Transition - Stall Rest to Pasture/Work - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 05-29-2013, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Transition - Stall Rest to Pasture/Work

Hey everyone,

So my gelding Fox went off-and-on lame about 8 weeks ago - I took him to the vet about 5 weeks ago now. The lameness, heat and swelling were all originally on his left front (proximal suspensory ligament area), but he blocked to the right knee. So basically, after clean x-rays and perfect ultrasounds, they said they weren't sure what the issue was and told me to keep him on stall rest and hand walk for another 6 weeks.

Now he's been on stall rest for 5 weeks, the hand walking has progressed to about 35 mins, twice a day (which is difficult, he's extremely hyped up). I would like to start trying to phase him back into pasture and work at this point now. I was thinking I'd start walking him under saddle, progress to a bit of trot before letting him into pasture full-time. I was going to keep him in the smaller 2-acre part alone, with my other horse just across the fence. My neighbour has two young horses along the other fence that I worry will get my guy going though...otherwise I was thinking of making sure he had gone on his walk and was a bit hungry so he might focus more on eating, then gradually increase the time he's out, but I'm not entirely confident that will work. My vet suggested Ace too, but it seems like a pretty short-term solution, and I'd be hesitant to ride him with that...

Does anyone have experience/advice with this? I've looked up some ideas, but I'd be happy to hear how everyone else has been successful in preventing the "I'm free" explosion once out on pasture (or under saddle...which is pretty likely too, knowing Fox!).

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post #2 of 4 Old 05-29-2013, 11:35 PM
Green Broke
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If I was in your situation, I would be doing hand walking in his pasture (if you're not doing so already) on a daily basis - this helps get your horse and the "neighbours" used to him being in his pasture thereby reducing running because of strangeness. Once he's settled enough with those walks, you should be able to incorporate a little grazing while still on the lead rope. And, eventually when your ready and with a bit of luck, once he's involved with grazing you should be able to quietly take the lead rope off and leave him. You may see some action from him when he finally twigs onto the fact he is not restrained anymore but it shouldn't be a dramatic as just letting him loose.

Hope it all works out for you.
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post #3 of 4 Old 05-29-2013, 11:56 PM
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I agree with Chevaux. If you are really worried that he'll go bonkers and re-injure himself, you can always give him a bit of Ace. My horse couldn't keep his sanity when it came time to start back with turnout after being off for several months. I had to give him Ace for a week before I felt comfortable with him being sane enough to not hurt himself again. Even with Ace, he'd still throw a few bucks here and there, so there are never any guarantees. I would give him Ace as a last resort though. Less is more in my opinion.

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post #4 of 4 Old 05-29-2013, 11:57 PM
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^^ Totally agree with Chevaux! Also: I would put some protective boots on him for the first free turnouts (when he's showing you he's ready/acclimated to grazing free) just for some added protection since he's still healing...but supervised and not for a LONG time of turnout (don't want to leave the boots on that long).
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