Thursday, October 27, 2011

Three Rides and Watching Drifter Go

It was fairly cold and windy today - wind chills in the mid-40s - although the showers held off until late in the day.  I rode all three horses and we had an enjoyable time.

Dawn was somewhat careful, although not obviously sore, on hard or rocky surfaces, so we only worked at the walk in the arena.  But we got a lot done anyway - shortening/lengthening work, starting to work on a more collected walk as well as a more extended free walk, some pole work - Dawn is gradually getting over her pole phobia and went over them a number of times today with only a few times where she hesitated or rushed.  And then we did some spiral in/out work and then started some shoulder-in work, starting with a small circle touching the rail and then continuing on down the rail for a few strides with the same bend.  And mixed in with the work, we also did some standing around - she did this very well today - Dawn is such a quick learner and once she knows what you want she's happy to oblige.

Drifter had felt so odd at the trot yesterday that today I put him on the lunge line for a few minutes to see what was going on.  Most of the time he was noticeably short-striding with the right front/left hind pair, although there were times he wasn't.  Part of the short-striding was him slightly dragging his left hind toe and part was a lack of push as the foot moved back.  I'd already gone over him carefully - he's not sore, hot, swollen or tender anywhere, including the left hind leg and foot.  This sort of toe-dragging apparently is quite common with EPM.  He's also started taking up a "parked-out position" on the cross-ties, which is also a common EPM symptom - he stand will his back legs fairly far apart and somewhat behind his body, with his front legs fairly close together.  But his walk under saddle is still just fine, so we worked today at the walk and had a good time - just working on shortening/lengthening, poles and some leg yield work.

Pie's gaits are pretty good right now, although somewhat stiff.  We did some walk and trot work in the arena and then took a short tail excursion.  He is very crabby though, on and off, with lots of ear-pinning and ugly looks, although he's fine for grooming.

Tomorrow morning Pie and Drifter start their 10 days of pasting with Oroquin-10.  They'll also be getting some Banamine on days 3, 4 and 5 to help with any inflammation that may develop due to EPM organisms dying off.  I'm supposed to keep a careful record of any changes in their symptoms or behavior, or anything else I note, for the benefit of the researchers.  Here's hoping that things go well and the treatment, plus the 90-day follow-up feed treatment, does the trick for both of them.


  1. I know very little about this treatment and will be very interested in how it goes. Your three horses could not be more have a Mom like you.

  2. Good work with all three horses. It will be interesting to see how much Pie and Drifter improve with their regimen of treatment. Good luck and I hope they are superstars and get back to normal quickly.

    The weather does seem to be turning quickly. It was just snowing here mixed with rain. Too early for this!

  3. I am hoping the protocol works well with few if any side effects. As I said , lucky horses to be in your care

  4. I'm curious. Is there a website that clearly explains how this "new" treatment for EPM works? Or is it still in the experimental stage? A cure would be a HUGE breakthrough!

  5. Your horses, are truly, very well looked after. I am in awe.

  6. Margaret - here's a link:

    Both the test and the treatment are still in clinical trails. I found out about this from my vet/chiro, who has several horses under her care that are in the trial.

    The Pathogenes site also contains more information about the new ELISA test and the treatment, as well as lots of other good information about EPM.

  7. I'm excited to see how it works, too. Here's hoping!!

  8. Before I bought my horse, there was another horse I was considering until the vet check revealed that he might have EPM. This horse is still right up the road from me. I am not sure if EPM was the final diagnosis. I don't see anyone riding him--but he was always sort of a pasture pet more than anything else. At the time, I wasn't sure there was a treatment for horses with EPM, so I am really glad that there is something you can do. I am going to go back and read previous posts that I missed on how you got the diagnosis. It is surprising to me that you don't hear about it more often given the prevalence of what causes it.


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