Stacy Westfall’s horse Vaquero showing neurological signs

04 May

Vaquero took a sudden, unexpected turn for the worse. Wednesday I was happy to have the information provided in the previous post. Thursday morning the results from several tests came back negative, indicating that everything is normal. Normal blood work, no signs of poisoning of any kind, negative for viruses, and negative for EPM. This all seemed like excellent progress and supports the idea of the arthritis in the neck being the problem. Vaquero traveled well down and back and was very much himself.

At the Thursday pm feeding he was far from normal. This time I thought to grab the video camera.  I shot several videos (the first one I am crying and so upset I removed the sound) and I will post one of them here.

If you do not know what a neurologic problem in a horse looks like then this is your chance to see one. We were trying to move him to the indoor riding arena where there was less risk of him injuring himself if he falls.

He is back on steroids and we are sleeping in the barn. I will keep you posted as I can. You can do one thing for me though if you have time.

PRAY. Pray for the vets that are coming to look at him. Pray for healing. Pray for wisdom for everyone involved. And I thank God that even though his body is clearly not working right Vaquero (if you look at just his head) is still perky and curious. I am so thankful that he is not depressed and in obvious pain.


Posted by on May 4, 2012 in Life, Video


124 responses to “Stacy Westfall’s horse Vaquero showing neurological signs

  1. Candace

    May 4, 2012 at 2:42 am

    Tons of prayers coming your way..

  2. Karen Erickson

    May 4, 2012 at 2:44 am

    I will most certainly be praying…stay strong, for you AND for him.

  3. sharon

    May 4, 2012 at 2:46 am

    Looks like equine herpes…sorry praying for better results.

    • Stacy

      May 4, 2012 at 3:16 pm

      Tested negative for that one…

      • Angela Gatliff

        May 4, 2012 at 11:18 pm

        Is he eating and defecating normally?

      • Stacy

        May 5, 2012 at 5:55 pm


  4. Janet Turgetto

    May 4, 2012 at 2:47 am

    I seriously hope that he gets better, there is nothing worse that watching something like this and knowing that you are helpless and totally unable to help even though you would do everything in your power to make it right.if you could. Prayers to everyone working on him.

  5. stephen & helen haddon

    May 4, 2012 at 2:56 am

    prayers,thoughts and lots of love coming to you from australia.

  6. Megan

    May 4, 2012 at 2:57 am

    Did the vets check him for wobbler’s? I don’t knw his age, but it is crushing on spinal column occurs as horses grow, can test with dye injected and xrays of spine. Just a thought as I knw how distressing not knowing what your treating is. Terrible run of events for you guys. Hope he is doing ok, and you all too.

  7. hiedi

    May 4, 2012 at 2:57 am

    Poor guy! I have been following ur post and it is sad what he is going thru. I pray they find the cause and treat him soon! Keep thinking positive and it might turn out to be ok.

  8. helen mausecz victoria australia

    May 4, 2012 at 2:59 am

    God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot understand ,courage to change the things we can Stacey and Vacquero from many miles away you are in my thoughts and prayers at such a distessing time


    May 4, 2012 at 3:04 am

    could it be some toxin from the grasses , such as pasparlin and rye and clover , grass tetney or staggers , I use a toxin binder for this , ????? hope he gets better real soon xo

    • Stacy

      May 4, 2012 at 3:14 pm

      bloodwork negative for this

  10. itrippedinfrontoftheworld

    May 4, 2012 at 3:13 am

    Oh Stacy….this is so hard to watch. Prayers of healing for Vaquero, peace and strength for you.

    “But no one except Lucy knew that as it circled the mast it had whispered to her, ‘Courage, dear heart’ … and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan’s, and with the voice a delicious smell breathed in her face.” ~ C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

    • Stacy

      May 4, 2012 at 3:13 pm

      HUGE NARNIA FAN! Love that part and want ‘Gone Further up and Further in’ on my gravestone!

  11. Christin

    May 4, 2012 at 3:18 am

    My Prayers are with you, Stacy ! Hope, you also tested on Lyme and Borna… I have had a very bad lyme disease and was swinging like Vaquero :-( It was a neurological lyme disease. It took 3 weeks high dosis antibiotics. Could be, that the steroids (cortisone) make it worse, if it is lyme!

