Amber is lame

TPO

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A ray of sunshine 🌞
I’m so sorry to read about the bad news AE, look after yourself!

In response to the above quote, my previous 6 year old was given almost an identical diagnosis as Amber, extensive changes, soft tissue damage and no return to work, however was only ever 1-2/10ths lame at the worst; I think this makes it all the more of a shock as you don’t think the results will be so damning.
Similarly I had vets to my horse for a very slight lameness and they both (the partners) told me I was imagining it. She was seen by a third vet at a second practice due to moving area for livery and went to vet hospital for a work up based on nonsense that vet came out with about spavins and KS. She got a clean bill of health from horspital March 2010.

Should also say at this point I contacted previous practice re third vet saying KS etc and they thought that little of my requests for them to watch her trot up that they had made no note or record of it at all.

I moved back to old yard and previous practice (yes I'm an idiot but these were "experts" at an equine practice). Had them back out June, took her into their clinic a week later for xrays and diagnosed with severe navic (could see the bones myself straight away on xray) that he told me would have been underlying at least 7mths. You know all those times I trotted her for them, for second practice and for vet school...

I asked about BF and was firmly told no, that it wouldnt work because her hoof balance isnt the issue. The only option they gave me was permanently denerving her or temp denerving with some sort of injection. I personally didnt agree with either option so pts to save her degrading and suffering more (working on the theory she was suffering as moving lamely despite having been a field ornament for this duration).

With hindsight I can see that vets were totally wrong as her hoof balance was awful. She had previously had surgery in a pastern; that hoof became smaller and upright and "good" hoof bigger and flatter. I dont have good enough photos to see if hooves were balanced to themselves, although I doubt it, but they definitely weren't balanced to each other.

I was using vet recommended farrier and even paid for vets to attend shoeing to ensure they were done correctly. I should point out mum bought an unvetted QH against my advice and she turned out to have navic and was doped at viewing. I tried bf after reading about it on here. This was 2009 so it was still an "out there" thing for weirdo hippies or cobs and natives only. At this point I moved to equine practice and they shut down BF straight away and told me to get eggbar wedges. Hence changing to their farrier and having them attend shoeings. As an aside that mare was pts crippled 5-6 months after putting her in wedges...

I am an idiot and I cant believe I let myself be blinded with "well broughtupness" to respect people like vets who know more than a pleb like me over my own eyes and gut. It still took me another 3yrs to leave them after that but that's another epic story about them screwing me in a different way.The penny clearly drops very slowly with me...

Anyway it was June 2010 I lost TPO to navic and I'm still consumed with guilt for listening to the vet. Made even worse because I posted on here about it an a long standing member tore absolute shreds off me and told me I'd killed her for no reason. I honestly wanted to die, I've never had losing a horse affect me as badly as TPO did, before or after, and still even writing this has me in floods of tears.

What I'm trying to say is I know how you feel about awful diagnoses and prognosis, I know about not having vet backing, I know about thinking you've already tried bf and I know about others online sharing unwanted opinions. To say it majorly sucks is an understatement.

I am genuinely so sorry to hear of the bad news you've received and I know whatever you decide it will be in Amber's best interest. TPO was my ginger girl and I know how they get under your skin and into your heart.

Please be kind to yourself too. $%*! happens and theres not always a reason for it.
 

Red-1

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Keeping on, keeping on...
Similarly I had vets to my horse for a very slight lameness and they both (the partners) told me I was imagining it. She was seen by a third vet at a second practice due to moving area for livery and went to vet hospital for a work up based on nonsense that vet came out with about spavins and KS. She got a clean bill of health from horspital March 2010.

Should also say at this point I contacted previous practice re third vet saying KS etc and they thought that little of my requests for them to watch her trot up that they had made no note or record of it at all.

I moved back to old yard and previous practice (yes I'm an idiot but these were "experts" at an equine practice). Had them back out June, took her into their clinic a week later for xrays and diagnosed with severe navic (could see the bones myself straight away on xray) that he told me would have been underlying at least 7mths. You know all those times I trotted her for them, for second practice and for vet school...

