To ride dressage is to dance with your horse, equal partners in the delicate and sometimes difficult work of creating harmony and beauty.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

These boots are made for walkin'

(Boy, did I just date myself with THAT title!)  ;-)
Still here, still riding, but having to adjust my expectations. Lance is still coughing, and when he needs to cough under saddle, it is a big, physical effort for which he needs to put his head down; whatever we were doing is disrupted.

Working on the assumption that Lance has allergies (which would also fit with the seasonal mane and tail rubbing), Rick had me start him on prednisolone last Sunday. That has had no discernible effect, so we're going to try a regime of dexamethasone (Azium) to see if that quiets his symptoms. If it does, we should be able to go back to the milder prednisolone to maintain him; if not, scoping Lance is probably our next step.

Yesterday evening we went to the arena for a short schooling session, and I noted that the sand is drying out. Avoiding the loose, shifty areas and allowing Lance to cough seriously limited our schooling options; it's time to hit the "trails" (hacking on the roads and fields accessible from home). This morning I had some unexpected free time, so I strapped on his Renegade boots
(still love 'em!) and headed up the lane to put a check in a neighbor's mailbox. Then we walked back down the lane, past our driveway, and through the neighbor's property (with permission) to ride the gravel lane that winds up the wooded hill. We got some good hill work in and Lance was really good, never escalating from occasional tension to bucking or bolting. As if that wasn't enough, I saw one patch of my favorite wildflower (click to biggify)!


toastyyak said...

Hi! about Lance's "allergy" symptoms, do they seem like people's (human) seasonal allergies? I'm aware that horses don't usually have "proper" human-type seasonal allergies (different immune response etc. involved), but in my own research because of my mare's strange symptoms, I discovered interesting info. This may not fit Lance, but Spice (somewhat suddenly) had issues with the outdoors. The opposite of the usual - she was ok in the stable (clean, well ventilated, etc.), but on pasture and turnout she would react, most drastically, the lymph nodes near her parotid salivary glands would swell, and without steroid shots, her whole face would swell a la snake-bite, with pitting edema. She also had mild COPD type symptoms (transient - after turnout only), and this only happened between the frost/freezes in the warm season. (Indiana) It was just so strange, we were all trying to figure this out (I'm near Purdue, and have great horse vets). She also seemed, when affected, to have a sort of exercise intolerance or wheezing/coughing. I finally tracked down in one research article (I can dig out the textbook and send/scan the info if you want) that seemed to fit Spice exactly. And when I checked Lance's age (from old posts), I thought this _might_ fit?

Apparently, this researcher dude found a small number of horses that would display human-type seasonal allergies (regarding the type of immune response) if certain conditions were met. The horses all had in common;

A genetic predisposition for this (he didn't go into detail here)
Being born and raised in the same small geographical area, and staying there for about 5 years. (Spice was born and stayed at the same stable, she showed in hand locally and within 90 miles several times each year from yearling on)
And, the horses moved to a new location at the beginning of or in their 5th year. (Spice moved 20 miles - semi-rural to stable in the midst of farm/corn fields)

Weird right? If we kept her in (ooo - she hated that), she was fine. Turn her out once, and poof, poor thing. What ended up working was to feed TriHist starting at the first signs of anything in the Spring (usually started a couple of weeks after last frost) through the first hard freeze. Fixed everything! (at least, for that issue - lol)

This may totally not be your problem, but it sounded similar enough that I thought I'd let you know of the possibility. And let me know if you'd like me to send you the text, or the citation. Rick may well have the textbook already.

Whew - a novel!!

Meanwhile, enjoy the Spring, I'm having fun painting (touch up) and gardening, and fibering ....


Michelle said...

Holly, thanks so much for the "novel"! I am eager for any enlightenment; yes, please send me the text, citation, whatever. No vet/doctor can keep up with all the research, etc., and I've never heard Rick mention something like this.

Lance has never had any swelling or edema with his symptoms, and he coughs anywhere – in his stall, in the outdoor arena, out on the lanes . . . although now that I think about it, I don't remember him coughing while out on grass (still very limited in duration at this fast-growing stage). Still, it would be very interesting to read this guy's research, because Lance does fit the history pretty closely. Thanks, again!

toastyyak said...

Great - I'm just off to a teeth cleaning at the Dentist, but when I get back, I'll pull out the textbook and send the details :)

Mary Ann said...

Loved the trillium, it WAS trillium, right?

Michelle said...

No, Mary Ann, those are wild iris. There's a trillium in today's Boulderneigh post.

toastyyak said...

Argh - I'm still looking :) I had it marked, but no longer. I'm going through my textbooks now and I'll let you know as soon as I find it. I'm remembering that it was pretty similar to Summer pasture associated obstructive respiratory disease, but not exactly the same, as there was more of an immune response than in "regular" COPD or the summer/reverse version. Aargh - why did I not keep that marker in?! (and this is the one time I think I have too many textbooks - lol)