Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (EPSM) and Thomas Equinas

This blog serves to chronicle my day to day struggles dealing with this metabolic disorder and how it effects my soon-to-be 13 year old dressage horse.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 27: A Good Day!

Yesterday it poured pretty much all day. I put Tom out in the ring with Willy, my youngster, and hoped they would play a little. They didn't. They stood there and looked sad all day. Me too. It was pretty miserable out there.

My view from up there...
Today the sun was shining and my ring cleared up (and it was thawed too!) Tom went out in his pasture for the day and when I called him to come in he came galloping over the knoll and slid to a stop at the gate. He warmed up well; not nearly as contrary as he was on Tuesday. I stuck to my "no leaning" rule and he got better and better. By the end he was even allowing me to ask for a little collection in canter- something that has been extremely difficult for quite some time now. He felt so balanced and happy that I asked for the right to left change. He got a little croup high, but it felt clean and he allowed me to regroup him and go ahead and ask for the left to right change (his harder one). It was beautiful! I stopped, told him he was wonderful (really wonderful!) and put him away.

I've been having a few discussions with people who are following this EPSM epistle . It's really interesting to see where symptoms cross over. I suspect people who focus on dressage notice a whole different set of problems than people in other riding disciplines. The people I've been talking with are primarily focusing on dressage and we tend to notice hind end (engine) problems. Tom has been about 2 months on the changed diet with added oil. Barb, my vet, said to allow 4 months for complete adaptation to the new diet. So far I'm pretty happy. Tom definitely has more "engine" and is much more able to move correctly. Yes, there have been good days and bad, just as I was told would happen, but in general there definitely is an improvement.

I've written to Dr. Eleanor Kellon, DVM, Equine Nutrition Specialist, and asked her some basic questions about how and when  EPSM develops. She sent me a study (a PDF file) that's quite interesting and I'll share it if you email me and ask. I'm still trying to find time to really study this. There's a lot of science in there, but I think it has some of the answers I was looking for about the onset of the disease. I hope this might help some others too.

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