Rehabbing/training after minor tendon injury - exercise suggestions needed - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-19-2012, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Utah
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Rehabbing/training after minor tendon injury - exercise suggestions needed

Would LOVE Exercises & calming supplement suggestions for my OTTB coming off a minor front suspensory tear.

After 8 weeks of hand-walking & no turnout, the vet has given us the all clear to start "walk only" under saddle. My OTTB is normally mellow & hard working, but very green. He is still learning to collect & move off the leg. The problem is he loves to run and is now jumpy & high-strung after 8 weeks of no turnout or real exercise. Grain has been cut back to almost nothing to curb excess energy.

Frankly, I'm a little scared to get back on my big bundle of pent-up energy. I can't lunge on anything but a small circle because he WILL run. No idea when the vet will clear him for turnout again.

Would really appreciate any feedback on the following:
-Any suggestions on how to keep us both safe as we restart training
-any fun, safe ground games
-any good exercises to keep his mind active & learning (at walk under saddle or in-hand)
-any calming supplement suggestions

I am really open to any creative things I can do to have fun with my boy, keep us safe, and still keep up the training process - books, YouTube videos, quirky standing exercises, suppling, anything. I did post this on another forum, everyone said to Ace, but no real training suggestions. *Yes, I know we can't do any lateral work or small circles right now, but he's so green, there have to be basic exercises we can do at a walk to keep his mind active and keep him learning. HUGE thanks for sharing your expertise and experiences!
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post #2 of 4 Old 02-19-2012, 11:02 PM
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Lunging on a small circle is probably the worst thing you can do to bring a horse back in from a soft tissue or joint injury.
I would be hand walking the horse each day, and doing a lot of ground work.
Then sasddle up, and just walk - if the horse is super hot, do your walking in an enclosed arena. It is very important that you avoid any fast, or strenuous work for at least a month, to give the tendon the best chance of recovering.
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post #3 of 4 Old 02-22-2012, 11:02 AM
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Location: Jacksonville, NC
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I had the same problem, except my horse had a deep digital flexor tendon injury and was stalled for 5 months. Needless to say he was a little nuts. My vet gave me a bottle of ace and had me give him just a little bit to take the edge off about 25 minutes before I did any exercise with him. While I'm not all for giving a horse ace as a means to calm them down, it was necessary for Jester to make sure he didn't reinjure himself.

I found he was very jumpy with a saddle on, so I stopped trying to ride and just let him be a horse again. That seemed to be the missing puzzle piece. I started turning him out in a small round pen (about 30 ft, and not lunging him) and every week increased the size of the turnout. He now goes in a fairly large pasture with one other horse and is much more calm.

Take it easy, don't rush him. The vet said we were ready to start riding in January. However, based on the 2 rides we had and the way he acted when he was even just being handwalked, he wasn't mentally ready so I backed off.

Also, invest in boots to protect that tendon as he starts to come back into exercise. I got the Back on Track exercise boots and love them.
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-22-2012, 11:15 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MN
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Originally Posted by Juxtapoze View Post
-any good exercises to keep his mind active & learning (at walk under saddle or in-hand)

-any calming supplement suggestions
Reserpine is the only long acting sedative our vets recommend.

As far as exercises - sepentines - shoulder in/out - haunches in/out. Turns on the forehand, hind quarters.

When I am cooling down I putz with using just a weight shift in the saddle to turn the horse. My mare is becoming too good at it. If I lean down to check my cinch, she starts turning to the left!
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