Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Cushings Update: Summer Edition

After reading this blog post from Flying Free, I realized it's been a while since I updated on Tristan's Cushings. For previous entries, check out the Cushings tag.

This is definitely one of those "no news is good news" situations. He's been doing amazingly well. He's maintaining on 1mg of pergolide a day, and eating it without any difficulties. After the Wedgewood Pharmacy scare, there have been no problems with the supply of the drug itself.

Showing off his summer condition.

Right now, he's on about three flakes of hay a day, 1/2 Q of Blue Seal's Carb Guard in the morning and at night, and about 3 hours of grass a day. Remember, he does not have associated insulin issues, so he's still fine to have access to grass. We're careful about what grass he gets and how much of it he gets, but there's no physiological reason he can't have it. The barn was unbelievably good about getting ready for grass turnout: he and the other Cushings horse got acclimated to grass in 5 minute intervals, adding on 5 more minutes every other day, for two weeks until they got up to an hour.

One of the main reasons that we first suspected Cushings was because he just would not gain or keep muscle or fitness. I'm really happy to report that both of those things are dramatically improved this summer. He came out of the winter in beautiful condition (even after the worst winter ever!), and with a careful conditioning program has bounced back amazingly well. His summer coat is shiny, fine, and soft, with not a hint of coarse growth or overgrowth.

Conformation shot, early June

Saturday night, for example, he had a solid 55 minutes of trot set work in intervals, with about 8 minutes of canter in short bursts (30 seconds - 1 minute at a time). He finished barely winded, and only sweaty under the girth and under his bridle. o.O

He often feels muscle-tired but not winded or overly tired, like he's had a good lifting exercise and would like to be done working on those muscle groups, but not overall body-exhausted. That's to be expected, since he's working on a higher and higher degree of collection with each ride as we ease back into more intensive dressage work.

In short - knock wood - I have my horse back. Whew. :)


  1. This is great to read!! Tristan is looking incredibly good and its very encouraging to read about his progress. :)

  2. i'm so glad to hear he's doing well and that your program is working for him!

  3. He seriously looks fab Amanda! I can't believe how fit he is... Murray worked for like 55 minutes TOTAL yesterday and while he wasn't SUPER sweaty he definitely sweat under his saddle pad. And I thought he was fit!

  4. Love hearing this! He's looking great!


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