Thursday, December 13, 2012


This post has nothing to do with Danny, or even horses at all, but I am posting on both of my blogs because I feel it has merit.

Two days ago I was in Walmart (my least favorite place in the world) to get some medicine for Simon who has tonsillitis.  The was an older man in there, African American, who was dressed in old raggy clothes.  As I sat on the bench waiting for them to finish my prescriptions, I watched this man.  He shuffled past me and I noticed that he had a sparkle in his eye and a smile that warmed the entire room. He said hello to me, and asked how I was doing.  I said hello back and told him I was good, and asked how he was doing.  He said, "Oh I am blessed."   Then he moved to the end of the line to wait his turn. Each person he came in contact with, he asked the same thing, and each time the other person reciprocated out of politeness, he always answered the same, "Oh I am blessed." 

Now here is the thing that was the most interesting to me.  Each time I heard him say those words, "I am blessed." you could hear the sincerity in his voice. This was a man who was truly happy to just be a live another day.  It was obvious he did not have much monetarily but it was also obvious that to him, it was irrelevant.

Have you ever been around someone, either a stranger or someone that you knew, who just carried with them an air of peace and serenity, or perhaps genuine spirituality?  This man had that.  You could actually feel it while standing next to him.  It is a rare thing to find. My Meemaw had that.  She was not just a religious woman, she was a very spiritual woman, and it showed in everything she said and did.   

Anyway, back to the man in the store.  As I sat there sort of basking in the warmth of his smile, I had to ask myself.   Am I blessed?  Well of course I am.  Do I recognize that I am blessed? No not near enough.  How often do I get caught up in the trials and tribulations of each day and forget how blessed I am?  Pretty much everyday.

So today, and everyday I challenge myself to recognize how wonderful my life is & to accept the blessings that come to me each day with grace and gratitude.  I challenge myself to be a kinder gentler person, who brings warmth in a smile to others.  I challenge myself to love life with a spirituality that is tangible to others. 

Maybe, just maybe, if I can meet those challenges, I can change the way someone else sees the world just as that man changed things for me. 

Who knows...maybe it will even start a snowball effect of spirituality around the world.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Not much to tell right now

Since my page is blank I figured I could at least give a little update.

I cannot tell for sure if Danny is a little swollen since our last ride.  It is harder for me to tell in the winter when they all have thick hair on their legs.  Some days I look and they all look swollen, but when I feel with my hands, no one has heat and they feel normal sized.   I have a tendency to be a little paranoid.

I found that Danny has scratched the scab off where he had his gash last summer. It was bleeding a little, not bad though. I will throw some Natures Edge on it to help it close back up again.

It is cool to watch him on the mornings I let him out.  He runs and runs all over the pasture. He seems so happy.  He and Trax are best of buds.  They share food, and if Danny runs, Trax follows.

The last time all the horses were out together I was impressed by what happened.  Sassy came up to say hello to her old friend Danny, then Killian saw them and had to get in between.  Then of course the "fight" started and Killian chased Danny away.  Trax was off to the side, but when he saw what was going on he ran over and put himself between Killian and Danny.  He went to protect him.  He stayed with Danny from there on out.  Trax is an odd character.  He could care less about mares, he will not start a fight.  If another horse gets crappy with him, he just moves away. He pretty much gets along with anyone.   So to see him put himself in a position where confrontation was likely was unusual.  But he and Danny are pretty good friends.  Where Danny goes, Trax will follow, almost always. 

I think all the horses are tired of Killian's bullying. Even Sassy seems eager to get away to say hi to the others.  I wish it would go back to where they all just got along.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Arena Ride #......

Well it would have been arena ride # 2 but I chose not to take Danny down on Sunday.

When I went out to get him, his stringhalt leg seemed to be just a tad swollen. There is no heat and he seems to be putting weight on it just fine, but if he strained it when he landed toe down with me on him, then I want to give it time to rest.

Of course I will say that no sooner did I remove the halter and turn him loose, but he proceeded to race around the pasture as fast as he could go.  Not once or twice but about ten times.  So I am guessing he is feeling ok.

