Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I Wouldn't Have Believed it! (Equine Head Shaking Cure)

Last year, about this time in the summer, was so heart-breaking for me when I realized how bad Cowboy suffered from Trigeminal Neuralgia--or Head Shaking Syndrome.  I didn't know what to do for him except keep him in a dark stall with a mask and wait for winter or a cure.  I didn't want to start throwing things at it until I knew what I was doing--mostly because everything I read about had some side effects. 

During winter I did take the T-Touch lessons privately here at my home, and they did a lot for getting Cowboy back solid on his four legs.  He rarely, if ever, stands with his previously fractured P3 out in front of him anymore.  It also helped to reduce his stress and give him a relaxed frame.  But when the sunny days of spring came, so did the head shaking.

If you've followed the blog recently, you know that the carbamazepine (2000 mg 2X a day for 2 weeks) worked for him and I was able to ride around the property here and begin to work on the other behavior related issues--pulling back and fear of being approached from the right side when tied.  All I can say is thank goodness for Blocker Ties---I LOVE THEM. 

But if you'd told me last year I'd be riding Cowboy on the trail again this year, I wouldn't have believed you...but I did. 

We took our time and kept it as relaxed as possible and it all went wonderfully well.  I even rode cliffside--something I hadn't intended to do, but after a couple of hours of him doing so well, I trusted the situation enough to do it.  I was lucky to have a great riding partner who understood the seriousness of his first ride going well.  She was more than happy to stop and let them relax in the shade (half falling asleep) a couple of times along our route.

It felt so good to be back out with him I was given a second chance.  Needless to say, I'm very happy.