Sunday, January 31, 2010

PSSM test is in the mail

I sent out the hair sample for Drifters' PSSM test. This will be a starting place for us, whether it comes back positive, carrier or negative. I have researched the two feeds at the barn (Horsemans Edge at 35% and Legends Legacy at 19%). I have researched vitamins, minerals, supplements and fats that may need to make up her new diet in a feeder friendly form for the barn staff.

Currently I have backed off pushing her under saddle until the results come back. If they come back negative I will get blood work done. This cold weather is also not very motivating. I did lunge her and ride at the walk the other day. She seemed pretty tense most of the time and I just wanted her to get back to the relaxed place she was earlier in training.

With this new event on the horizon this might really be a journey through horsemanship and not in the vein that I intended. I intended this to be about her training and how we got to lower level eventing- we might still get there, but it might be a bit more of a journey if PSSM is involved.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Nature or Nurture?

After our last few rides being more challenging I have been thinking of testing Drifter for PSSM. It is the Quarter Horse version of EPSM- which is a metabolic disorder and causes cramping, muscle atrophy, back soreness and other symptoms.

After reading about PSSM it may explain some of Drifters' NQR symptoms in the hind legs in the past as well as the increasing difficulty with the level of work we are doing. There is a DNA test that would rule in/out Type 1 PSSM. Type 2 can only be diagnosed with a muscle biopsy.

I will also be discussing with the barn the possibility of changing her diet to a more PSSM friendly diet. I didn't see my horses all last week, so I am looking forward to going out to see her on Tuesday.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Horribly good!

We haven't had any more opportunities to jump and even some times cantering has been limited depending how busy it is in the indoor. A rash of cold weather slowed down my desire to ride.

Yesterday was the first nice day in a few weeks and riding was fun.

Drifter started out a bit tense, but I couldn't figure out why. She's been a bit testy and I've figured it's mostly from the cold. However, I am beginning to suspect we're having our first rebellion against work.

When I asked for my first canter she jumped into it with a few crop hops for good measure. I got her back and had her trot a few rounds. I got off and lunged her at the canter for 2-3 minutes in each direction waiting to see if there were any big bucks in her. She was fine on the lunge- so then to see if she would be okay with me on her. If not, maybe it was a saddle fit or pain issue. Nope, she was fine with me on her and we had some of our best cantering to date. We cantered in one direction until she broke gait, trotted across the diagonal and then picked up the canter in the other direction. She stayed way more calm, less behind the bit and got the correct lead most of the time. I didn't focus on the lead, just on cantering, staying calm and no bucking. It was a horribly good ride. Horrible for the bucking, but good for the rest of the cantering. Back to the barn today!