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Kody's doing so well after his surgery

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hobbyhorse23

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I'm endlessly amazed by the things I hadn't even realized were RELATED to his locking stifles that are now getting better. Kody's always preferred the left lead- so what, most horses have a preferred lead and it's often the left one.
Well, now that he's had his hind legs fixed all of a sudden he's picking up the right lead 50% of the time on a straight line when we get to running around in-hand. He no longer cross-leads and is becoming much more balanced at the canter. Okay, so difficulty cantering is a hallmark of locking stifles so maybe I should have anticipated that. BUT!


Mr. Kody has gained 10lbs of muscle in his hindquarters since March. His chiropractor is absolutely amazed at the changes in his rear end.


Kody has always had the biggest swivel in his hind legs with each stride. Now he walks much straighter.

His hind hooves have completely changed their wear pattern and no longer require frequent trimming to keep them correct.

He figured out last week that he could actually kick at flies on his belly! Oh, happy horse.


Holding the cart back down hills is now easy for him and his legs no longer spontaneously give out under him.

I've noticed he seems much less cowhocked and actually stands straighter and I couldn't figure out why except that maybe he wasn't trying to protect those joints anymore. In reading Disneyhorse's reply to the person with a newly cowhocked yearling I had an epiphany- Kody's finally got enough muscle back there to hold himself straight.

I'm just AMAZED by all the changes in him and every one for the better. He's even back to resting his hind legs again which they aren't supposed to be able to do after the surgery so I think I can live with the fact that he lays down at the drop of a hat now. Oh wait...he did that before! *LOL*

For those who are considering this surgery, I can't urge you enough to do it. I still don't think a horse who has it done is ready to go back to work within days as we're almost four months out now and I still see some fading restriction in his abilities but then again Kody apparently had even more problems than we realized and has had to rebuild his entire hind end. That takes time! Still, I'd give your horse six months before expecting them to be truly and completely like it never happened. It's so worth it though!! Even being conservative they should be back to competing fully in three months so you won't miss much.

I think of the emails I've gotten from people who are going to have this done now because of Kody and feel like he and I have made a difference that matters. If even ONE HORSE has a better life because of this I think it's wonderful. I still cry happy tears when I think of Shadow (how's he doing, anyway??)

Please, please, breed responsibly.
If you have a horse with this problem don't even risk passing it on. Geld them, get their legs fixed and make a wonderful performance horse out of them. Let them be someone's best friend. But don't allow this awful condition to be passed on! It's great that the fix is so easy but no horse should have to be surgically altered so they can walk.
Whether it truly is genetic or not, to me it's not worth the risk with so many good horses out there that don't have the problem. I saw what Kody went through and wouldn't wish that on any horse even temporarily.

Thank you again to my LB family for giving me the courage to have this procedure done. It's made all the difference.

Leia
 

Champ

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Congratulations on Kodys successful surgery


After reading your post it makes me wonder about my guy, his hind legs lock up once and a while and he will cross canter sometimes and he's definitely cowhocked
 

dreaminmini

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I'm so glad Kody is doing well. Can't wait to hear how he does at the next show. I imagine he is probably amazed at how he himself feels. I wonder what he'll be like in another 2 months???? Look out competitors!!!!!
 

hobbyhorse23

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Dreaminmini, I cannot WAIT for next year. I think he'll be on fire! We've already had our next competition on 4th of July weekend and we're now gearing up for the last full 2008 CDE at Beavercreek this coming weekend. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

Obviously it's a busy time right now and the forum isn't being too active but I hope the lack of replies isn't from something I said.
I hate it when I do this:


I really did want an update on Shadow too...lilhorseladie? Where are you?

Leia
 

dreaminmini

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Best of luck this weekend!!! Fingers crossed!
Have fun! Hope to see some pics??

I have noticed it a lot quieter around here, a lot of topics are getting slower responses. I'm sure it's nothing you said. Now that the weather is nicer everyone gets a lot busier, lots of shows and the lucky ones who get holidays
 

Shari

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It is so good to hear Mr Kody is doing really well!!


