Friday, August 5, 2011

The verdict: Hock injection

This is going to be quick, because there's really not much more to day. The vet watched her, felt her, applied acupressure, and determined that she needs hock injections.

She offered me the option of xrays, but forewarned me that she was 99% positive we would end up coming to the same treatment. All it would really do is give me more insight to what specifically is going on in there.

At this point, I opted to just go ahead with the injections. Hopefully this will "fix" Amber. Part of me kind of cringes that it's a "for now" thing.

I suppose this was to be expected. No doubt, from what I've heard of her previous owners, she was started way too early, and ridden way too hard. At least I know this has nothing to do with my training or my riding. She's had extremely light work since she's been with me. Being started too early is the only thing that really seems logical.

The vet seemed pretty confident that this is going to do wonders for her, so I hope she's right.

Amber was, as I expected, quite well behaved for her exam. Although when I brought her in, she refused to walk in the wash pit. I suspect it had something to do with the broom that was propped up against the wall, but either way, I asked her to do it, she should have done it. But she planted her feet. I gave her a couple of quick snaps, scolded her and she went right in.

Amber, I swear, knows when you're trying to help her. I know it's not a reasonable thought, but really...the vet kept saying "she might kick when I do this", or "she might start when I do this"...alas, no. Amber stood, patient and calm, looking bewildered as to why the vet had her leg lifted up in the air. Amber's response when the vet hit a sensitive spot was to simply move away, rather than threaten her.

Also, I can NEVER get that horse to trot in hand. I need a "chaser" to accomplish it. Nope, today, she was good as gold, trotted right off...

I'll keep you guys posted. For now, she's going to get more rest and some injections.


  1. Hock injections can do wonders. They are, however, something you will likely need to repeat in the future, but Amber will let you know when it's time.

    Some hock issues improve over time and others don't. Getting x-rays in the future will tell you more, but for now, making her more comfortable in her hocks should make a world of difference.

    Wishing you all the best. It made a world of difference to my Toby when he was competing.

  2. Oh god...the dreaded hock injections. Once you start, they will never stop. And increasingly your horse will "need" more, so says the vert, even if they are 100% sound. Goooodbye $.

    THE INSTANT any other horse of mine really does need injections, I will retire them on the spot. it is not worth masking the pain and real issue just to keep riding them for our pleasure. I feel extremely guilty for riding Spirit for 3 years on injections, just to keep eventing him, even though he was uncomfortable.

    Wishing you luck.

  3. Well, I will respectfully disagree...besides, she's 7! It would be crazy, imho, to retire a 7 year old when the vet tells me it's a minor injury, basically irritation in the joint...

    At least, according to Dr. Kim, she may not need them or years, or at all...

    Everyone I've been getting opinions from that heard the situation was basically just sucks, but it's not the end of her career, or any major limitation. Kind of starting to have no clue what I'm going to do with her. She's not built for any serious jumping, the more I think about it...but she looks really cute on the flat when she works correctly...

  4. To clarify, she may not need them *again* for years or never at all.

  5. I wasnt trying to be rude...i was just explaining my feeling towards those expensive little buggers! Sorry :(

  6. No, I didn't take it as such! Actually, I was the one that came off rude. A little too defensive I suppose. :/

    I am, to an extent, a little nervous, even though the vet and everyone else is super chill about this. Even so, I know hock injections are not a "great" thing to have to have, even on an older horse, and she's 7. So I guess my own fears came out there.

    I have no real first-hand experience with them. I know some people who they have done nothing for, and I know some people who they have basically fixed everything for their horses, never had to have them again. The vet actually told me she had a horse whose hock injections totally turned him around.

    I've chalked it up to be one of those things that can go either way. It seems when a problem is caught early and it's not a severe injury, they become that "magic fix" for lack of a better term. If it's a more progressed injury, it just kind of adds time to a ticking time bomb.

    Which, Amber's hocks are not that fantastic conformationally anyway, so even if she hadn't been screwed up at a young age, they were still a ticking time bomb. At least I discovered the extent of the problem before I fully set course on any discipline.