I asked about BF and was firmly told no, that it wouldnt work because her hoof balance isnt the issue. The only option they gave me was permanently denerving her or temp denerving with some sort of injection. I personally didnt agree with either option so pts to save her degrading and suffering more (working on the theory she was suffering as moving lamely despite having been a field ornament for this duration).

With hindsight I can see that vets were totally wrong as her hoof balance was awful. She had previously had surgery in a pastern; that hoof became smaller and upright and "good" hoof bigger and flatter. I dont have good enough photos to see if hooves were balanced to themselves, although I doubt it, but they definitely weren't balanced to each other.

I was using vet recommended farrier and even paid for vets to attend shoeing to ensure they were done correctly. I should point out mum bought an unvetted QH against my advice and she turned out to have navic and was doped at viewing. I tried bf after reading about it on here. This was 2009 so it was still an "out there" thing for weirdo hippies or cobs and natives only. At this point I moved to equine practice and they shut down BF straight away and told me to get eggbar wedges. Hence changing to their farrier and having them attend shoeings. As an aside that mare was pts crippled 5-6 months after putting her in wedges...

I am an idiot and I cant believe I let myself be blinded with "well broughtupness" to respect people like vets who know more than a pleb like me over my own eyes and gut. It still took me another 3yrs to leave them after that but that's another epic story about them screwing me in a different way.The penny clearly drops very slowly with me...

Anyway it was June 2010 I lost TPO to navic and I'm still consumed with guilt for listening to the vet. Made even worse because I posted on here about it an a long standing member tore absolute shreds off me and told me I'd killed her for no reason. I honestly wanted to die, I've never had losing a horse affect me as badly as TPO did, before or after, and still even writing this has me in floods of tears.

What I'm trying to say is I know how you feel about awful diagnoses and prognosis, I know about not having vet backing, I know about thinking you've already tried bf and I know about others online sharing unwanted opinions. To say it majorly sucks is an understatement.

I am genuinely so sorry to hear of the bad news you've received and I know whatever you decide it will be in Amber's best interest. TPO was my ginger girl and I know how they get under your skin and into your heart.

Please be kind to yourself too. $%*! happens and theres not always a reason for it.
Please don't beat yourself up, it sounds like you did everything you could do. If you had gone against the vet, people would have had something to say about that too.

I have posted about Rigsby, he is new to me and I fully accept he is not perfect and may be temporary (although I hope not). With Jay-Man, my heart horse, I didn't post about PTS until well after. I simply couldn't have managed any negative criticism at all.

There is one other horse that was only here a day, it is still too upsetting to talk about.

That is why, when someone PTS a horse, I agree with them. It doesn't matter what I think about it, if an owner has made that decision, then I agree with them. They are the owner, their horse, their decision, I agree with them. Even the three foals that is subject to another thread, I don't suppose the stud enjoyed that day, so, whatever I think, I agree with them.

Some things simply shouldn't be criticised.

I am really sorry that someone did that to you. Especially after the event. What on earth were they hoping to achieve? I suspect their comments say more about them than you and your situation.
 

Ambers Echo

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I'm so sorry TPO. Thankfully PTS is not even remotely on the radar in this situation as she is field sound. Vet was able to reassure me that as she was playful and active in the field she had clearly found ways to move that didn't hurt. I am not sure of the longer term prognosis. I was reeling from the info I was being given as it is so I dod not ask about deterioration over time etc. ONly about whether she was in pain day to day now. I assumed not but wanted to check.
 

ITPersonnage

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My ginger girl also had a navicular diagnosis but not from MRI, just X-rays. I suspect the damage on AE's bone is worse than my girls, she had Tildren and it did seem to help, but I'm no vet so I'm sure yours would recommend if appropriate. I'm just so sorry about the horrors you are going through, they break your heart don't they.
 

Caol Ila

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So sorry to read this. I know how much Amber means to you. It's really good you have Toby, but it still sucks.

I've known many navicular horses (it's rife in quarter horses, and at an American barn where there are lots of them, you see tons of it) who do alright as bimbly hackers, but that only works if the horse is a pleasant, bimbly hack and not an adrenaline junkie.
 

