Digby and his old owner doing some gymnastics, winter 2010. How cute :)
On Monday, Digby had a massage/chiro appointment. His masseuse is a wonderful woman who just ADORES Digby. That makes me happy. He wasn't sore anywhere really but he hadn't been done since June, actually on the day we discovered his congenital bipartite navicular. I figured he was due. He had had his shoes pulled and had to adjust to not working and being turned out a lot more. She was pretty happy. He was a little out by his poll and a little sore in his back, all on the left side but nothing too major. His hind right was also fairly "locked" but it's fixed now. He's had two massages by her now and he's definitely figuring out what it's about. She doesn't crack them or force the horses into anything which I like. She simply asks them to bend or respond to pressure so that they release themselves. Digby almost has this figured out by the second time. He also drank a lot of water during and after, which is a sign that he's smart. (As if we didn't know this already!) It helps flush all the lactic acid and build up out of his system.
We discussed a lot, everything from ulcers to Digby's diet to his blanket. I'm going to have the vet out after I start foaling shift (no later than Jan 18th!) just for a general check up, to pull a coggins, give him a rabies shot and discuss some of the things we talked about while she was working on him. The wonderful massage lady and I talked about the likeliness of Digby having ulcers. I've never treated him for ulcers and as far as I know he's never been treated ever. He's a little bit of worrier and has been a lot of places in his life. He's had several owners, has had limited turnout for several years, has been on bute/NSAIDs, gets dewormed, and used to be shipped a lot. All of these can be stressful. If you've met Digby, I'm sure you've seen him get stressed at some point. He looks totally fine. He's at a good weight, eats anything and is happy. However, he said due to his colicy nature in winter and just general "worrier" attitude, it might be worth discussing with the vet. If he got ulcers ever in his life, they are certainly still there. Consider it on my "to discuss" list!
She wonders if there isn't something about Digby's nutrition or vitamin/mineral balances that might not make his soreness and lameness worse. It sounds like a complicated chat but it really wasn't. He tends to get sore easier than you would except, has issues with being colicy in the winter, does fine when on electrolytes, and is sound every season but summer... when he's typically getting little to no grain thus not meeting his nutrient requirements. I do try to give him a vit/min supplement from SmartPak but that's just a standard supplement and might not be meeting his personal requirements. I assumed he went lame in the summer because the ground was hard, but to be honest, the ground is pretty darn hard in winter as well and he's sound, sound, sound at the moment. It's just something else I will have to bring up to the vet.
As for the blanket, it's a very heavy blanket weight wise. It's only a medium weight (I believe 180 or 200 fill?) but it's heavy pound wise and she thinks it might be causing some of the soreness in his back. Sigh! Nothing I hadn't thought of myself but frustrating none the less. I guess I'm blanket shopping...
Shamless plug - if anyone is interested in a massage/chiro work up for their horse, let me know. I'll give you her name and number. She's a very nice, helpful lady! Digby lovesss her.