Stifles have been the bane of Bobby's existance from day one. When I refer to hind end issues in Bobby, this is what I'm refering to. His owner while racing even emailed me after seeing some of his jumping pictures that he was blown away I could get the horse to jump at all, his hind end was such a disaster.
The counter cantering, the swapping behind, the occasional baby bucks--all hind end issues. All stifle issues.
Jog him out, put him on a line, I doubt you'd notice a lameness. It's more feeling that tiny bit of stick when you're looking for it when riding, and knowing his past history of weakness, connecting the "misbehavior" to the pain in the stifles. (That doesn't mean it doesn't still frustrate me. I am human.)
It's not an injury. It's a strength issue brought on by his shoddy conformation. Time off apparently compounds the problem, and I've obviously already made the decision that in place of time off this November, we'll just stick with hacking to maintain motion and booty work. Once fit, there are no problems.
I know the tricks to building up his strength. Ground poles, hill work, and rein-backs. I have the Equine Fitness book with the stifle strengthening exercises. Come spring, I feel pretty confident he'll be strong enough again that these issues will be either nonexistant, or much, much less of a problem.
However, I'm kind of up in airs on weather or not I want to do more for him. The work is only going to get harder from here on out, and the hind end is really going to have to start carrying its weight this year. He's a coming eight year old. He's never been on a joint supplement, and I've never had him injected. Can you even inject a stifle? I'm a bit of a sceptic when it comes to joint supps, especially since I am also poor (and currently paying for hoof and ulcer supplements). I did have Red on SmartTendon and it absolutely helped him maintain his soundness.
Any thoughts from you guys? Any supplements you'd swear by? Any injection stories?
I feel bad making him work through the pain, but building strength is the only thing that I know will take care of it.