and hoof trimmers I know and he looks better already. He is getting supplements for the lack of selenium and vitamin E, and in a month or two, I hope I will have my happy, energic horse back ❤
But handling everything at once is hard, and I have had nights without sleep. I have been so stressed – Batman means everything to me, and when he is feeling unwell, I’m feeling terrible. Right now, my horse has one healthy leg left, muscular pain, lack of energy because of the selenium-issue, two front hooves on their way to recovery, a locked pelvis and a stiff back, but he is in high spirits, and I think he knows that we will do everything in our power to make him healthy again. After the vet was here the first time, he seemed grateful, and was dancing around with lots of energy and pinned ears!
So, if you are worried your horse is not 100%, contact your vet. Don’t wait, because your gut feeling is probably right.
I’m just so relieved we finally found something, so we can actually do something about it! Fingers crossed for a quick recovery, but we will take it easy the next weeks, just cuddling, doing some easy trick training, taking photos and going for short walks.
Peace, love and Friesian hugs,
Batman & Matilde