  12. Michael

    May 4, 2012 at 4:06 am

    I really hope he will be okay, and i will pray for him

  13. Kerry Rose

    May 4, 2012 at 4:32 am

    Hi Stacy ,
    I know what your going through and my heart is breaking for you. I hope he makes a full recovery. I have a video on my web page of my horse Money and what he went through if you have the time to watch. I slept with him in his stall for 15 days and he recovered it was a virus though. I don’t regret anything I did to save him and the bond between us now will never be replaced.

  14. Lila

    May 4, 2012 at 4:38 am

    I’m SO sorry! It sounds and looks absolutely devastating. My prayers and thoughts are with you and Vaquero! :( I hope he gets better, and good luck!

  15. Kez Miller

    May 4, 2012 at 4:47 am

    You must be so frustrated not being able to FIX IT right away! He’s not distressed, though, and he doesn’t blame you at all – I can see he trusts you totally. I agree with Christin about lyme disease and steroids, so I hope that’s been ruled out. Here’s a prayer for you and V to pull through :)

  16. Tammy

    May 4, 2012 at 5:05 am

    I hope he gets better. We will pray for you and all.

  17. asi witt

    May 4, 2012 at 5:21 am

    While I am not able to watch your video (it will tear me up for sure)…please know that my heart is breaking for you during this very difficult period. I will pray for all of you. It is truly heart wrenching to see an innocent animal (your friend) suffer and not be able to help them when they appear to be pleading to you for that desperately needed help.

  18. Lindsay Silvey

    May 4, 2012 at 5:23 am

    I am so sorry, please God he will recover. My thoughts are with you all the way from the UK>

  19. Sis

    May 4, 2012 at 5:28 am

    Prayers for your family, you and your sweet boy.

  20. Selena Sylvain

    May 4, 2012 at 5:38 am

    I am praying for a complete recovery, our thoughts are with you, I too have dealt with neurological problem with a horse and it is not pretty and very heart breaking

  21. Jess

    May 4, 2012 at 6:01 am

    Prayers being said. Hope he gets better.

  22. Judy Smith

    May 4, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Stacy and family,I will Pray for Valquaro,When it comes to children and animals they can’t let us know what hurts it is so sad to hear we will pray for your vets to find out the problem too.Love ya!

  23. Faye

    May 4, 2012 at 6:42 am

    I lost a filly last year and we never really did know the couse but very same thing it looks like. She was the best I ever had. Good Luck and prayers coming your way for everyone.

  24. travelcat

    May 4, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Stacy – I will pray for Vaquero for you. As Christin mentioned, has Lyme disease been considered? With the mild winter in many parts of the country, ticks are out early and in force – I was pulling them off Yankee a month ago, and found one on me (ah!) from just walking around the short lawn grass…

    I hope so much he gets better.

  25. Shana Hadlock

    May 4, 2012 at 6:44 am

    Prayers for you. I had this happen to my bay miniature stallion. He was running in his pasture, slipped and hit his head on a fence post and had swelling on his brain. Vet gave him a 50/50 chance of making it. He had no idea where his feet were either. I am happy to say he made a full recovery and is doing great. Did you check to see if Valquaro has swelling on the brain as he could have hit his head in his stall, etc. Doesn’t take much. I hope Valquaro makes a full recovery for you. Big hug.

    • Stacy

      May 4, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      I will ask, glad to hear yours turned out well!

  26. Joanna

    May 4, 2012 at 6:46 am

    sure will pray, I feel for you. Lyme disease? I am guessing but we had something similar in our barn, and that is what it turned out to be.

  27. Jess Karnuth

    May 4, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Have they checked his vitamin E level? my friends horse is practically doing the same thing and two different vets from the northern Ohio area said it was all cause from being deficient in vitamin E. its sad two see two amazing talented horses go through this! hope you find something out soon!

  28. Shelly

    May 4, 2012 at 7:00 am

    My daughter lost her thoroughbred Roxy last year to the same problem. Arthritis in her neck. She had just turned 10, but her 4 yrs on the track were just too much. We kept her in the equine hospital in Burton, OH for over a week. She was showing the same signs as your boy. I hope that he comes through it with the best possible outcome. My thoughts are with you!

  29. Gwen Confalone

    May 4, 2012 at 7:01 am

    So sorry Stacy, prayers coming. Has he been tested for Lymes?

