Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cold Day with Kit

Took a little video on a day so cold, the camera batteries kept dying!  Got a couple of still shots from what we shot.  Temp. 16 degrees without wind chill, I think more like 6 with it! 

Working with Kit to lift his legs for the farrier.  Still has concern that it will hurt, so we go slow, and I always let him put it down when he asks.  So far so good! 

Got just enough video to show some students how to check legs.  Kit however, was not the star, had to borrow another horse from the barn for the video.  But any time with Kit is good time for me.  

And I hope for him!  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Balance for the Horse Clinic - Juneau, WI

The day dawned bright and frigid as students arrive for "Balance for the Horse" clinic in Juneau, WI

Students came ready to learn how to read the interaction with horses in a new way, the how & why of  acupressure meridians & points, massage, & bodywork techniques.  Detailed in hand exercises to strengthen the hind quarter and stifle were just one of the hand-outs taken home for practice! 

We had a wonderful group of 11 hearty souls endured the coldest day yet this year!  We laughed, we learned, we froze a little, but we had a great day! Thank you to P.J.s Cafe in Juneau, WI for a warm and hearty lunch venue! Thank you Sue, participant #11, for taking the class photo!

Nakota, our equine student in the photo, is a rescue, recently placed in his new home. He was a little worried when he first arrived at the clinic, but once we go to work, he was glad he came!! Another rescue, recently adopted Indy, a 4 year old thoroughbred, was also happy his owner brought him, and learned new techniques for working with him.

Many thanks J & K Stables, Juneau, WI, Owner Katie K., daughter Jessica & staff, for all their hard work, preparing a wonderful site for the class. The indoor with stalls on either end gave us plenty of room to do demonstrations and work on horses individually.

Happy horse owner, Erin, brought her mare Holly, to practice the techniques on. Erin said, she'd only had her mare since the spring, when she was adopted from a former breeding facility where she served as a receiving mare.

The time in the stall working on her opened up a whole new side of her that she had never seen.  As techniques were practice, and Holly would relax, she would slip over to Erin and tuck her head under her arm before releasing.  This was a new dimension to this little mare that Erin had not yet seen, and the beginning of a new and wonderful relationship for them both.

Several sensitive spots were identified on Holly, and Erin now has skills to use, to help her release the tension.  Bringing balance and freedom of movement to her horse.

What students had to say about the class:

What I liked best about the training...." That the class size was small so we were able to do a lot of hands on." Erin W. Ripon, WI

"She (Tami) was a very good at communicating with both people & horses. It's a whole new way of "seeing" your horse!" Claudia S. Portage, WI

"This class with Tami, enables horse lovers to truly become partners with their horses, not just a horse owner." Sue S. Oxford, WI 


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Turn Out Successes

Great news on turn-out success.  Kit has greatly reduced all swelling on the shoulder. Started him on Arnica Montana in addition to the Vaxamine EQ, which I'm sure are both helping.  However, I still believe movement has been key.  There is less mud, which was causing suction on the leg, in this turn-out. It is also smaller to decrease the temptation to buck it up!  

Note the dirt pattern!  
After the first night out, he was laying on the right side (the injured side), pressing his shoulder into the soft, cold ground!  I'm sure instinct was applying an ice pack!  His movement is much better and he is actually very playful. 

Took a new muck bucket (bright orange) (a gift from an awesome client...thank you Kristen!) to use for his water, it holds 14 gallons, but before I got 4 gallons into it...the games were on!  That rope handle was just too interesting, and "gee Mom, look at me, if I pull on this, I can shake, shake, shake, it and make the water fly!"  Oh what fun he had!  He was so persistent, I had to cut one handle off, just keep him from dumping it.  

I'd call his name as he played, he's stop and look at me, I'd tell him to quit, and I swear with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes, he'd reply with a, "But it's fun!!!"  and back at it!  It was good to see. Could not help laughing! 

Visual of the dramatic improvement from the front. Notice the stance, both feet on the ground, he is weighting it.  

Also worth noting check out the difference in muscle development along the Femur, (the bone between the knee and shoulder), that left leg has been literally pumping iron.  As we heal, plans are to begin therapeutic exercises, along with bodywork, to bring his body back into balance.  

Current modalities being used in recovery, are acupressure, massage, and Reiki.  Some very light bodywork techniques, but bodywork it not really practical or needed at this point, that will come later. 

