Snow moved into Colorado after a very long absence over the holidays bringing a sigh of relief to everyone fearing another year of drought. Do we still have to worry about drought? Yes, but we are gaining.
I discovered this morning that two fox made a den by the year-long creek that borders my neighbor’s property. I couldn’t figure out what was spooking Chaco and Harley so much until I heard the fox chatting with my dogs while we were walking this morning. In the past Chaco and Harley would stand behind Shandoka, and when he stopped worrying, they would. Now they don’t have him to let them know if they are safe or unsafe, so Chaco is on a major learning curve. Harley got over it faster than Chaco has, but even he got nervous. I believe the fox worked their way to our property one night, because they both refused to cross this imaginary line in their paddock. Harley swiped his nose through the snow a few times while standing his ground. I had to catch them and walk them over that line to show them that all was well.
A week before the storm came and a few days after Chaco was put out on full turnout, I could tell that Chaco was sore. He was fine when I said goodnight to him, but the following morning he favored his leg. He walked fine on it, but when at rest, his right rear was the one that got all the rest. I saw a bunch of deer scat next to the fence, and I instantly knew what happened. Chaco and the deer were playing with one another when he strained something. Luckily, a few days of rest healed it all up, but it slowed down our rehabilitation program.
The storm brought seven inches of snow, which could have been a problem with continuing Chaco’s walks. However, I decided it was perfect to work out those muscles and to get him to lift his leg, all of his legs, higher while walking. It became the perfect exercise tool. He and Harley had to work to walk, and to walk they needed to use those muscles of their hind end a lot! The snow I believe caught us up on the days that we lost to the deer incident.
However, I am supposed to start riding him for fifteen minutes a day, and I’m not sure where or how. The snow, due to warmer temperatures, is a sheet of ice in most spots. The footing is not good, so I will continue walking him until I can get on him. The last thing I need is for him to take a bad step with weight on his back.
I have him on a supplement for his leg, and it seems to be helping. However, I do believe he needs more protection due to the cartilage damage. The surgeon wanted him to get Irap injections. I’m not going to describe that whole process, but basically they draw blood and create the Irap to inject back into the joint that is injured. It is completely natural, and it has no known side effects like steroid injections do. We can’t afford that though, because it would cost about $2,000 due to all of the damage. We are going to do a Pro-Stride injection, which is similar, and he would only need one injection per year. The Irap would require five injections over five weeks per year. Also, the cost is only $450.
Pro-Stride output produces a concentrated solution of cells, platelets, growth factors, and anti-inflammatory proteins, and is created from the horse’s own blood. When this highly concentrated solution is injected into a joint, it binds to and stops the inflammatory proteins that are causing pain and cartilage destruction. This is what Chaco needs to be pain free, and prevent anymore cartilage damage. I’ve read how it is very effective with stifle joints. There are three small joints in the stifle, and Chaco only has damage in one of the joints, which is called the femoropatellar joint.
Right now I’m trying to figure out how to get there, because the only vet that does this on the Western Slope of Colorado is three hours away over several mountain passes in Durango, CO. I need to figure out the safest time to go, because the vet can’t come here. Keep your fingers and toes crossed for us.
In the meantime, we walk, he grazes all day, and we goof off. He is bored to death though, and he wants to get back to work. He likes to go to the arena and work hard, and I know he misses trail riding. I keep promising him soon enough even though it seems so far off.