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Cole Report - Week #3

FEBRUARY 20, 2019

Storm bringing snow and ice.  No barn today.  We’re thinking of spring!

 
FEBRUARY 21, 2019

Illness on my part – no barn.

 
FEBRUARY 22, 2019

BM noticed Cole fly kicking as she led him up the driveway to his stall before I arrived.  This is the first instance of him exhibiting this behavior while moving.  While he had circled in his stall, didn’t seem to be overly upset or anxious.  He was slightly fidgety on cross ties but stood quietly after a bit.  He showed his normal amount of hesitation while having his feet handled.  We went for a hand walk around the property for 20-minutes and moved out well.  He was a little looser with his feet post workout.

While grooming him, I noticed he looked a little “sucked in” at the flank.  Remembering what my BM said about hind gut issues, I decided to purchase a digestive supplement for Cole.  Considering the amount/strength of the antibiotics he had gone through within the past couple of years, it definitely couldn’t hurt.

 
FEBRUARY 23, 2019

It’s a riding day!  Cole stood very quietly on crossties, but he wasn’t dull; he was very aware and interested in his surroundings, but not overreacting to stimuli (cats running up and down the aisle, slamming doors, loud music).  He seemed a little more comfortable with his initial feet handling, but I did hear a loud pop from his left stifle. He was still a little sucked in at the gut.

We went with a group ride with BM & W, P & M for 1 hr 8 min. We went up S Road; overall, Cole was relaxed and listening to my aids.  He was moving out very well, and his back and hips were swinging.  He let others take the lead and would wait for my cues before moving to a faster gait.  He even switched to a canter (voluntarily!) when we were reaching the top of the hill.  However, before cresting the hill, he tried to turn around to head back down.  Since his equine buddies were behind him, I didn’t think anything of it.  I nudged him forward and he obeyed.

We backtracked down S Rd and headed down W Rd.  We went even further than last time, and everyone was very well behaved.  Cole handled road traffic very well.  Overall, I was super pleased with him during our ride, which lasted 1 hour and 8 minutes. 

Back at the barn, Cole was barely sweating and relaxed.  His feet were easily lifted for handling.  The general impression I got was that he was comfortable.

 
FEBRUARY 24, 2019

It was a very quiet day at the barn, and it was just Cole and myself.  He was relaxed on cross ties with no fidgeting, and it was a little easier to clean his feet; there was no hitching action behind.

Considering what Cole did yesterday, and the fact we are not in a true, consistent program, I decided on an easy stroll, under tack, around the paddocks.  This would be a mostly level ride, with the only hill being involved was the one leading up to the barn from the fields.

We walked down the hill with no problem and circled the paddocks.  He was listening and we rode by his field, where his friends were eating hay, and ignored them.  We walked for about 20-minutes and headed back up the hill towards the barn.

Midway up, Cole stopped and tried to head back down the hill.  I gave him a nudge and he righted his course.  However, about twenty paces later, he tried to head back down to the field again.  I gave him a kick and he surged forward into the trot.  He smartly trotted up the hill and stopped were the hill levels out at the barn entrance.

This made me wonder; perhaps Cole is experiencing hock/stifle pain when headed up hills.  This makes sense when I considered the following:

  • He moved at the trot/canter up S Rd willingly and smoothly
  • While walking towards the crest of S Road, he tried to head back down on his own accord
  • He tried to turn back the barn hill during this ride
  • His hesitation didn’t seem to exist when he moved into the trot, his most natural gait

Perhaps moving at a faster gait on a steeper incline is more comfortable?  Is the residual effect of his Lyme disease infections, or is this simply osteoarthritis rearing its ugly head?  I also have to keep in mind that he has only been on the CBD oil for three weeks.

A little hitching while handling his feet, post ride.

At this point, I have to eagerly await his performance evaluation in March.  We need the ground to unfreeze/dry out so we can properly move him out.

I will also have blood drawn for another Lyme titer; I’m curious where his levels are, and if he is experiencing a re-infection.  The weather in the Northeast has been unseasonably warm (even though the temperatures have been wildly inconsistent), as it has been for the past couple of years.  Our vet has advised that ticks are now considered a year-round problem.

 

 

 

 

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