Bringing a horse back from injury help.. what exercises should I work on?! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-29-2012, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Bringing a horse back from injury help.. what exercises should I work on?!

My mares a beautiful girl! She is a 17.1 warmblood imported from Germany and last show season we were pinning top 5 consistently in the hunter and eq classes. She has had a high suspensory issue over the past few months, and after shock treatment, herbal meds, and lots of time off, we finally decided to operate on it. The operation went well, and we got her sacroiliac injected as well. She's doing great now, and floatier then ever! She was off and on for just over 7 months, and it's been about a month since I've been consistently riding her again.

I started out with 5 minutes of loose rein, forward moving walk then brought her into a nice hunter frame and walked her like this for another 10 minutes before starting to trot for about 15. I am now trotting for 20-25 and cantering as much as she can handle without dying haha..(about 5-10 minutes)...

she has a huge hay belly and is quite weak in her hind end again .. She's also become quite strong. It's not like she pulls me around, and she takes quite a bit of leg to move forward (but she always has been like this.. and with some small spurs shes perfect off my leg), it just feels like she is fighting to stay in frame. I can keep her in frame the whole way around, but it takes ALOT more strength then it did before (Keep in mind I am also a lot weaker then I was 6 months ago. Is this because she's so much weaker now?

Considering the time off she has had, she is still listening extremely well and still knows her job .. But what should I do about the strongness and fighting to stay in frame?

I was thinking a new bit? but I think it is more lacking of the muscle

What exercises should I focus on? She used to be PROOO at leg yields and I have been trying to get her back into that, with some difficulty. What else should I work on?

Pessoa lunging system?
New bit?
More exercises?

Thanks!! Ill really appreciate your feed back !!

Also.. I am in between moving barns and moving coaches, so its kind of difficult since I have no one to help me out!
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post #2 of 4 Old 02-29-2012, 03:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
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to me it sounds like a lack of muscle and with time you'll be back to where you started. heck, if you work on it now, you could teach/re-teach her to be lighter to the aids as well.
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post #3 of 4 Old 02-29-2012, 03:57 PM
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You need to be doing way, way more walk. Walk is what will recondition a horse back from an injury.
Once you can walk, a good brisk, clear 4 beat FORWARD walk for 60 minutes straight with no breaks, then start adding in some poles and taking her out for "walk hacks" and try to find some hills. Generally the reconditioning programs that have been suggested to me have the horse working up to 60 minutes of walk before trot or canter are added, and canter is not added until the horse is almost in "full" condition and even then, very carefully.
Good luck!

ETA - also for high suspensories it is generally recommended that the horse is restricted to walk in straight lines with NO lateral work or leg yielding for the first bit. I would get her going strong and well in the walk, out on hacks in the walk and working over walk poles, and trotting in consistent intervals on straight lines before adding in any leg yields.

They say money doesn't buy happiness -- well happiness doesn't buy horses!

Last edited by ~*~anebel~*~; 02-29-2012 at 03:59 PM.
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-29-2012, 05:07 PM
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I agree with anebel. The walking stage is very important as the first stage in bringing a horse back to fitness, even more so after time off with an injury! I would be careful, it sounds like your asking too much too soon, you wouldn't want to have another set back. I wouldn't change the bit, she is just lacking in fitness and muscle and is finding the work tough right now by the sound of it. Also, the pessoa is a lot of work for a horse and its on a circle, I would stay away from that for a while!
Good luck with her, she sounds like a wonderful mare!
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