09 April 2011

Compa's Stifles

The vet came out yesterday. A decision was made...

We're going to keep training.

I wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing by riding him. The vet confirmed after chiropractic and acupuncture that Compa is physically strong enough for me to continue. Whew! That was good news on several fronts.

First, at five years old, it's imperative to get the training done. Waiting too long just complicates things. Second, Compa is not experiencing any pain. When he locks up he just patiently waits until his stifles pop back into place again. I can feel when they lock, so I stop asking and just wait along with him. Then he makes some minor adjustments to his balance and they pop back in and off we go again. Third, Compa plays hard out in the pasture with all the horses and doesn't lock up. Go figure! If he exercises himself that much without any difficulties or damage, then riding him won't damage him, either. Fourth, controlled exercise using speed and straight lines will strengthen his muscles and tendons around the stifle and improve the situation. Once he gets far enough along, I'll trailer him to some hills and that will help strengthen him even more.

The consensus was that the stifles are popping because Compa is growing very fast. It's an interesting idea. Now that he is outdoors, he is moving freely and living his life, he's catching up on all of his growing.

I think he may end up being bigger than any of us thought...


  1. He sounds so wonderful. I love his story! You tell it so beautifully, Dee. Q: This might be an obvious answer but bear with me: Other than the added weight factor, how does a horse carry himself differently when carrying a rider than when he's at liberty that would cause his stifles to lock up? (thinking about him not having problems when he's on turnout as opposed to being ridden).

  2. @ Julie - I appreciate people who want to learn. If it's important to you, it's important to me, too...

    Locking stifles is usually an indication of back problems. Specifically, lower lumbar to upper sacrum. Riding this problem creates more problems, because the horse cannot lift his back, he carries himself inverted. When this occurs, even an English saddle would be too heavy.

    Not so with Compa. Palpation, chiro and acupuncture all indicated zero soreness throughout the back, neck, shoulders and hindquarters. Had us stumped for a bit until I mentioned to the Doc that Compa had grown a full inch since his arrival five weeks ago. That is unheard of and yet it is so. The Doc had an "ah HA" moment and explained how the rapid growth could cause this difficulty in a horse. Things fell into place for all of us, as I recalled that Compa didn't have trouble with his stifles until he was turned out full time with the herd...

  3. Dee would you be able to post a video of him showing what happens when he locks up, I can almost see it in my mind but would be a great learning experience to see it happening - would be helpful possibly watching.

  4. @ Maggie - Are you following the FB page or do you want the lock up video on blogger?