I actually have two days I can ride this weekend, so I'm thinking he will go again, but this time while I am on him we will keep it at a trot.  No since pushing it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Arena Session #1

Danny had his first arena session, since we started his rehab, on Sunday the 25th of Nov.  I really have not done much with him since the last post except for some exercising and stretching when I could. But I have seen him more active lately, with some running around the pasture, which I take as a pretty good sign. 

When we got to the arena he was pretty excited by the new surroundings, but quickly got right down to work.  We did the stretching first, and it was easy to tell when he was done in the back because he would hit me in the face with his tail!  Silly old man! 

We walked, trotted and cantered in circle doing several circles of each at the end of a long lead rope. Then we back in a big circle in both directions.  He still has more trouble on backing to the right, but he was able to do it.

After that we did another session of forward then another session of stretching , finishing up with the tail smack to the face again!

I put the snaffle on him, he did his best to NOT open for the bit, but finally relented.  I put the saddle on him and of course he stood still for me cinching him up and getting on him.

As soon as I asked him to move forward at a walk, he leaped and attempted to buck!  Danny doesn't buck real well, so I turned him around and then asked for the walk again.  He tried to take off again, but we did another circle and after that he went forward pretty nicely.  It took me a minute to get my "seat". Riding a horse with stringhalt is like riding a triangle, and it takes a little getting used to!

One lap at a walk, then a trot and then he really wanted to go so I let him canter.  I had to put an end to that when I felt him land toe down on that bad foot. But he did a full lap around the arena with me on his back at a canter, so that was pretty good.  We backed up about 10 feet, but for an old sway backed guy I knew that asking him to collect for that long with me on him was a lot. So we only did it once. 

I was so happy to have that nice soft dirt for him when he landed toe first, I could see the hole it made, but had he been on hard ground it could have been damaging. As near as I can tell it did not do any damage. There is no swelling or heat and he is walking normal on it.  Afterwards we did another lap at a walk to let him cool down as he was breathing pretty hard.  He even worked up a little bit of a sweat. 

I was not able to get any pictures of the work out, as I was the only one there.  But I really think he enjoyed himself once he realized that Trax was right there in the corner and he was not going to have to leave him.  Danny is extremely herd bound.  Of all my horses he is by far the worst.    All in all I think it was a good ride, and good for him.  With any luck we will get to go again next weekend.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

No News is Not Always Good News

No news is good news, usually.

This time no news means no time.

No news means that my ponies are neglected. (not physically- just mentally)

No news means that I have had no saddle time in weeks.

No news means that Danny has not had his stretching exersizes and it shows.

No news is bad.

No news means I am a baaaaaad horse mom.

No news means there just aren't enough hours in the day.

No news means I have a sad face. :(

I could use some news, some time, some saddle time, some horsey time.

I found this pic of Danny today.  It was spring 2 years ago.  We had so much grass.  Now it is just a dirt lot, with some dead grass.  

I need some horse time.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Danny's Blanky

Poor old guy was having such a hard time with the cold, I decided to blanket him last night.  Normally I do not blanket until it starts hitting 10 or below. My horses are pretty hardy, they are all WY horses except Danny.   It made a difference, he was actually able to walk this morning.
This is an older picture- last winter, but he has had
this blanket since I got him- four years ago.
that make it a pretty good blanket to me

I love his blanket, bought it at Moss's Tack store in Mills WY. It was expensive but worth every penny. It fits him nicely , is sturdy as hell. It has a nice wide Belly Band so that he cannot get his foot caught in it. I wish I could recall what brand it is, because I would surely write them a letter and tell them what  great product they have.

When I went to put it on him, he gave me his..."seriously" look. Trax made a beeline for the other direction as if to say, "She is not making me wear that thing"  Of course when I fed this morning Danny rubbed his head on me in appreciation......or maybe he had an itch....Lets say it was in appreciation.  He was happy to be warm and happy to have food.

Tom wants to send him to AZ for the winter, I think he would rather be here and cold and stiff than to be all alone and depressed.  He gets really depressed without his herd.  We will see, I guess.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Old and Cold do not mix well

I went out this morning to feed all the ponies.  Everyone was racing around as it was only 29 degrees out.  Everyone except Danny that is. :(

I got his food and he would take a step, the stringhalt leg would go up and then not come back down.  He would finally try to hop on 3 legs to get a step forward.  It took him a long time to get to that feeder.  I wanted to take it to him, but I knew he had to get moving.  The only way to get warmed up is for him to move.  I did go over and rub his bad leg really briskly to try and get him warmed up.  He was showing stringhalt symptoms in his good leg too. 

