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View Full Version : Ace for riding after long layoff?



alterchicken
Mar. 24, 2012, 03:23 PM
Have never done this before but considering it. Have a couple of young TBs to restart right now after being laid up all winter. Grabbed one yesterday and it was quiet in the paddock and an absolute freaked out pig to groom or attempt to tack up. Spooking at everything, pulling back/going nuts in the cross ties, slamming into me etc. Got after it but then it got really hypersensitve and even more spooky. Finally gave up and chased it around the round pen for a bit and put it away as husband was sure I was going to get hurt getting on it. And this was the quieter natured or the two :lol:

I'm older and while very experienced I don't bounce like I used to and can't afford a fall. Don't have another suitable rider to get on these either. I rode these last fall and they were both great but spring fever has hit and it's been 4 months since they were sat on and they are basically nuts, I'm not into getting bronced off. I suspect they'll be fine after a couple of rides.

So considering some Ace for the first ride or two. I know this is done all the time at some barns but personally the idea of riding something tranq'ed is not that appealing. However perhaps it has it's place in this situation. Has anyone done this and if so, how did it work and how much Ace did you use (and IM or IV?).

Herbie19
Mar. 24, 2012, 04:50 PM
Each horse is very different. I've got one that is on stall rest for a suspensory right now that I give 1.5 cc IV right before I tack up. This has worked well for him. I have heard of people giving up to 3 cc in the muscle a half hour before riding. Just remember it's pretty easy for them to blow through ace if they are excited when you give it--in your situation you may be better off giving it in the muscle out in the paddock and letting them chill for a while before bringing them in. You could also try it orally. Good luck and please don't get killed! :)

alliekat
Mar. 24, 2012, 05:05 PM
What about working him(them) in hand first to lay the ground work for what you will asking next? I am not a fan of using drugs to train or just chasing them around the round pen as it does nothing to establish a foundation for the job that lies ahead. I want them to use themselves just like I would want if I were riding them undersaddle. I would rather start from square one and work on respect. If he was a PITA for grooming that is what I would have addressed in that lesson. If you have to drug them to start them you may want to consider getting someone else to start them and then take over once they have established the basics. I am working with a HOL. mare that needed to be striped down to the very basics. (learning to lead correctly, respect boundaries and listen to my body language. She was quite the challenge but is now moving on very quickly now that she has a clear understanding of what I expect everytime I handle her. Good Luck :)

saultgirl
Mar. 24, 2012, 05:15 PM
Have never done this before but considering it. Have a couple of young TBs to restart right now after being laid up all winter. Grabbed one yesterday and it was quiet in the paddock and an absolute freaked out pig to groom or attempt to tack up. Spooking at everything, pulling back/going nuts in the cross ties, slamming into me etc. Got after it but then it got really hypersensitve and even more spooky. Finally gave up and chased it around the round pen for a bit and put it away as husband was sure I was going to get hurt getting on it. And this was the quieter natured or the two :lol:

I'm older and while very experienced I don't bounce like I used to and can't afford a fall. Don't have another suitable rider to get on these either. I rode these last fall and they were both great but spring fever has hit and it's been 4 months since they were sat on and they are basically nuts, I'm not into getting bronced off. I suspect they'll be fine after a couple of rides.

So considering some Ace for the first ride or two. I know this is done all the time at some barns but personally the idea of riding something tranq'ed is not that appealing. However perhaps it has it's place in this situation. Has anyone done this and if so, how did it work and how much Ace did you use (and IM or IV?).

Is he just being really herd bound?

ynl063w
Mar. 24, 2012, 05:18 PM
If you feel that drugs are necessary for the well-being of you and/or the horses over the short term, by all means use them without feeling bad. When I brought my horse back into work after 8 months of total stall rest (no hand walking for that period at all), I used Sedivet and it was a life saver for us both. In the very beginning I gave 1/2 cc IV, then went down to about 1/4 cc. It's more expensive than Ace (much more), but it calmed him without making him dopey and uncoordinated. Good luck.

