The Trouble with Young Horses is

they’re still growing …

After being unable to get through some behavioral issues with Caliber, on January 1st I sent my girl off to a local colt starter with a reputation that preceeds him. I’ve been making it out to see her about once a week to check on progress and start riding her under his guidance. An issue cropped up at the beginning of this process where she would canter on the correct lead then bunny hop and swap her hind,  cross cantering.  After a few months of trying to work her out of it and hoping it was strength-based we determined a trip to the vet was in order.

So, yesterday we went to the vet.  After flexion tests, lunge line observation, and x-rays she got an overall clean bill of health.  As it turns out, she has mild IUFP (intermittent upward fixation of the patella) in her right stifle (think a person’s knee cap that catches during certain movements because one of the tendons holding it is slightly slack). Apparently it is quite common in 3-4 year old horses, especially if they are croup high, which Caliber still is) and they usually literally grow out of it.  You can help the process along in different ways, which I have come to learn people are quite opinionated on. My vets chose to blister the stifles (a process of creating inflammation to tighten the tendons and muscles in the area) and gave us a rigorous exercise routine of long and low extended trots, hill work, and cavalletti work to make Caliber really lift and strengthen the muscles around her stifle. She will need rigorous exercise as often as possible as we work to get her back on track and the vets anticipate that this will ensure that this will not be a reoccurring concern (good news).

Oh darn – more barn time – vet’s orders! 😉 It’s a great opportunity to hold me accountable for ensuring that she gets consistent under saddle work and reinforcing all the great work the trainer put on her with me at the helm now.  Keep an eye out for lots of easy and/or quick recipes cooking as a result.



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