I have to get that barn done and get him inside at night.  That way I can put a heat lamp in there with him so he doesn't get quite so cold.   If that doesn't help then he may have to go live at our house in AZ. I don't want to do that yet though.  As hard as it is for me to watch him go through this, I know that he would be terribly lonely out there, with the rest of his herd still in WY.

I am making the commitment to get as much done as I can this weekend.  It is supposed to snow, but it doesn't matter.  I can still spread dirt, set poles and maybe at least get one or two pens done.

I have to leave for KS next week for some stupid training program my company is putting on. I really don't have time to go, but have no choice.

Don't they know I have been eat 'Smarties" for a week now, by the handfuls!!!???!!!  Surely that has to work better than shipping me 2 states away for 4 days! :)

Well time to get back to work. ugh!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Quick Update

Due to too many things on my plate Danny is only getting his stretching and exercise about once a week.  BUT that once a week seems to make him really happy.  He really has been stretching his hind legs out for me and his energy level seems to be on it's way up again. 

He spends more time being active again (perhaps a weather thing) and his time in the round pen is nice with very few incidents of landing with his fetlock bent back and on his toe. Backing in circles gets better every time. 

I was watching him race around the pasture last week.  More like his old self than I have seen him in a long time.  I am seriously considering a short ride in the arena this weekend, when I take Trax down. 
Farrier was out yesterday and gave him a nice trim which he needed. 

I also have learned that we have a new lameness expert in town now.  I am always looking for new ideas and information, so once I get my finances back in line I will most likely have him come out and take a look and Danny the Wonder Horse, just to see if he has any suggestions on things I can do with him.

Jay and I were talking the other day, trying to imagine what his career was before he got the stringhalt.  Was he a jumper?  Maybe, he has the long tall body for it.  I don't think he was a barrel racer, or a roping horse.  He seems more like an english riding horse than a western.  Although he doesn't exhibit any sort of Dressage training.  Of course, how would I  know.  I certainly do not know how to ride Dressage. I'm just barely learning what leg cues are. :)
Perhaps he was just someones trail horse, the love of someones life. We will never know. All we know now is that he is Danny, sweet old boy of my pasture.  He has found his forever home.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Up to my Eyeballs in Eyeballs and new barn

Well heck- I posted this on the wrong blog.  It was supposed to go to herdlife.  Oops!

With the big Pink Eye ta do in Riverton where I sent Killian I have been watching my ponies carefully for any signs or symptoms of any kind of illness at all.
Except for a couple of slight puffy eyes while the Casper fire was out of control and the whole town was covered in smoke, there really has been nothing.  A little bit of runniness out of Trax's nose, but it is clear and this is not unusual for him.

This morning I went out with my IPhone while feeding and ,with out much cooperation, managed to snap pics of all the eyes.

 This is Killian- he almost always has a little bit of tearing up, but the fluid is clear.   His eyelids are shaped funny.

These are Sassy- I think she looks a little puffy, but everyone else says no, and she has no matter of any kind.

This is Danny- I have always thought he looked a little bug eyed.  But this is normal.  For being the oldest and easiest horse, he argued the most about having his picture taken!

Of course this is Trax, and he is completely normal as well. He was a little puffy a few days ago on one eye, but it was gone the next day. 

I also wonder if half the reason they have been puffy is because with the new barn construction they have been locked up.  Which means for more flies, and more ammonia in the air.  Sassy's little pen is the worst.  She has a little stall that was originally used for mini's, and although she fits in it just fine, it gets really smelly in there all the time, even though I clean in everyday.  She goes in for the shade- and to chew on the wall (trying to get to the hay cubes on the other side) and pees and poops in there constantly. Yesterday I put Trax over in Danny's pasture which is away from the construction.  So he was out all day.  Then today I penned up Danny and Trax and put Killian and Sassy over so they could get out and move around.  Sassy was a race pony this morning!  Too bad I didn't get any pictures of that!