  30. Natashya

    May 4, 2012 at 7:11 am

    I’m horrified to see that his condition has worsened. You, Vaquero, and everyone else involved are in our prayers. <3 Do they think it's a possibility he's a "wobbler"?

  31. Phyllis Murdock

    May 4, 2012 at 7:23 am

    So sorry! Prayers on their way. GOD’s many blessings to all of you!!!

  32. Beth kane

    May 4, 2012 at 7:31 am

    When two or more gather to pray God hears our prayers.
    Odd what?

  33. Josie Stemmler

    May 4, 2012 at 7:40 am

    When I am afraid, I will trust in You…Psalm 56:3. Praying for wisdom for the vets, strength and comfort for you and your family, healing for Vaquero.

  34. Dawn Beard

    May 4, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Stacy , we are with you, holding you all up.

  35. Alice

    May 4, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Praying for you all, the vets and Vaquero. And that you will see how God will work this fiery trial somehow for good.

  36. Leslie Bever

    May 4, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Sending you both thoughts of healing, peace, and the comfort of angels.

  37. Aileen

    May 4, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Very hard to watch the video but so comforting to see him alert and curious. Prayers heading out to all involved. Thanks for keeping us in the loop.

  38. Debrah Zimmer

    May 4, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Stacy, have him check for lyme disease, my doberman has lyme and thats the way she acts at times, prayers and hug for both of you. keep us informed. God bless you. be strong.

  39. Darlene

    May 4, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Prayers are coming your way from Ohio!!!!

  40. Mary Sue Faries

    May 4, 2012 at 8:54 am

    My heart is aching for you and Vacquero!! What an awesome bond that you have with this gorgeous creature. He couldn’t be in better hands! I have no doubt that God has a purpose for what you’re going through. I’m praying for showers of His wisdom and comfort for all involved. After all, as much as you love Vacquero, how much more does His Creator love and care for him!! Please don’t get discouraged….God is still in control! Thank you so much for taking the time to keep giving us updates….I know that’s tough when you’ve got so much else on your mind!! May you take comfort in all the prayers and love from the thousands of people around the world who care so much for you both!! Hugs and Prayers!!!!

  41. Jamie

    May 4, 2012 at 8:56 am

    My prayers are with you and Vaquero.

  42. Becky Doney

    May 4, 2012 at 8:57 am

    So sorry Stacy. Praying for you.

  43. Daralin Beckett

    May 4, 2012 at 9:01 am

    I earnestly hope you can find out what is wrong and find an effective treatment/cure! A thought I had while watching is that he’s moving like my dog who has Wobbler’s Syndrome. Wobbler’s is caused by the spinal cord in the neck being pinched either by stenosis (narrowing) of the spinal canal or by a displaced vertebra. Obviously you will keep searching for the answer, but if bloodwirk is normal and there’s no sign of infection, I’d look very closely at his neck. The lack of awareness in where his feet are, where the ground is, and general uncoordination are all typical of a problem in the neck, at least in my experience. (I was a vet assistant in a small animal practice and am going to school for vet tech degree, and my husband is in vet school. I’ll show this video to him and some of his classmates, manage of them have worked in equine specialty clinics as techs before vet school, perhaps they may have son insight.)

    Thoughts and prayers are with you all!

  44. Cheryl Stengel

    May 4, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Very, very sad for you to watch, Stacy, so sorry. Great mama you are right by his side. He reminds me of me with my Multiple Sclerosis, I walk like I’m drunk sometimes. I am praying for you two. You have added wonderful ideas and actions to the horse world. Big hugs for you both!

  45. Brent

    May 4, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Stacy we are here for you if you need anything you can call the clinic anytime if you have any questions.. We are thinking of you guys, hang in there you are both very strong!!! Pray pray pray!

    • Stacy

      May 4, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      We are headed back down. Will be there around 5 pm today. He needs you guys.

  46. claudia

    May 4, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Stacy,praying like crazy for you and that the vets can figure this out…..hang in there Vaquero ……you too Stacy….

  47. Connie

    May 4, 2012 at 9:22 am

    I am so sorry. I’ve dealt with this before and it’s a sad road to travel. Prayers for a return to good health, God willing.

  48. Gwen Confalone

    May 4, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Was he also tested for the neurological form of EHV???

  49. lyndakbundrant

    May 4, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Strong prayers headed to you and Vacquero for a quick healing. Stay strong Stacy–you are his Rock…

  50. Sam Truckly

    May 4, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Wishing only the best for you and Vaquero.

