Sunday, January 1, 2017

Introducing: Branson

Name: Branson
Sex: Gelding
Age: ~24
Height: 16.2 hands
Breed: Branded Holsteiner
Arrived at Meadowlark: 07/29/2014
Favorite Treats: Handfuls of long grass in summertime and scratches on his forehead with a curry comb.
Unique Traits: Branson gets the award for biggest bellow on the farm! He also has no top incisors due to EORTH (more below)
Nicknames: Toothless, Tyrannosaurus, B

Special Needs: Branson is on soaked grain due to repeated choking. 

Physiotherapy: Currently in the lesson program for select riders, is ridden with a hind-end wrap to help him engage, and is working on building strength in his hind end and topline. Needs carrot stretches and work over poles. 

Excerpt from my original blog on Branson in 2014: 

Branson is a 16+ hand gelding who has been having some soundness issues. I'm not sure I have his background story totally straight but I believe he has not been worked much in the past 3 years. A few months ago he came up very stiff and uneven in his gaits. His owner called the vet and the vet couldn't quite pinpoint the source of the pain. Branson (then called Andy) flexed off lame in his hind right pastern, but he doesn't appear to be uneven when he is bending and tracking left. He has had no heat or swelling, and the vet thought it was possible he had an OCD chip, but that it was more likely that he had injured himself in the field somehow. Earlier this year, poor Branson had also had Potomac Horse Fever so I imagine his body condition and muscling decreased considerably when he was going through that.

Branson, Day 1 of Rehab

I strongly suspect that his issue is more related to the fact that his pelvis is slightly rotated and he has very weak muscling overall, especially at his stifles. Branson is definitely a work in progress, but hopefully with some joint/weight supplements, chiropractic care and stifle exercises he'll be on the road to recovery and eventually have a career as one of our beloved school horses!

After being rehabbed for a few weeks the vet came out to check his teeth and found that unfortunately he has EORTH or "Equine odonotclastic tooth resorption and hypercementosis" which means that his body was laying down calcium around the roots of his incisors, while simultaneously dissolving the existing tooth. This was causing him to be in terrible nerve pain, which could actually have accounted for much of his lameness considering it was a constant source of stress and tension. 

Due to this condition, Branson had to have all of his top incisors and one of his bottoms extracted. He has since learned to eat well, and it doesn't seem to affect him anymore, though it does mean his tongue  hangs out of his mouth pretty much all of the time! :) 

Since Branson's initial rehab he has become one of our most beloved schoolies, with students showing him in everything from intro to first level dressage (and second, this year, if things to to plan!) He still requires frequent chiropractic adjustments and some special attention to his hooves, as even the most minor of imbalance can cause him to track unevenly, but all in all he is sound, sane and has become a wonderful second level schoolmaster! 

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