And yes.. Stifle is an issue and becoming more so, specially in the gaited horses.
 

lilhorseladie

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I am so glad to hear about Kody! I think this surgery really makes them free to be horses again.

Shadow goes to the vet every two weeks for a weight check. We go right in the front door and step on a small platform scale. He has the drill down! He has gained twenty pounds. He could still use another twenty to be a bit padded. The vet likes the way his muscles are building in the back end. He has really become a lover too. On July fourth, I braided him and a filly up and my husband and I instead of walking in the parade, walked the sidewalks to allow people to pet. Shadow was an angel. Nothing bothered him at all. He then spent July 6-8 at the fair for all to see. After six weeks of recuperation and being mainly with my fillies, I reintroduced him to his stally friends. Things seem to be going well...except for one issue. He is pretty down in the hocks, one more than the other. I have given the selenium shot and he is due for another. I also trim his toes bi weekly. He is improving! To think that this little guy was going to be put down and you people, especially Kody's story, as well as others saved him!


 

lilhorseladie

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Wasn't ignoring you, didn't see this. I have been extremely busy lolly gagging around!
Anyway, thanks for asking and thanks for the Kody update. I hope to have some decent pictures of shadow soon.
 

BannerBrat

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[SIZE=12pt]That's great about Kody Leia!
[/SIZE]

wow, 10lbs of muscle, that's quite a bit!


Sooooooooooooooooo happy for you & Kody,
 

bingo

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I am so glad you decided to go ahead with the surgery. I know a couple of years back you were posting on a thread with someone I think Sweet Opal maybe about a horse that had the surgery on and at the time you were very opposed and concerned about going ahead. Glad you did it and that it turned out to be the best decision for you and your horse!
 

hobbyhorse23

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Bingo, I still think surgery is the last resort and won't know for a few years yet if Kody is going to eventually suffer for my decision or not. Every vet in my area is full of dire stories about how bad this surgery is and they will try desperately to talk you out of it so I was going by what multiple trustworthy sources told me. *shrug* It still seems drastic to me and I hate that I had to do it but things were getting so bad for my little man that we had no choice anymore IMO. I don't wish I'd done it sooner, only that we hadn't wasted time with the splitting surgery first. If I hadn't tried it I would always wonder if it would have been better but I hated watching Kody go through two nasty recoveries in five months.

Knock on wood and praise God that it seems to be over now! I'm going to enjoy every healthy day with him and hope he continues to be sound for many years yet. I just want those who are at the end of their rope as I was to know there is an alternative if things really get that bad. I couldn't find a detailed recovery story when I needed one so I wrote it myself for those who come afterwards.


Thanks again guys. Off to our third CDE in six weeks,

Leia
 

Kellie in OR

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Hi Leia,

I wouldn't have guessed Kody has a history of stifle problems by seeing him on the 4th at Inovale, he looked GREAT! Glad I got to have met you guys.

I have two friends that have had the stifle surgery on their Tennessee Walkers. One was a yearling, the other was a four year old. Both of them were locking up to the point of being stuck! The one with the surgery done at 4 years tried estrogen shots, exercise and blistering, nothing else worked and she wishes she would have had the surgery done sooner. This horse is now 8 and a mountain trail horse. The other that had the stifles cut at a year is now 13 and has been shown in versatility events that include jumping, driving and barrel racing. She is also an excellent trail horse. Neither horse has shown any side effects of the surgery, but bother were miserable before.

My little bay mini Hondo had his stifles cut as a two year old, before I owned him. He is now seven, but I have only had him six months. He is trotting and cantering up and down my pasture hills and ground driving and longing several times per week. The only time he has acted sore is when I was being stupid and jumping him over big barrels before he was properly conditioned.

I did get my cart and harness ordered, thank you for the help & information. I think driving him will strengthen his stifles even more. And I am having so much fun too!
 

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