AlyssaSpellman
Mar. 24, 2012, 06:23 PM
If it were me, and I did use the ace (which I probably wouldn't, but that's just my personal preference), I'd ask a vet how much to give and lunge them first. Horses react differently to drugs and different amounts.. I have a pony (13.2hh Welsh cross) who we've aced for the vet to cut off a piece of excess skin that she practically ripped off, and the vet ended up just having me twitch her because she wasn't reacting to the drugs at all.
My horse (17hh Oldenburg) was aced to get his teeth done. He was given almost half the dose of the pony and was practically tripping down the aisle afterwards to be put away.
You could end up using not enough and having them blow through the ace and be just as bad as they were the other day, or you could use too much and risk having them stumble and fall and hurt themselves and/or you.

slainte!
Mar. 24, 2012, 06:27 PM
How about Sedivet? I love that stuff. I find a really wild horse can blow through Ace while the Sedivet has more of a "xnanax" effect and gives that "deep breath" you're looking for.

saaskya
Mar. 24, 2012, 07:47 PM
theres nothing wrong with a little ace, and horses can learn while dosed. im currently at a foxhunting/racehorse barn and we use it regularly. about half of our hunters get it in the muscle before hunting (.5-1cc depending), and the racehorses get it for different reasons, sometimes in the stall because they freak out about the hounds/friends leaving, etc, or earlier when they are legging back up so its more like riding a horse than a dragon. i have a big crossbred mare on stall rest with a suspensory injury who eats 3 ace pills am and pm. otherwise she'd bust through her gate or window.

i would give it in the muscle in the field and then bring them in after it sets in.

id also address any herdbound issues as soon as possible.

ElisLove
Mar. 24, 2012, 08:03 PM
Finally gave up and chased it around the round pen for a bit and put it away as husband was sure I was going to get hurt getting on it.

When someone says 'laid up' I usually think injury. Coming back from an injury chasing a horse around a small circle is generally NOT good and can re injure a horse quite quickly. Even if he was just off for the winter racing it around a round pen could cause injury to an unfit horse. Just something to think about.

ifiwereyou
Mar. 24, 2012, 08:04 PM
I helped rehab a horse I was leasing a couple years ago from a tendon injury. He was an OTTB, but the most sane, level-headed bomb proof horse you would ever meet.

While riding him (walk, trot) during the rehab process he reared and fell on top of me... Simply because he had been stall-bound for so long and was so full of energy. Did I blame him? No. It was completely out of character and could never see him doing it under normal circumstances.

Lesson learned: If you ever have any doubts about your horse hurting him/yourself when bringing them back during a rehab period, just Ace them. The benefits greatly out-weigh the potential risks, and I think it would just be much less stressful for them when they are that full of energy after being on stall rest.

alterchicken
Mar. 24, 2012, 08:14 PM
When someone says 'laid up' I usually think injury. Coming back from an injury chasing a horse around a small circle is generally NOT good and can re injure a horse quite quickly. Even if he was just off for the winter racing it around a round pen could cause injury to an unfit horse. Just something to think about.

No injuries, all horses have been off all winter since we don't have an indoor. It can be challenging getting on them all in the spring to say the least :lol: I didn't abuse her in the round pen, just got her attention and got her listening instead of being an idiot. Not a big fan of lunging, prefer the round pen. Trot/canter for 7 or 8 mins and put her away :)

kkgeorgio
Mar. 24, 2012, 08:48 PM
theres nothing wrong with a little ace, and horses can learn while dosed. im currently at a foxhunting/racehorse barn and we use it regularly. about half of our hunters get it in the muscle before hunting (.5-1cc depending), and the racehorses get it for different reasons, sometimes in the stall because they freak out about the hounds/friends leaving, etc, or earlier when they are legging back up so its more like riding a horse than a dragon. i have a big crossbred mare on stall rest with a suspensory injury who eats 3 ace pills am and pm. otherwise she'd bust through her gate or window.

i would give it in the muscle in the field and then bring them in after it sets in.

id also address any herdbound issues as soon as possible.

You should look into something like reserpine. It is actually intended for long use purposes. I used it for my horse after splint surgery, he was used to being worked 6 days a week and had to go to stall rest with minimal hand walking. It worked really well!

ynl063w
Mar. 24, 2012, 09:25 PM
You should look into something like reserpine. It is actually intended for long use purposes. I used it for my horse after splint surgery, he was used to being worked 6 days a week and had to go to stall rest with minimal hand walking. It worked really well!

