A recent visitor requested news of how Saxony is responding to the Cosequin ASU. I intended to post an update after Saxony had her wolf teeth removed, since that is the next time my vet will see her and make an objective assessment, but I can offer a subjective view for now.
In an ideal world, we'd have control over variables, especially when conducting experiments, so no factors pertain but the one we are testing. I didn't get that lucky. Shortly after Saxony started on the daily Cosequin ASU SmartPaks - which my vet recommended we try for findings of mild arthritis in the right rear hock - X-rays revealed crookedness in Saxony's front pasterns and I began my quest to find a farrier who could offer an alternative to shoeing.
Actually, maybe that made it a sort of ideal world, in an odd sense. Saxony's feet grew longer and longer as my search for a farrier dragged on. I'm sure her long toes and generally uneven hooves placed stresses on her pasterns that weren't helpful. Coupling her sorry feet with turnout terrain that has vacillated between snow, ice and mud of late, I think I had good reason to worry about her being sore.
That same terrain has made it impossible for me to move her out. There is no indoor arena, and the riding ring long ago vanished under a layered winter lava comprised of ice and snow. My opportunities to watch her move have come when she's in turnout. She's smart and knows how to move on slippery footing, so I've watched lots of walking. No limping, no lameness, just a deliberate, careful walk.
One week ago, Saxony's feet were trimmed. She walked out of the barn, back into turnout, entirely differently than she had walked into the barn. That's how much the trim transformed her. It didn't change her step, it altered the extent to which she toes out in front. That toe-out is really reduced, I mean really reduced.
On Wednesday I wrote about the funny little pony who was tearing around his paddock, wanting to play with everybody. It was during his crazy antics that I saw Saxony buck, crow hop, squeal and break into a canter, snaking her neck from side to side as she ran along the fence line separating her from the pony. She whinnied like a little filly, not a nine-year old mare.
I watched as she stepped down into a floating extended trot and circled through a figure eight, tail high. I remember thinking, Oh, I can't wait to ride that trot. And I can't. She feels much, much better. I see it in her overall lightness and playfulness. I'm sure that, when the footing is decent, she will offer an explosion of pent-up energy. On Monday upcoming, it will be eight weeks that she's been on Cosequin ASU. Factored in has to be the one-week-old trim that she's wearing so well, but I believe the Cosequin has helped and is helping her.
Because Saxony spends a lot of time turned out, unblanketed, only overnighting in the barn at temperatures of 20 degrees or lower (excepting blizzards, etc.), I felt the winter was exactly the right time to try this experiment, thinking if Cosequin would be helpful at all, why not try it during a time when she might really need it. When my vet comes, the first question I will ask her is whether she thinks Saxony should remain on Cosequin permanently.
Right now, what I see is one sweet, happy mare, which means I have to file Cosequin ASU under so far, so good.