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What do you think?

Hi All

I have a friend that has a pony that is having a problem. I'm kind of
stumped. Does anyone have any suggestions for this. I wonder if
corrective shoeing would help.
This is what she wrote to me.

1. History: Pony is 13.1 hands, 14ish years old, used in lesson program 3-4
days a week with mostly flat work and some low crossrails. He has back legs
that are somewhat straight. He has a Napoleon complex with pasture buddies,
but is mostly well-behaved under-saddle/driving/handling. The problem is
that his back left stifle occaisionally locks up. When this happens we back
him up a few steps to unlock the leg, and walk him slowly for a bit and he
works out of it. Do not know history before purchased at age 13 a year and
a half ago--he was a little underweight and in need of supplements to get
his coat in shape.
2. Over the course of the first year with this pony, he wore down the front
of his hoofs (front and hind end) and seemed very stiff. The vet took
xrays, and said to give bute and lay him off for a week. (Pony lives out
24/7 and gets 1/2 scoop pellets 1xday and 1-2 flakes of hay along with
other pasture buddies.) This didn't seem to change the shuffling/stiffness.
Vet did the following: took xrays of hocks, and recommended the farrier
check angles (but friend boards at  facility where farrier is hesitant to
"do ponys" as the barn goddess feels ponies should just wear their feet
down naturally-- so this pony is barefoot);  the xrays showed only minor
arthritic(?) changes, vet prescribed one month round of Adequan injections
and Cosequin 1x day, after loading with Cosequin 2x/day for the first three
weeks of therapy, and after one week of rest--back to consistent exercise,
with hill work to strengthen the hind end.
3. The pony gets massaged twice a month-- massage therapist finds that the
pony seems ok other than in the muscles he stiffens to protect his back
legs. She has prescribed some stretching exercises to be done before and
after each ride.
4. Ponys hooves are improving, doesn't shuffle as much, still a little
stiff though. Would like to get rid of stifle prob if poss. Is surgery a
viable alternative? The vet here seems to think that people are moving away
from stifle surgery as it has a high failure rate.

Thanks for the input.


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