PASHA' S STORY (ENDURANCE ARAB)
Pasha is a 13 year old Arabian. He is very sensitive but is very willing and playful. Historically, I competed in endurance with him (60km rides) and during this period, he was extremely fit. Once I ceased competing, Pasha was regularly ridden but not to the same levels as before. He sustained a leg injury and during his recovery we were unable to ride at all and he lost fitness and muscle. Pasha was then brought back into work and seemed fine. He has always struggled with maintaining an outline and building top line so this was something we were focussing on. During one hack he wasn't his normal happy self when we set off but he seemed to relax as the ride progressed. We started a canter up a steep hill and Pasha went into a bucking frenzy and I was thrown off. This was not normal behaviour and so I knew he was reacting to pain. Veterinary and physio diagnosis was that Pasha had kissing spines. Recalling how he reacted when he was first started under saddle, it was suspected that he had had it for years but that his previous level of muscling and fitness had provided him protection.
Pasha was immediately treated with steroids injections in his back and we commenced an intensive programme of physio incorporating pole work, baited exercises, stretches and intensive physio every 6 weeks. Pasha was responding brilliantly and was just about to progress to working with weight on his back when he managed to severely lacerate his leg. Initial estimates were that he would require approximately 3 months box rest, however with great vet care he was back out after only 5 weeks. During this period we continued in the stall with as many exercises as possible and amazingly, Pasha did not lose condition, and did not need to be retreated with steroids. We have now restarted all work and Pasha is happily working on long lines in an outline and accompanying his friends on a lead line. Most importantly, he has FINALLY learned how to use his back properly and is now actively seeking an active top line when working. We expect to have a saddle on him again shortly and based on progress to date, hope to have him back into full work in the very near future.
A diagnosis of Kissing Spines doesn't have to mean the end of a horse's working life. In order to return to fitness, it does however require a commitment on the part of the owner to undertake 10-15 minutes of daily physio work and the support of both a good vet and a qualified physio. I have been exceedingly fortunate to have Tim Davis and Brid Walsh who have worked tirelessly with Pasha and I am exceedingly grateful to them both for all their help.
Here are a few photos to show Pasha....stay tuned for more!
PRE REHAB DURING REHAB