So my Lizzy was going to be my endurance horse. We had been conditioning until a tendon injury in May put her on rest. She only kicked herself and vet gave clearance to ride in a few days. Long story short she ended up with the worst case of scratches ever so she was completely out for 3 weeks and with my summer classes I have been only able to ride around 1-2 days a week. So she has been stiff and very short strided and just sort of off for her movement.
I had the vet/chiro out Tuesday and the bad news, no endurance ever without injections . The vet was very impressed with her health and she is extremely flexible and has excellent bone structure and soundness but her arthritis is too far. She is completely sound but her back left fetlock is retaining fluid. It never goes down with exercise and she is out on pasture 24/7. He did adjust her a bit in her neck and her right hip. So hopefully that helps her movement.
She is to be buted for the first week of bringing back into work to get past the initial pain stage. She must be worked a minimum of 3 days a week but ideally 5 days a week, no matter what. So besides not overworking the first week since she will be on a low dose of bute but enough to get her working how do I proceed with conditioning her? I have settled with the fact that we will just aim to do a novice ride in fall and then maybe a few next year. I was going to do a lot of conditioning rides with some experienced endurance folks but obviously I don't want to make her keep up with them as the vet said 10 miles should be her max for her long rides.
It wasn't the news I wanted to hear. I knew it would eventually come as she is 20 but I was hoping we could get atleast a couple years of good riding first. She is with me until she passes and I cannot afford another horse until we find a house with some land. I am making due with her conditions and aiming to give her something to focus on and a goal for us to reach.
So I am looking for advice on how to condition her? For instance what are some goals for how long to keep her trotting, cantering and so on? The vet and I set a goal to condition for the summer and come fall he will be back out for a follow up exam/adjustment with xrays on the consistently swollen fetlock.