This is the frame work for the new barn.  Some of the cross ties are just for stability to hold the poles in place for when they pour the concrete.
It is really a big loafing shed but will have four separate "living areas" each one 9x12 for when I put them away at night.  Along the back will be a big concrete floored storage area, big enough to put several pallets of haycubes.  Because the building sets down into the hill I will have to access the storage through one of the stalls, but it was really the only way we could do it.  Each stall will have a long "run"  9 x 25 or 30  where they can get out and move around if needed.  My horses are pretty hearty and used to the wicked cold weather we have here, as long as they have a place to get out of the wind, they are happy.
The biggest thing is that everyone will have their own place to be and I won't have to walk through the snow to the very back of the property to feed. I will have power and water where they live, and that is a big deal too!   Once this is done, we will tear down all the old crappy buildings that were there when we moved in and reseed for pasture.  It is in a low point on the property and the grass will grow well there if given a chance

Well time to get some work done. 
Take care everyone.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Yes that would be me, the slacker.
I have not posted on here in a while
I have not had much time for poor old Danny.  He has only had a couple of stretching treatments in the last few weeks.
There has just been so much going on.
I don't think he minds, but I feel guilty.
It is starting to get cooler and I was able to speak with the closest indoor arena owner who said to bring him down any time. 

I am getting a barn built right now, I just got my bathroom re-done, my son has football, and now hunters safety, there is house work and paperwork.  I think 4 horses is too much for one person. I need help.

I have thought about sending Danny to my other home in AZ.  My kids are living there, my grandson would love a horse to take care of.  But neither he, nor his parents, know anything about horses.  But the warmer winter would be better for him.  But can they take care of him?

The other day it was cold and poor Danny could hardly get his foot back down.  I can tell the cold bothers him. Which is why the stretching will be so important.  I just have to make the time...somehow, someway.

How do people find the time to do all the things they do with their horses?  Sassy needs worked with, Trax needs worked with, Killian just needs ridden, Danny needs worked with.
The dogs need obedience lessons, (so does my son)  The Man needs dinner, the son needs help with homework, whewwww!

I will find the time.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Vet Visit

Danny's sweet and innocent look
I was very lucky to have Dr. Bruce Connelly agree to come down from Buffalo to give Danny the once over and give his assessment on his condition.  His area of expertise is lameness and Equine sports medicine and I am very lucky to have his input.  Dr. Connelly has said that he will be adding comments to my blog, but before I forget everything we discussed, I want to write down what I can.

He watched Danny move on his own across the pasture before I got there. Then we took him to the round pen and did the stretching exercises and then moved him around. I did not spray for flies first so the stretching was less productive than usual, although Danny did stretch his stringhalt leg out on his own.  (Yay)  Bruce said the snapping and popping noises are in his fetlock and did not concern him at all. (good to know)  He watched me back him up as well. 

Then he did several "tests" and checked his muscle tone.  He noticed that Danny is more muscle bulk on the stringhalt side in the rear than on the other side, but was not surprised by this.  He did say that for a horse this age (24) he has pretty darn good muscle tone, especially since he does not get ridden.  He did some tests on his sensory perception (on his rear feet) by pulling Danny's rear feet across behind and seeing if he would take them back.  He did take the right rear leg back but Bruce was able to actually drag the left rear (stringhalt side) across the ground  and Danny would just leave it there. He attributed this to a Central Nervous System Deficit.  Also he noted that when messing with Danny's tail, it is so free and loose, it leads him to believe that it is another symptom of the Deficit. He used a retracted pen along Danny's spine to get reflex reactions. (not sure if my terminology is right here) They were good on the right, the left was good in spots but one spot wasn't reactive the first time he tried it, but the second time it was.  I am not sure what that means.

Bruce did flexion tests on Danny's front legs to determine why he pulls his leg back when we do the stretching on the front.  He found that Danny has pain in the left front elbow, if I recall there was not as much in the right, but it is the right front that he takes from me.  Then he has me move him again and watched the front. He showed me where Danny is using his right front leg to pull himself forward to compensate for the lack of propulsion in the right rear.  He also pointed out how Danny's right front toe wears a little differently than the left which supports this diagnosis.  I had never noticed it before but I think it is because I always watch his rear. He checked the muscles in his front but if I recall correctly did not find anything that was unusual. 

