When this spunky little pony was presented to us, we were about the last resort.
He had been chronically laminitic since a 2 year old colt. His owners got several different opinions, tried several different types of shoes and many people tried to help this pony but to no avail. He was getting progressively worse and euthanasia was suggested.
Oscar on arrival
Oscar arrived in constant pain that was coming from his poor hoof form and inflamed laminae. He was sacrificing his normal posture to accommodate the pain , thus resulting in tension and fatigue in his whole body. We got to work modifying his diet and making him as comfortable as possible in his feet – After his first few trims when let free for exercise he galloped around in joy. In combination with a correct exercise program we employed the services of a massage therapist.
Because Oscar had carried himself with poor posture for such a large part of his life, he had a strong muscle memory pulling him back into bad shape. It was a challenge to convince his body otherwise. Immediately after his massages he moved free-er and correct. He appeared much happier and his personality shone as he realized he was pain free! At first it was within a week or so that he re-presented with a sore back. Gradually we were able to lengthen the amount of time between treatments.
Without follow up soft tissue work and good horsemanship to let him know he can move freely, Oscar will most likely present with reoccurring back pain. But because his feet are now working for him, this is a relatively simple problem to solve and this is nothing like the world of pain he lived in before our paths crossed.
Left: Helping him change from his “frame of pain” by teaching him to use the right muscles.
When ponies like Oscar come to us, their personalities change as they become pain free and healthy. They become full of life. Part of our job before they go home, is reminding them that their job is to look after the passengers on their back ! Oscar is now at home filling the important role of teaching children how to ride.
He was such a knowing and intelligent character and a joy to work with. We are hoping one day that we will get some “bods” in our rehab centre before they have been through the ropes and totally written off.
4.5 months later – the day he went home