Friday, May 22, 2015

Back Injections

Bye Bye Monies...
Boca saw the sports medicine vet yesterday. The vet was very good and did a thorough evaluation: palpation and flexions, evalution in hand, on the longe and under saddle.

The good news is that he is extremely sound. The flexions were excellent and showed no signs of lameness. He did present as slightly neurologic. The vet said he is not 100% normal and that Boca is not entirely certain where his back feet are. The vet did say he has seen top-level performance horses present similarly and it has not limited their careers. He said it is something that will continue to improve. I used to joke when I first got Boca that he felt like he was numb from the knees down. I guess I wasn't far off!

What the vet did find is that he has a significant amount of back pain.
Upon palpation, behind his wither, he dropped substantially away from the vet's hands.
The vet noted he is a completely different horse at the trot than he is at the canter, and that in his opinion, the behavior was entirely pain related. He noted Boca's behavior is the same on the longe as it is under saddle.

We discussed my riding goals and Boca's comfort level. We discussed diagnosis and treatment options. I asked the vet to tell me how he would proceed if Boca were his horse.
The vet felt that it was worth treating with back injections, and that we would see improvement fairly quickly upon return to work.

So that's what I decided to do.
Drugged pony

Our rehab schedule looks like this:
3 days off
3 days longe in halter only - w/t/c
3 days longe in surcingle with side reins - w/t/c
1 day longe under tack

I can go back to riding on June 1. At that point, I can ride as normal. In fact, the vet suggested I ride actively to try and build muscle to help support his back.

He encouraged the use of ground poles, cavaletti and hill work.

Also, he suggested I longe Boca in a Pessoa rig 3x per week for 15 mins only, for ongoing strengthening and development.

And of course, carrot stretches.

I really hope this works.

For your entertainment, here is video of Boca twitching while in la la land.


  1. So glad that you have some answers and a concrete plan of attack. The not knowing is awful - your mind goes everywhere it shouldn't. Here's hoping for a quick turnaround :)

  2. It sounds like you finally got an answer and a solid plan of attack at least! Hopefully the rehab goes well and you get a happy Boca back at the end!

  3. I really hope it works, too!

  4. Great to have answers, hope he's feeling good soon!

  5. I'm lad you finally have some answers and a (hopeful) solution! #ibeleiveinBoca! Boo about the monies though... oh horses...

  6. I'm glad that you found answers. That vet sounds like he's really good!

  7. aw poor Boca! great to have answers tho - esp answers that the vet things will work well for you and your horse! good luck!!

  8. I'm glad you have some answers!

  9. That's good news. Fingers crossed it's the solution you needed.