We went to AZ for Thanksgiving, and of course spent some time with the horses there. My sister has been riding more lately, and we were hoping to take Jak and Jo out on the trails. Unfortunately Jak seemed off to me the first day I tried to ride, so I rode for about five minutes and got off. The second day, he started to buckle underneath me when I slid onto his back. I dismounted immediately and brought my sister down to investigate, but at that point Jak stopped exhibiting all the symptoms that had made me worry about him. She climbed on and he moved around fine for her.
Jak does have this talent for making me think he is ill and thus getting out of work, but the next day I went down there to try again and it was completely obvious from the moment I led him out of the corral that something was wrong. We called the vet, who couldn’t make it out for a few days. Jak seemed to be sore in at least his front feet, possibly all four. She advised us to put him on stall rest and ice his feet.
So Meryl and I went about trying to devise a system to get ice on Jak’s feet. Fortunately we do have a “stall” and we got him confined and his feet cooled. Our first attempt was the worst and basically necessitated we hang out with Jak to ensure he didn’t move at all for the 20 minutes he needed to stay wrapped. Our technique did see nominal improvement after that.
When the vet finally came, she was uncertain. She said he might have had a mild case of founder, but that his feet were definitely too long and he also definitely has Cushings disease. We always thought Jak just had a fuzzy coat because he was a unique sort of horse. It turns out it’s probably been a symptom of a greater problem for a while.
On the bright side, while I was trying to figure out if Jak was lame or not, Brian had some nice rides on Jo.