I have owned Ozzie for about 10 years now and feel I know him really well. Although I feel I have let him down recently. I know I’m probably being quite hard on myself, but having had him for so long I really feel like I should have picked up on the fact that something wasn’t quite right.
It all clicked into place about a month ago when my horses had their routine teeth check-up, followed by a routine physio appointment.
My vet noticed that Ozzie was wearing his teeth down on one side more than the other (which has never been an issue before), but being 17 we were advised just to keep an eye on him.
Onto his six monthly physio check-up and all was well except she felt he would probably benefit from having his hocks medicated - again being 17 and working at the level of dressage he is, it was only a matter of time. So I booked him into the vets the following day.
Just before going to pick Ozzie up from the vets the following day, I read something on Facebook about the “TMJ Joint”. I’m not usually one to read articles like this but something that afternoon made me read it!
It was a very interesting article which explained all the classical symptoms… and then the penny dropped!
Ozzie had been very difficult in the contact the last few months (which he has never had an issue with before), I could only ride him in the snaffle and not the double bridle. He’s always been a “rearer” but recently started throwing his head in the air and running off with me. His teeth are worn on one side more than the other (again, this has never been an issue before). All the above are classic symptoms according to the article I had read.
When I arrived at the vets to pick him up, I discussed what I had read and explained his symptoms. Apparently it is quite difficult to actually diagnose without a CT scan but following a short examination it was quite apparent he was quite sore to touch in the TMJ area.
A long story short, Ozzie was medicated the following week. I gave him a week off to allow the medication to take action and I am delighted to say I have seen a huge difference in him.
He hasn’t thrown his head once, he’s back in the double bridle and is really mouthing again (something he hadn’t been doing for a while). He had a few weeks off competing and I’m delighted to say he is back to his normal cheeky self and feeling better than ever.
I posted a picture on Instagram a few days ago of Ozzie with his “lipstick” and I’m pretty sure people think I’m crazy – to most people, this is a picture of Ozzie dribbling, but to me, this is evidence Ozzie is back to normal and happy in his work 😁
Don’t you just wish horses could talk to you and tell you when something is wrong?