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View Full Version : Tendon, Ligament, Muscle Injuries and Running Hard



RAyers
May. 2, 2007, 12:53 PM
I was asked some things about how ligaments, muscles and tendons fail on another thread so we thought we should open a new thread.

This is what started the conversation:


My understanding (and I hope the vets will correct me if I am wrong) is that that kind of "complete" ligament failure happens because the horse is tired, and the muscles are no longer capable of doing thier job, putting all the load on the ligments. (Unlike a broken bone, or a simpler tear to a branch of a ligament, which can be the result of a single bad step.)

Here are the replies:

Row Wico Row:


And re: the ligaments...
(no I'm not a vet, but I work in ortho. sports med) There is a possibility that fatigue can play a role in such situations, but it's not the only possibility.

When a muscle is weak, fatigued or overloaded (either by weight or by an extremely rapid acceleration or deceleration), the work is often shifted to to tendons. A human tendon is capable of producing upwards of 18,000 psi of 'pull.' That's just astonishing, especialy considering these structures are typically larger and even stronger in horses, and those of the leg are particularly adept because of their nearly constant role in both postural and dynamic support. If muscle and tendon fail, the next thing to bear the brunt is the ligaments--providers of both dynamic and static stability, the relative %age of which depends on the specific structure, but really a backup mechanism for the more dynamic muscle/tendon in many ways--and static stability provided by the bony anatomy. Unfortunately for the horse, those are some pretty small legs to support the rest of the body--it's really amazing when you think about it. Also remember where a horse's center of gravity lies, typically somehwere around the shoulder-girth area depending on the individual. It could have been the result of severe joint hyperextension when the dynamic support was tuckered out--I haven't stopped to do the math, but when a horse is travelling that fast, there are likely tens of thousands of psi.


As far as the ligaments, they are the backup protection for a joint. If there is a situation of extemely fast loading, particularly if coupled with an eccentric (or decelerating and lengthening force, typically much weaker than the concentric or shortening force) muscular contraction, ligament failure is a definite possibility because of the decreased ability of the muscle/tendon to provide adequate dynamic control. This could be the result of landing over a fence just wrong. I'm inclined to wonder if he didn't take a bad landing somewhere previously in the course. The point at which he seems to break down appears to be at the top of a rise when he goes to swap leads around the bend, and it seems like it may have been the final insult to a previously damaged structure when it was given a more important role during the new lead.

There is also the possibility of cumulative damage that finally reared its ugly head. Upper level horses frequently have their legs scanned, but depending on the specific modality used to do so (most typically xray and usound), and the exact parameters used, you will have a different capacity to view structures. I have no doubt, however, that if there was any question whatsoever beforehand about the structural integrity of this horse's leg he would not have been run. A short amount of R&R can prevent catastrophic consequences and any good horse person knows that and is more than willing to bide their time.

My reply:


Muscles by themsleves are much stronger than the ligaments. It is believed that ligaments provide a mechanical/neurological feedback attenuating the muscle response. Ligaments gain laxity as time goes on and the feedback to the muscles drops off. The MUSCLES literally tear the ligaments while still supporting the joint so the athelete continues to play. This is why a tendon blow causes a catastrophic failure as Gnep describes but a ligament failure is much more subtle.

It is very hard to detect ligament failures because of the mechanicosensory system. There are some pain sensors but not as we would think. You can go a long time on failing ligaments without knowing, hence why juman atheletes continue to play in a game until "pop." There are some rather large research studies trying to figure out what is really happening. Hopefully this data can then be used in the equine sports.


So, let's talk about how the athelete injures themselves and what we can do to help.

Reed

pegasusmom
May. 2, 2007, 12:58 PM
I am very curious about exactly what loss of ligament means after speaking with an equine vet friend. it's been several days, and I am the old mother of a teenage son, but the jist of it was that ligaments could slip out of position and in that way fail to support the joint as opposed to tear.

Thoughts - or did I not understand a word of her explanation? (Entirely possible due to the teenage son)

LisaB
May. 2, 2007, 01:01 PM
Well, poop, I just was asking, should we start a new thread?
You beat me to it.
So, I've been hearing more and more to NOT use boots whenever possible because of the heat.
I've also heard that standing in a tub of cold water still works best. Otherwise ice boots.
Question: is there some kind of support out there for when a horse twists his ankle? The reason I ask is that we tore a minor check ligament. Vet says it was blunt force. I'm guessing it was a twist.
Also, what kind of conditioning can be done to condition the muscles, tendons, and ligaments specifically?
We did some roading during the winter and the second jump school, he gets a splint. How to prevent that?
Have you guys seen the tendon supplement in smartpak? Would it help?

_GiGI_
May. 2, 2007, 01:03 PM
I don't have anything specific to contribute, however I wanted to say that I am glad this thread was started and I look forward to learning from it.

wookiee
May. 2, 2007, 01:21 PM
So, I've been hearing more and more to NOT use boots whenever possible because of the heat.


So, newbie question, should we use boots to protect the tendon against trauma like overreaching and rubs and knocks of fences, but not support? Or no boots period?

LisaB
May. 2, 2007, 01:30 PM
I think if you're starting out, you're not going to be generating that much heat and pounding that much. So, yes, boots, especially if you're starting out.
I generally do conditioning w/o and if I'm really going to pressing the buttons jumping, I'll put them on.

RAyers
May. 2, 2007, 01:38 PM
Let's start with a bit of anatomy just to get us all on the same page.

Ligaments attach bone to bone. The allow for joints to rotate and translate (in other words function) without the bones flying all over the place. Ligaments are more like rubber than steel. They can flex and give. Ligaments have more cells than tendons and thus heal "faster."

Tendons attach muscle to bone. They are very "rigid." They are more like steel cable. This allows a maximum of the muscle force to be translated to the bone, thus stabilizing or moving the skeleton. Tendons have few cells and take a long time to heal.

Muscles are very fibrous tissues that can extend and contract. They are like a rope though so that they can not exert a force when they extend (that is the job of the contracting muscles on the other side of the limb) and can exert HUGE forces in contraction. Even the biggest couch potato bicep can be induced to lift 400lbs by itself with proper stimulus.



I am very curious about exactly what loss of ligament means after speaking with an equine vet friend. it's been several days, and I am the old mother of a teenage son, but the jist of it was that ligaments could slip out of position and in that way fail to support the joint as opposed to tear.

Thoughts - or did I not understand a word of her explanation? (Entirely possible due to the teenage son)

Yes, ligaments can slip from their "channels" doing exactly what your vet describes. The same sort of thing happens in rotator cuff injuries as well.



So, I've been hearing more and more to NOT use boots whenever possible because of the heat.
I've also heard that standing in a tub of cold water still works best. Otherwise ice boots.
Question: is there some kind of support out there for when a horse twists his ankle? The reason I ask is that we tore a minor check ligament. Vet says it was blunt force. I'm guessing it was a twist.
Also, what kind of conditioning can be done to condition the muscles, tendons, and ligaments specifically?
We did some roading during the winter and the second jump school, he gets a splint. How to prevent that?
Have you guys seen the tendon supplement in smartpak? Would it help?

Here is my perspective. This is not to say I right but this is based on my work with veterinary surgeons, orthopods and biomechanicists.

I don't think there is one thing that can support a horse limb, ankle or otherwise, on a horse, outside a cast to imobilize the limb. I did a quick calculation once and found that coming off a 3' fence, a horse puts around 5,000 pounds per square inch of stress on each of its flexor tendons. Outside of metal alloys, nothing can really support that kind of load. A wrap can help support the lateral movement but it has to be pretty thick to allow for easy movement. What we use every day is too flimsy.

Conditioning is HUGE! Studies have shown that SHOCK loading (that is what you get walking or trotting on pavement or a hard packed dirt road) can stimulate bone, tendon and muscle growth. It does not have to be long. In the work I am familiar with, they shock loaded sheep for only 20 minutes a day for a week and found a significant increase in tendon mass. Basically they walked them on a metal force plate. This is similar to what shock wave therapy does!

My money is that the splint was coincidence. There is a ligament that can be involved but it is not part of any "joint" per se or can it really be loaded for conditioning.

From the biochemistry for tendon supplements, I have to be honest, I think it is voodoo. Yes, certain nutrients are needed but again the tendon is relatively avascular and acellular (without cells or blood vessels), so how does the supplement get there?

That is the challenge of Eventing. You have to be a REAL horse person, figuring out the right balance of conditioning to bring a horse to the right level without breaking them. And that is what scares the crap out of me every season as I get ready.

Reed

Gnep
May. 2, 2007, 01:41 PM
Thanks Reed.

So what that thesis said, that there is basicly a thermal brakedown. That the heat created through hard work brakes down important stuff in the legament or tendon and that that eventual makes it fail ?

Roney
May. 2, 2007, 01:44 PM
Here's my PSA on boots, so maybe someone else can learn from my (bad) experience: in his "Bowed Tendon Book", Tom Ivers recommends NOT booting after a bow because it can cut down the blood supply to the tendon. Never occurred to me (unfortunately) until I read that book. This is not a good thing.
The PSA is that this can also happen when you boot too tight, even a little too tight. I was unknowingly putting boots on too tight, and it likely contributed to my horse's torn tendon. Don't want anyone else to go through that, so thought I'd throw my $.02 in.