SEL

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I'm so sorry TPO. Thankfully PTS is not even remotely on the radar in this situation as she is field sound. Vet was able to reassure me that as she was playful and active in the field she had clearly found ways to move that didn't hurt. I am not sure of the longer term prognosis. I was reeling from the info I was being given as it is so I dod not ask about deterioration over time etc. ONly about whether she was in pain day to day now. I assumed not but wanted to check.
Oh gosh I'm so sorry - only just seen this update. You've had rotten luck over the past few years. I've only had navicular damage show in x ray so far (bit of a ££ shortage for MRI ) but mine is also field sound so just seeing how she goes. Never shod so that didn't cause it.

**hugs**
 

Mule

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Similarly I had vets to my horse for a very slight lameness and they both (the partners) told me I was imagining it. She was seen by a third vet at a second practice due to moving area for livery and went to vet hospital for a work up based on nonsense that vet came out with about spavins and KS. She got a clean bill of health from horspital March 2010.

Should also say at this point I contacted previous practice re third vet saying KS etc and they thought that little of my requests for them to watch her trot up that they had made no note or record of it at all.

I moved back to old yard and previous practice (yes I'm an idiot but these were "experts" at an equine practice). Had them back out June, took her into their clinic a week later for xrays and diagnosed with severe navic (could see the bones myself straight away on xray) that he told me would have been underlying at least 7mths. You know all those times I trotted her for them, for second practice and for vet school...

I asked about BF and was firmly told no, that it wouldnt work because her hoof balance isnt the issue. The only option they gave me was permanently denerving her or temp denerving with some sort of injection. I personally didnt agree with either option so pts to save her degrading and suffering more (working on the theory she was suffering as moving lamely despite having been a field ornament for this duration).

With hindsight I can see that vets were totally wrong as her hoof balance was awful. She had previously had surgery in a pastern; that hoof became smaller and upright and "good" hoof bigger and flatter. I dont have good enough photos to see if hooves were balanced to themselves, although I doubt it, but they definitely weren't balanced to each other.

I was using vet recommended farrier and even paid for vets to attend shoeing to ensure they were done correctly. I should point out mum bought an unvetted QH against my advice and she turned out to have navic and was doped at viewing. I tried bf after reading about it on here. This was 2009 so it was still an "out there" thing for weirdo hippies or cobs and natives only. At this point I moved to equine practice and they shut down BF straight away and told me to get eggbar wedges. Hence changing to their farrier and having them attend shoeings. As an aside that mare was pts crippled 5-6 months after putting her in wedges...

I am an idiot and I cant believe I let myself be blinded with "well broughtupness" to respect people like vets who know more than a pleb like me over my own eyes and gut. It still took me another 3yrs to leave them after that but that's another epic story about them screwing me in a different way.The penny clearly drops very slowly with me...

Anyway it was June 2010 I lost TPO to navic and I'm still consumed with guilt for listening to the vet. Made even worse because I posted on here about it an a long standing member tore absolute shreds off me and told me I'd killed her for no reason. I honestly wanted to die, I've never had losing a horse affect me as badly as TPO did, before or after, and still even writing this has me in floods of tears.

What I'm trying to say is I know how you feel about awful diagnoses and prognosis, I know about not having vet backing, I know about thinking you've already tried bf and I know about others online sharing unwanted opinions. To say it majorly sucks is an understatement.

I am genuinely so sorry to hear of the bad news you've received and I know whatever you decide it will be in Amber's best interest. TPO was my ginger girl and I know how they get under your skin and into your heart.

Please be kind to yourself too. $%*! happens and theres not always a reason for it.
It was normal to trust the vet and 99.9% of times it's right to do so, I wouldn't blame yourself for that. There's also no way of knowing that barefoot would have worked. I'm a big fan of it. Being without shoes improved the beast's hooves enormously but I previously had a mare who was never shod in her life and she developed navicular. It also occurs in feral horse, sometimes it just happens.
 

EventingMum

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So sorry, I have nothing useful to add in terms of a way forward. It's very hard to formulate a plan when you are still processing things and, as we all know, what works for one doesn't necessarily suit another. Personally, I tend to think if we can't trust specialist vets then who can we trust? But of course, unexpected things can happen in terms of recovery and future performance. The important thing is that whatever you do, you are happy (as can be) with your decision and Amber is happy too. I'm so glad you have Toby just now, he was meant to be!
 

