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.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 38: Lots to do (and not enough time to do it)

Sorry I've been absent from here for a few days. Busy times! I have ridden Tom every day except yesterday when it was pouring so hard, he was soaked and I was really tired. Yes. I whimped out. He has been good and I have been working hard on keeping his frame long and low; not using my nagging ankles and heels to push and sitting up tall to engage my abs as much as possible. It's working. Tom is going quite well and relaxing into some good basic work more quickly each day.

Today I wondered how he'd be since he got soaked from standing outside yesterday and then he chose to stand inside today. Since he wasn't worked yesterday I was afraid his muscles would be bad. The one thing I had going in my favor today is that it was 45° this morning and it had only dropped to 40° when I rode at noon. I think if it had been colder he might have been quite a bit less comfortable.

He still really wants to be heavy on the right rein and too light on the left. Jutta really wants me to work on balancing that out. Lots of counterflexion now and then to try to get him responsive on both sides of his mouth. Also, he sticks his tongue out on the left when he has relaxed into a nice frame. There does seem to be more "stuff" going on on the right side of his body. I have always said that he would do well with a wheel for a right hind foot, as he likes to drag that one along. Add the heaviness on the right rein, the tongue out on the left, and the lack of reactivity to the right leg and you've got a pretty lopsided horse!

When I was untacking him today I had undone the girth on the left side and I walked around to the right to undo it from the billets on the right. That little unbuckling movement brought on a cow-kick from his right hind which was clearly directed at ME! He always seems to be extremely sensitive to the touch after he's been worked. Go figure. Needless to say, he got a spanking for that, but I really wonder if it's a physical reaction to something as he's generally not one to kick at his mother!

1 comment:

  1. sounds like a muscle issue, most likely lactic acid build up (common in EPSM horses and others with muscular issues). What I've recommended for the couple of horses with EPSM that I've worked with is thorough stroking of the muscles after any work out to avoid damage and discomfort. The more touchy feely you are with him (without the hoof marks!) the more comfy he will be in the long run. Regular body work for horses with muscle issues makes a big difference, especially if the caregiver knows the issue (finally) ;)