That being said, boots are good for bump/scratch protection, but having read a lot of different opinions, it seems the general consensus is that they will not offer all that much support to the structures of the leg.

frugalannie
May. 2, 2007, 01:45 PM
Thanks to RAyers and RWR for their concise and clear descritions of what happens.

Other than ultrasound, is there a way to check for occult ligament injury that can be done at home by non-professionals?

And I concur with your comment that there are limited pain sensors in ligaments. (Skip this part if you don't want to read war stories). I took a misstep while doing barn chores one winter. Minor pain: finished barn chores, no problem. Sat down to watch football with Mr. Frugal, and tried to get up out of chair at halftime. I couldn't walk! I had torn the ligaments that stabilize the hip, per the orthopod who saw me eventually. Not fun, but it did heal.

But back to horses: how do we keep them from doing this to themselves?

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
May. 2, 2007, 01:51 PM
Too cool about the sheep tendons. Now of course I want a followup study with moderately fit sheep - say, ready to run a Training sheep event - and see the gain in moderately fit sheep tendons. At what point does ShortSlowImpact work cease to add tendon strenght?
After several iterations of this testing, of course they'll have to do the ethically painful part - running some of the sheep from each fitness group to the point of tendon failure. Will short format or long format sheep fare worse? How will what boots they run in affect the rate of breakdown? And ambient air temperatures?
Will we be able to taste the dinner at the banquet afterwards?

Seriously, who thought of shock loading sheep, and what was their interest in the subject? Aside from the visual of the sheep training, it's exciting to hear of actual science which might help us keep our horses sound and in work as long as possible...

LisaB
May. 2, 2007, 01:55 PM
Re:
But back to horses: how do we keep them from doing this to themselves?

Give 'em a psychotrophic drug! The Winston was on some good sh- when he was stall bound because he spins and pings when he's being obnoxious. Couple that with a torn ligament, well, you can guess how he got there.

pegasusmom
May. 2, 2007, 01:55 PM
Jeanette - Someone with too much time and a guv'mint grant on their hands!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Janet
May. 2, 2007, 01:56 PM
I think we all tend to focus too much on the wind-and-heart conditioning (inteval training, speedwork) and not enough on the soft tisue and bone conditioning (LSD).

Hilary
May. 2, 2007, 01:56 PM
Reed, thank you for starting this- it's fascinating. I didn't realize that ligaments healed faster than tendons (or why). But I can attest that I rehabbed my prelim eventer back to prelim after he "did" his inner front suspensory branch. Road work was a big part of this, and has been for this horse since then to assure that his structures are as strong as possible. He was prelim fit when he was hurt, though, and in the pasture with no boots, so we can't blame heat or lack of fitness in his case.

Very interesting about the heat and boots - I always notice how hot their legs are after XC - even at BN last weekend when it was barely 60 degrees and wet, her legs were hot when I removed her boots.

Janet
May. 2, 2007, 02:00 PM
Boots-
1- Boots and "support" -Yes, all boots are good for is protecting from taumatic injury. They can't "support" the joint or the soft tissue without limiting the range of movement- which would simply transfer the force to another part of the anatomy less good at handling it.

2- Boots and heat - A year or so ago I read a bunch of the original research on it. My conclusion was that, under "lower level eventer" conditions, there wasn't enough heat build up to be an issue during the competition/schooling session. But you definitely don't want to leave the boots on after you finish.

Speedy
May. 2, 2007, 02:02 PM
Alot of folks do sets on hard ground if the joints are sound in order to strenghten the soft tissue. We do this at my barn - not with a huge amount of intensity or speed, but we do long walks and some trotting on the roads with some frequency.

Also, there have been some studies regarding the use of boots made of neoprene and other materials that seem to retain heat. So, we often do not use boots unless there is demonstrated interference until about Prelim. Well, I usually do in competition on cross county, because my personal paranoia about knocks on solid objects is more severe than my paranoia about the possibility of soft tissue injury since the studies aren't conclusive, but I think I am in the minority.

RAyers
May. 2, 2007, 02:09 PM
Thanks Reed.

So what that thesis said, that there is basicly a thermal brakedown. That the heat created through hard work brakes down important stuff in the legament or tendon and that that eventual makes it fail ?

It becomes part of the failure mechanism. The thesis is Deeda Randall's! I use it as part of my class notes in my graduate biomaterils class.

Heat builds up in the tissues if there is insufficient blood flow so the local temperature passes the point of keeping proteins intact. Proteins such as elastin (found in great quantity in ligaments but not tendons) easily denature to give the ligament its ability to stretch without breaking also denature readily at temperature not much above body temp.

Part of the hope for conditioning is to increase blood supply to the tissues, not to just strengthen the tissues.

As for the sheep it was a study by Simon Turner at CSU to examine osteoporosis (they have similar body weights and bone physiology to humans) but the tendon/ligament data was and added bonus. We worked with him for a bit as we were looking at spaceflight and how we could figure out ways to help astronauts. And, yes, there was mutton for all at the BBQ.

Other work in horses in the UK has confirmed this looking at horses hacked on cobblestones.

I don't want to sound like the only expert on this topic. I know there are others here such as Wisco and bushkn who have even more understanding so I hope they chime in!

I really have been looking for galloping boots that are vented on the tendons. I am debating cutting vents in my leather boots.

Reed

Janet
May. 2, 2007, 02:14 PM
I really have been looking for galloping boots that are vented on the tendons. I am debating cutting vents in my leather boots.
What about using "open front" (jumper) boots? Even though the opening is on the front, I would think they would retain less heat.

NeverTime
May. 2, 2007, 02:20 PM
Just as a side note, I noticed in the Rolex photo gallery that Ian Stark ran Rolex with bell boots but NO galloping/tendon boots -- at a four-star. That was really interesting to me. Maybe he's heard about all this research.
I event on a horse who came to me free because he bowed -- badly -- on the track at a 3 y.o. I don't understand the physiology of it as well as our other posters, but I was warned long ago -- and it is always, always on my mind -- that I need to make sure he's fit enough to do his job so he doesn't fatigue and put undue stress on that already compromised leg.

clivers
May. 2, 2007, 02:21 PM
Thank you for the information Reed and others,
I used to do a lot more walking on the driveway/roads with my horses years ago and remember learning the connection between the slow work on hard ground and "tightening" the tendons - but never understood the mechanism before. Somehow in recent years I've done less and less of this (prob. partly due to one of my horses having heel pain at times) but I'm going to build more in to our program this year.

The same superstar coach who first taught us about the road work stuff has always advocated no boots unless the horse demonstrates a need for them - reasons being the heat, the falacy that they offer "support" and the idea that a smooth, boot-free leg can slide over an obstacle better if a horse leaves a leg accidentally... This is my elderly cavalry officer I'm always bragging about. I think it's so interesting that so much of the older horseman lore ends up being verified by science in the end - some how these guys figured it out, but our generation has the tools to explain WHY their advice works!

Gnep
May. 2, 2007, 02:24 PM
Exactly what I thought, how to get the heat decipated in the boots.

So based on that study, all the boots that have highly insulating materials as shockabsorbing materials, as neopren, wool etc. will help to raise the heat in the legaments and so help to brakedown the proteens.

So it would be a rather esential piece of equipment study if one could develop a boot that not only helps to get rid of the acumilating heat but would on top of it cool the legament.

RAyers
May. 2, 2007, 02:34 PM
The same superstar coach who first taught us about the road work stuff has always advocated no boots unless the horse demonstrates a need for them - reasons being the heat, the falacy that they offer "support" and the idea that a smooth, boot-free leg can slide over an obstacle better if a horse leaves a leg accidentally... This is my elderly cavalry officer I'm always bragging about. I think it's so interesting that so much of the older horseman lore ends up being verified by science in the end - some how these guys figured it out, but our generation has the tools to explain WHY their advice works!

The same is true for martial arts. They figured out biomechanics centuries ago and hid it in mystical sayings. Only now do we have the vocabulary to explain what we have known all along.

Gnep, what I am thinking is an open mesh in front of the tendons on front boots (so you still have strike protection) and trying to have a completely open cell covering for the back legs. Now, if this goes to market we have dates for all of these ideas so we can claim we thought of this first and get the profits. If you all help me, I'll be happy to share. :D

Reed

goodmorning
May. 2, 2007, 02:41 PM
Part of the hope for conditioning is to increase blood supply to the tissues, not to just strengthen the tissues.


Reed

I think a huge contribution to the overall breakdown of horses is that eventually lactic acid buildup in muscles nullifies oxygen delivery and then stress is placed on the ligaments and tendons. It's a known fact that humans who exercise have more bone, and fatigue (leading to lactic acid buildup) takes longer because of their increased blood supply to tissues. Maybe a few minutes W/T on the pavement would do a world of good for horses? Part of the reason marathon runner's undergo blood testing to check for transfusions that will give them that extra endurance for the home stretch. Blood doping....I wonder if it's investigated in FEI testing or horse racing?