Happy boy, enjoying grain, and supplements.  He also gets Cosequin ASU, a joint supplement recommended by his veterinarian.  According to the vet, the extra ingredients in Cosequin ASU, is avocado/soybean extracts that are reported to prevent the formation of arthritis!  It does appear to help, he is on double dosage (2-scoops) for the first 2 months of treatment, and will go to 1 scoop/normal dose, beginning in January.  I'll keep you posted on progress with this product, and comparison to the past x-rays, which did show arthritis beginning to form at the injury.  

Cosequin ASU combines the proprietary formula of Cosequin with ASU (avocado/soybean unsaponifiables) and MSM for more powerful joint support for horses. Each 2 scoop of Cosequin ASU serving contains 14,400 mg glucosamine hydrochloride and 2400 mg low molecular weight chondroitin sulfate, plus 2100 mg ASU and 10,000 mg MSM.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Setbacks a few

Well, it appears he slept well last night, extra shavings in his stall and all evidence that he was sleeping flat out.  That made me feel good.  Just did catch him before he got up. Which I'm glad to say he did without hesitation.

However, after he was up, he did not want to weight the leg.  I massaged his shoulder and neck to get the blood moving and the muscles warmed up.  A bit of whiskers in this shot, curious as ever, and willing.  You can see from this angle the swelling has pushed the bone outward once again.
As we walked, slowly.....he would try to use the leg, it took several minutes of patient walking on stable ground.  Each step I allowed him to decide if he would take it or not.  But as we took one, then another, the shoulder got more flexibility, and he would start to weight the leg, just a bit.  By the time I had him to his turn out pasture, he was moving much better, and being turned out always helps him to move more easily.  Again, motion is lotion for joints.

I think it's going to be a long winter.  But I'm not about to give up and neither is he.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Wonderful Thanksgiving with family.  We are blessed.  Mom up and sassy, as was her brother, my Uncle George!  Great day, great food, and wonderful company.  Oh, and the Packers won!   Too bad Arkansas Razorbacks couldn't have done the same the next day.

Kit on the other hand, has had a set back, his leg has swollen at the shoulder again.  Unsure of what happened, but suspect he did too much too soon, and with the mud right now may have just moved wrong.

I've started him on Vaximine and he is out in a smaller turn out with no buddies.  There are right next door and he can touch noses over the fence, but none in the paddock with him.

Yesterday as I brought him from the stall, he was inside over night, he wouldn't even weight the leg.  We were back to hopping, very slowly, to move.  But as I tempted him with grass, just a few steps further, and he began to move more, he would tentatively try the leg.  I got the Vaximine in him, and we just went very slow, but after 10 minutes we made it to the much desired grass.  I held him and let him graze for a good 45 minutes.  All the while he would try the leg, or hold on the toe, then try again.  I'm happy to say by the time we moved off the grass he was walking on all 4's.  Limping but walking.  I really think movement is key, so tonight he stays out, I want him to move about and keep the leg active.  Stalls are just too confining.  Motion is lotion!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Images of Kits Shoulder

As promised, the image results of x-rays and ultra sound of Kit's right shoulder.
The darker crecent shape that of the joint being held open by swelling. The break lines are on the forward portion of the humerus bone (the one at the bottom of the joint), that buldge to the left, the darker shadowy area is the break. The second break is to the rear of the joint again on the humerus, and it is the darker shadowy area there.  They are healing so they are a bit less clear in the image.
This image is a bit closer in and at a bit of an angle, showing the view a bit form to the front of the joint.

The green arrow is pointing to an actual fracture line of the bone, on ultra sound image, the bone edge is the white line.  Any breaks in that line indicate fracture or bone fragments as in the image below. 
The good part of this image, is that motled white area above the bone, that my MUSCLE. And while there is still fluid (i.e. swelling and blood) to be disappated from the tissue, that muscle is alive and healthy. 
This is the shoulder muscle only, but at the bottome those two white dots side by side, are bone fragments.  They will stay there and do no harm, and they are not in the joint itself, so healing is looking good.

Update as of today, Kit is moving very well, and eating even better!  Has a warm and shaggy winter coat already, oh dear does that mean a hard winter?  He is reported to take time each day to trot and canter in his turn out, finishing off with a big buck, after which he limps for 3 steps, then walks normally.  I think, he is testing it out, and checks daily for his own progress. 

Shoulder is much less distorted.  I'll try for new pictures this weekend.  The swelling is down considerably, and he has much less pain.  Eyes are clear and attitude is evident!

He had his second trim last week and we were able to support him gently, while the farrier, did her work on the supporting left front.  Complete trim took less than an hour.  Woo Hoo!!!! 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wisconsin Equine Clinic & Hospital

I had the local vet come out in September to evaluate Kit and get his input on the injury.  He examined Kit but could not tell anything definitive without x-rays or ultrasound images, and he had no portable equipment capable of imaging a shoulder. He recommended we take him to Wisconsin Equine for more through exam.

