View Full Version : Return to work AFTER rehabbing ligament

Jan. 21, 2010, 08:35 AM
For those of you who have experience at this...

The FatPaintMare is almost done with rehab (small tear check ligament last summer). We are up to 4 (5min) trots on straight lines, with walking before/inbetween/after, which equals out to an hour's ride.

We are allowed to start canter work tomorrow, and if that goes well for 2 weeks, we can "return to normal work".


The possibilities are endless - and scary! We can go in a dressage ring for the first time in 7 months...start big circles...go over ground poles...

Obviously I will be discussing this once again with the vet tomorrow...but -

So, how did you re-introduce your horses to "normal work"?

Jan. 21, 2010, 08:44 AM
After a similar time off last year for a similar tear, I moved up to Rasta doing 3 x 10 minute trots in our large paddock that gradually included 30 meter circle "turns" in the corners of the field rather than trotting just the straight lines, coming to a walk and turning. After about 10 days of this, I moved into including 30 meter circles and gradually made them smaller - seemed like I was already trotting poles by then ...others probably would've gone faster, but he's never taken a bad step on the leg with the tear. I have to do a LOT of trotting with him after even just a few weeks of little to no riding (like the weather produced from September to December ) as his stifle sticks until he gets stronger behind, then it seems to resolve itself.

Glad to hear all is well with FPM!!!! :D :cool:

Jan. 21, 2010, 08:47 AM
I'm a HUGE fan of swimming horses now....I had one with ligament problem, one with EPM (lost a ton of muscling), and one with a shoulder injury....I took them all to swim for two to four months (they swim once a day six or seven days a week), and the results were amazing. They built muscles w/o putting stress on the ligaments, and when they came home, they were ready for either "regular" work, or close to it.

Jan. 21, 2010, 10:29 AM
The long version is in my signature link.

"Short" version:
Month of trot, starting with 5 minutes (no turns) and increasing by 5 minutes a week, so 20 minutes by the end (I broke it up into 5-minute sets, increasing to 10 minute sets). Started trotting thru turns at the second week.

Month of canter, again starting with 5 minutes and increasing to 20 minutes total. No circles, lateral work, etc up until the end of this.

Month of normal flat work. Started slowly, first with 20-m circles and related figures and more transitions. Gradually added in lateral work and smaller circles and counter canter so I was doing it all by the end of the month.

Then we started to jump.

Highly recommend the Back to Work book. Good luck and congratulations on making it this far.

Jan. 21, 2010, 04:25 PM
FC, I have used these protocols a number of times.

I like the fact that it helps you not "get ahead" of yourself as your pony will inevitably gain wind faster than BMT fitness. It can make you stay with the appropriate progression. (30/60/90 days back to work)

Check it out! Hope this helps!!