When I think about this I wonder if coming up with some sort of excersise to help strengthen those front muscles would be beneficial to him, if I can do it in a way that did not add stress to his already sore elbow joints.  I will see if I can gather some information on this train of thought.

He did note that Danny sometimes does come down on the stringhalt foot while it is still flexed back.  Now I can see I am losing memory because I can't recall what he said about that. Just the progression of the stringhalt?

The basic treatment plan is to continue on with what I am doing, being careful to watch for signs of progression in the Central Nervous System Deficit.  Specifically watching for balance issues where he starts falling over.  Although he did not seem to feel that this is directly related to stringhalt, it certainly is a factor in his reconditioning, in the sense that if he falls over he could hurt either himself or me.  We of course pondered whether this lack of sensory perception is gradual or from an injury he may have had since I have owned him.. He has had a couple of slips and falls, and was beat up by a big mean horse who put him through a chain link fence and a vinyl fence. Whether he started having these issues at the same time, I cannot say. I hate to admit that I was not paying close enough attention and my concept of past time is often distorted.  

Okay so I have been interrupted 3 times since starting this so I will stop there.  Hopefully Dr. Connelly will have the time to update with his information. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Back At It....

Getting his head scratched before his workout
Danny had several days  off from his work out routine, while I was out of town and then getting caught back up on household chores and work. The few times I did work with him was so short and sweet it wasn't even really worth mentioning.  I hate that it works out that way sometimes, and I am really concerned with how we are going to work this out through the winter.  I guess I could take him down to the indoor arena a few times a week for a quick workout.

Anyway, we got some good stuff done with the
new additions to the stretching techniques I talked about in my last post and as promised I got some better pictures as well.

Notice how much higher I am bringing this hind leg up than I
was originally.
I have found that if I don't bring him to the round pen he really doesn't stay focused and is worried more about getting over to the feed shed where his yummy treats are kept. 

I got some very good stretching out of him yesterday.  He really does seem to enjoy it.

There are 2 things I want to point out about this picture.  First, notice how I am able to just drop the lead rope and he stands patiently while we do the stretching. He is such a good boy!   Second, it appears as though I am pulling with all my weight but I am not.  I am really just getting his leg up, he does the stretching after that.  It is not generally the case with his stringhalt leg(the white foot is the bad one) except once he was able to stretch it on his own.

This set of pictures is of me backing him in a circle around the round pen. We went this direction first and then did some forward motion and then backed in the other direction.  I could tell that he has a harder time backing with his stringhalt foot to the inside.  Therefor we will start with that next time and see if we can't get better on that side.

That is the update I have for now.  I don't know if I have mentioned this before but I changed his feed from Strategy GX to Purina Equine Senior.  It has more vitamin E in it, and saves from having to add a supplement.

Friday, August 10, 2012


Let me start by saying that this picture was not taken yesterday.  It was taken a year or so ago when we were trying acupuncture on Danny. I just didn't have any new ones to post today.

The other thing I want to make clear is that I am in no way shape or form an Equine professional ANYTHING.  I have no medical training except what I have learned through owning animals and have kids.  In truth, I am not even that good of a rider.  I used to think I was but since I have been working with my trainer I am learning that I was just really good at staying on.  I have come a very long ways since then but still have a much longer ways to go. Everything in this blog is about my trials and errors in trying to help a wonderful horse.  I get some guidance from others via emails, most vets who have seen him seem to feel that there isn't much to be done for him, and since he isn't in any pain.....ya ok.

My point here is this, I am making this up as I go.  If something seems to work I stick with it.  If it doesn't I stop trying that and move on to something else.  I really have had very little help from anyone trying to figure out what to do.  Also I am just getting started, so I my list of things that work and don't work is still pretty small.  I am constantly seeking out more and better information to help me a long the way.

BUT.....yesterday my trainer came over.  He has known Danny since the day I got him.  He showed me how to teach Danny a few manners, and how to show him who the herd leader was. (that would be me....I AM the herd leader)  Since then Danny has always been easy to work with.  Jay has almost always done the trims on Danny's feet, he has helped me all along.  Lately though Jay has been busy with his job, other horse projects he has taken on, and his own horses, so yesterday was the first time he has been over in a while, and the first time he has seen what I have started. 

