Monday, May 24, 2010

Radar's solution

Anyone who saw Radar act up at Ghost Hollow last month had to know there was something wrong with him--bad wrong. He has been developing some quirks since last fall, mostly about having the headstall put on him, and touching the top of his head, and I suspected something was not right--but that weekend made it super clear. It was more than a violent reaction to having his headstall put on--but that he was like a powder keg under me, just spoiling for a bucking fit, and that is not something that is in his repertoire. It was horrid-and scary. After I got over my mad, I was really worried about him.

As soon as we got back, I had the vet check his teeth. My vet is a teeth fanatic. His comment was that they were not bad enough to justify his behavior, so it had to be something else. We were busy with other things, and I knew in the back of my mind what I would need to do next, so I let it go.
That something was to call Troy Brandenburg, who I used when Twister set to consistently bucking for no apparent reason. Troy fixed him up in one visit. Saturday was the day that Troy could come over, so we assembled a group of horses from the surrounding 100 miles that maybe could use a treatment, and set in for the day.

Radar went last and as usual, I learned so much just watching Troy work and listening to his suggestions and thoughts of what was going on with each of the other horses. When he finally got to Radar, Troy already knew what was wrong with Radar just by watching him stand in his stall waiting his turn. It is in fact his teeth--which are not horrid, but they are bad enough for a horse as sensitive as Radar is. It is not just the teeth, but the problems they have caused--he has super tight muscles along his jaw, and that tightness ran all the way to his shoulder. This was caused by the accommodations he was making for his teeth--chewing to one side for a long time, then switching sides from pain. His back was out too, but I do not know if that was related--it could have been. Essentially, my baby Radar hurt from top to bottom, front to back, and just could not bear any more.

The more we talked about it, the more info I could come up with and it all just solidified his diagnosis--like how he is so demanding about having his bit EXACTLY right in his mouth--can't be the wrong one, can't be 1/4 inch off of perfectly placed, stuff like that--which is really encouraging to me, because it makes me more confident that we have really found the problem and can fix it.

I guess I never thought beyond the obvious problems teeth can cause-like soring the mouth where a hook pokes him, or something. We stay pretty on top of teeth issues here, but I guess we have been lucky--Radar just must have very little tolerance, as compared to most of my others.

Anyway, the first thing Troy did was fix his back--pop pop pop and ol boy was standing better already. Then he started to work on his jaw, his poll, his shoulder--everything that had gotten out of whack from his teeth being a tad off kilter. He put the magnet blanket on him for a while to relax him, then really dug in deep and got to work. At first, you could not even touch Radar's poll without him going batshit. By the time he had massaged him for a while, and used that accupressure thing on him, he was happily dropping his head and leaning into the massaging he was getting. Even the look on his face was markedly different, and he would sigh every once in a while, like he was saying "Finally, some relief!"

Sunday, I did his massages and then let him out of the stall to play with Cash in the bullshed. That will get him moving--and it did. It was so dang hot, I hated for him to be stuck inside like that. I will get his teeth done this week, and keep up on the exercises. Troy was pretty sure he would be back to normal within three or four days of having his teeth done--I would love to take him camping next weekend but that will probably be too fast for him. I will keep working on him every day to keep him from tightening up again before his teeth are fixed. It is so satisfying that he is letting me do it, when at first he would not let anyone touch his head. It's amazing.

Stay tuned for updates!


Shelley said...

Troy is amazing. I have been doing the stretches with Blue. I haven't ridden him yet. It was just to freakin hot yesterday.

Holly said...

I am glad you found the problem!

Carrie said...

Happy to hear that it will be an easy fix. Wish we had a Troy up here.

Anonymous said...

Horse Student:

What is a "poll" when referring to Radar----that you could not even touch.

The more you tell, teach---the more I realize horses have "personalites" similar to dogs or cats which I definitely have had experience.

I guess it is compared to a human having an abcess tooth which may need a root canal but ONE IS NOT SURE YET---but jaw, teeth, ears, nose all HURT. But why! till we eventually find out and act accordingly.

So it must be with Radar!


Anonymous said...

Radar looks gorgeous!

Photo of the Whenever I feel like changing it

Photo of the Whenever I feel like changing it


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