  51. Al

    May 4, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Praying for you and Vaquero! Stay strong!

  52. Olivia

    May 4, 2012 at 9:41 am

    I am so sorry. Something like this always seems to happen to the best horses. I watched my vet treating a horse for something like this, I think the horse I watched was slightly worse, but the owners weren’t in a financial situation to pay for all of the testing let alone the treatments so he just had to live off of banamine for a while. I was talking to my vet about him again on Wednesday and he said that they had to put him down. I am so grateful that you are in a position to care for Vaquero! He’ll be taken care of by the best, which is always a comfort! Praying for you lots! Please let us know his progress!

  53. Janet

    May 4, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I have been praying tons for you. When I look at the video he looks like he has stroked out. I wish I good do more for you guys then pray, but they will be coming your way fast and hard.

  54. Michelle

    May 4, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Stacy, so sorry. I saw both of you just last fall. He’s a lovely horse. My prayers are with you. Have you also considered Wobbler’s syndrome? He looks very much like a Doberman I used to have with the same issue, particularly in not seeming to know where his legs are. There’s been some excellent research at the University of Pennsylvania done on this.

  55. Kat Magnuson

    May 4, 2012 at 9:57 am

    I am so sorry. I am praying you get answers and find a way to heal this good soul. I am so, so sorry.

  56. Kellie

    May 4, 2012 at 10:03 am

    I’m very sorry; so sad to see this. Thinking of you & your family! Stay strong for him & praying they find an answer!!

  57. Jan Fletcher

    May 4, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Sending prayers your way…..and huge cyber <<<<<<>>>>>>….:'(….I will focus my energy on a good positive outcome…..

  58. Heidi Seaton, DVM

    May 4, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Praying for you guys…

  59. Jeanine grimes

    May 4, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I have a horse that has equine motor neuron disease. Sounds maybe similar. Signs weight/muscle loss, shifting on hind quarters, sweating limb weaknessrope walking. Somethimg to consider. Jeanine grimes

  60. Suzanne Butler

    May 4, 2012 at 10:14 am

    No NYPP does he have any Impressive ? My mare tested NYPP negative but still has mild symptoms have the vets ruled out a tumor ? Peggy Fleming of Florida Equine Accupuncture in Dade City Florida has worked miracles on horses with symptoms just like this I can’t find her number but I’ll get it for u she has her own private plane and flies to different areas if u can get the video to her somehow I know she can help

    • Suzanne Butler

      May 4, 2012 at 10:21 am

      Dr Peggy Fleming 1-352-583-2400 website is @ please contact her email is u can upload the video u took

    • lyndakbundrant

      May 4, 2012 at 10:22 am

      I agree here Stacy–I practice holistic medicine and I would look into Equine Accupuncture. I have seen first hand the rapid healing accupuncture can do.

    • Marlice Vonck

      May 4, 2012 at 1:04 pm

      If you test negative on HYPP it is negative. Vaguero’s signs are not at all similar to HYPP. I would highly recommend to contact a holistis veterinarian who is certified in acupuncture and herbs. Steroids take away and swelling of the spinal cord, but will not resolve the initial problem, and will only suppress healing. Additional therapy with alternative methods would be very helpful. Go to to find a holistic vet.

  61. Shelly Petty

    May 4, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Was Roxy and Vaquero in the same barn? Could they have picked up something at one of the events? It seems to be more than consicendece you have two very sick horses in a short amont of time.
    He looks like he has vertigo Have the vets checked his inner ear functioning ?
    I wish you nothing but the best .

    • Stacy

      May 4, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      No, Roxy was at home with Greg and hers was completely different. She had torn stifles from being cast. He appears to have damage to his spinal cord from arthritis (possibly from a small undetected OCD when young) and now it has flared up. More tests coming.

  62. travelcat

    May 4, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Stacy, this may be a long shot but has the vet considered idiopathic vestibular syndrome ? I know of someone who had a dog with a very similar problem, and this turned out to be the reason. It resolved on it’s own and the dog was fine afterward. Might be a long shot.

