View Full Version : Suspensory

Aug. 18, 2011, 05:21 PM
Just wondering if anyone has had any luck finding an alternative career for a hunter that has a front suspensory injury. My horse tore his front suspensory two years ago. After a year lay up and rigorous rehabilitation, he tore it again at a show last week. He had been back to work for nearly a year, jumping for five months, when he reinjured it. Anyway, I would like to find a new job for the horse post-recovery. The horse is a 10+ mover and great at lateral work (shoulder-in, halp pass, etc) so I am thinking dressage. I have never done dressage so I'm not sure whether a suspensory injury is at bad for a dressage horse as it is for a hunter. Obviously I will get input from my vet, I am just wondering what others have experienced.

mzm farm
Aug. 18, 2011, 06:42 PM
Front suspensory is not as bad as rear for dressage, but your horse will have repetitive use/circles, possibly tight turns.

It will be just about impossible to sell a horse with such injury history. If he must have a show career - dressage is definitely better then jumping, however, something lower stress - like lengthy trail rides at walk/some jog may be better for sound longevity.

Sorry your horse reinjured. I have a 24yr old that had that injury years ago - still happy and sound, mostly retired. Best of luck with your horse.

Aug. 18, 2011, 07:16 PM
I would ask this question in the "Horse Care" forum. You're likely to get more information there.

Aug. 18, 2011, 07:27 PM
My horse injured a front suspensory in March, 2 years ago. It took a good year to heal and rehab (with a re-injury--that was a black day, you have my sympathies.) We didn't show again until this year.

I'm now very careful to keep him legged up outside of the arena so he's not always working on soft surfaces, which I think is probably what did him in in the first place--just not enough strength in the suspensory to deal with farting around with his buddies in the snowy fields. We trail ride quite a bit in the summer and in the winter we go out on the suburban roads and walk/trot at least once a week. This is an English approach, and I know lots of people get the vapors here about trotting on tarmac, but it works for us--we don't pound, but we do some decent slow work.

We don't jump any more.

So far, so good. I keep an eye on it, and I'm rabid about booting and wrapping so it doesn't get knocked while we are working in the arena, but he goes naked on trails.

The thing that always worries me most is long trailer rides, I wrap carefully for those.

Whatever you do, you are going to have to manage it to a certain extent, so once healed up and with the blessing of your vet, I would certainly give dressage a try.