Just before Thanksgiving, Remy had a bit of a setback in his work. Everything had been going smoothly and progressing well. His trainer, Nick Donohue, had reported that he was coming along nicely, was a good citizen in turnout with the herd, and very sweet and gentle on the ground. He might do a bit of ear pinning when asking for the lope but was fine once he was in the gait. That too was improving and nothing Nick was worried about. He thought that Remy was pretty uncomplicated and was turning out to be another good riding partner. Then in the middle of a ride, something changed. Suddenly Remy refused to move forward while Nick was sitting on him. He got off to check him out and he moved fine on the ground. So he got back on and immediately Remy swung his head left and right and didn’t want to go forward. The only way he did want to move was backwards. They worked to see if it was a behavioral issue but it was clear pretty quickly something more was going on.
After talking to Nick on the phone, we agreed that we wanted the vet to take a look. The exam gave us a few answers. He was sore to palpation in the lumbar area. A fecal sample showed no trace of blood in the stool which ruled out a bleeding ulcer. It was suggested to see if he improved on an anti-inflammatory so Nick gave him Bute the night before work and the morning of his next ride. Remy could move a little better but still showed signs of discomfort but now was freer and with some motion he did some bucking which he had not done at all before.
Again after some thought and discussion with Nick we decided to have him looked at by Dr. Michael Salewski. He found a very clear points along his spine that were stuck. From the his notes: Adjustments: c2-4 twisted left, T11-13 shifted right and very uncomfortable, T14-17 hollow, low back and sacroiliac joints moving well. We opted to give him a few extra days off. Five days from the adjustment Remy is showing great improvement. Nick is taking it slow and steady and helping Remy to build strength and recover from the pain he felt. Dr. Salewski suggested that he may need a follow up in a few weeks. Since the first treatment seemed to help, we are having him looked at again this Friday after 5 days of work. Our goal is to support the healing process as much as possible.
It is unclear what happened to cause this issue. It could be something he came in with, something that came from a slip in turnout, or a weakness from not being asked to work before going into training. SAFE is dedicated to not only giving him the best medical care and training but also giving him the time he needs to be ready for his forever home. It’s all part of the process to preparing horses for success. We have no agenda for Remy and we have the patience to go through the process and see where it leads. Remy is a great boy and worth the wait and effort!