We took Kit to the clinic on Oct. 13th, nearly 6 months since his pasture accident, and 10 weeks into my ownership and the gentle therapeutic techniques I've been using on him.  Pressure point, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, and bodywork (modified) for his tolerance.

We traveled in and arrived in rain showers, that fluctuated from light to heavy, so by the time we were inside we were quite soaked.

Dr. Jane Jardine, DVM showing me the first set of bone fragments from the shoulder joint.

Dr. D. Langers, DVM & Dr. Jane Jardine, DVM examined him, beginning with x-ray images of the right shoulder. I have the x-ray and ultrasound images and will try to post them later.  Kit has been sedated from the x-rays, but to his credit, he stood still through them all and they only sedated when they decided they wanted just 1 more shot and he decided he'd been patient enough!  It was nice that Dr. Langer, admitted that Kit was probably right.

It's amazing and wonderful what they can see now with the imaging equipment.  The breaks in Kit's shoulder bone were very obvious.  Three different places showed breakage and bone fragments.  You could see a smooth edge of the bone, like a smooth piece of string on the image, then a jumbled area of "string" with gaps, indicating where the bone fragments had broken off.  Areas of fragmentation were the front & back of the shoulder joint (lateras well as the medial edge by the sternum.

 Dr. Langer, DVM is using the ultrasound on the medial edge of the shoulder joint.  Interesting note, he didn't want to shave Kit for the exam, due to winter fast approaching, so he used alcohol as the medium to penetrate the tissue through the coat, it worked beautifully as it filled in all the air gaps, unlike the usual gel medium used for ultra sounds.

Fracture identified in two locations, but it is healing, and the bone is gradually coming back together.  The joint capsule is thickening and there is slight arthritis evident, as the body builds bone where bone has injury.  The joint is still somewhat separated, with a gap of approximately 5 cm at one side, mostly due to swelling still evident in the surrounding tissues.  This will gradually dissipate, and the joint should come back together itself gradually.  It all comes down to giving him time to heal.

Dr. D. Langer, DVM on prognosis and next steps.
We have started Kit on a supplement called Cosequin ASU to prevent further arthritis formation and support the joint health.  In addition to the Jiaogulan, a plant that grow wild in China, often referred to as "Southern Ginseng".  Which I'm using to strengthen his immune system, other stress-related symptoms and for it's anti-inflammatory properties. 

Dr. Langer stated that had he not seen the images of Kit's shoulder he would not have thought his injury to be so sever.  That watching Kit move, tracking so well and with hardly any limp, he is quite surprised by what we found and amazed at the healing that has already taken place.

His prescription for Kit's recover was as follows:

1.  Whatever you are doing, keep it up, because it's working.

What I'm doing, besides the supplements, passive range of motion, massage, light bodywork, Reiki, and Therapeutic Touch 3-4 times a week.  Gentle grooming and time together just bonding.

2. Keep Kit from feeling too good, too soon, so at this point a little pain is good as it keeps him from doing too much, or getting too frisky, possibly stressing the shoulder.

3. If we can keep it as stable as we have up to now by December we should be out of the woods.

4. Next spring, begin light training, and ground work.

5. I may be able to ride Kit by summer, but start in small increments, and if he is sore the next day, back off.

So good news and a positive outcome.  Quality of life for him has been my goal and I think we got that and then some! I am very grateful & blessed.
The sky as we left the clinic that reflected exactly how my heart felt, filled with promise, hope, and gratitude!

I'm very grateful for these veterinarians, their support in allowing time for healing, and their skills in diagnosis.

Skip and I were given a tour of the facility afterward, and I'll post more soon on Wisconsin Equine Clinic & Hospital.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Kit & I

This is Kit as of Sept 5th, the photos were a birthday present for me, from a dear client.  I've taken a lot of pictures of Kit since I adopted him on July 25th.  But I really didn't have any of the two of us, at least where I'm not working on him. Thought I'd share these with you.
Even with the injured right front shoulder, he is beautiful, and very special to me...I am blessed to have him in my life.

                                     Gotta love that face! Well...I gotta love that face...and I do!

The beginning of a lifetime together...

A Trim for Kit

 Kit is progressing well and responds well to multiple touch techniques I've been using on him.  Reiki, pressure point, and massage, as well as modified bodywork when needed.  He has gradually improved in the way he carries his body and movement.   He got trimmed 4 weeks ago, by an excellent, and most patient farrier Kendra Skorstad, who took the 1 1/2 hours of work to get all 4 feet trimmed and shaped.
His feet prior to the trim.