He watched what I was doing, he gave me some pointers on the stretching techniques that he learned from a vet, and we talked about some of the things he learned at the Buck Branaman Clinic he just got back from.  He was able to watch Danny's reactions to what I was doing with a trained eye and he saw good things and bad.  He saw that when I work with his right front leg and stretch it back, Danny shifts his weight off the right rear and takes that front leg back.  Since Jay has trimmed Danny for years he knows that when Danny takes back a foot like that there is a real reason behind it.  Not just because he is being a butthead.  This will require more investigation.  We were unable to locate the reason why.

He showed me more about stretching the rear, specifically stretching forward and up.  He showed me that it is okay to come out to the side a little as long as Danny is OK with it.  We were able to get a larger range of motion and much better stretch out of him.  The best one though was when I stretched his rear legs behind him.  Danny didn't just concede, he actually gave me his leg and once I got it up he stretched himself way out, ON HIS OWN!!!  Danny is not capable of kicking out behind him, he cannot buck, he cannot stretch his hind end on his own.  He cannot get his legs behind him to do these things.  I know this because I have seen him being chased by another horse (ears pinned and teeth bared) and at the time when  a normal horse would kick back, he doesn't.  He can't.  So to see him take that opportunity, once I got his hind leg up to really stretch those atrophied muscles out, it brought happy tears to my eyes.  He did not just on one leg but both.  It was truly amazing!!!!!!

One of the things Jay showed me was instead of backing up a hill, to back him in a circle.  It forces him to pick up his feet rather than drag his feet back.  He learned that from Buck.  I guess that is one of the things Buck does to build muscle in the lower legs.  (FYI- I would sell almost anything I own to go to a Buck Branaman Clinic)

He made several trips around the round pen before showing the signs of leg fatigue, so yes, he is getting strong.  After that really great stretching I did not hear those popping noises I heard the day before so perhaps he just needed to stretch those legs out.  We did hear his hind hooves hit each other mid air, but only once.  Again Progress!!!

When it was all said and done, I was told that I am doing a good job, and certainly on the right track.  It was good to hear that from someone I trust and respect, I really needed a nice little vote of confidence right now.  So even though he may not read this, I want to say thanks to Jay for helping me yesterday. 

I will try very hard to get some pictures of the new stretching stuff I am doing and update tonight.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Week One Update

We are on Day four of the stretching and strength building routine.  It seems as though he is able to make it a little longer each time.  His stopping point is when he can no longer place his stringhalt foot down flat.  When it hits toe first and bends back I stop him.  I do not want him to sprain or injure his fetlock.  He made it over 2 minutes in both directions yesterday at a trot.  At a conter it was much quicker, although he was already tired by then.  Yesterday we started with backing up the hill twice before going forward in the round pen. Usually that is done last.

I have decided to have a vet come and watch and listen to him move.  I am hearing a sort of snapping or popping noise in his hind end, I cannot determine where it is coming from.  Is it his hooves hitting each other, or tendons in his legs?  I will schedule this appointment hopefully for a week from Saturday. 

I started him on a vitamin E supplement, but I believe it is mixed with the same stuff you use for Sand Colic, so before giving any more I need to research it.

Here are some pictures from the video I cannot upload

This is at a fast trot taken on Day 2

This I think was a slow Canter
This is at a fast walk

He is "stuck" here, having a hard time getting it back down

 Look at the difference in his length of strides...
from one leg to the other.

That is the only update I have for now.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Week 1 Treatment

We started this week with the Vitamin E Suppliment and also Stretching and some mild exerscising.
I was not thrilled with what I saw our first time in the round pen.
Danny tired very quickly, and in a very short period of time I noticed that he was not placing his stringhalt foot down flat like he should but toe first, almost dragging it. I am hoping this gets better with time.
We quit there, and walked to cool down.  I also had him back up a small hill in order to build up some back muscles.
We also stretched afterwards, and then I massaged him all over.
I did take some videos but cannot get them to load. I'll keep working on that.
Here are the stretching pictures.
I need to get a book on this, so I can be more thorough.

