The search continues…
I spoke with Consolation’s vet yesterday, initially to ask whether he thought we might learn anything useful from a blood panel. I described her symptoms, and we ended up focusing more on a different theory from my list: Pain. Specifically, hoof pain.
He remembered that, at about this time last year (when she had similar symptoms), Consolation seemed footsore when trotted out at a ride. I’ve been more careful this year, booting her for nearly every ride, but of course that isn’t foolproof. (For starters, sole bruising is only one kind of hoof pain.) Sore feet would certainly be consistent with Consolation’s tendency to stock up lately, as well as her slowness, balkiness, stiff back, and general lack of enthusiasm. Also, she’s been a little clumsy lately, tripping more than usual — a symptom I failed to mention before but another potential indicator of hoof pain.
Of course, hoof pain isn’t the only possible explanation. It seems to me that back pain could be responsible for all of the above symptoms, as well. Furthermore, let’s not forget to think in cycles and systems: Consolation could be dealing with multiple issues, each of which exacerbates the others.
I think I’ll take my vet’s advice, though, and have him take a look at Consolation’s feet. I love working with someone who knows endurance and knows my horse!
On another front, the magnesium supplement arrived yesterday. I hear it’s not uncommon to get results in a week or so. We’ll see.