That excess heat that the tendon's face suure doesn't help matters. But, you need to protect those legs from those hard jumps. Maybe someone could come up with some open-backed tendon boots? Would be tough, you think that they'd be predisposed to twisting, and how could you keep them in place without actually stressing the tendons/ligaments? Hmmm....maybe glue on's? :D

Gnep
May. 2, 2007, 02:45 PM
Quiet honestly, if the current boots are actually increasing the heat, heatsinks, than lets go and develop some.
I am dead serious about that.
Considering that we bandage, boot etc for work and it means that we actually help to create heat in the legaments/tendons and so the brakedown of the stuff that keeps them flexibal. Just think of the medicin boots and similar boots, yaiks.
Could one have a gel that reacts to heat and than, chemical reaction cools ?

Sannois
May. 2, 2007, 02:47 PM
Wow so interesting. Sheds alot of light on legs and galloping. While I knew some of it I was not aware of the heat build up factor.
Could one of you explain to me what it means when the ligaments "Breakdown" Are they tearing awaying from the bone or are they losing there supportivness like an over stretched rubber band?
Thanks Reed for this, its very constructive and something all horsemen need to know about. :yes:

pegasusmom
May. 2, 2007, 02:48 PM
How much change in temp is there and what is the increase and length of increased heat necessary to cause damage?

Where are those sheep. . .

vineyridge
May. 2, 2007, 03:02 PM
This is overly simplistic, but I'm an OLD foxhunter. Back when I was learning, the "rule" for conditioning a horse for the hunt season was to work up to five miles trotting on hard surface. The reason given was that it hardened the tendons and made the legs more likely to take the beating of a full season of hunting. This is OLD knowledge, passed on for generations.

As to boots, if you go to the hunting forum, you will see several threads on foxhunters "going naked". The old pros all seem to agree that not booting is best unless your horse needs bell boots. In my case, I was taught that leather lined, leather, open fronted galloping boots were the best choice for cross country if you had to use boots. No neoprene and no fleece.

A question for the scientists--what sort of tendon, ligament, muscle differences would one find between blood horses (or horses with a lot of TB and Arab) and non-blood horses? Would those differences be crucial at the end of a long XC run?

Classic Melody
May. 2, 2007, 03:02 PM
Just as a side note, I noticed in the Rolex photo gallery that Ian Stark ran Rolex with bell boots but NO galloping/tendon boots -- at a four-star. That was really interesting to me. Maybe he's heard about all this research.


Thank you. I noticed that too as he galloped by and thought I was crazy. I was checking out the boot situation because I was in the market for new XC boots on my boy while at Rolex. I ended up getting the Thinlines because they're supposed to keep the legs cooler than SMB or other neoprene-based boots. My horse does have a healed tendon injury and I hope not to risk that again.

All this info is super interesting. Keep it coming, guys!

McVillesMom
May. 2, 2007, 03:13 PM
On the topic of boots...my guy pretty much has to wear them, as he travels close behind and would likely have holes in his ankles without them. has anyone tried these? I thought they looked interesting:

http://www.newequinewear.co.uk/index.htm?ac=ZG7FA-R

LisaB
May. 2, 2007, 03:13 PM
What about ringbone, navicular, ummm, there was another one down there.
Anyway I heard like ringbone is caused by working on roads. What gives?

goodmorning
May. 2, 2007, 03:23 PM
What about ringbone, navicular, ummm, there was another one down there.
Anyway I heard like ringbone is caused by working on roads. What gives?

Well, see, I think there has to be a careful balance. Light road work for short time intervals. Slowly introducing it at a walk and then upgrading to a few minutes of trotting. And then this is something you would not want to do everyday? Or would you? Lots of questions that need to be answered. PubMed anyone....

vineyridge
May. 2, 2007, 03:25 PM
The other one is sidebone.

From what I've been taught, ringbone can be a problem if a) you do too much road work too quickly. You have to really take a lot of time working up to the five miles. (Being able to trot five miles is excellent training for the rider, too). And b) most ringbone is caused by conformation problems--the pasterns are too upright to do a good job of shock absorbing. Quick stops and starts at speed are also supposed to be implicated in ringbone, which is why it's such a problem with competitive QHs. I've personal experience with ringbone, but not with sidebone or navicular, so maybe one of the experts can chime in on those.

Of course, none of what I was taught was validated by science at the time, so I could be completely wrong.

RAyers
May. 2, 2007, 03:35 PM
How much change in temp is there and what is the increase and length of increased heat necessary to cause damage?

Where are those sheep. . .

Studies done show at around 54 degrees C (130 degrees F) there is global degeneration of collagen in tendons so it is not that high. This temperature is not out of the realm of possibility considering the horse's overall temp after XC can be as high as 104 degrees F.

The time is not as well understood because other proteins, call Heat Shock Proteins are released to aid in stabilizing the tissue but little is understood about the hows and whys.

Reed

TBKate
May. 2, 2007, 03:47 PM
The time is not as well understood because other proteins, call Heat Shock Proteins are released to aid in stabilizing the tissue but little is understood about the hows and whys.

Reed

Hmm...dad is a Biochemist who's been working with HSP's for years now (albeit on crustaceans). I did my 9th grade science fair project on them, once upon a time. I shall have to quiz him to see what he knows about their role in possible soft tissue breakdown.

Fence2Fence
May. 2, 2007, 03:54 PM
This makes me wonder how turning a horse out (daily turn out, seven to twelve hours) impacts the soft tissue and if there is any relation to an increase in soft tissue injuries and horses that wear neoprene turn out boots.

Turn out with boots is a common practice, especially with upper level horses (at least the few that I've been exposed to and admittedly, that's not much), but I've never bought into the idea. Horse always takes the boots off and after a while, it's a rather futile.

All of this is fascinating. I was reading Jimmy Wofford's 101 Eventing Tips and the open front leather boot was recommended for all jumping. I was surprised that it wasn't a neoprene type boot, but now I'm less surprised.

Roney
May. 2, 2007, 04:12 PM
Guys, this is an AWESOME and useful discussion, especially in light of some of the other 'discussions' that are going on right now. Thanks. :)

Would love to hear from people who have done road work to strengthen the tendons: was it vet-recommended? By any chance, did anyone have pre- and post-ultrasounds (or have heard of someone having them) that confirmed the improvement in the tendons?

Am also very curious as to how physiologically the road work promotes tendon cell growth (thanks Reed for that tidbit!) - and is it the 'good' (i.e., elastic) kind of fibers?

royal militron
May. 2, 2007, 04:14 PM
This is a great discussion! I wrap my guys back legs every day or boot him, now I'm second guessing myself...

Does anyone have any experience w/the NEW Airflow boots posted above?

purplnurpl
May. 2, 2007, 04:19 PM
thats all I have to say...wow.

I can't believe this topic hasn't come up before.

I wonder if we could custom cut porter protectors for ventilation..of course the saratogas go over them...just a thought.
you could totally cut the porters into a special shell that would only cover the front of the cannon and sides of the ankle. then wrap with the saratogas. I bet the saratogas produce less heat than a full boot.

I was at a Horse Trial severl years ago and one of the tack shops was selling some totally weird XC boot.
they didn't cover the entire leg. there was a hard shell in the front and the back and lots of mesh for breathability.
they were expensive and I haven't seen them since.

Row Wisco, Row!
May. 2, 2007, 04:30 PM
I am so excited we're talking about this!!

I suggested a learning opportunity and educational approach somewhere in a trainwreck thread and all I got was "that's a load of BS." I'll have to see if I can find it again because, if I may say so, I thought it had a good story about learning horsemanship. I got a handful of PMs from people who really took it to heart and thanked me. I'm proud of them, and if any of them made it here, let us know if you have any more questions!

Here's the link: http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=95554&page=5

I'm in the process of writing up oodles more basic info about conditioning, physiology, anatomy, etc. for everyone, but I'm doing it in word b/c I'd cry if I lost it all. I'll get it up as soon as possible.

And welcome to the best thread in my recent memory!! :)

BarbB
May. 2, 2007, 05:00 PM
Could one of you explain to me what it means when the ligaments "Breakdown" Are they tearing awaying from the bone or are they losing there supportivness like an over stretched rubber band?


I would like to hear about this too. The injury to LeS was described, I think, as the ligament was 'lost'
Does this mean totally torn loose from the bone? Moved so far out of place as to be non-functioning?

What, if any, are the chances of a severely damaged ligament healing enough to be functional? How about being 'normal' or near normal?

Many people, including me, ride horses that bowed a tendon during their race career, but are fully functional now. What are some of the differences between that and ligament damage?

Janet
May. 2, 2007, 05:06 PM
Here's the link: http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...t=95554&page=5 (http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...t=95554&page=5)OK, call me dense, but I can't find ANY post by you on that page. Maybe you could give us the post number instead of the page number?

Miriam
May. 2, 2007, 05:20 PM
What if you live on a very curvy road where people speed? Could working on a gravel driveway be effective for tightening? I've always heard from my foxhunting friends that hacking on roads is a necessity, but I've never lived anywhere that I felt it would be feasible.

Re boots: So all those dressage people who wrap and boot to the nines for their flatwork aren't really helping their horses? Or does it not matter as much because they aren't inflicting the force that jumping does?

Row Wisco, Row!
May. 2, 2007, 05:21 PM
Sorry! Trying again, it's post #86, feel free to ignore everything above "some of you may know Chris Newton..."

http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=95554&page=5

OneDaySoon
May. 2, 2007, 05:39 PM
30 odd years ago, we also trotted 5 miles a few times a week on roads/gravel for conditioning for hunting and eventing from Training through Advanced level. Today in the DC suburbs, I get a lot of surprised looks :eek: from drivers when I am merrily hacking and trotting down the road, and I have been reluctant to share the practice with today's riders who take such great care with their horses with our more sophisticated knowledge. But this thread has made me feel more confident that these 'old' practices were tried and true, however I will be tossing the neoprene boots for sure!