  63. Ginger

    May 4, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Have you checked for maybe a plant or weed he may have eaten that could cause a problem?? I have a neuro. disease also so I can relate to the poor boy…….Any injury to his spine???? Maybe even a wrong roll.. could cause injury??? Prayers coming your way…..Does he seem to have loss of feeling in his legs or back at all??? Maybe an allergic reation to some insect or spider bite??? Just throwing things out there…God bless you all..and help keep you strong..

    • Stacy

      May 4, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      blood work says no poisons/toxins. Many things ruled out on blood work….

  64. Sandi Lamrouex

    May 4, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Dear Stacy, my heart aches for you and Vaquero. Unfortunately, I had a 2 year old examined by Dr. Reed,(the best, for sure!) x-rays, video etc. The gelding was a 2 yr old. No EPM or Wobblers was suspected. With in months, he was traveling worse and worse. It wasn’t until his trip to Tex.A & M that he fell in the trailer and was really bad. Even the MRI didn’t show a thing. He couldn’t recover from the anesthesia and was put down. It wasn’t until test results from the necropsy was it determined that he did indeed have severe EPM. NO parasites were found. Just the damage. I hope the idea of going ahead and treating Vaquero for EPM will be discussed soon. You just never know. My prayers are with you.

  65. rosemary

    May 4, 2012 at 11:01 am

    We are thinking of you and praying for him!

  66. Wendy Russ

    May 4, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I know youve got the best of the best looking into Vaqero and the rest of us are sending prayers from the heart…..but… I just can’t stop thinking that there may be a clue in Hammys problem related to Vaqueros so…I had to say it. Have you had your water tested?

    • Marlice Vonck

      May 4, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      Oh… and also, it is heartbreaking to see Stacy and her little big horse. Healing thoughts are going your way…

  67. Letitia Hise

    May 4, 2012 at 11:24 am

    So Sorry Stacy. Have you checked pasture for possible toxic plants? Some common weeds have neurotoxins.

  68. Anne Kirlpatrick

    May 4, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I believe very strongly in the power of prayer so I will PRAY very hard for you all God bless

  69. Lorrie Bracaloni

    May 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Snake Bite?

  70. Marlene Lemke

    May 4, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    My heart hurts for you and Vaquero. Prayers…..

  71. horsehavenabc

    May 4, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    As Wendy said – I’m sure you have the best people looking at Vaqero – but sometimes things are ruled out as unlikely. I sent the video to my sister who said her horse acted the same way with West Nile. I know you and Vaqero are in God’s hands during this difficult time and I wish you peace and strength.

  72. Sheri

    May 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I feel so horrible for you Stacey. I can’t imagine how you must be feeling right now. I hope and pray that Vaquero comes out of this as good as ever. Please keep us updated when you can, and stay strong.

  73. Lori Walsh

    May 4, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    My heart goes out to you all. Sending prayers and hope for healing.

  74. Emma

    May 4, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Praying for you guys!!

  75. tugsmom

    May 4, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    So sorry Stacey my thoughts and prayers are with you and Vaquero and wishing him a speedy recovery. I will be following his progress and pray he pulls through for you. My heart goes out to you in these troubled times.

  76. Judith A Hamilton (Philip)

    May 4, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Stacy….Saddened to here Vaquero has more ongoing problems….Praying for both you and Vaquero and the Vets….Stay strong

  77. Anna

    May 4, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    praying praying praying

  78. Sommer

    May 4, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Stacy, we in my family are praying. I hope that the vets will be able to figure out what he is need of and can treat him and that Vaquero will fully recover.

  79. Cheryl Ostrander

    May 4, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Stacy here is a contact if it might be lyme disease. Yung-Fu Chang, Professor

    Animal Health Diagnostic Center

    Department of population Medicine and diagnostic Sciences

    College of Veterinary Medicine

    Cornell University

    Ithaca, NY 14853

    Tel: 607-253-3675

    Fax: 607-253-3943

  80. Anne Goddard

    May 4, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Prayers sent. . .

  81. Simone Schulz

    May 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    perhaps vestibularsyndrom (by infections, tumors, poisoning …)? Regards Simone

  82. Skip Yochum

    May 4, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    From looking at the video I would probably want a head CT to rule out a CVA, because I think he acting like a right sided CVA ( Cerebral Vascular Accident )

  83. Rhonda Gagnon

    May 4, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Prayers in TN. Breaks your heart. We have a horse that was having coordination problems but also had a swollen leg top to bottom – was tested for ENV & EPM : but you pull his tail & let go & he would right himself – doc said was good sign.. We found two little pricks & to this day I think it was a snake bite . Any chance of that? Sparky is fine today. We did give him Toucoprin. Will continue to pray. Please update his condition. RGG

  84. Shirley

    May 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    My heart goes out to you and Vaquero. I lost a 4 year old stallion to very similar symptoms and know well that feeling of helplessness. We never did discover what it was, but it started when he slipped circling up a cow, and managed to save himself from falling, but after that he pretty much looked like your horse. I tend to agree with the spinal problem theory. Knee mail going up for all of you.

