When I went to see Dante he was a perfect gentlemen however, the trainer told me a few things that now, compared to my current experiences, makes me really lean towards an unofficial PSSM diagnosis (I will be testing in the near future).
1.) when she tried to increase feed (his ribs were showing) he became “uncomfortable”
2.) after a long day with several rides, the third time he was ridden he became upset (not TB upset understand, just draft level upset).
In all my interactions with Dante he has been a calm and level headed horse, so for him to start bucking and being crazy on a lungeline (I did see him lunged calmly and without issue during the PPE), has to point to 1.) pain or 2.) crazy horse. I am leaning towards pain. 😉
Reading about PSSM, there are a lot of the symptoms that fit – the weakness in the hindquarters, toe dragging, short strided, issues when work becomes harder etc. I’ll be having him officially tested for PSSM 1 within the next 60 days, meanwhile, I’m making dietary changes as that is the number one recommendation for PSSM and it’s not like it’s going to be an issue if it turns out he isn’t, but if he is, this gives me a leg up on getting the pain resolved.
Immediate changes to daily diet:
1.) 2# of Grostrong 13 – able to buy locally
2.) 4# of Beet Pulp pellets without Molasses – able to buy locally from Tractor Supply
4.) addition of Zinc and Copper (California Trace) – added to diet 6.28
5.) addition of 2 ounces of salt – added to diet 7.17
6.) addition of Magnesium (Oxide by Uckele) – added to diet 7.16
Dr. Kellon articles about managing EPSM PSSM. I’m going with Acetyl L Carnitine because it supposedly shows a quicker improvement (within 2 weeks) and lets me avoid the high amount of fat diet generally recommended (Dr. Beth Valentine).
He is on 24.7 grazing so it is hard to figure how much protein he really is consuming and I’ll need to do a grass/hay test which will be easier in the winter. The round bales I buy are cut right off the pasture on the same land so doing a hay analysis will pretty much tell me what the grass is too in broad terms.
I really hopes this starts showing some changes in him for the positive.