The haul out was uneventful. The only news worth item was Ashke shivering in the mild 50 degree weather we were having when I pulled him out of his stall. I put him in the BOT, since I wanted him loose and relaxed when we got there. Before we left, J and I pulled two of the mats up in his stall (there was quite the hump growing and creating a tripping hazard) and got the shavings and gross stuff up off the floor. We left the mats turned back to dry because the smell was awful. I blanketed Ashke and loaded, then we manuevered side streets to avoid the traffic jam on the highway at 7 am. Once we were on the highway it was an easy drive and we ended up pulling into her place about 20 minutes early.
We started the assessment with a straight walk out and back, then a trot out and back. Then we went into the round pen and he walked (not really), trotted (nice lifted trot) and cantered (joyfully) in both directions. Dr D said he looked phenominal, with a BCS of 5.5 (could just see the edges of his ribs as he moved) and although she could get picky and say he was sticking just a touch through the SI on the right, overall he was moving awesome. I opted to have her check his accu points and see if there was anything else he wasn't showing us. When she measured his frogs the RF was 6 cm and the LF was 6.5 cm. There was something going on with him that was causing him to take more of his weight on the LF than the RF. This went along with the slight, intermittent nature of his being just a little bit off.
I've felt he was slightly off on the RF for a couple of months now, but couldn't explain it. It didn't happen in the arena (where the soft footing would have made a soft tissue injury worse) but did happen on trail even in the boots (I bought insert pads from my gloves in April I think, so this issue may have been going on that long.) It was very slight, but nagging sensitivity. His frog base was equal in June, so chances are this intermittent nagging offness had started since then. (I know I was feeling it when K and I rode the Mesa trail in early July, but that's the earliest I think it was mentioned on the blog.)
He was sore through his back and over his hips.
I think part of the soreness was the speed round at HCWE last weekend, mostly because he hasn't been worked since then, not even out in the round pen, although I do agree that I need to get the saddle flocking adjusted on the left side. Dr D loves how the saddle fits his back, how it flexes slightly with movement, but there is a spot where the pressure is slightly less just behind his wither and slightly more over the thoraxic region (where he was sore). If I can get the flocking redistributed to compensate, then those two spots should resolve. We are assuming it's due to the increased muscle in his left wither, but either way, I need to have a saddle fitter come out. Or learn to do it myself. Dr D thought maybe that was what was causing him to carry himself differently,
Dr D drew some blood and injected it into the areas where he was sore. Two points in his shoulder (I thought maybe he needed to have the base of his neck adjusted but no), two poll points, his SI and the points in his back that were sore. They were all very tender and he reacted when the needles went in, although once they were in he relaxed and seemed to enjoy the movement of energy. Dr D lasered his back where the vertebre were a bit out and then adjusted the length of his spine from his withers to the SI, and also adjusted the SI (although she said it was holding in place very well, which is good since that seems to be his achilles heel. The front of his hind feet are no longer flat across the front from him dragging his toes, which is indicative of an issue with the SI.) Dr D pulled all of the needles that his body was pushing out - they stay stuck when they are still working and push out when his body is done - it's the craziest thing. She got him to stretch up through his back twice but we couldn't get him to shake off the energy. We put him in the stall where he pooped and peed, then covered him with the BOT and headed out.
When we got back to the barn, J and I finished fitting the mats to the floor and ended up with a very nice flat stall surface. The fact that it didn't smell as bad was a bonus as well. We filled the stall with fresh shavings and left the boy tucked into his mash. Hopefully, he will begin growing a winter coat here pretty quick. We had to meet the farrier about two so J and I headed to do some errands before coming back to the barn.
KW met us at two and started on Ashke LF. We were talking about his feet, Eddy's feet and Dr D's assessment (KW does Dr D's horses too) of his frogs when she moved to his RF. All of a sudden she stopped and asked which foot was not being used properly. I told her RF and she told me to come there to look at what she had found. J held Ashke while I went to look.
KW had been using her knife to clean up his frog when she felt the knife hit something in his frog. She went to find whatever it was and found a small rock up under the frog. There was no way to see it or know it was there, except when she felt it with the knife.
See the round hole in his frog, where the texture of the frog looks funny.
Slightly different angle. There was also some bruising on the sole next to it's location.
I think he shed the front part of his frog in mid-june, so the rock could have been there ever since.
We are lucky it didn't cause an abscess. It also explains the intermittent tenderness, the lack of tenderness in the arena, and the difference in the frog base between the RF and LF. Eureka!! An answer to all of the questions.
Now, all I have to do is figure out how to change my flocking.