Reed - in a horse that has already pulled a ligament and it repairs with thickening, I have been told that there is a greater chance the ligament will pull again. Is that true...or is the thickened ligament stronger? ...as with a healed bone?

Janet
May. 2, 2007, 05:42 PM
Got it. That is pg 23 on my browser (based on how my preferences are set).

rebecca yount
May. 2, 2007, 05:57 PM
I believe that suspensory ligaments (it is one body high up right below the knee/hock and then branches into two parts and goes behind the sesamoid bones) can sustain various level of strain and they can also be completely severed. I would not be surprised if there were a very bad strain/tearing or even if they or parts (one branch, or the whole thing up high) was severed. They can repair, after a fashion, but the individual will never be the same and once a suspensory is strained it is likely to be reinjured.

Do a search on degenerative suspensory ligament desmitis (DSLD). There are certain conformations and breeds that have been thought to be more susceptible to this condition. But basically once a suspensory is strained, DSLD can become chronic and there is no really complete recovery. Part of the reason for this is that the horse never really can take weight off of the suspensory apparatus. There has been some recent work with, I believe, injection of pig cells into the ligament. This should all come up in a google search. I think Nat White at Leesburg has done some research in this area and so have some other veterinarians, obviously.

A horse with this type of serious injury (and it is more or less serious depending on a lot of factors--with a severed ligament being the most serious) will likely not compete and possibly not be okay to be ridden again but may become pasture sound.

I speak from experience and lots of research.

rebecca yount
May. 2, 2007, 06:05 PM
Here is a link to an excellent article discussing all this, which many will find very educational:

http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/ceh/Pubs-SuspBrochure-bkm-sec.pdf

clivers
May. 2, 2007, 06:06 PM
Reed - in a horse that has already pulled a ligament and it repairs with thickening, I have been told that there is a greater chance the ligament will pull again. Is that true...or is the thickened ligament stronger? ...as with a healed bone?

Not reed here, but I can give you some info:
The strength of the ligament relative to future stresses is influenced by the direction in which the new fibres that re-grow align themselved. Sometimes/often, the scar tissue that fills in the original tear will grow in in a disorganized way so that fibres are not lined up along the direction of force. Part of good rehab for a soft tissue injury therefore involves walking/slow work on hard surfaces where the new growing and remodelling tissue is subjected to crisp forces (without a lot of white noise type interference from small lateral deviations in soft footing). This stimulates/encourages growth along the line of force.

Interestingly, bone healing is also influenced by the forces the new bone experiences...

The scar is NOT stronger, but can be nearly as strong in good outcomes.

Row Wisco, Row!
May. 2, 2007, 06:06 PM
Reed - in a horse that has already pulled a ligament and it repairs with thickening, I have been told that there is a greater chance the ligament will pull again. Is that true...or is the thickened ligament stronger? ...as with a healed bone?

A previously damaged ligament only returns to its previous strength or gets stronger if it is exposed to reasonable demands of range of motion and strength in appropriate amounts in the right time during the healing process.

Without this, the "repair" will merely be scar tissue which is of little to no advantage, and can result in other problems as a result of ischemia, altered biomechanics, etc.

This is a particularly challenging issue in horses because of the nature of our relationship with them. It is easy for me to have a human with a torn ACL come in and get a detailed explanation of their situation and how the rehab will progress, and the good ones even listen and exhibit some semblance of compliance! :winkgrin: It's much more difficult for me to say "Okay, Mr. Ed today we're going to work to increase your range of motion into flexion as you heal from your torn check ligament. We can't (or won't in the case of some splints, immobilizers, etc. that have been developed for peopole) allow you to go past x* out of respect for the healing process (or MD/DVM orders, in certain instances such as specific surgical repairs) or we risk re-injury." Ed would likely say "to hell with it, I've been in my stall far too long, I'd like to romp. Allow me to smash your toes on my way out!" :oWho hasn't been there, bottle of Ace in one hand watching their pride and joy run free as fast as possible with tail flying high like a flag? :lol:

There's a serious communication barrier to be overcome. That's what, in my opinion, really sets a great vet apart. They face the same barriers as the rest of us, but they've got the ability to read and comprehend other signs and symptoms.

We always say you can't do anything to speed up the actual physiological process of inflammation and healing, but there is so much harm that can be done if it is not respected and allowed to follow its course. If anyone tries to convince you otherwise through product or folktale, run fast and far.

Row Wisco, Row!
May. 2, 2007, 06:09 PM
Here are some additional facts and musings that may help:

The SAID (Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands) Principle:
When the body is subjected to stresses and overloads of varying intensities, it will gradually adapt over time to overcome the demands placed on it. Gains cannot be made with overload, but it must be done in moderation. Along the same lines, it is actually possible to decondition (although more frequently associated with aerobic capacity) by training at too low an intensity. There are runners, for example, who actually regress in training if they aren’t working at a certain intensity, such as a sufficient percentage of their Vo2max. You need to overload the system to produce and maintain improved physiologic function. This can also be related to the examples of osteoporosis, long-term immobilization and bedrest. Although multi-faceted, including hormonal and other metabolic pathways that make me want to assume the fetal position and squeal, as well as the natural aging process, osteoporosis is often a result of decreased physical activity. Reducing routine demands on the body reduces it’s capacity for physical activity and increases the risk of injury, both of which limit the amount of physical activity than can be safely and successfully achieved, which reduces the capacity for the essential activities of daily living which destines these individuals to assisted care and so on and so on…. It’s a terrible, vicious cycle and it likes to rear its ugly head during times of injury, further compounding the labyrinth that is rehabilitation. Without demands, the body actually destroys itself.

Also related are: Wolff’s Law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf%27s_Law) and Roux’s or Davis’ Law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davis%27s_Law) of the adaptation of bone and soft tissue, respectively, to imposed demands.

Increasing the temperature of skeletal muscle alters its mechanical properties. It increases the elasticity or length to which the muscle can be stretched, and decreases the viscosity or rate at which the muscle can change shape.

Muscles work in agonist-antagonist pairings. The agonist is the muscle that contracts to produce a movement. The antagonist is the muscle being stretched in response to the agonist muscle. The simplest example of this in humans (likely easier for a wider audience to understand – not everyone knows horse anatomy very well—but equally applicable to the species, as horses have these same muscles) is the quadriceps-hamstring relationship. In humans, the quads (front of thigh) and hammies (back of thigh) work together to provide static/postural and dynamic support for the body. The quads are typically much stronger than the hams and therefore tend to be shorter and tighter while the hams are longer and weaker, making them more susceptible to injury. These muscles also play an important role in human ligamentous stability at the knee. 1 of the 4 quad muscles and 2 of 3 hammies cross the knee joint, with the quads helping to extend or straighten the knee and the hammies to flex or bend it. If the quad/hammie pairing is not able to sufficiently manage a large load, such as rapid deceleration, the backup ligamentous structures at the knee come into play to protect the integrity of the joint where the musculotendinous unit has failed. The anterior cruciate ligament of the knee is frequently injured during rapid deceleration such as when a person plants their foot to stop motion, or lands and hyperextends the knee because the thigh musculature can’t sufficiently control the forces at play, thereby subjecting the ligament to huge amounts of stress. The same think could happen in the fetlock (or most any joint with paired muscles) in a horse.

Types of Muscle Contraction:
-Remember, muscle cannot push—it can only pull!

Isokinetic Contraction: a muscle contraction in which the length of the muscle is changing while the contraction is performed at a constant velocity

Isometric Contraction: a muscle contraction in which the length of the muscle remains constant while tension develops

There are two types of Isotonic Contraction: I’m leaving this to Wiki-P because I’m getting tired of typing and am afraid this post is getting way too long!
(1) Eccentric (Negative or Lengthening) Contraction http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eccentric_contraction#Eccentric_contraction
& (2) Concentric (Positive or Shortening) Contraction
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentric_contraction#Concentric_contraction


Tendons

-along with their muscles, contribute the greatest amount of support to a joint
-tendons are capable of producing a pull of more than 18,000 psi
-wavy collagenous fibres organized in parallel (all in the same orientation). When they are loaded with tension, the fibres straighten in the direction of the applied load. When the load is released, the tendons return to their normal wavy alignment.
-are typically much stronger than their associated muscle. Because of this, tears most commonly occur at the muscle belly, musculotendinous junction or bony attachment (with or without an avulsion fracture of bone).
-a constant increase in tension on tendons increases elongation as a result of fibroblast (the cells that give rise to connective tissue) infiltration, which in turn causes the production of more collagen
-repeat microtrauma can advance to a chronic muscle strain that resorbs collagen fibres and can eventually weaken the tendon, leaving it susceptible to injury
-resorption most frequently occurs during immobilization and during the early stages of conditioning
-poor blood supply and healing
-it is important that tendons be subjected to the appropriate stresses to help realign these fibres in parallel following injury. Scar tissue (adhesions) are completely haphazard and interfere with function

Ligaments

-Sheets of collagen fibres arranged randomly (no specific orientation – it could be likened to a little kid scrawling with a crayon)
-strongest in their middle, weakest at their ends. If a ligament is intact and undergoes a traumatic stretch, a tear is more likely at the end of a ligament, or an avulsion fracture (takes a piece of the connected bone with it) may occur
-Viscoelasticity refers to the extensibility of a ligament (or other tissue) when loaded, and is time dependent
-Constant compression or tension causes ligamentous deterioration
-Intermettent crompression and tension increase ligamentous strength, particularly at the site of attachment to bone
-Chronic inflammation of ligamentous tissue (or tendon) can result in atrophy and a microscopic swiss chess effect on collagen fibres—therefore, repeat microtrauma over time leaves ligaments highly susceptible to major acute injuries
-highly susceptible to something known as movement deprivation stress during times of joint immobilization (e.g. while casted)
-like tendons, their vascularity is poor, with the majority limited to the outer surface
-there are typically multiple ligaments surrounding a joint to provide support in various planes. Some in the front-back direction, some side-side, and some rotational or a combination of planes

And a general thought regarding anatomy—the body is just supercool if you reflect on it….It has to constantly overcome gravitational force to preserve both immobility and movement, and in the end, skeletons tend to be fairly inefficient systems of levers. These levers have to overcome huge amounts of resistance (both inertia and muscle viscosity), and they frequently have to work at extremely unfavorable angles of pull. Very cool stuff!