  85. Jill

    May 4, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Praying like crazy for you all!

  86. denise Guyton

    May 4, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Hyoidal bone? Sorry about the spelling.

  87. Paige macfarland

    May 4, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Stacy, this. Breaks my heart. Has your vet ruled out the wobbler condition? Spinal cord injury? Our horses are so vulnerable. Paige, Santa fe,nm

  88. Sandy Carr

    May 4, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I’m praying for everyone Stacy….it looks like the EPM I saw in the late 90s. Have them run that test again if they can. Glad he looks perky and not in pain. Now it’s time for the detective vets to do their work! Hugs.

  89. Linda Wilkinson

    May 4, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Prayers, hugs and standing in agreement with you!

  90. Sage Crandall

    May 4, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Praying for you and Vaquero, Stacy. So sorry you have to go through this; it must be heartbreaking.

  91. Rachel

    May 4, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    I’m so sorry for you and your horse. I’m sure the vets have ruled this out, but could it be something wrong with his inner ear? poor guy looks like he doesn’t know where to put his feet. I hope he recovers soon.

  92. Colleen Burke (@ColleenB8)

    May 4, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    I am praying so hare for you all right now! You are giving him the best care possible and you have done every possible test so now we should send positive thoughts and prayers. It is so hard when something like this happens to our four legged family, big hug to you all and an even bigger one for Vaquero.

    Good St. Francis, you loved all of God’s creatures.
    To you they were your brothers and sisters.
    Help us to follow your example
    of treating every living thing with kindness.
    St. Francis, Patron Saint of animals,
    watch over my pet
    and keep my companion safe and healthy.

  93. Gail

    May 4, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Stacy, just read your blog. My 6yr old TB had a similar episode last May. He would drop his head and get wobbly and walk backwards in a circle and looked like he was blind for about 30 to 60 seconds. Totaly disoriented. Caledl vet, blood work all normal, suspected EPM also. We found no known cause. Happended several times in the course of two weeks. We did chiropractic, which helped some and then the farrier put front shoes on him just in case, to rule out his feet or structural problems? It worked for what ever reason, he has not had an episode since. I have videos also. Simply crazy. Hope they find solutions for you and your horse.

  94. Kathy Kopylec

    May 5, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Stacy, My heart goes out to you! you`ve had so much, praying for your broken heart and strength of spirit, wisdom for the vets , trusting God in his amazing power and praying for someone with healing gifts to place hands on him….sincerely in christ Kathy k.

  95. Kasey

    May 5, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Stacy, I hope everything goes well with your horse. I’ll be praying for you and Vaquero. Life is strange but when we have the people, animals, and things we love most surrounding us we know we can make it through.

  96. Jessica Williams

    May 5, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    I was reading Stacy’s last past couple of posts and they brought me to tears. I would be devastated if this happened to my horse, Lucy. I started praying and thought it would be cool to share my prayer. God bless

    Hey God,
    I pray for Stacy and Vaquero. They are going through such a rough time. Please give them both strength and that Vaquero would come out of this successfully. He is such an amazing horse who has an amazing rider. Please help him to get better so he can once again win all those ribbons and trophies. Please give the Westfall family comfort and hope. Amen.

  97. Allie

    May 5, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Has the vet done any kind of testing for wobbler syndrome? Or is there any kind of injury in his back or neck? I just went through something really similar with a friends warmblood, very similar signs and the same non challant additiude about him, wishing for the bestfor you two!!

  98. Chanida

    May 6, 2012 at 6:21 am

    My heart is breaking for you! I had one do this to me almost 12mths ago so I know what you are going through. She had a mosquito borne virus called Kunjin which basically swells the brain. From my research I believe is similar to the West Nile virus you guys get over there, but I’m sure you vaccinate for that & would’ve already ruled it out with the blood work. I’m hoping they develop a vaccine for Kunjin as I never want to go through that again. Thinking of you & sending positive vibes your way.

