When your horse goes off (not escaped you!), be that anything from slightly off track to screamingly lame, in many cases it is something that has been brewing for a long time. Such stoic creatures, they are able to continue seemingly fine for quite some time, even though things are beginning to crumble and breakdown, unseen by their owners, or any vets, eye. But the day the vet starts making noises about remedial shoeing or box rest or considering a different discipline for your horse, namely that of pasture ornament, is the day you must decide if you are going to pull your socks up and go in for the long haul, to get your precious equine back on the right road, or if you are going to throw your hands up and walk away! If you are reading this, you are not a throw your hands up type of person.
Patching up, only looking at and addressing what ever is staring you in the face, is only a short term fix. As with many lameness issues that appear because just one straw finally broke that camels back, the original cause is not immediately clear. Thus the process of recovery takes time, and frustrating time on those occasions when your horse may go from bad to worse as his body re-adjusts through the transition back to health.
An OTTB has taken 6 years to recover from all the imbalances and mental stress of his previous life. The psychological affects of ailments are so often overlooked. A TB X performed faultlessly for 10 years at intermediate level dressage, jumping and cross country, then one day just started to keep clipping the jumps and coming short. Two years of remedial work to hooves and body and he now jumps and moves out better than ever before. A foundered pony was back popping over jumps and hitting the trail just a remarkable 9 months after being quite literally unable to walk at all. What manifested as an abscess uncovered all manner of toxicity and general breakdown in a horse, who, 12 months later was healthier than they had ever been their entire life. Destined for the meat wagon because everyone said he was dangerous, a bucking, kicking, ´wild beast´, became a trophy winning childs mount after his hoof and back problems were found to be the cause of his "symptoms". All these success stories have one thing in common; The owners were prepared to comply with all the directives given (changes to environment, diet, exercise and hoof care) and take the time it took to get their horses truly healthy. They were prepared to consider the whole horse as a cause and work with the relevant professionals where necessary to truly and permanently rehabilitate their horse.