This is a great book about horse anatomy—we used it back in my Pony Club days. http://www.amazon.com/Horse-Anatomy-Coloring-Robert-Kainer/dp/1577790219/ref=ed_oe_o/002-9040379-3004857?ie=UTF8&qid=1178142189&sr=8-2

This is also a great pair of books—more expensive, but great for the more serious reader/horseman. These are also available on Amazon, but I can’t seem to get a working link: Illustrated Atlas of Clinical Equine Anatomy and Common Disorders of the Horse (Volume 1) & Illustrated Atlas of Clinical Equine Anatomy and Common Disorders of the Horse (Volume 2)

Janet
May. 2, 2007, 06:12 PM
Mny years ago I rehabbed a 12 year old with a suspensory injury (obviously less serious, happened in the pasture) under the relatively close supervision of his vet/owner. I then competed "Moo" at Training for several years. Last I heard, he is a school horse, still teaching kids to jump, at well over 30.

Obviously not competing at the **** level, but I would say his suspensory "healed" pretty well.

Sannois
May. 2, 2007, 06:16 PM
so according to the above explanation about ligaments, there are any number of things that can cause the ligament damage, it even makes one wonder if it can be a long standing problem that when ultimatly is stressed to the max can rupture?? no?? Just thinking out loud.
Now do torn ligaments get surgically repaired in the equine?? Boy I am learning alot! :yes:

Eventer13
May. 2, 2007, 07:14 PM
Has anyone heard about using stem cells in tendon/ligament injuries (taken from the horse's fat, then injected into the leg)? Anyone have any idea how well it works?

If you were to incorporate LSDW (especially w/t on hard surfaces) how would you balance that with cardiovascular work? 1 day/wk of each? Could someone give a sample schedule for a training or prelim horse (just a basic outline)? Since I will be tempted to do too much of both, which will put a lot more wear and tear on my horse than I really need.

Also would like to know how well those NEW boots work.

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
May. 2, 2007, 07:27 PM
Re:cooling boots, brainstorming here, but there was a guy at Rolex, Cool Medics might have been the company name, who was selling vests and quarter sheets with those cooling crystals quilted in - the stuff that you put in water for a couple minutes, then it chemically reacts with the water and the claim was more or less for 5 hours it lowers surface temperatures 20 degrees if under 100 degrees air temp.
Presumably that would be less effective the more covered over and against a hot leg it was, but perhaps the right velcro arrangement , with integrated leather panels you could have over the cannon bones if you're more concerned about knocking the fence, or over the tendon if you're more worried about interfering?

One Star
May. 2, 2007, 07:47 PM
Reed, can you clarify this part of your early post which left me a little confuzzled:

"My money is that the splint was coincidence. There is a ligament that can be involved but it is not part of any "joint" per se or can it really be loaded for conditioning."

What splint are you talking about?


ETA: Went back and read post #7 again and saw you were answering a question about another poster's horse's splint. Sorry.

GotSpots
May. 2, 2007, 07:52 PM
And another question: if, as RWR posted, "Scar tissue (adhesions) are completely haphazard and interfere with function" - why in some cases is tendon-splitting recommended? I'm assuming it's only in conjunction with appropriate rehab, but it seems to be counter-productive. What about Accel? And shockwave?

One Star
May. 2, 2007, 07:56 PM
I believe that suspensory ligaments (it is one body high up right below the knee/hock and then branches into two parts and goes behind the sesamoid bones) can sustain various level of strain and they can also be completely severed. I would not be surprised if there were a very bad strain/tearing or even if they or parts (one branch, or the whole thing up high) was severed. They can repair, after a fashion, but the individual will never be the same and once a suspensory is strained it is likely to be reinjured.

Do a search on degenerative suspensory ligament desmitis (DSLD). There are certain conformations and breeds that have been thought to be more susceptible to this condition. But basically once a suspensory is strained, DSLD can become chronic and there is no really complete recovery. Part of the reason for this is that the horse never really can take weight off of the suspensory apparatus. There has been some recent work with, I believe, injection of pig cells into the ligament. This should all come up in a google search. I think Nat White at Leesburg has done some research in this area and so have some other veterinarians, obviously.

A horse with this type of serious injury (and it is more or less serious depending on a lot of factors--with a severed ligament being the most serious) will likely not compete and possibly not be okay to be ridden again but may become pasture sound.

I speak from experience and lots of research.


Today when I was chatting with my farrier, we discussed the injury to Le Samurai. He postulated, without having seen the video, just from my description of the horse's all-out galloping over the previous 7/8 of the course, the possibility of fatigue, and the "lost suspensory structure" injury comment from Dr. Kohn as a result of the horse's galloping, that the injury was a failure or severing of one or both suspensory branches behind the sesamoid bone. He has a lot of experience with track horses, and his apprentice is an exercise jockey, and felt this was very similar to a fatigued race horse galloping injury.

FWIW.

One Star
May. 2, 2007, 08:08 PM
Has anyone heard about using stem cells in tendon/ligament injuries (taken from the horse's fat, then injected into the leg)? Anyone have any idea how well it works?

Yes, I have a friend with a top hunter pony who had a suspensory injury and they did stem cell therapy on him. The pony recovered, returned to 100% soundness/functionality and wiped the competition in Florida this winter.

I can ask for more info on the therapy, although I understand it is frightfully expensive.

Eventer13
May. 2, 2007, 08:45 PM
Yes, I'd be interested. Not that I have a horse that needs it, but I find the whole thing very interesting.

Also, does anyone know if stem cells are being used in a similar manner in people?

Peggy
May. 2, 2007, 09:05 PM
Check ligament question - My barnmates horse pulled his ~ 2 yrs ago. The vet said that this particular ligament tended to heal stronger than before so that re-injury was highly unlikely. Is this accurate or does it depend on the extent of the injurgy? I do wonder if there is something conformational about this since the beast wrecked the the other one a few months ago, this time a hole rather than a tear...

Boots - I've been worried since first reading about the fact that neoprene increased the temperature but, as others have written, it's not easy finding non-neoprene boots in this era. I tried the Thinline ones, but the front open-front ones put a hole in my horse; however, the legs did seem less sweaty after riding, if that's a reasonable correlation. My next purchase was the Equifit T-boots (http://www.equifit.net/products.asp?view=tboots+exp+front) which are billed as having no neoprene. Again, the legs seem less sweaty, perhaps even more so than with the Thinline (there is a bizarre cat pea odor than emanates from them tho...). So now I'm using the Equifits in front and the Thinlines in back. This horse jumps fences that come down as we don't event, but was wondering if anyone else had tried the Equifit boots.

Fascinating discussion:)

Ghazzu
May. 2, 2007, 09:14 PM
Blood doping....I wonder if it's investigated in FEI testing or horse racing?



It is, and trainers have been set down for illegal use of the human drug erythropoietin (which stimulates RBC production).

vineyridge
May. 2, 2007, 10:28 PM
Eventer13

Last year when I was researching my Rotator cuff injury, an article came up that said the Brits were trying stem cell therapy on human athletes. Could not find similar references to research in the US, although I'd have been happy to be a guinea pig for it.

Pocket Pony
May. 2, 2007, 11:02 PM
I've often wondered about rehabing from a soft-tissue injury without doing stall rest. Not continuing to work the horse, but to have (limited, space-wise) turnout by itself or with a quiet buddy, and immediately start with a hand-walking program. It seems like being on stall rest gives us a sense of doing good, but if the horse is going nuts in its stall and stall walking or weaving or bucking or whatever, then that isn't doing much good, either?

*knocking wood that I won't need to find out about this anytime soon*

Gnep
May. 2, 2007, 11:19 PM
stemcell are used on horses, they have been very succesful on tendons and ligaments. There are several clinics and labs that can produce them.

