PJ hauled Margo to SQA and then loaded her in my trailer, so we would only drive one rig out. The loading went uneventfully, with both horses walking on nonchalantly, like good citizens. The drive out was almost uneventful, except that I was engrossed in story telling to PJ (who has yet to hear the plethora of stories I have to tell - lucky her) and we missed the exit. By the time we had reached the next exit and turned around, our slight time buffer was gone. We got there maybe four minutes early and had time to unload the horses and chase away a frog before Dr D came out.
We start with a walk back and forth next to the barn, with Dr D following us, then a trot the same way. Ashke out trotted me by a mile, lifting into his high floaty trot, flicking his toes and showing off. Then we moved to the round pen and I had him move in both directions at a trot first and then a canter. He wasn't warmed up and cross cantered to the left three or four times. Dr D asked me about it and I told her he has always done that, but he is better when he is warmed up. The tighter the circle the harder it is for him to maintain that lead without breaking. I told her he is fine on a straight away, and that we canter on trail a lot.
She laughed in delight when she saw him move and made the comment that he didn't look to be in pain. She told me to keep working his canter on the straight away and in large circles so as to not stress his stifles while we work to get him stronger.
After our assessment, she reviewed Margo and made notes, asking PJ for information as they went. Then we went in to start the assessment. Dr D started with Ashke, noting his accu points as she went along. She started with his feet and said she liked the trim, and his frog base was symmetrical on three of the four, with his right hind .5 of a cm smaller, which means he's still not using that leg completely correctly, which I had already guessed since he isn't tracking up with that limb the way he should. Then we did stretches, which we struggle with because Ashke wants to bow. I had to gently remind him to keep his right front leg back so he could stretch for a cookie, rather than tromple Dr D with his energetic front foot.
S showed up about that time and so Dr D switched to Margo, doing the assessment while Ashke hung out in his stall and watched. Sedative was administered to Margo, her accu points were injected with B12 and then S started on her teeth.
Then we pulled Ashke out again.
Dr D had a plan. She drew blood for the immuno points and for his stifles, then gave him the drugs, thinking that by the time she had the accu points in and the blood or B12 (depending on location) injected, he would be very sleepy and we could clean his sheath. Which is a traumatic process, at best.
She put the two needles in his chest and injected his blood, then did the two stifle needles. By that time he looked like this:
We had him in cross ties and he was very wobbly. I held up his left hind foot so Dr D could fish up inside his abdominal cavity to find the head of his penis. I think it was lodged behind his liver. She pulled a thumb sized bean out of him and we were both happy he didn't protest too much. The first time Dr D cleaned his sheath, I held his LH and he tried to kick several times, to the point where Dr D was concerned I was going to get hurt. Last year, he jerked me a couple of good ones, but overall it was less than the year before. This time, in a combination of good, strong drugs just kicking in and him becoming somewhat less reactive, he only pulled twice. Both times were minimal and Dr D was able to locate him rather quickly.
Then she put the rest of the needles in, working on the sore spots for his left side and his SI joint, which she said is his achilles. Then we left him to soak in the accu while she worked on Margo.
Lights are on and nobody is home.
He was so drugged I could play with his lips. It was fun.
J made me stop.
At one point, one front leg and one back leg buckled at the same time, so I put my finger in his right ear and woke him up just a bit. He was so sweet, that I craddled his head in my arms, whispering to him and holding his head up. J said "Oh, my gosh, don't look but he's dropping. It was the first time. Dr D immediately gloved up and cleaned his shaft. He took exception and flicked a hind leg in irritation, but wasn't serious in trying to hit any one. He was just annoyed. But for the first time, we got him completely clean.
This could be a huge breakthrough for this horse. I think his physical issues are compounded by the sexual/emotional issues going on with him. It is impossible to separate one from the other. He's only completely let down twice since I had him, that I know about. I'm hoping that he will start to let go of some of whatever is going on with him in regards to that area of his body.
We finished the accu and then finished his adjustment. His back was slightly tweaked and J said that in watching him fall he had twisted trying not to land on me. We think the subluxation was from his heroic effort not to land on top of me and to try to take us a safely to the ground as he could. After adjusting him with the accuator, (a spring loaded thumper that helps move the bones back into place - I've had one used on me), she had Ashke stretch and then shake.
After that I put him in the stall and we waited for him to sleep off the drugs so we could haul safely home.
We have another appt scheduled for late September, just to make sure he is still progressing and not out at the SI joint after a summer of riding and clinics. He doesn't need to go back in before that, because he looked really good.
I'm happy that he had improved as much as I thought he had.