My horse was on Reserpine for the 8 months he was on stall rest, but it didn't have any affect once he was cleared to start back into work (which was only 5 minutes of hand walking for the first week after 8 months of total stall rest). I tried the hand walking on day 1 without anything and he was a fire breathing dragon - a complete danger to both of us. I used Sedivet for the first month or so bringing him back (he was still not allowed turnout) and I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was a long road back and we both got through it without anybody getting hurt - Sedivet was our best friend during that time period.

quietann
Mar. 24, 2012, 10:10 PM
Agree with those who say Ace for safety is not a bad idea especially since the horse has already shown you he's become a bit rank during his layoff.

I used Ace with my rehabbing mare, first for handwalking, then for her tiny turnout, and eventually for riding. It didn't take much. However -- agree with the person who says longe first if you're not sure... and yes they will blow through it if they get a sudden adrenaline rush. I have no experience with Sedivet but it might be a better choice.

Jane Honda
Mar. 24, 2012, 10:50 PM
What about working him(them) in hand first to lay the ground work for what you will asking next? I am not a fan of using drugs to train or just chasing them around the round pen as it does nothing to establish a foundation for the job that lies ahead. I want them to use themselves just like I would want if I were riding them undersaddle. I would rather start from square one and work on respect. If he was a PITA for grooming that is what I would have addressed in that lesson. If you have to drug them to start them you may want to consider getting someone else to start them and then take over once they have established the basics. I am working with a HOL. mare that needed to be striped down to the very basics. (learning to lead correctly, respect boundaries and listen to my body language. She was quite the challenge but is now moving on very quickly now that she has a clear understanding of what I expect everytime I handle her. Good Luck :)

This. I free lunge first to wring out the piss and vinegar before they will listen to a lesson. I would rather teach them what's acceptable and not rather than acing.

I forgot to add that when they are being dingbats, I prefer to free lungs to I'm not attached to them while they're screwing off.

RumoursFollow
Mar. 25, 2012, 02:36 AM
I'm with those who say lunge first.. Even for a few days, and you'd be surprised how they come around. My 3yo (well.. Technically 4 now) OTTB can get goofy if he hasn't been ridden in a while. If I give him some time off, the first time back I just lunge him in tack (in your case I would just bare lunge) then the 2nd time, lunge hard and then ride. By the 3rd or 4th time I don't even need to lunge anymore. Maybe you're best off to go gradually back to working them..!a few days of just lunging, then lunging with tack, lunging and then riding, etc. honestly, I would do that regardless of whether or not you ace them (which I have no problem with, as it is probably a good idea) because unless you ace them quite a bit, you won't take all the fruit loop out of them anyway.

Arelle
Mar. 25, 2012, 11:39 AM
I fully intend on using some sort of drug the first few rides back with my hunter.

He just had colic surgery. I'm not comfortable "lunging the piss out of him" after such a major surgery to get him legged back up.

He's tried very hard to be good while on stall rest, but he is all TB and one of those that - before surgery - had to be worked daily to keep him focused. After a week I had to put a chain on him as he was just too wound up to walk calmly and graze while other horses were turned out.

I figure a few days back under saddle at W/T/C with a little help on board should be enough for him to realize we're back in a program.

I'm not above drugs on a horse who truly needs a little help. Would I use drugs as a normal part of a training? Hell no. Would I for a horse who was off for a few weeks due to my schedule? No, probably not. I'd lunge that horse. Would I for a horse who was injured or had surgery? Absolutely. I don't want to risk a re-injury, but the horse does need to be reintroduced to a program. It's not even about me so much as it is about the horse -- I don't want THEM to hurt themselves because they're so wound up. That would completely defeat the purpose of why they've been off.

tegotong
Mar. 25, 2012, 05:58 PM
I plan to use Ace on my TB after his usual 7 month winter lay-off. He's very explosive when he is up and I'm too old to take chances. My vet aces his most of his polo ponies every match, although he's switched a few of them to fluphenazine as it acts longer term. He says it helps them focus.

Angry Bird
Mar. 25, 2012, 07:04 PM
Safety first! If you feel ace will help, I say use it.
I've used on horses after a long lay up, knowing they were going to be jerks.:D