This is exactly why I asked Reed to take this thread out of the other thread.
When he wrote about the brake up of proteins by heat, it rang the bells. I figured hear was some info that was so important that it could not get drowned in a threat.
Basicly all materials that we use today to protect our horses legs have insulating properties, especialy if you have a all around wrap.
heat can not escape, if it can not escape it acumulates, so most and I bet all of our boots, wraps, bandages are insulators and will trap heat. How much ? Body temp at 100, traped for X amount of time, insulation value.

what would interest me, is there micro damage, I mean microscope stuff, that acumulates. It heals, produces a micro scar, boots on over heat, micro damage and it heals with a nother micro scar and so on. at some point our good intentions have produced so many micro scars that it produces a weak ligament.

We still have 1/2 stars and 1 stars, I mean the real thing that makes Eventers.
This Thesis, should change everybodies aproach concerning boots in a real Event, and maybe ad a nother help area bevor the chase.
It would be prudent to go out naked on the road and track, may be with fetloch protector, take a minute to put some boots on for the chase, if needed than take them of for the road and tracks and put them back on for the X-C

Classic Melody
May. 2, 2007, 11:31 PM
I've often wondered about rehabing from a soft-tissue injury without doing stall rest. Not continuing to work the horse, but to have (limited, space-wise) turnout by itself or with a quiet buddy, and immediately start with a hand-walking program. It seems like being on stall rest gives us a sense of doing good, but if the horse is going nuts in its stall and stall walking or weaving or bucking or whatever, then that isn't doing much good, either?

*knocking wood that I won't need to find out about this anytime soon*

When my horse injured his tendon last year, he got 10 minutes of handwalking 2x a day for the first couple of weeks, then increased to 25 minutes and up from there. Granted, his was an extremely minor injury (he was back under saddle with w/t in 8 weeks) but my trainer was surprised that I was handwalking him at all in the early days. My impression from the vet was that it helped the tendon heal correctly.

Small turnout's not a terrible idea, but I think it's a big risk especially when you have a fit horse who's suddenly full of pentup energy. That's why my horse was in w/t under saddle in 8 weeks rather than turnout - better to keep him under control as we rehabbed the injury.

He's perfectly sound now, and ripping around the paddock like a crazy insane beast again. :rolleyes: The whole experience was quite an education for me.

Welkin007
May. 2, 2007, 11:57 PM
My horse sustained a very mild tendon lesion last October, and my vet put him on rest for 2 months. However, this was with turnout to a small, flat run attatched to his stall. He walked around it and in and out of his stall for 2 months, then we began handwalking, etc.

His 60 day ultrasound showed picture-perfect healing. You literally could not tell there was ever damage unless you really felt the leg, the ultrasound looked clean. However, its taken up to now with increased exercise to really get back into "true" work. He's never taken a lame step in the whole process.

After reading this post, I'm about to slap some shoes on him, and start roading. Anyone have a good building-up routine?

My horse also interferes while in work, so I use Woof Wear Brushing boots on him. They are neoprene. Now I'm concerned :( Should I use anything at all? What if he really smacks himself? Thank you.

royal militron
May. 3, 2007, 07:58 AM
If you have a horse that interferes behind, would maybe ankle boots be the way to go instead?

Hannahsmom
May. 3, 2007, 08:41 AM
Stem cell therapy has been mentioned a few times here. I am wondering what situation people are suggesting them for in this discussion It's been a while since my molecular biology classes, but I don't see how stem cell therapy would help in cases other than where you wanted to generate more cells such as in a lesion or where you are trying to encourage a specific cell type growth.

BTW, great thread and thanks to all to supplying the research links and data.

LisaB
May. 3, 2007, 08:45 AM
This is making a ton of sense.
Winston is an Amish reject. I vetted him and he has a teeny little bit of sidebone and that's where the bony structure juts out and hits the tendon he tore. It wasn't causing him grief before, that's why we think a twist and a rip.
And it was said if he can survive being a cart horse for 6 years, he's going to be sound (ha!). Anyway, lots of road work in his early days.
Vet says we will have to keep an eye on it. It's going to be hard because it was never really swollen nor any heat.:sadsmile:
So our rehab was stall rest and 3 shockwaves. Increasing handwalking on falt surface, then riding, walking on flat surface, no tight turns. Then work up to 10 min trots with total of 30 min under saddle. THEN turnout with lots of ace. We then did road work. First was very flat gravel road for 3 weeks (1-2x a week). Then we have this great road that's a gradual incline. It's not asphalt nor gravel but like a mixture with no stones. Anyway, did that for about another 3 weeks.
Our ultrasound was a definite tear and after it's bigger but all the white fibers are together there's no black holes.
And the splint was me. Second time jumping, he pops a tiny splint the day after. They saw him buzzing around in the field and maybe bonked himself. He is now turned out with the cheap dover boots with fuzz on the inside.
Lucinda's thoughts were to not use boots. If you need to, the leather is the best way as it doesn't trap as much heat. She also doesn't like bell boots because jumping out of water, they catch and boom, down you go. I've seen that on a number of occasions.

vineyridge
May. 3, 2007, 09:17 AM
Gnep, there's been a lot of literature about the advantages of micro-damage/tears during training where humans are concerned. The theory, as it's been presented, is that a period of stress to the muscles causes micro-damage, which, if allowed to heal by not pushing through, actually strengthens the fibers.

So a training regime should include a period of overload, followed by a period of less load (for healing), followed by a period of the same overload, then another slight increase in load. With humans, the process is gauged in terms of weeks, I believe. So Sunday, a hard work with a bit of new intensity, then Monday off, then back to what you were doing the previous week for Tuesday and Wednesday, then Sunday's work again on Thursday and Friday, with Saturday off. Then start the process over again, or stay at the same level depending on your comfort. As I read the literature, the important thing is not to keep at overload level, but allow the muscle fibers time for the micro-tears to heal.

If an exercise psysiologist, like WRW, would correct my impression of what I've read, it would be greatly appreciated.

CarolinaHurricane
May. 3, 2007, 12:00 PM
I guess it has been answered, but to "lose" the suspensory apparatus is to tear (partial or complete) the suspensory branch(es). The suspensory lies underneath the superficial and deep flexor tendons (against the "back" of the cannon bone, between the splints) and then branches into 2 parts midway down and attaches to the sesamoids--the "suspensory apparatus" (suspensory + sesamoids + sesamoidean ligaments) supports the fetlock by almost "cupping" it, so hyperflexion puts it at risk of tearing. It is actually a modified "muscle" (medial interosseus in humans) and amde up of tendon and muscle fibers (proportion varies breed-to-breed). It can tear from it's bony attachments, or it can sustain a "core" lesion where fluid (edema) or blood (hematoma) collect in the center of the tendon and cause inflammation and/or weakeneing. There is a huge range of the level of suspensory injuries (ex. a branch injury is worse than a proximal injury) and, resultingly, a huge range in prognosis. Le Samuri's was the worst kind. . .and the front end carries 60%+ of the horse's weight, so a front is worse, too. . .:( Here is a great source by Dr. Peter Gillepsie FYI: http://www.vetpro.co.nz:888/Vet%20Talk_Equine/the_suspensory_ligament.htm

A "bow" is much less serious. A bowed tendon usually refers to the "tearing" of the superficial digital flexor tendon--the one most superficial on the back of the leg. Again, the tear can be cause acutely due to trauma, or after wekening (long toes, underrun heels, big horse running fast and not quite fit, etc.). Bows heal pretty well if rehabbed correctly and horses can go on to race or event in the best circumstances. A bowed tendon is never as strong as the original tendon.

Not all tendon or ligament injuries cause swelling and pain at first. There are a lot of early lesions that are missed. A lot of the "breakdown" injuried are caused by fatigue, but there is likely an underlying weakening before the acute injury (which a routine scan may pick up).

The best preventative? All has been mentioned already: keeping horses fit;but not overjumping; reduce lunging (small circles for big horses is VERY hard on the tendons); paying attention to footing; correcting under-run, long toed foot conformation (a HUGE problem and risk factor for tendon strain!); familiarizing yourself with the major tendons of your horse's leg and palpating each one weekly (I do daily) along with joints (checking for effusion)--get your vet to show you--you are absolutely capable of learning the anatomy; getting at lameness before it snowballs--routine lameness checks (you can also learn to do flexion tests to check yourself);keeping tendons cool during high-speed exercise; cooling horses out; riding on altered terrain; letting a tired horse rest;

With all this said, a horse can tear any tendon or ligament in his body and yours probably will at some point. A good rehab goes a long way--if a horse is too hot, then daily Acepromazine is usually very safe. AND, if you can afford it, stem cell therapy (in the first stages of injury) is really looking like the way to go: http://www.vet-stem.com/ There's another company, but I can't find their website. . .

As far as boots, I have seen some fairly significant tendon/ligament (suspensory branches are very vulnberable due to their position) injuries caused from direct blows--i.e. rapping a jump, interfering--that causes a hematoma or small tear in the tendon/ligament, so I don't think we need to "do away with boots," but we definatley need to increase cooling/breathability.