First we stretch the fetlock

Stretching forward

Now back

Back foot

Stretching back being careful not to pull out at all

Now Forward- this one is harder than I thought it was going to be

See how he stands on his own feet?

Like I said, I need better instruction on how to do this.
I also need better instruction on how to get my pictures to post singularly instead of in a group.  The first ones seem to work out okay then towards the bottom they go all haywire.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Danny is approx 24 years old, severe stringhalt, has had it since he came into our family about 4 years ago.
you can clearly see it here

Not much in the right

again it is obvious in the left

He is affected mostly in the left rear leg, but occasionally shows signs in the right as well, usually if it is cold or he is back up.  Nothing is known about his past, what he was used and trained for,or if he suffered an injury. 

He was allowed to "retire" and has been ridden very little since we have had him. In four years I have witnessed his condition progressing to where he is have trouble sensing where he is placing his feet.

note the trauma sight where he continually steps on his own feet

He steps on his own right rear foot often and often places his left rear foot in positions that are un-natural for a horse, he does not move it from that position.

Note how his stringhalt foot is placed directly behind the right foot.  He does not realize where his foot is right now. 

This picture clearly shows that his leg actually comes up far enough to hit his belly.  He has a hard time getting it back down sometimes.
He does do a little better at a canter or trot although I rarely see him go that fast on his own anymore. 

Danny is in good general health.  He is kept up to date on all shots and worming.  He is not prone to founder or thrush and most farriers claim he has some of the best feet they have ever seen on a horse.  Teeth were floated approx 18 months prior to this post.  Vet did not find any hooks or points, just a few waves.  Will have vet down in the next month for full blood panel, just to make the study completely accurate.  The stringhalt hoof does grow slightly longer and flatter than the other 3 hoofs (see pics below)
One year ago, we started a regime of Acupuncture.  Unfortunately in Wyoming there really is no one who is very well trained in this type of medicine, so it had very little effect on him. 

DIET:  Danny is on a simple diet of Wyoming Certified Haycubes (crude protien 18.86%- TDN est. 62%)  and Purina Strategy GX.  He is fed 2x daily and has free run of a pasture all day. Although he really does not graze much.  I would put his weight index at about a 6.  There is no crest present at his neck, nor any fat deposits on his body.

HOUSING: Danny resides in a decent sized paddock.  He is usually alone, with horses in the next paddock, although on occasion I will put either my mare or the other gelding he gets along with in with him.  I always separate at feeding time though as the others will steal his grain.

Danny has suffered a few minor injuries since we have had them. 
1. got in fight with large gelding, was pushed through vinyl fencing, minor cuts and abrasions.
2. large gash or cut on rear of hock, could have been a wire cut, could have been trauma cut from being kicked. Examined by 2 different vets, both agreed the injury was only skin deep.  Cut has healed beautifully (see before and after pics) This was 2 months ago.
3. Last week, trauma to stringhalt hoof, right at coronet band.  Unknown cause, still healing from that.  It does not seem to be causing him much pain, but it is hard to tell with its location.  He does not like me to clean it, where as with the other cut I could scrub daily and he would not move away.  I have not totally ruled out abscess on this one.

The hock cut the day we found it.

Totally healed now 

 The stringhalt hoof abrasion.  I do not like the way this one looks. Sent picture to vet, he says it does not look like abscess, farrier due this week, will have him look as well.

Danny has one old injury on right rear, some proud flesh present.  I do not know how this happened, as he had it when I got him. But I would not be being thorough if I did not mention it.

Here are the pictures of Danny's hooves as of today.  Note that all in all they are in pretty good shape, not quite due for a trim but getting there.  We are in the middle of a drought so they are a little dry, but not near as bad as my other horses.  I do treat with "Horseshoers Secret" directly to hooves, once a week.

Front feet.  Nicely shaped considering he is almost due for a trim.

Right rear foot, also a fairly nice shape.

The strinhalt hoof.  Note that it is slight more elongated, a little lower in the heel. We believe that it is a direct result of the force with which his foot comes down.  It is very hard, which makes gravel or pavement very uncomfortable for him.

I feel that his weight is about as perfect as it could be.

It is my intention to ad a video of him moving to this before post to give everyone a very clear idea of how he moves.
Our next post will be on our treatment plan.