bringing a horse back into work after a long period off.

lauren123

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Feb 3, 2007
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Just thinking out loud here.

Starting to increase the amount of time that I take sox for in hand walks. And touch wood he is doing very well ( good Mr sox!)
However as he has had such a considerable amount of time off I am wondering how else if at all. I should get him used to been back into some degree of work. I mean he has lost so much muscle I know his sadly won't fit but I am tempted to just put some more numnahs under. He does get his teeth done every 6 months anyway and he has his back done...either early this year or late last year and apart from him having no muscle and tight on his shoulders he was fine.
Any other thoughts apart from taking it at snails pace? However judging by last night sox wants to go faster and further. He had an unplanned trot :)
 

carthorse

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I would be tempted to get a saddler out, but when you ring up briefly explain the situation & say you aren't looking for a new saddle. A good saddler maybe able to reflock the saddle to help & advise on what pads to use & how to check them to ensure optimal saddle fit until he's back in a reasonable amount of work. There are almost certainly better options than adding more numnahs - gel pads, prolites, front/rear risers etc - but which is the most suitable is something you need advice on.

Work wise, given that it's been time off due to lameness, I'd be looking at a minimum of 8 weeks ridden walking 5 or 6 times a week. Active walking, not bimblimg along on a long rein. I'd start short, maybe 10 to 15 minutes & assess Sox before and after every ride to check he's coping. I'd increase by 5 or 10 minutes a week subject to how he's coping, don't increase if you aren't sure & be prepared to go back a step if you think he's not comfortable - if he's obviously lame at any point then obviously speak to the vet, but hopefully building him up very carefully will mean this isn't a problem. Don't rush to come out of walk. I know it's tempting but doing too much too soon is likely to cause problems plus a horse is more likely to settle to walk work if he knows that's all that's on offer.
 
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Jessey

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Work wise, given that it's been time off due to lameness, I'd be looking at a minimum of 8 weeks ridden walking 5 or 6 times a week. Active walking, not bimblimg along on a long rein. I'd start short, maybe 10 to 15 minutes & assess Sox before and after every ride to check he's coping. I'd increase by 5 or 10 minutes a week subject to how he's coping, don't increase if you aren't sure & be prepared to go back a step if you think he's not comfortable - if he's obviously lame at any point then obviously speak to the vet, but hopefully building him up very carefully will mean this isn't a problem. Don't rush to come out of walk. I know it's tempting but doing too much too soon is likely to cause problems plus a horse is more likely to settle to walk work if he knows that's all that's on offer.
This ^^^ but I would be doing probably 3-4 weeks in hand first to get that back built up a bit :)
 
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PePo

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I'd definitely be taking it slow if the time off was due to injury.

I'm just thinking about ways to help keep him settled in walk for longer for you - as I think your totally right, a slow return is probably best. Can you begin to incorporate polework into the in hand work once he's getting some muscle back? As this will help build muscle again & may give him something extra to think about :) Hill work will also help if you have any nearby!

If he was established in any lateral work, I'd think about beginning to incoperate a few steps of leg yield/shoulder in too once he has baseline strength back. As you can keep it in walk, but it gives him a little more to think about other than just going faster!

Can you/does he long rein? That may help too.

Good luck :) I hope his return to work goes smoothly!
 
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lauren123

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Feb 3, 2007
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I'd definitely be taking it slow if the time off was due to injury.

I'm just thinking about ways to help keep him settled in walk for longer for you - as I think your totally right, a slow return is probably best. Can you begin to incorporate polework into the in hand work once he's getting some muscle back? As this will help build muscle again & may give him something extra to think about :) Hill work will also help if you have any nearby!

If he was established in any lateral work, I'd think about beginning to incoperate a few steps of leg yield/shoulder in too once he has baseline strength back. As you can keep it in walk, but it gives him a little more to think about other than just going faster!

Can you/does he long rein? That may help too.

Good luck :) I hope his return to work goes smoothly!
He does long rein and I can long rein. I just need a foot solider :)
 
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