So we are still in Cool; waiting. Apache has been seen by two specialists so far. One was a Bowen treatment – which is muscle manipulation for healing- kind of like chiropractic is bone and joint manipulation for healing. This definitely helped him feel better, but was not the whole answer. We are borrowing a blanket for him to keep him warm and dry through this rainstorm. The cold rain seemed to make him more uncomfortable. (Yes- it is STILL raining!) Another specialist volunteered their time yesterday and he did a combination of many body manipulation techniques to try and narrow down what the cause of his pain is. He used chiropractic, acupressure, cranial sacrum, etc. We have ruled out saddle fit as a problem, as well as founder (sore feet can cause a sore back.) The last specialist said that he has all the symptoms of a worm aneurysm – which is apparently very under diagnosed. This means that there is a particular type of worm parasite that lodges in their lower back area and can affect their back, blood, etc. He is on a very intense 3 day worm program to get rid of this potential problem. Apparently some horses are more susceptible than others, even if they are wormed regularly. We are hoping this really is the answer, as it is an easy and fast fix. We hope to start riding again by Friday or Saturday. If this does not fix the problem, we will keep trying to figure it out. Either way- he definitely is more comfortable now and does not flinch away when I touch him.
As for the looming mountains- Richard and I have borrowed a friends vehicle and driven over all the possible roads into Nevada. The conclusion is that there is WAAAAY too much snow up there to take trails- so we had to pick a road! We will be taking highway 88 over the Sierra’s and be followed by an escort vehicle with their flashers on. We have had a couple kind and generous people volunteer their time for this. This also means that they can carry our packs and food and water for the horses, so we can travel lighter and faster. It should take us about 4 days to cross. But it will take about 5 days of riding, then 3 rest days, to get to highway 88 before we even attempt to cross. So the week of May 10th- please pray for sunny weather! We HAVE to have good weather in order to attempt to do this!