  99. Stacey mehrgan

    May 6, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Hi Stacey. I’m writing from Australia. do you have Bats in your area. We have Hendra here and the horses suffer nueriological problems. Its passed thru Bats droppings near feeding areas.

  100. Chrissy mitchell

    May 7, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    My heart is breaking for you and your boy…

    {{hugs}} ( there are no words )

  101. Delena Barrett

    June 10, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Dear Stacy, I am Delena Barrett former owner of “POCO QUIXOTE RIO” the million dollar cutting horse that won the Gold and Silver with Bill Riddle back in 1987. I purchased Poco to learn cutting. I traveled to New Mexico to a Bible Cutting Clinic. However, in April of 2010 he became real lame on the left front foot. I took him after letting a local vet look at him on to Mississippi State University where Dr. Sampson took over. They ran all kinds of tests everything came back negative. They then thought it was EPM. We treated him with medicine everyday and an Nsaid everyday. He got better, quit limping so I brought him home to Meridian, Ms. to my barn and stayed with him constantly. You see I am alot like you in the fact I have had horses all my life. He was the greatest horse I have ever known. Something “spiritual” about him. He took a turn for the worse. Looks just like what your horse is doing. Neurogical signs-no balance, left foot hurting, like his neck is real sore. Dr. Sampson said she thought it could have been a series of strokes due to arthritis or EPM.
    However, I euthanized him on June 6th 2010. My world stopped!! No one ever could tell me exactly what was wrong with him. Same symptoms as your horse. I had to put my feelings aside and my local vet and Dr. Sampson at MSU decided it was the right thing to do. My heart was broken because I had just lost my mom-survivor of Lymphoma for 10 yrs. to a heart attack just 2 wks before having to put down Poco (my best friend.) I will pray for you and your horse. I am so sorry you are going through this. My heart breaks for you and your horse. I have been wanting to contact you about a horse I finally broke down and purchased a year after Poco died. Same bloodlines as Poco-out of “Black Little Lena” Smart Little Lena and Poco and Doc Bar top and bottom.. He is solid Black like Roxy and is so incredible smart like Poco. You will not believe what his registered name is, are you sitting down because this one will give you chills- IB POCO LENA!!
    I know God sent this horse to me to use me possibly with this horse. I would love, love to meet you and let you help me with him on freestyle reining and dedicate to my Mom and Poco a presentation on him. I have got a real challenge with him. 8 yrs old but loves to run and is full of himself. Beautiful horse with a cutting horse brain. I look forward to hearing from you.
    my cell is (601)862-3126. You are welcome to call me about POCO and I can give you Dr. Sampson # at Misssissippi State University. Awesome vet . Take care of yourself, and I will say a
    huge prayer for you and your horse. P.S. Don’t forget to PRAY ALWAYS!!! Delena Barrett-Meridian, Ms.

  102. Delena Barrett

    June 10, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Stacy, You can go on YOU TUBE-put in POCO QUIXOTE RIO and see the million dollar cutting video with Bill Riddle and right above that is me with Poco bareback talking about his situation and me having to euthanize him. You will be in my prayers along with your gorgeous horse. Delena

  103. Elizabeth Gay Schellenger

    January 5, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Hey Stacey….we have had several horses with Lymes disease and Tic related Anaplasma….. has your horse been tested..? My Hang Ten Jen ” Jenny” 5 yr old Show mare( Reiner!) had an Over the Top test come back …not the same symptoms but..she was fine one day and just like a rank Stallion the next ! And you could Not Touch her! Really no touch at all..After a round of anti biotics she back to herself….I have read and been told by our vet the neurological problems can come from advanced Lymes…..and Jenny never is turned out because of her sliding plates…just Walker and hand grazing… we think tic came in on hay…..JUST A THOUGHT!;) PRAYERS FOR YOUR HORSE!!!!

    • Stacy

      January 5, 2014 at 6:29 pm

      Elizabeth-I am so glad you found out what was wrong with your horse. I will keep that in mind. I have friends in Maine who have had issues with Lymes and Jesse’s dad personally had it.
      Unfortunately Vaquero did get diagnosed. He had a bone spur that was severing his spinal cord. There are photos and a blog here
      and the blog before and after it talk about it more also.


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