* March 14, 2010 – first entry in Ziba’s Healing Journal
This is Ziba, my reg. Oldenburg Gov mare born in 1996.
She has a wonderful spirit and is adventurous, quite opinionated and very smart. Although she loves to work and loved dressage, would have loved to jump and event, she has faced health issues since the day I purchased her in 2001. The day I met her, I fell in love with her and knew she was to be mine. Ignoring the warning signs such as the fact that she hadn’t been ridden in 6 months and that the owners advised me against riding in the direction I was heading in their large pasture (later to find out that the spot to where we headed was where she always reared and bolted), I think she had in a way chosen me too. On that first ride, She did not rear or bolt, and simply felt like this ball of energy that was under control and I knew I could trust her from the moment I sat astride her. I am so thankful that I listened to my intuition. Although I did not end up pursuing my goal of diligently learning dressage. I found myself on another fascinating life ride, a journey part riding, but mostly of healing and learning about facets of animal relationship that I would never have believed.
So what was wrong with Ziba physically?
She has had Degenerative Joint Disease (arthritic hocks and front pasterns at the age of 7 (when I purchased her) – condition was addressed as best as possible through premium joint supplements and adequan and Legend IV & intra-articular, but worsened over time.
Early formation of cataracts (but not moon blindness) – before age of 7.
Major sensitivities to vaccinations resulting in hives and worse.
‘Pre Navicular’ syndrome 5 yrs ago and later diagnosis of Ringbone in fronts.
4.5 years ago she was dead lame. Could barely walk.
From the start we addressed her joints through supplementation and later with Adequan and intra-articular joint injections and IV Legend. This helped, but did not lead to 100% soundness. It helped her maintain when she was still mobile.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that her foot form was degenerating. After regular shoes, the vet and farrier recommended shoeing her with pads to lift her low, under-run heels. Then they recommended bar shoes with pads which worked for a little while before she became dead lame.
After finding http://www.equinextion.com and other resources, I could identify in her foot form: flares, separated walls, long toes, soles as flat as pancakes, uneven height, underrun & contracted, and wall ridges! If only I had educated myself sooner.
My conclusion was that her shoeing was worsening her foot form. It felt like jumping off a cliff to decide to take her barefoot in a facility where most people shod religiously. But it seemed to be the best alternative, and I clung to the small hope that her feet might change and correct themselves.
I will post before & after pics next but need to find them.
What I’d really like to talk about is the latest chapter in her healing journey… coming very shortly!
ZIBA’S HEALING JOURNAL – See entries below:
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JOURNEY TO BAREFOOT, April 2010
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FACING DEGENERATIVE JOINT DISEASE, May 2010
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LISA ST. JOHN’S HEALING PROGRAM FOR ZIBA, June 2010 & ongoing
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A LETTER OF ENCOURAGEMENT, January 2011
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THURSDAY AFTERNOON, August 31, 2012
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A HARD DAY TO RECOUNT, April, 6, 2013