Y’all, I just looked back and it’s been 4 years since I’ve done a true update on Gracie. 🙈🙊 That’s horrible! I can’t believe I haven’t done anymore updates, no wonder I get emails asking me about her. Now I know why!
For those that are wondering…..Gracie is doing wonderful! It truly has been a very long recovery process but she has been doing well for the past year or so. I’m not a vet, so don’t take any of what I’m about to tell you next as a medical opinion because it’s not. I’m just going to share with you what I believe helped heal Gracie.
If you are new to the blog and don’t know Gracie’s story, you can read it here >> https://thenorthcarolinacowgirl.com/category/gracies-stifle-story/
Things Done to Help Heal Gracie
- Blistering the Stifle – Back in 2013 I had her stifle blistered by Dr. Hassinger. I really do believe this helped. However, it did not cure the problem. She still would lock up occasionally after this was done.
- Regular Chiro Visits – Before I took her to get that done and months – years really – after this procedure, I had Dr. King (equine chiro) come out and work on Gracie regularly. For the first 2 years I would say she came out once a month to work on her. Sometimes sooner if Gracie showed any signs of a problem.
- Back on Track Heat Therapy Sheet – For 3 months straight, I put this sheet on Gracie every night while she was in her stall. She would wear it for 8 hours a night and then I’d turn her out during the day. I really believe this helped.
- Equine Massaging – I bought the Masterson Method Massage Books and DVD so I could learn how to do massages myself. I practiced on Gracie religiously for a few months – following the books recommendation to do it 1 time a week – and I fully believed this helped as well.
- Riding Hills and Poles – I spent a lot of time riding up and down the hills in my pasture and doing trot poles with Gracie. Instead of focusing on getting her in shape, I focused on ways to build her hind end muscle.
I fully believe it wasn’t one of these things that helped her, it was EVERYTHING. I think each thing helped to heal her in its own way which in the end is what got her back to 95%. She’s not 100% healed and still has some weakness in her hind end, but she rarely has problems with her stifle locking. It’s done it twice in the past 2 years and that’s been it.
I do want to make sure anyone who reads this knows, Gracie’s issue wasn’t just a locking stifle. We believe she hurt her hind end as well. When I say she’s only 95% healed, I’m not saying the stifle issue isn’t healed because it is. The only problem remaining is a slight weakness in her hind end which causes her to occasionally “dip” in her hip when she’s walking. It’s nothing that affects me riding her, although I won’t grab her out of the field and go on a trail ride if it’s been months since I’ve ridden her. If I can keep her in shape, then there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do with her now.
If you read this and still have any questions, feel free to leave your questions in the comments. I’ll make sure to answer them there and that way other people can see them. 🙂