To begin at the beginning. DSLD does not need to be a death sentence. Rosie is a 21 year old Paso-Fino mare I adopted 3 years ago. When we adopted Rosie she was horribly overweight from a constant lush grass habitat. She had terrible teeth, points growing through cheeks, tongue and pallet. Her posture completely broken down. Feet having suffered years of neglect, she walked on her pasterns. Rings on her hoof walls denoted many instances of founder.
We spent the first two years addressing all these issues.
Rosie responded beautifully.
Rehabbing a horse requires addressing everything on different, but connected fronts. At the same time. So we did. Immediate dental and hoof care – barefoot. I do my own trimming. Strict diet of soaked hay only – No grass. Daily grooming. Also exercises designed to reintroduce Rosie to her feet, legs, and especially her hind end.
Remember, movement begets movement.
Proper movement begets healthy, proper movement. Recognize here, the converse is also true. All of this was a key part of the whole. Each in order of Rosie’s capabilities. We must never push a horse. We guide the horse.
Dr Thomas’ Contemporary Chinese Herbal Formulations
None of those things could have been as successful without the use of Dr Thomas’ Contemporary Chinese Herbal Formulations that heal – not placate – ailments.
I enjoy a long and wonderful relationship with Dr Thomas, and everyone at For Love Of The Horse. Have had years of success with his formulations in healing hoses (and myself). Some my own, and many friends and people. And horses, I’ve met along the way.
So, we used Dr Thomas’ herbs and advice for Rosie’s muscle and skeletal rebuilding. As well as immune system rebuilding. We used his formulations for hoof repair and regrowth as well. And Rosie prospered.
Rehabbing a horse in such a sad state takes time
Now as anyone knows, rehabbing a horse in such a sad state takes time. And it did. There were weeks and even months of slow, sometimes seemingly no progress. Even times of regression.
But I want to add here, Rosie has a BIG heart. She never quit. And some days the therapeutic exercises were difficult for her. For a long time she was in constant pain and discomfort. We would put her on Dr Thomas’ Natural Pain Relief formula. Which as an anti-inflammatory gave her great relief.
Stalled progress of Rosie’s posture
So eventually all those areas were so greatly improved, that I became frustrated in the stalled progress of Rosie’s posture. Which had come a long way in the first 24 months. But was not where I knew it could be. Her dropped pasterns had improved, but still were dropped more than should be. And that stalled any further posture improvement. Posture you see, comes from the ground up.
I had a respected veterinarian come exam and treat Rosie. She administered chiropractic treatments. We had given Rosie these several times along the way. Now we added acupuncture.
Diagnosed with, Degenerative Suspensory Ligament Desmitis (DSLD)
We employed three sessions, two months apart each. Then the veterinarian told me, Rosie had Degenerative Suspensory Ligament Desmitis (DSLD). And this was as good as she’d ever be. And would never be able to be ridden.
I contacted Tina, at For Love of the Horse, and told her of this recent diagnoses. No, we did not do blood work. I saw no point in the expense. The vet had been thorough in her exam. She had seen plenty of other horses in the same condition. So we took her at her word.
Another focus in rehab
Therefore Tina and I discussed Rosie’s point in rehab. Tina had been involved all along. Tina suggested we put Rosie on their, “Tendon Repair.” That was December 2021. I kept a complete and descriptive journal of every horse I rehabbed, and I did Rosie’s as well.
An interesting occurrence here, I was thinking at this time how the swelling, puffiness in Rosie’s legs had so improved. But after just 60 days on Tendon Repair, they looked even better! And her overall posture began to improve again. Even if the dropped rear pasterns still looked the same.
From December to May (Still on Tendon Repair) Rosie kept improving. Legs continued to slim, posture and movement improved. But not the most problematic left hind.
At this point I considered an ultra sound to look for tears. That is costly where we live, and requires long distance to travel. I consulted the administrating veterinarian there, who said every horse she had ultrasounded with/for DSLD had tears or frays in the tendon. That is simply part of the issue, ailment.
So I spoke with Tina who then suggested we move from Tendon Repair, to, Torn Tendon. And by the end of May, 2022, Rosie was on the Torn Tendon formula.
The change was amazing!
Legs I thought looked slim, slimmed even more. It became possible to see the lines in the legs between tendon and bone. The series of bumps in her long tendons began to decrease in size. Even the pesky remaining puffiness in her ankles began to reduce. We decided to take off from work for two months, to give the herbs a chance to strengthen those new tendon repairs.