Keep the discussion going!! We need more research, but unfortunately research funding is scarce with the budgeting/war, especially for horses. . .

jreventer
May. 3, 2007, 01:06 PM
The other company is http://www.vetcell.com/
Vet cell harvests the stem cells from bone marrow versus vet stem which takes fat and then harvests the cells. IMHO if I were going to go through the expense of doing stem cell treatment I would go with vet cell for sure. They are based in UK and the turn around time is slower. However, with vet cell the additional time allows for them to multiply the stem cells so more stem cells and for sure stem cells are injected into the tendon. If vet cell cannot harvest stem cells in the first bone marrow sample they will have the vet send a second sample. With the fat derived technique the stem cells the number of stem cells that are in the fat is all that is put in the tendon. And there is no quarentee there are any stem cells in the fat derived stem cells.

Typically with the stem cell treatment-the stem cells are injected several weeks (4-6 weeks I believe) after the injury occurs. The idea being that the stem cells will become tendon cells and aid in decreasing scar tissue. There are several studies that have been done that show an increase return to performance and soundnness(the horse had to stay sound for greater then two years post injury). I cannot honestly remember the other studies done but I believe there was increase in tendon strength with stem cell treatment versus no stem cell treatment. With vet cell they have concentrated on the success in tendons for their studies; however, I know they have also had some success in using the stem cells in ligaments.

PhoenixFarm
May. 3, 2007, 01:30 PM
Not sure this is the place to posit this, but I've been thining/concerned about conformation issues in the "new" event horse for some time now.

I remember from my earliest days having it drilled in to my head that particular conformation of the lower leg--specifically pastern length and angle, and fetlock anlge--have significant impact on long term soundness. That, as eventers, we often walked a fine line between getting a "good enough" mover, and one that also has the conformation to stay sound.

It has seemed to me in recent years as eventers have strived to aquire more big, flashy, toes flicky dressage type movers, I see more and more horses with long, sloping pasterns and angled fetlocks. That electric moment of suspension in a flashy mover, often happens because of this conformation. I wonder if, as demand for movement have increased, if we have begun "letting in" horses with conformation not designed to stand up to the rigors of top level XC competition. Because often, a horse with that good, short, strong lower leg conformation will, by it's nature, not be the flashiest mover in the bunch.

I've never been close enough to Le Samurai to judge his lower legs, but he is certainly a spectacular mover. But I've actually been wondering about this issue long before last weekend--his accident just brought it to the fore for me. It seems to me that we've seen many breath taking moves in recent years have a brilliant event and then be sidleined by tendond and/or ligament injuries. (The most obvious one that comes to mind at this second is Nicolas Touzaint's horse Galant Du Sauverge (I think that was his name--gorgeous gray). Bettina's horses have had soundess issues as well, including one being injured on course in Spain in 2002.

Just a thought.

KateDB
May. 3, 2007, 01:39 PM
Following my horse's doing a mild tendon which recovered beautifully, he went on to do 3 CCI*.

From a booting perspective, because I was concerned about the heat retention, particularly at the one CCI* which was 90+ degrees F, I had that leg's boot removed following steeplechase, went around Phase C without it and then put it back on in the 10 minute box....seemed like the most logical way to deal with that situation.

ania
May. 3, 2007, 02:32 PM
this is a great thread. I just took some time during lunch to sneak over here from the Dressage forum to read it ;)

I'm wondering myself about this now in respects to flatwork.... it seems obvious that a horses' legs would heat up during XC or the like. It's a situation which has a lot of high impact, fast movement, and a longer period of time for the ride. But what about the other parts of the course? I know that you as eventers do do flatwork sometimse ( ;) ) and aren't always on the XC course, or even practicing jumping. Do you think that the impact is lessened when there's isn't the stress of jumping and you're on the flat? Or even take it further and what would the change be if you were just going for a mild trail (I know that's subjective-- but let's think of it as mostly walk with some trot and canter interspersed).

GansMyMan
May. 3, 2007, 03:09 PM
Ok, I did read this whole thread, whether or not I understood it all remains to be seen. However, I did have a couple of questions. If shock loading helps to rebuild muscle, bone and tendon... It would stand to reason that I should be walking my broken sesamoid, sweenied shouldered horse on pavement at a particular point in his healing process; in order to maximize my chances that he regrows real muscle and bone and not scar tissue which is weaker than the real thing (whew run-on sentence alert)... but how does that affect his ligaments? Or does the shock loading also help ligaments? If it does, theoretically, working on pavement would be great for most athletes (I mean of the horse variety). And yet we all do our dressage in the sand? This for slippage sake? Plus... if to retain good health (?) I need to keep my horse consistently working at a particular stress level, how am I to know a) what is the optimal stress level and b) when a rest period is appropriate? Because I also learned that too much muscle work causes a breakdown of tissue? Am I missing something here? Or am I almost on the same page as people who use multisyllabic words?

OneDaySoon
May. 3, 2007, 03:10 PM
More anecdotal stuff and good news (so far):

My boy ruptured the distal sesamoid ligament as a 3 year old. At 6 he is competing this year at the Training level. 5 vets compromised that he would be good through Prelim - but they all squirm when they see the x-rays.

I believe LaS is TB/WB. Mine is also TB/WB, has long sloping pasterns with heels close to the ground, and the dressage gaits one sees in the WBs. As I watch my darling horse walk around the field he flips his toes out like he is in Cirque de Soleil :lol: and I cringe as his fetlocks drop daringly low to the ground :no: .

IMHO and based on my experience, conformation contributes to these type of injuries. I also wonder if, we agree, that a WB mix may have a greater challenge getting to the level of aerobic fitness that a pure TB does, how that might effect achieving appropriate leg strength and fitness for the higher levels? For example, my WB huffs and puffs doing simple trot sets so I may not get as much out of him from a fitness perspective that I might get out of a hot TB. Hence he is not going to build up as much aerobic or structural strength - without extra, extra work....and then we still have to deal with conformation.

Thank you all for your very insightful and varied contributions. It has been a good learning experience!

Gunnar
May. 3, 2007, 03:31 PM
Thanks for all the great data.

I have never been a believer in Boots as I never saw any proof that they helped or hindered. I have used them for protection and looks (HJ land in the Equitation) but now I wonder even more. I was considering buying some boots that would stay on in the water but now I will go without! I am a new Lower Level eventer so I am not too worried.

I have torn a liagment myself and range of motion was so important to my recovery. I never did get it all back in my knee.

Bodie has torn ligaments in his knee and foot.:sadsmile: The rehab for the knee (after surgery ) was very long and he is now sound on that knee. But it took years. Right after he recovered from the knee he tore the lateral collateral ligament.:sadsmile: :no: This time we used Shockwave but the rehab we did was very slow too. He moved around in a small area and then in the ring for 10 1/2 months. No handwalking this time (thank god!) but lots of moving around. He did run and buck a little (he can leap high in the air and of course slams that bad foot right into the ground), as we cringed but he is a wild man sometimes and this was the best we could do! the setback came when he got away and ran like a banshee 2 months into it. Hence the lack of hand walking or even getting out of the barn. He is fully recovered now but I am touching wood as I type.

Back to your grand discussion and thanks!

Janet
May. 3, 2007, 03:33 PM
IMHO and based on my experience, conformation contributes to these type of injuries. I also wonder if, we agree, that a WB mix may have a greater challenge getting to the level of aerobic fitness that a pure TB does, how that might effect achieving appropriate leg strength and fitness for the higher levels? For example, my WB huffs and puffs doing simple trot sets so I may not get as much out of him from a fitness perspective that I might get out of a hot TB. Hence he is not going to build up as much aerobic or structural strength - without extra, extra work ...
Except that is is LSD (long slow distance) that builds up the STRUCTURAL fitness. You don't need the cardio-pulmonary fitness associated with speed work in order to build structural fitness.

RAyers
May. 3, 2007, 03:38 PM
All I can say, is WOW! Information comes out of the woodwork!

I am learning as much as anybody right now. I will try to compile an outline/understanding of all of the insights here and combine it with recent research.

I would love to look at microdamage accumulation but it is a lot of money and taking biopsies from folks' horses isn't really an option. I guess not I need to develop a micro MRI for horses. So much to do. :)

Reed

Peggy
May. 3, 2007, 06:21 PM
So I'm thinking about the "good mover" theory. This is highly anecdotal, but we had two extravagent movers at the barn that had soft tissue injuries. Both 4-5 at the time it happened, no definative cause. Neither was ever diagnosable (is that a word) despite ultrasounds, nuclear scintigraphy...

At the time I got to thinking if there was a correlation between the structure that made a good mover and that that would predispose to soft tissue injury. Talked to the dressage trainer at the barn who agreed that there was a possible correlation basded on his observarion and added something else to the mix--he'd heard a theory that these huge "loosey-goosey" dressage movers are sometimes very slightly out of sych of a classic footfall. Could this add stress?

jreventer
May. 3, 2007, 06:34 PM
Ok since we are talking about treatment options I pulled out some of the info I have-

Shockwave-so shockwave are mechanical pressure waves, studies have shown that SW causes neovascularization at the bone-tendon junctions possibly decreasing pain and improving tissue regeneration and repair (going back to what was said earlier about tendons being very avascular and acellular). if we can increase the blood flow to tendons they may heal better. Using lab animals (rabbits etc) tendons treated with SW had increased tensile strength. Studies in horses have shown defects in tendons heal faster (of course this brings up the questions if this is a good thing; a tendon that appears healed based on ultrasound may not truly be healed and ready for work) and with biospies the tendons are more mature histologically. Studies using SW to treat joint injuries have shown it to be helpful, decreasing lameness and increasing range of motion, but a lot still needs to be studied. Of course there is the downside-SW has been proven to cause local analgesia and this effect last for several days. There are also reports of SW causing microfractures to bone; however studies with horses have shown in increases the osteons at the site of bone damage which results in increased bone activity...interesting stuff and hopefully with more studies will become more useful.