Michen

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Oh no I’m so sorry AE.

But, somehow I think you’ll be the pair to beat the odds, and in your situation I would absolutely sent to Rockley as one last thing to try.
 

Ambers Echo

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Oh no I’m so sorry AE.

But, somehow I think you’ll be the pair to beat the odds, and in your situation I would absolutely sent to Rockley as one last thing to try.
I have thought about sending the MRI report to Nik but I'm taking a bit of time before making any decisions. Though I HAVE decided I'm never jumping her again. From everything I've read and been told, navicular involving significant pathology in the bone is a progressive condition that can't be cured, only managed. Barefoot Rockley style management is looking promising but I want as many more years as possible with her and so have decided to retire her. I could (and might) hack her a bit. But I won't try to bring her back into work with the aim of eventing her again.
 

ycbm

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From everything I've read and been told, navicular involving significant pathology in the bone is a progressive condition that can't be cured, only managed..
Unfortunately I think the origional x rays were on film and degraded, but at one point Nic had x rays showing that the bone on her horse Ghost had remodelled, something which we are all told repeatedly is impossible. I think there was one other horse as well. And Ghost was doing cross country years after being written off by vets. That might all be on the blog, I can't remember.

It will depend a lot, I think, on why it happened. If it was because of typical low heel long toe foot conformation and the low heel has been built back up and the long toe shortened, then why should it be progressive?

I don't want to raise false hopes, AE, and there has to be a huge doubt over Amber, but please remember that many, many people, including me, have rehabbed horses where vets and farriers told the owner to put the horse to sleep. A trip to the vet for a last assessment and PTS was cancelled in order to bring a horse to me, which then went on for years to hunt, dressage and show.
.
 

ycbm

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Is Amber toe first landing AE? If not, I think I might, in your shoes, admit defeat. If she is, then I think there is still a glimmer of hope.

If she is toe first, and you could just get her out walking on a flat tarmac road in hand for a month, an hour every other day if she is sound enough, then you might know in a month whether there was any point in carrying on.
 

Michen

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Sorry AE this is off topic but I wonder how professionals seem to succeed in keeping their horses sound and at the top of their game, and for us amateurs we are all just faced with constant heartbreak. The forum is just littered with stories of broken horses.

All these 5 star eventers that seem to stay so sound and at that level- what’s their bloody secret :(

I feel for you Ae this is a horrible situation but I am very glad you have a Toby.
 

ihatework

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Sorry AE this is off topic but I wonder how professionals seem to succeed in keeping their horses sound and at the top of their game, and for us amateurs we are all just faced with constant heartbreak. The forum is just littered with stories of broken horses.

All these 5 star eventers that seem to stay so sound and at that level- what’s their bloody secret :(

I feel for you Ae this is a horrible situation but I am very glad you have a Toby.
As a % of the competing horse population 5* horses are very very small. The wastage along the way is reasonably high, or perhaps not always wastage but riders get a feel for which horses will be sound enough to make it and which are better not pushed and moved on.

Of those at 5* a large number are very heavily managed vet wise to stay sound for the job. There are some real tough nuts too though!

That said, horses stand a much higher chance of staying sound for competition the better they are trained. Pros certainly aren’t perfect but on the whole they generally ride better than amateurs and can keep the horses, straighter, more supple, better muscled to optimise soundness.
 

HashRouge

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I have thought about sending the MRI report to Nik but I'm taking a bit of time before making any decisions. Though I HAVE decided I'm never jumping her again. From everything I've read and been told, navicular involving significant pathology in the bone is a progressive condition that can't be cured, only managed. Barefoot Rockley style management is looking promising but I want as many more years as possible with her and so have decided to retire her. I could (and might) hack her a bit. But I won't try to bring her back into work with the aim of eventing her again.
I would always recommend Nic, I think she's wonderful and I am certain she is the reason that my Welsh is field sound (he was at Rockley in 2012, also for navicular). I'd certainly recommend talking to her at the very least. But unfortunately I think that sometimes there is too much damage done for them to return to the level of work they were doing before (or even to any level of work, really!). Ours went to Rockley with navicular and did really, really well when he first came home. But unfortunately we weren't able to keep him in consistent work as he developed various other soundness issues. He is perfectly field sound, which I don't know if he would have been without going to Rockley for barefoot rehab, but sadly he just won't stand up to ridden work. But if it helps at all, barefoot rehab at Rockley followed by retirement means he had made it to 17 and I can't see any reason he won't be around in another 10 years!
 

paddi22

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would it be worth trying to rehab barefoot so at leats you could rule it out? I've one that has navicular, wedge shoes etc, and only became sound again when the shoes came off. I had written him off as a happy hacker, but on how he feels now I'm confident we can get back eventing in some shape or form.

