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We Are Flying Solo

August 8, 2011

It's A Bird. It's A Plane. Oh, Wait, It's SuperVet!

That's right, it's Episode 59 of Dr. Bob Presents.

It was time for fall shots (a perennial favourite of Mr. Orange Wimpy Pants) which is code for time where I stockpile all my equine questions in a marathon Dr. Bob Inquisition. Only there is no torture. Unless you consider me asking questions torture. Which he might. But I pay him. So too bad.

Question 1: I've noticed Solo's heels tend to underrun. Should I be concerned? Should I try to fix this? Can it be fixed?

Dr. Bob's Treatise On Feet (may be cropped to fit this screen and typing energy level): When a horse's heels get crushed by bad farrier work, they cannot always be fixed. Which is why I freak out when I see this happening. The heels will, over time, continue to grow at the new, undesired angle and you can cause more damage and spend a horse's whole life trying to fix it. What is important is that the heels are fully supported, the toes are kept short, the angles of the whole foot and leg are balanced, and the horse is comfortable.

Question 2: My massage fingers are paranoid. Is this part of his butt supposed to feel this tight and is this part suppose to twitch when I press on it and does his ass feel better?

Dr. Bob's Treatise On Equine Musculature (definitely abbreviated to allow for approaching bedtime): This muscle group goes this way and this muscle group goes this way (lecture on muscles and fascia commences which is fascinating, but too long to type). Yes, this part is supposed to feel tight and yes, that is supposed to twitch, and yes, he feels much better. Your massage work is excellent! (here I throw a self-congratulatory internal party)

Question 3:  I would like to bring Solo back to competition at Novice level in early October.  We will not go Training again until at least late November; I will not rush him.

Dr. Bob: Sweet. Sounds good. Thumbs up. (Hey, it's not all treatises.)

Question 4:  My friend's horse is a chunky, black, PerchieX and he has terrible anhydrosis.  He's been on OneAC for months and they are both miserable.  I heard a rumour about accupuncture helping -- can you fix him?

Dr. Bob's Treatise On Anhydrosis (I've already heard the accupuncture treatise): Sure, I can staple his ears; this commonly is very successful. I've had a horse start sweating within 15 minutes of staples going in. I've never had much luck with OneAC. Thyroid supplements also often help, but take about a month to start working.

From here, we launched into a discussion of the equine glandular system and feedback pathways throughout. I don't think it's good for business to let science geeks talk to each other, we have notoriously poor time management skills. In fact, Dr. Bob's lucky I don't have any money or else I would schedule appointments just to peruse his seemingly boundless collection of horse knowledge.

Your summary: Solo's healing. His feet and muscle look good and a comeback looks hopeful. I can begin adding more jumps to our rides while keeping up the massage. Solo was a week overdue on worming and his fecal was at a 2 for worms, so we obviously have undead zombie worms on the farm and I shot that wormer in as soon as we got home. Of course, he spit it out, so I scraped it off the floor and shoved it back in. He swallowed that time. PerchieX needs some ear staples and my bank account needs CPR. But it was worth it.


  1. You lost me at ear staples.... what the what?

  2. I would sweat if someone stapled my ears, too. Eeeeeee!

    Glad Solo's ass is better! :-D

  3. Glad to hear the Solo is working his way back into work.
    The ear stapling is amazing. I once knew a crazy-ass-always-cycling jumper mare who was an extreme talent when not cycling, which was rarely. They tried everything and an ear staple fixed it. Of course, you wanted to make sure the staple was still there before you walked into her stall.

  4. I love my hippy-holistic vet, but I want an appointment with Dr. Bob too!
    Glad Solo is feeling better.
    PS I love that game :)

  5. I think I'm in love with your vet- I can't seem to find ANY who will take the time to answer my questions (or even talk to me). It's one of the bad things about being the only (wanna-be) eventer in a world of pasture ponies. None of the vets I find seem to have any idea of the concept of "sports medicine." Not to mention they're all... elderly... and very much men-of-little-or-no-words. Sigh. And whenever I bring a new on in in hopes of a miracle, poor Lucky's always looking at me like she's saying, "Oh no, Mom, not another one!"

  6. I'm still with SillyPony - what the HECK are you talking about with the ear staples??? I have never heard of such a thing! I'm guessing it's a form of acupuncture, even though it sounds a lot like torture? (Yeah, I can just see me suggesting this to my riding buddy if her WB that I ride ever gets anhydrosis. She'd keel over in a dead faint and probably never speak to me again.)

    Please elaborate on this... we are dying of curiousity here.

    And Barbara, if whatever this procedure is actually worked on a crazy mare, man, I wish I'd known that about six years ago - because I would have been driving to the barn at 75 mph with a Swingline in hand... :-)

  7. ROFL -- ear stapling is indeed a method which places surgical staples on accupuncture points in the horse's ears. It has been used for hormone issues, anhydrosis, even heard them placed on a cribber. It's been around a long time and most horses actually don't even react when they go in, apparently. Sounds torturous, but like most accupuncture, is not.

  8. This post was seriously funny. The ear staples sound gruesome, but faulty thermoregulation is no walk in the park.

  9. After the staple can you put something like a subdued pearl stud? That might look sweet going over fences!

    I too want to borrow or steal your Dr. Bob. My vet is good, but his fuse is blown after 2 questions, /sigh

  10. Dr. Bob is a Super Star! Glad Solo is doing better. I think I need my ears stapled.

  11. This makes me smile! Way to get the go ahead! And, loved the blog interrogation!

  12. Ok, TOTALLY off-topic but you absolutely HAVE to see these videos!!! With this one, keep in mind that NO ONE, horse or rider, was really injured in any wreck.

    Good grief, I have never ridden a bank in my life but even *I* know you have to lean back and slip the reins... love the folks who finally get Horsie over the drop and then proceed to lean forward - ain't gonna work! :-)

    And this one is SOOOO cool. You will love it! I remember ALL these people and I didn't really follow eventing back then (was just a dedicated Practical Horseman reader). I also never really understood the whole "long format" business as a kid, but now I get it. I can't believe how FAR everyone had to run on edurance day - dang, those were some freaky-fit horses! Do you think the sport is better off having eliminated A, B and C?

    And finally, all I can say is, Karen Stives is One. Lucky. Chick.

  13. Aunt Deb, oooo, the earring is a good idea!

    RW, those falls make my body hurt! Holy cow, how did you find that old Rolex video? That is REALLY old footage and some FANTASTIC stuff! I now know that Wofford was just a awesome and philosophical in the late 70's as he is today!

    Holy crap, that is a phenomenal video. I wish every day to get THAT version of our sport back, I miss it. No, we are MUCH poorer having eliminated endurance day and the evidence is accumulating daily. Those horses and riders in the long format were simply phenomenal demonstrations of horsemanship and I hope our long format revival these days keeps growing!

  14. I do think today's jumps look a lot safer, at least! That white drop fence into the water at Head of the Lake was sca-ry.

    But yeah, there seems to be no comparison between those incredible horsepeople AND riders and SOME of today's eventers who go yahooing around a 3* or 4* without having much of a clue. I am certainly no expert since it's not even my horse sport, but I am a faithful reader of Woff's column in PH and know what he thinks, and while at the WEG I saw a few horse and rider combos in person that I really wondered about. NOT in the top rankings, at all - those people were freakin' amazing - but definitely in the bottom half.

    On the other hand, if eliminating long-format allowed more people to get out and enjoy the sport, maybe that isn't all bad... I just don't think they should be shooting up the levels too fast without adequate preparation.