How long should I wait for my horse to recover?
So my 7 year old mare is just over a hoof injury. It wasn't quite laminitis, but it was pretty darn close. The farrier just came out yesterday to shoe her front, so things have improved a lot. However, I don't want to start working her too hard, too early. The vet just said to see how shes doin (not much help i know!:D) Anyone have any ideas as to how long I should wait before getting back into jumping/dressage? Should I just work her on the flat first or is it really that big of a deal? Thanks in advance!!:)
Personally, if this were my horse, I would start out slow. IF the vet and farrier say she is okay to start easing back into work, I would start with just some lunge line work the first 2-3 workouts. When you are done and you know your horse is cooled out, check the area for heat or swelling. If there are no signs of heat or swelling, then she is most likely doing okay. Then I would ease into riding but NO JUMPING. Maybe start with basic dressage ... I would probably say work the first week on Intro stuff, the second on TL and work up gradually to where you were, ALWAYS checking after your workouts for signs of heat or swelling. I probably wouldn't do any fence work until at least another month or so to make sure she isn't developing a quarter crack. You may not see a quarter crack until it's already far gone as they can develop from the inside out, usually if there has been issues with coronet, white line area, etc. I have seen some pretty NASTY issues arise from the impact of jumping on a hoof developing a quarter crack internally and trust me, you don't want to go there as it would cause your horse to be out for 3-4 more months. If all is good the first 1 or 2 months and your vet has said she is okay to do so, then maybe start slowly bring her back up to jumping.
If after the first day or so of lunging or riding you do feel heat or see swelling, or see signs of discomfort, STOP and consult your vet. Pay attention to the coronet band, look at it every day. If part of it seems to raise, look swollen or look higher than the rest (it should always be a relatively straight line), STOP and consult a vet as this could be a sign of something developing internally such as a quarter crack.
In my opinion, slow is the way to go when coming back from any foot issue or injury. Gradually bringing her back to where she was will also help keep her from injuring herself further or in another place. If she was favoring that foot, than the opposite foot could actually have more potential to be injured right now than the actual foot that was injured because it has been through a lot of stress from taking over all the work that both feet/legs would normally take on together.
Are there any other ways to detect a quarter crack? And to get slightly off topic, I have noticed that she has kind of dry hooves, but both the farrier and the vet say it should not be an issue. Is this something I should be concerned about, or am I overreacting? They've chipped slightly above her shoes, too, but no major splits or anything.
Thanks for the advice, too!
Need more info Madeline. Was it an injury? If so, what? Or was it laminitis - perhaps 'nearly laminitis' means low grade or sub clinical? Pics of hooves? Diet? Management, etc? Did the farrier put regular rim shoes on? Why did he do that or otherwise? You can't expect any reasonable advice here based on so little info.
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