After the rubbish prognosis from my vet it was time to make plans..
We decided that we would inject the joint and see if that made a difference. He would need a week off work (which coincided nicely with my holiday) and then we would bring him back into work. Whilst I was on holiday Buddy decided he hadn't had quite enough money spent on him at the vets (!)so decided to try and amputate his hind leg which required about 14 staples and more time off. I'm sure fellow horsey people will understand that this put a slight dampner on the holiday and I just wanted to get home..
On my return we started the walk work and spent the first seven days plodding in the school and hacking. He felt freer in front despite the swollen leg behind and I was quietly confident that he would be sound when the trot test was conducted. Ten days later, the hind leg had healed sufficiently and so it was time... He was still not right. I was gutted. I stopped riding and called the vet back out.
In the meantime I started doing some research.. I'd read about Rockly Farm on the Horse & Hound forum and had actually been in touch with Nic Barker when Legend was diagnosed but she had said he wasn't the right candidate at that time. So I went back, read the blog, and got back in touch with Nic. She felt that she could help Buddy but he would need to be referred by the vet.
I'm pretty decisive about certain things, especially if I have a gut feeling about something, and that feeling was really strong that I should send Buddy to Rockley. So I told Nic I wanted to send him but my vet was on holiday so I had to wait for him to come back. In the meantime I did lots of research, realised how ignorant I had been about feet, and was armed for a fight with my vet.
Luckily I didn't need to battle with Chris - he was concerned as he had come across horses trimmed in the Strasser method which had left horses crippled but once he spoke to Nic he was happy and the referral was done. My farrier has also been really supportive and I'm really hoping we can all continue to work together moving forward.
So.. I had a plan..