Friday, September 16, 2011


When I got Moose I figured we would spend the fall and winter training and by spring be ready to go beginner novice moving up to novice. That did not happen. Though our walk and trot work improved 200% our canter…resembled a canter. In the same way a barrel horse charging for home has a gait that resembles a canter.

I sought advice…transitions, circles, just let him canter, transitions, cavaletti, lateral work, backing, transitions, just improve the trot and the canter will come, transitions, lunge with side reins, lunge without side reins, transitions.

After all that our trot and lateral work improved another 100%. Our canter not so much. I began to look for other causes.
  • Teeth
  • Saddle fitted
  • New girth
  • New bit
  • No ulcers
Check, check and check.

I did notice his stifle occasionally slipped…armed with google I began to suspect a stifle issue.
Our Symptoms
  • No canter
  • When asked to canter crowhops. A lot.
  • Stifle slips
  • Straight stifle conformation
One of the bestest vets ever (that sadly lives far away) confirmed my suspicion that it could be stifle or possibly an SI issue. Since I could not haul him to Boston (yes- I considered it) the vet search began.

I consulted the best of the best, checked references and loaded Moose up for an 8 hour round trip voyage. ..and the clinic was very good. But. I could not help but feel  a little bit as though my Moose was not quite fancy enough. The Doc kept saying “he is not lame”…and finally “I can’t make him an Olympic horse…that canter is what you have”. Almost the same line spoken by an Olympian coach. I refuse to believe that.  No-Moose will never rival Totilas….or get even an “8” on gaits. But this horse has a heart of gold and more try and willingness to please than any human or animal I have encountered.

Stifle and hocks were injected and home we went.

So far his canter has improved. The last 3 rides an actual gait has been developing…I have hope.

Moose at Hospital

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