Thursday, September 9, 2010

Insomnia Musings

I doubt anyone actually likes insomnia, but insomnia when you cannot change your position to get more comfortable, get a book to read, a glass of milk or anything else is hell. It's now nearly 7am, and I think I managed to sleep about two hours. So I've given up. Apparently I am now at the point in my healing where my body is not yet ready to dance (I have months yet) but is also not using up enough energy to let me sleep. Instead I listen to the dog snore weighted down by sleeping cats and envy Shane.

With nothing else to occupy me I've been worrying about two things: grad school and Sati. I had planned to take the GRE this month so I could apply to some US graduate schools in December. In my current condition there's no way I can sit through a four hour test. I can barely sit at all for more than fifteen minutes, never mind trying to do math when I can't look down at a page. Oh well I suppose. This is where I have to repeat my mantra...I lived, I'll ride again... Next year, unless I can get into a school outside the US.

Sati is the bigger issue now. I haven't written about our training over this year. We've done amazingly well. From round pen and ground work to ground driving to work under saddle she has been stellar! I broke down and bought a very expensive saddle that would fit her as I couldn't find anything else. A properly fitted saddle completely changed her movement and willingness. I even took her out for a short trail ride once with Shane & Ketah's help.

But there are problems that have nothing to do with her willingness or my training.

A little over a year ago when my vet first saw her he told me that she hyperflexes her fetlocks and that it was a risk factor for Degenerative Suspensory Ligament Demitis (DSLD). At the time he didn't seem majorly concerned and what I read suggested that if she would develop it, chances were that she'd be in her teens. So I bought sport boots to help support her ligaments and continued with her training, most trainers would consider her training load light. At best I was able to work her twice a week.

Sadly, over the last year and especially in the past few months that hyperflexion has gotten worse. She had an episode of upward patellar fixation, which isn't uncommon at her age, but I now think is related to her flexion issues. I have also seen her fetlock seem to pop in and out of joint as she tries to stop in response to my cues on the ground. Where she used to try and stop on her hind (correctly) she's increasingly relying on her front.

The hard thing is that there is no treatment and no cure for DSLD. She will go more and more lame and at some point I will have to euthanize her. I had thought we'd have years together. But now I wonder if I'm being fair to her at all. Her fetlocks are already flexing so badly that they pick up mud and dirt and while it will be months until I can ride again, I'm not sure I should ride her at all. I visited her and Ketah this weekend (over the fence!) and while Ketah treated me as I would expect (she's mad at me) Sati who is usually extremely friendly seemed somewhat grumpy.

I really have no choice now but to wait and see how she looks when I am able to do ground work again (months from now). But I think I may have to choose sooner than later and I don't much like the choice.

I wish I could sleep...

1 comment:

  1. Poor Sati! And even more sad - you having to make a difficult decision. That sucks.