149 days of box rest....

Mary Poppins

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Oct 10, 2004
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And yet it continues! The last 3 weeks have been a steep learning curve in rehab work. While Ben calmly walks round his stable block (the route we have done everyday for 149 days), anywhere else is very exciting. I have been increasing his walking from 10 mins to 20 mins to 30 mins per day each week, mainly in our big school (40 by 60). Sometimes he is calm, sometimes he is very tense. On a couple of occasions he has spun round and bucked several times. This scares me and I am worried about ripping the scar tissue we have spent so long building. I am now apprehensive about leading him anywhere at all. I have sedalin which helps to an extent but it is not a magic cure.

This week we had the saddle fitter and next Friday we have the physio. If she gives the ok, we are then hacking out for 30 mins per day for 3 weeks at walk until the vet comes back. But when I say ‘we’, that is not true. After many tears and sleepless nights, I have to admit that I can’t face riding him myself when he is on box rest. I am scared that I will be scared, if that makes sense. I am nervous at the best of times, and as Ben is so tense when out of his stable block, I worry that I won’t be able to cope with him. So I have a lovely rider who works at the yard who is going to hack him for me. It feels like failure but also complete relief at the same time. It will only be until he gets turned out, which hopefully will happen after the 3 week period and I will walk with her on foot. I know it is the best thing all round but it was a hard decision to make. In over 7 years that we have been together, only a handful of people have sat on him, and only ever for a few minutes at a time. I want to do it myself, but I also don’t want to end up being injured either.

So that is it from us. I long to write a thread that isn’t about box rest or lameness!
 

Trewsers

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Oct 13, 2004
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I think you are being very sensible getting someone to ride him. They will be emotionally detached as you couldn't be - given that he means so much to you. And I totally understand how apprehensive you must be feeling about getting on board again. Won't be long before we are reading progress about your rides on him I am sure:)
 
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carthorse

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Getting another rider to hack him is NOT a failure, it's being sensible & having the honesty to realise you aren't the right rider for this particular job. Lengthy box rest can, in the short term, mean you're dealing with a completely different horse & in some cases it can be dangerous too - it's not the time for pride or ego. Well done for making a sensible decision, and I hope it goes well.
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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I think that is a very sensible idea. It might also help Ben if you are walking at his side if he does get hot headed. At least you will be there to see what happens (if anything does). I would not let your rider hack him out without you being there.
Maybe when you get back to the yard from the walk out with your rider, you should just get on him and just stand so it gives you chance to start rebuilding your confidence on Ben.
 

Bodshi

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Apr 23, 2009
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I understand where you’re coming from, barely anyone else has ridden Raf either, I want him to be my horse, not a horse made by someone else. But sometimes it’s just best to relinquish control and admit that it’s in the best interests of both you and your horse to seek help. I eventually conceded that I needed help with Raf’s traffic issues and had my RI ride him out on busier roads. He still felt like my horse and I was actually a teeny bit proud to see him being ridden by someone else.

I think you’re doing the right thing, you’ve done your very best for Ben during this difficult time and this is no exception.
 
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Mary Poppins

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Thanks everyone. I am exhausted at the moment with so much going on. The box rest is taking its toll on both of us, I just want him turned out so I can have my sane horse back. I knew the rehab period would be tough but I didn’t realise how tough. I really hope that it is worth it in the long run.
 

Jane&Ziggy

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Well, looking on the bright side, 3 months ago you weren't sure that he would survive, never mind be ridden again. Someone else riding him is a really sensible solution and a much better outcome than you feared! It would be good if you could enjoy yourself the first time you get back on him. Let someone else take the knocks, if there are any.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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It's definitely not a failure, being able to put your feelings aside in his best interests is very difficult and a very positive thing to do. You're right if you are likely to be nervous and he's likely to feed off it then it's just not the best option, when Jess was backed I sent her away for exactly that reason and I have never regretted it.
 
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