Between rock and hard place. What would YOU do?
My OTTB played a little too hard 3 weeks ago and got himself kicked in the shoulder. As he was dragging his front leg I had the vet come out and he told me he might have a hair line fraction in his shoulder bone. Because of where it is, x-rays are not possible, so we cannot be certain.
He was "sentenced" to 4 - 6 weeks stall confinement and one hand walk a day.
Two weeks into this he is feeling much better, so much better that he has become a terror to take on walks. He does not want to walk, he trots circles around me, rears (not all the way up, just small ones), jumps, spooks, bites (we call him Charlie Cheap Shot, he's just playing, but it still hurts) and so on.
I called the vet to ask if I could let him use his run, so he might be calmer when we go on our walks and he told me either is no good really. If it is fractured, wrong moves can make it worse or really brake it and that might be the end of him, so he has to be as calm as possible. Opening the door to his run might make him easier to handle on the walks, but also gives him more room to do something stupid.
He rolls outside, which he does not do inside and getting up may put too much stress on the shoulder, but him acting up on the walks is not good either and also can result in something horrible.
I'm inclined to open the door and take my chances, but I would feel really guilty if something happens to him that would not have happened if I had kept it closed. On the other hand, if I keep it closed and he hurts himself on a walk, I'd feel really guilty too.
His stall is about 15 feet by 15 feet and this picture gives an impression of the size of his run.
Zenfolio | Todd Naskedov | Starship and Wynona (K10D/K-m)
What would YOU do?
Did you cut his grain while he is on stall rest?
You can put him on reserpine or Ace tabs to take the edge off.
No grains. Only bermuda (alfalfa out too) and alfalfa/bermuda pellets for breakfast and timothy pellets for dinner, to not make it too boring.
First thing I did was take out all high energy food.
I'm not much for tranquilizing animals unless absolutely needed, this may be one of those cases in order to keep him from further injury. Talk to your vet again about giving him something to calm him down till he heals up, not anything to make a zombie out of him but enough to make him feel relaxed and not want to rear, run etc.
Well there are ways to walk a high strung horse without using drugs.
I work at the track and many of the horses can be high on life at times.
First I will ask do you walk him with a shank over his nose. It is not cruel like some people say if you know how to use it and don't get carried away.
if the first way does not work have you every put ( a chain shank) thourgh his mouth then over his nose and attach it to the top ring ( close to where you would adjust the halter strap) It looks horrible but it is not cruel.
it just gives the horse something to play with. you don't yank on the chain you just jiggle it slightly or pull gently to get his attention. you can even wrap the part that will end up in his mouth with vet wrap to make it more comfortable. the chain over the nose will help when he goes up in the air. Many racing outfits and stud farms use this method.
I had to use it on my guy when he was recovering from his injury ( rotated tendon , etc). it just helped when hand walking him.
Either way it is worth a try. If you are not comfortable with this then just ask the vet for a mild tranq.
Hope your boy has a speedy recovery.
The last couple of days I have tried both the chain and leaving the door to his turn out open.
Chain - good, not a problem, he remembered the chain (ex-racehorse) and behaved a lot better, still a few little hops, but nothing like before.
Turn out available - bad, door is closed again. He was fine for a few minutes, but then he saw a horse in the arena and went nuts, bucking, jumping, trotting, hard stops, all the things he is not supposed to do.
The vet was right, if you give them more room, you give them more room to hurt themselves.
Only a week and a half to go before the vet comes out again to look at him, we'll be fine until then.
I look forward to riding him for the first time after the vet has cleared him, that is going to be fun...... I already bought all the lunging equipment.
Yikes, I would DEFINITELY not let him in the run. At least if you have him in hand and he acts up, you have some sort of control over him. Listen to your vet!
Try adding some MagOx or FeedOX to his hay pellets... many times horses lacking this will be kinda silly acting :)
Good luck and healling vibes being sent to him
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