I enjoy rehabbing project horses and I've had a few that on vet's reports looked like write off and vets were negative about them, but they just seemed to keep going and working for many more years and managing with various issues with no problem. all you can do is look honestly at the horse in front of you, sit on it and see how it feels, and just go with your gut sometimes.
 
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jenniehodges2001

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A. Pros certainly aren’t perfect but on the whole they generally ride better than amateurs and can keep the horses, straighter, more supple, better muscled to optimise soundness.
I agree. They also have super duper state of the art surfaces to ride on and their horses are constantly checked by physio therapists and are shod literally every four weeks.

I am sorry AE
 

lme

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So sorry AE. Mine's got similar damage to Amber (we MRI'd in May). Was also considering Rockley but timing didn't work (she is in foal) and I don't plan to bring her back into work anyway unless it is going to help her. ATM she's happy out in a hilly field with a mare herd. She had an equine biomechanics specialist / bodyworker assess and work on her about 6 weeks ago and was sound and moving well. Current plan is to do as little as possible (other than regular trims / bodywork and let her enjoy being out. She's only 12 so there's no rush.
 

Ambers Echo

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My own vet rang last night for a longer chat and to go through the report in more detail. There's quite a lot of 'niggly things' going on but the main issue is the navicular bone which he does not believe can recover but only be managed. He said by medicating the joint, using egg bars etc maybe we could get her sound enough so she could work again but he would advise only hacking which he feels would be fine as she can choose where to place her feet. If my primary concern is Amber's comfort he would not ride in an arena or jump.

I have thought and thought about that 'last throw of the dice' and sending her to Rockley. But I'm not going to. Horses cant talk. And they can be in pain a long time before it shows in lameness or even in behaviour. Max was declared 'sound' and ready to crack on by a rehab livery yard. 6 weeks later he reared over backwards. He seemed fine till then. After I broke my ankle, Amber was being ridden by a pro who wanted to take her on to compete. She was definitely in pain then too. She scored her personal best in a dressage test the week before I got the vet out! That bone has been degraded for months.

So I know I could never be relaxed on her. I'd always be worried. If she bucked out of excitement I'd over analyse to death. Every time I rode I'd wonder about whether she was really ok.

I'm comfortable with the decision to let go and retire her. I dont want a happy hacker and so pursuing more treatments for an outcome I'm not that bothered about does not seem in either of our interests. She's field sound and perfectly happy.

I'm very sad that a wonderful chapter in my riding life is closing. It was a total privilege and joy to be sat on a horse like her. I wont ever find another! Thank you for the memories Gorgeous Girl.
 
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Ambers Echo

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Sorry AE this is off topic but I wonder how professionals seem to succeed in keeping their horses sound and at the top of their game, and for us amateurs we are all just faced with constant heartbreak. The forum is just littered with stories of broken horses.

All these 5 star eventers that seem to stay so sound and at that level- what’s their bloody secret .
A friend's daughter worked as a groom on a top eventer's yard. She said the horses are all medically managed to quite a high degree. Anti inflammatories, injections, other drugs. All legal btw, but necessary to keep them sound. Amber is just a pet not a working animal or part of my livelihood. Ordinary horse owners don't go to those lengths just to ride.

The group that pee me off most are the amateur riders who don't care that their horses are lame and ride anyway. Sometimes it's ignorance and I am not the greatest at detecting lameness myself. But sometimes they know but don't care. One teenager on my old yard has been told multiple times to stop riding her pony. She stops for a day or 2 then declares him 'sound' again and just carries on. He refuses, broncs, bucks, naps. She doesn't care.
 
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