Health & Wellness

Practice of Medicine

We have come to realize -- with far more clarity than we care to have -- why they say it’s the “practice of medicine”. Because sometimes veterinarians, despite their best intentions and expertise, simply don’t know what’s going on with a specific case. And that specific case is our very own Buddha. As it turns out he does not have soft tissue damage to his collateral ligament as previously thought. During the lameness exam this past week he was actually worse than before we put him on controlled rest four months earlier. Which redirected everything back to degenerative joint disease, or osteoarthritis. Specifically the most likely culprit, as we narrow things down, is his pastern joint or what is also known as "high ringbone."

Buddha underwent a 10 minute sterile prep after which 100 mg of Depomedrol (Methylprednisolone Acetate) was injected via radiographic guidance into his right fore pastern joint; yes, he was sedated. Budhs is still on controlled rest for the next few days. Tuesday we shall do another lameness exam and see if that helped him. As we’ve learned this last week, voraciously researching all things ringbone, lots of horses can still continue an active career. The American Farriers Journal had an article that gave a good outline of a case study and lessons learned, and how corrective shoeing along with other treatments can bring a horse comfort and be sound with maintenance. So, another week of seeing what the future holds for Buddha and his dressage career.

Live. Love. Horses.

Lameness and Rehab

Tomorrow is the day! We are so excited, the four month mark for Buddha's controlled rest -- hopefully -- comes to an end! Bend Equine Medical Center and Dr. Wayne Schmotzer will be coming out to do a follow-up exam to include ultra sound and x-rays to see how our lovely boy is healing up. If all is well, then we can finally start the slow process of rehabbing Buddha back into peak condition and performance. However, it's possible that even though all is healing well, we may still need to take an extra month of controlled rest just to be on the safe side.

A great article, by the wonderful Dr. David Ramey, stated that pretty much controlled rest is the best healer: "At this point in time, no treatment has been shown to be more effective or quicker than controlled rest and rehabilitation in giving a horse with an injured tendon or ligament a chance to return to full function. That's right; no matter how eagerly you sweat, magnetize, "shockwave," or stem cell or laser or compression pump or bandage your horse's injured tendon or ligament, if you don't also give your horse adequate time for rest and rehabilitation, all of the expensive -- and quite probably unnecessary -- other stuff won't matter at all."

If you're wondering what a good rehab schedule looks like, or need an exercise protocol for an injured horse, look no further than Dr. Carol Gillis and her (PDF) paper on Rehabilitation of Tendon and Ligament Injuries; an oldie, but goodie from 1997.

We’ve been oh so patient, and Buddha has been oh so good, thankfully not turning into a fire-breathing dragon during his controlled rest; and also not living up to his namesake by getting overweight! Thank goodness for slow feeders and LMF Low Non Structural Carbohydrate pelleted feed. Ah, tomorrow, full of promise! 

"Blessed are the flexible for they shall never be bent out of shape."

Live. Love. Horses.

Breathe, Exhale

Happy Independence Day weekend! It’s a daunting journey getting started with a new business! We’ve been busy trying make sure we have everything just so, obsessing over details and ensuring our web site and new Facebook page (check them out!) are awesome and keeping our customers informed! Not to mention we’re also working with our fantastic Creative Director, Jill, and our Magicians at TX3 to develop our new app.

Through being such busy bees, it’s made us take a moment to realize you have to take time for you. And part of that, is simply breathing! Sounds silly, but breathing right is a lost art for many of us. Our superwoman Pilates instructor, Nancy, is always emphasizing the need for breath! Without breath, you have nothing! How true that is whether we are in the saddle, or out. Take a moment to find out more about breathing from other experts!

Horse Nation’s article “The Athletic Rider: Breath Deep” really does a great job of outlining the importance of breath and how it could be affecting your performance in the saddle more than you think!

Ms. Jane Savoie also has a great article on breathing exercises for relaxation in the saddle.

A non-horse-related resource is the Optimal Breathing Mastery. They have some great information on breathing and all the related health benefits.

Live. Love. Horses.

Hot Topic

As the summer days heat up for us in Central Oregon - hitting triple digits! - we want to take a moment to pass along a great article written by Eleanor Kellen, VMD, for Horse Collaborative, “Horses and the Heat: Fact vs. Fiction”.  Do you still think your horse shouldn’t drink all they want after a hard workout while still sweaty? How about not hosing down your horse with cold water after an intense work out because they will tie up or cramp?

Dr. Kellen says “Unlimited water both inside and out, lots of salt and care not to work the horse beyond his level of fitness will help you successfully avoid the danger zone in hot weather.”  Learn all the facts in her article.  Stay safe and cool by staying informed! 

Live. Love. Horses.

Rider Fitness Awareness

We ask a lot of our horses and we really put great efforts into keeping them healthy and in peak condition. But how much effort do we put into ourselves? Do you as a rider really take as much time for yourself–your health, wellness and fitness–as you do for your horse? We can never forget that we are the other half of the partnership, and whatever we are asking of our horses, we should also equally ask of ourselves. Be better for our horses, be in better shape, and be in better balance with your mind and spirit. It will only help our horsemanship and we should be giving them our best performance every day too!

Here are a few of our favorite resources to help inspire you to be a better rider for your horse!

Live. Love. Horses.