I bought Copper as a 3-4 year old in April 2006 and he was shod all round. He was lightly backed in April and by August we were lightly hacking out and jumping max of 2'9" in the school but as the year went on he began to knock jumps down and his performance deteriorated. The vet treated him for 'tying up', had his back and teeth checked but he continued to get worse and lose his elevated action and felt lame in both fronts.
It was from this time on that we began a journey of 2-3 years of investigations. From being lame in front I then felt he began to be uncomfortable in his lumber area, so his back was scanned but nothing was found. He was given steroid injections into two areas of his back behind the saddle, with physio and acupuncture every week. I noticed his right side seemed to be lower at the pelvic area and he had uneven muscle development. He received injections into his sacro-iliac ligaments, which provided some improvement, but then he again went very lame on both fronts. He was fitted with Natural Balance shoes which I had to have removed the next day as he found them so uncomfortable that he couldn't walk. He then had both coffins joints injected with steriod, with no success, his right front was found to be worse when flexion tested. I truely believe that if Copper had been human, he was so miserable and depressed he would have ended it all.
I was so close to calling it a day but something kept telling me not too. In all Copper had not worked for the best part of two years and he was now aged 8 and treatment had gone on now for nearly 4 years. How could I justify ending his life when there had no diagnosis of what was wrong. It was then I made the decision to remove his shoes. He received Bowen treatment from Lottie Merry which he really seemed to enjoy and Lottie told me to contact Lindsay.
Lottie and Lindsay discussed Copper and began a rehabilitation program and Copper has consistently improved as health and balance was restored to his internal hoof structure. He began to move with improved elevation and self carriage, and his muscle development has become more even and his action balanced. From this time on we have progressed steadily monitoring closely any changes in stride wear or hoof shape which may indicate any deterioration.
When I look back, it becomes clear that Copper's deterioration grew into a circuit of discomfort. Thousands was spent on these investigations, which never resulted in a diagnosis. It took one set of therapeutic Hoof Pads, one set of G2 boots and 4-5 weekly visits from Lindsay for Copper to recover significantly within 2-3 months, and he has stayed in consistent work since. His personality has come back and he is happy and full of vitality. We are now entering small shows and dressage events, hacking without boots on the lanes and Copper is really enjoying his jumping. I feel we are now beginning a whole new and exciting future together.
JO AND COPPER