Rosie’s “work” at this time was at liberty ground work in ring. I walked for 20 minutes each way, and stepped, and backed her over a few obstacles. I did this every other day.
By end of July of 2022, about 75 days of Torn Tendon, the change was dramatic. And I put Rosie back o work. Immediately I noticed the drop, even in the worst the left hind, was less. Fronts looked perfect. Right hind near perfect. Puffiness half, or less, what it had been. We also put Rosie on Natural Pain Relief to address the puffiness for 2 months. And it did.
Side note: Natural Pain Relief really helps in many areas. Keep it on hand.
By mid August Rosie had so improved the “bumps” on her long tendons completely gone! Her drop in pasterns completely gone in three legs. Pesky left hind the drop was less than half what it used to be. YES the Torn Tendon had picked up her dropped pasterns.
Now we ride!
At this point I began riding Rosie. First 5 minutes a day. Next 10. Then 15, every other day. We moved 20 minutes every other day. And then half an hour. Every three days. Off days we did the ground work described earlier (most of the time). Eventually, over the course of another 60 days, I got her up to an hour, twice a week.
A gradual restart matters. So many parts of the body must build into weight bearing. I take this very seriously. Everything can be gained right here. Or lost by too aggressive a restart.
We continued the exercises, and Torn Tendon until November, when we began to wean her off Doc’s herbs. Riding once or twice a week at this point, up to an hour and a half or more.
Important to note: This is trail riding – not ring riding. Terrain to navigate, although nothing terrible. But it is on the trail, not a level ring environment. Maneuvering, stepping over unevenness, navigating – All important parts of a sound restart that cannot be gained in a ring.
Totally Off Herbs Now
By December 2022, we had Rosie totally off Torn Tendon and any of Dr Thomas’ herbal formulations.
Rosie looks, acts and feels beautiful. She’ll be 22 in April. Not bad for an older girl, huh?
Her posture did indeed get to the point of near perfection. After we treated her DSLD, or dropped pasterns.
We continue to ride as frequently as I like. Although I’ll admit now at my age to be a fair weather rider. You’re supposed to laugh here. But we’ll do an hour or two a few times a month. I’ll work her a time or two on the ground in between.
She knows the drill now, inside and out. I can even sit in my lawn chair and simply tell her what to do. Treat a horse right, and she’ll spoil ya!
It’s been a 34 month rehab at this point for Rosie
Who by the way has an extraordinary Paso gait! She sails along. And loves every moment on the trail. Uphill, downhill. Through water, over bridges. Tossing in a requisite spook every now and then.
Dr. Thomas along every step of the way
And Dr Thomas, his wisdom, his formulations, and his team at For Love of the Horse, have been along every step of the way. Rosie would not be in the health she is today without out them. It was totally Dr Thomas’ herbs that picked her pasterns up. It was totally his formulations that strengthened her muscles, bones, and feet. And rebuilt her immune health.
Why I wrote this testimonial this way
I chose to write this testimonial this way, to try to show there are several things we must do to get the highest success.
It’s not just, diet, care, exercise, or Doc’s herbs alone.
We must put them all together. Must stay the course. We must handle the ups and downs. But stay the course.
And follow exactly Dr Thomas’ protocol on his formulations.
As time goes on
Now as time goes on, and we ride and explore, I’ll be monitoring closely. I’ll watch for signs of weakness returning to her pasterns.
As another veterinarian told me – I’ll watch for signs of swelling or puffiness in those healed pasterns and tendons. Should anything reoccur, I’ll put her right back on Torn Tendon. Possibly Natural Pain Relief, too.
They all say DSLD is not curable. Did we cure it? I don’t know, but I do know, Rosie today is as sound as any horse I’ve ever known. And she loves trail riding.
I purposely waited until she was was off the herbs for two months to write this testimonial as I wanted the test. And, she passed.
DSLD does not need to be a death sentence
I’ll address this too.
DSLD does not need to be a death sentence for your horse. Here is a road-map to success you can follow. But remember, Stay The Course. It takes time.
If this once little broken down 21 year old mare can do it, you can too!
~ Gitty Up, Dutch Henry.
My book It’s For The Horses will help you rehab your horse or help you keep your healthy horse healthy.