With gentle persistance and a willingness to allow Kit to find his comfortable spot, we got it done.  When trimming his injured leg, Kit would position himself against the stall wall and lean on it for support. He is very smart!

To finish the left front, or support leg, (the one doing all the work as the right is the injured leg), we could only lift it for seconds at a time.  I offered the wall for Kit to lean on, but evidently the pressure on the shoulder was painful and he would not do this as he had on the left side.  Ultimately, he moved in close to me, pressing his nose into my chest, I held his head under the jaw and he allowed Kendra to pick up the left front leg long enough to trim and finish it.

In this position, Kit transferred his weight into his neck and head, putting tremendous amount of weight into me, pushing into my chest, and hand, as I held.  My husband watched, wanting to step in as he saw my arm trembling with the strain of holding Kit up, but his fear of breaking the spell that was allowing the trim held him back.  I was grateful, for his intent and his good judgement, as I too think it may have broken the spell.  He even feared taking a photo my interfer, so we don't have a picture, but we do have a TRIM!!

What amazing creatures horses are...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Evening of Teaching

Great evening of teaching and sharing information on horses.  3 amazing women, destine to be energy workers in the world of horses, in the future.  I was happy to help them along with their learning and answering questions.  No photos of our session, but sharing a couple of a previous class, below.
Teaching hands-on in MI last April. 

Off to Illinios tomorrow to work on horses at the English Prairie Farm, in Spring Grove, Il. Should be a full day of good people and good horses!  Husband Skip will be along, so photos are sure to follow! 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day at the Barn

At the barn today, Kit got groomed, and Professional Photographer-Carrie Swan took photos of us.  My birthday present from her. What fun it was posing with Kit.

I've posted some I took today below.

He has adapted very well to his new surroundings, and the pony Shasta, has decided he is her new boyfriend...not sure Kit is aware of the situation, but he is not being left alone and that makes him happy and more relaxed. His initial turn out was individual, with fence access to the herd, however, when they got out of sight he became more anxious, trotting and even cantering around his enclosure. While I was thrilled to see him move this much, I was also concerned it might be too soon, so we opted to let Shasta join him in the turn out.  She basically said "It's about time....come here sweetheart!"

Kit did well on bodywork #5, with great progress in lifting and allowing 3 feet to be picked and cleaned.  Still can't lift and hold the left front, as the right front will still not support the weight.  He also allowed the release of the shoulder/withers juncture on the left, which was big, since this is the working/non-injured side.  We had to go slow and attempt it numberous times, but eventually it opened and released, with lots of nice big yawns for release. 
How do you like this 2 footed move...pretty neat!

Friday, September 2, 2011

My horse Kit

The history on Kit is as follows, he was given to me just over a month ago, when a client called to ask me to find him a home. He is a registered quarter horse and the grandson of sire High Brow Cat.

He was found down in his turn out at the end of April,  his right front leg appeared to be injured, and suspected to be an abscess.  There had been a lot of rain and the turn out was muddy and slick. No abscess was found and still he did not get up.  10 days later he finally was up, but only using 3 legs, his right front hung limp and inactive from his side, as he moved in tripod fashion.  His back bowed and rear legs tucked unnaturally under his body. 

For 2 months he used this method to move around, and miraculously the left leg has supported him through it all.  As this time progressed, the muscles of the shoulder atrophied, and it was felt he was of no use.  He was to be put down, but the owner's wife wanted to give him time, I'm glad she did! 

Kit as of 1 month ago, began using the right front, not with full weight, but he is walking and moving more normally now on all 4 legs.  Healing is occuring, ever so slowly, but healing none the less. 

I agreed to take Kit, to use what I know, and what I'm learning each day to work with him toward healing.  I will continue to document in this blog the progress, victory and failures as we progress, in the hopes that it will help other horses and owners to work through such a serious injury.

 first day - prior to any work.

Horse Days 2011 - Belvidere, IL

I was happy to present at the Horse Days 2011 in Belvidere, IL on Aug. 20-21 of this year. This was a first time event and I must say very well done. The English rider was very present in the showings, with a smaller percentage of Western, but I suspect once the word it out there will be more of both next year.

I presented demonstrations of how Equine Bodywork is used, the techniques, and how it can benefit your horse. I was happy to bring people up to try techinques and see the reaction given by the horses.  With wonderful volunteer demonstration horses and excited participants, it was a really great time of teaching and sharing this work I love.