Thursday, December 19, 2013

Healthy as a horse

Today is the two month anniversary of my last, ill-fated ride on Rev, and although my doctor probably wouldn't agree, I think I am as healthy as a horse.  Of course, I say that knowing that real horses tend to be a lot less healthy than the idiom would suggest.  In fact, I've spent a large part of my week helping my barn buddies deal with their horses' health issues.  

On Tuesday, Dr. Barton came to Kenlyn to perform chiropractic work on several different horses.
Each session started with an evaluation of the horse's gait. 
Once that was completed... 
Dr. Barton checked the horse's entire body for sore spots... 
and made the necessary adjustments.
As soon as everything was back in alignment, Dr. Barton's assistant, Wilson, took over.
I suspect this was more for the people's benefit than the horses', but everyone enjoyed seeing Wilson sitting up there!  
And despite some initial misgivings, all the horses seemed to enjoy Dr. Barton's ministrations as well.  It's been a long time since I've seen an equine chiropractor at work, and I found the entire process extremely fascinating.
Unfortunately, one of the horses needed more help than Dr. Barton could provide.  When Kahlua was a youngster, he got caught in a fence and seriously injured his left hind leg.  It healed, but he's had intermittent soundness issues ever since.  Recently, he's been extremely lame in his opposite hind leg, so yesterday we put him on a trailer... 
and took him to the Littleton Equine Medical Center for a full diagnostic work up. 
Once again, the exam began with an evaluation of Kahlua's gaits.
This was followed by a hands on check of both hind legs.

Finally, Kahula was taken...

to Radiology...

for x-rays. 
Sadly, the x-rays revealed what we'd all suspected--Kahlua's right hind fetlock shows a lot of orthopedic changes.  The damage, while progressive and irreversible, is not untreatable. Kahlua's owner is devoted to him, and he will be given the best possible chance to return to soundness.  Fingers crossed!
It's been decades since my last visit to an equine hospital, so, despite the bad news, this was another interesting day for me.  I was very impressed with the doctors and the facility, and I came away with a lot of new knowledge regarding hind leg lameness and the treatment thereof.  I feel fortunate to have had so many opportunities to learn more about horse health care while I've been too unhealthy to ride.  


  1. Chiropractic is really interesting to watch & so is acupuncture. I've seen Flick worked on by several different chiros and the differences were really a bit startling. (Flick had his opinion about the whole thing too...)

    Too bad about Kahlua :( That sucks!

  2. I really enjoyed watching Dr. Barton work, and yes, his approach was different than what I'd seen previously. I'm not knowledgeable enough to know what's most effective, but certainly all the horses seemed receptive to his touch.

    Strangely, I've never watched a horse get acupuncture. I've seen it done to dogs and humans, but never horses. I guess that's one for the bucket list.


  3. And I forgot to say--the quality of Kahlua's x-rays exceeded the quality of my own x-rays by a mile. In all my life, I've never seen x-rays that crisp and detailed. They were beautiful!

  4. That jack russell is ADORABLE!! Any post with a jack in it is a good one!

  5. Yay, more Kahlua! But - NOOO, poor Kahlua! D:

    Get well soon sweet boy! (Although I'm secretly relishing all these lovely outdoor pictures of him...ahem)

  6. Twist once spent the night at that medical center and thought it was pretty good, too. Plus the Drs really helped him with his allergy issues and he hardly coughs at all any more :-)

  7. That last pic of Kahlua is cray cray adorbs!!!