Stem cells: there is of course controversy over stem cells since there are no for certain markers (at least that is practical) that prove that what is being put back into the tendon has stem cells and has sufficient stem cells. Of course there is the advantage that there are other growth factors in theory being injected with the stem cells that aids in healing. However when using bone marrow to collect stem cells by the time the stem cells are isolated and multiplied there is concern all of the other factors are removed and possibly these stem cells may not differentiate as easily.

Platlet rich plasma: is easier to collect than bone marrow/stem cells since blood is used, and if the vet has the equipment they can finish the process. Platelets aid in tissue repair, contain growth factors. Studies have shown the best results when the lesions are injected at 30-45 days post injury to allow the inflammation to decrease.

Other treatments: some papers recommend injecting the tendon/ligament shortly after injury with steroids to decrease the inflammation since ongoing inflammation prevents healing.
And of course there is shoeing to support the injury
And then for joints there is IRAP-interleukin 1 receptor antagonist binds IL-1 aiding in decreasing inflammation. Ideally without the side effects of putting corticosteroids in the joint.

Not really treatment that relate to road work etc, but still useful stuff to know what options are.

Sebastian
May. 3, 2007, 06:37 PM
This is definitely one of the BEST threads ever!!! Thanks, Reed, RWR and everyone else!!!

I just finished reading it all -- absolutely fascinating! I've discussed some of these things with my own vet, but I love being able to read (and re-read) more of the details in terms that I can understand!

In the vein of stem-cell research... Do any of our resident experts have knowledge to impart on "A-cell" therapy??

Thanks!!!
Seb :D

jreventer
May. 3, 2007, 07:00 PM
A cell: So from the vets I have talked to about this they loved it and hated it. Very high success rates in aiding in healing, but very high complication rates. Post injections horses legs blew up, looked like infection, etc. So wasn't worth the risk...of course it came off the market. A cell provided the scaffolding for the tendon to heal (whereas stem cell ideally provides the cells).
For a tendon/ligament to repair it needs the scaffold, cells, and growth factors. Wouldn't it be great if we could inject something that was a combo of a cell, stem cells, and platelet rich plasma then we would be providing all three things needed!!!

wabadou
May. 3, 2007, 07:05 PM
:no: I, too, am noticing more and more horses with the weak, long sloping pasterns. Check out pictures of Pine Island, the TB mare that had a catastrophic breakdown last year during a race. Her pastern angle and length were a trainwreck waiting to happen. I seem to remember Ruffian having the same pasterns as well.
We had a young SelleFrancais gelding for a time and his pasterns were a train wreck at age 3 !!, long, weak and several feet had different pastern angles than the others. He was a gorgeous mover and could jump the moon, however, my daughter wants to event and we sold him due to my concerns about those pasterns holding up for eventing. In researching the effect of the long weak pasterns, I started to notice a lot of Selle Francais horses that had long weak pasterns and also found many instances of suspensory problems/breakdowns which I feel were linked to the long, weak pasterns.
I see this in a lot of OTTB horses( or maybe I just notice it more, now!) that are pictured on the Internet adoption sites .
With the big, gorgeous "floaty" movement seems to often go long, weak pasterns and/or pasterns that have an enormous amount of "play" in the structure while moving. It makes sense that these horses would be more prone to injury when the joint is "loaded".
Just a few thoughts:)

Sebastian
May. 3, 2007, 07:28 PM
A cell: So from the vets I have talked to about this they loved it and hated it. Very high success rates in aiding in healing, but very high complication rates. Post injections horses legs blew up, looked like infection, etc. So wasn't worth the risk...of course it came off the market. A cell provided the scaffolding for the tendon to heal (whereas stem cell ideally provides the cells).
For a tendon/ligament to repair it needs the scaffold, cells, and growth factors. Wouldn't it be great if we could inject something that was a combo of a cell, stem cells, and platelet rich plasma then we would be providing all three things needed!!!

Interesting. I did not know it had been removed from the market... We used it on a horse I had several years ago for a tear in the hind suspensory, but later on we discovered the horse had DSLD, so I never got to see if the A Cell was effective after the horse healed.

Do you know anything about "Tildren" (sp?)??? I know it's not approved here, but know vets that are using it for joint issues...

Seb :)

Gunnar
May. 3, 2007, 07:37 PM
With my horse he has somewhat upright pasterns and is toed in! He is very large, with very large bone. He seems to tear ligaments when he is playing. His injuries have all occurred when he was out romping around! I have witnessed 2 of them! :sadsmile: At 17 hands 1,400 ILB his legs are even bigger than it would seem. Nine inch cannon bones (full of splints!:eek: :sadsmile: :no: ) Vets always remark at the size of his bone!

My theory, after 3 seriouis injuries in the 8 years I have owned him, it that he is too atheletic for his frame and he hurts himself because his soft tissue cannot keep up with the rest of him. It is something I ponder after all these soft tissues injuries! Does he have weak liagments? Is it in his diet or genetic? Believe me I have had time to ponder these questions during the 4 years he has been in rehab!:eek: :sadsmile:

He does not fit your good mover category for Hunter land but for Dressage he has quite a bit of suspension for a big guy! Is this the problem?

No heat or boots caused his injuries so I cannot join in that theory. But it makes sense from your detailed discussions!

How hard a surface do we need for shock work!:eek: :lol: Do you have to go on pavement or will any hard ground do?

Keep up the talk! It is great info for us laymen!

vali
May. 3, 2007, 08:18 PM
Acell was taken off the market because of a patent infringement issue, and is now returning to the market. We used it on two horses and my vet used it on several others, and it worked very well. One horse we had tried shock wave therapy and simply wasn't getting better, and the Acell worked. I don't think it has a particularly high infection rate, but it can be painful for the horse the first week or two after the treatment.

Hony
May. 3, 2007, 08:47 PM
I too would like to know how hard the ground would need to be. I can't get out on roads this spring because the area I'm in is just too busy. However, I'm wondering if the arena I've been complaining about all winter was enough to do the job. It can sound like the horses are walking on concrete at times. Perhaps the light arena work I did all winter was actually beneficial:D

Gnep
May. 3, 2007, 09:44 PM
Naturally recovery from a bow depents on age and miles on the clock. Age is very importatnt.

But one thing about bowes, the fiber below and above, close to the actual bow, is after healiing the additional week spot. The scar has less flexebility or stretch and that defizit will be compensated direktly below or above the old bow.

Very helpfull in healing bows is therapeutic Ultra Sound. Juan Bobs triple bow healed so good with us treatment that we have a hard time to see it on the US pictures, we have to actually take a ruler and measure to find the bow areas.
His bows happend at the age of 16 and than again the triple at age 18, he is now completly sound and hauls a.. around the pasture, but it took 2 years of healing and rehab

TheOtherHorse
May. 3, 2007, 10:09 PM
I've often wondered about rehabing from a soft-tissue injury without doing stall rest. Not continuing to work the horse, but to have (limited, space-wise) turnout by itself or with a quiet buddy, and immediately start with a hand-walking program. It seems like being on stall rest gives us a sense of doing good, but if the horse is going nuts in its stall and stall walking or weaving or bucking or whatever, then that isn't doing much good, either?

*knocking wood that I won't need to find out about this anytime soon*

This is what I did with my mare when she tore her RF suspensory branch. She was nuts in the stall, and even in her isolated paddock, so I turned her out in a small flat pasture with two other quiet mares and she relaxed and let herself heal. I am a big believer in turnout for injuries. I think continuous limited use of the injured area promotes good strong healing, and decreases the chance of re-injury. I'm also a big beliver in the role that mental health plays in healing. A stressed horse isn't going to heal as quickly or as well as a happy relaxed horse.

My mare went last month for a follow up ultrasound and it had healed so well that the vet had to check her file to make sure he was looking at the right leg-- and this was only after 6.5 months on pasture rest! I've been bringing her back now, and have had no problems so far. I also think that turn out rest is much better when you do finally start to bring them back, as they have already been using the injured area mildly all along, so adding 5 minutes of riding doesn't really make much difference to them compared to bringing back a horse who had been on stall rest and hasn't used the ligament in months...

I realize that many competition horses are too fit to relax on turnout, but I would prefer to give a horse Ace until it calmed down and leave it out in the pasture rather than keep it on stall rest.

canyonoak
May. 3, 2007, 10:51 PM
<<I really have been looking for galloping boots that are vented on the tendons. I am debating cutting vents in my leather boots. >>



http://205.252.250.27/dalmar/technology.htm

-- Dalmar’s history originates in the veterinary treatment of tendon and suspensory ligament injury in competition horses. With their Carbon Fibre shields they give the best possible protection against tendon injury in the event of the severest of overreach strikes and from any hard knocks to the canon bone and fetlock joint which could be experienced during training, racing or during a cross-country or showjumping round. They are also unique in their ability to cool the horse’s tendons while it gallops.--


FWIW, I have a set of their boots. The carbon-fibre technology seems to be one possible way to go--very light, very strong, lots of protection in the strike area, lots of air spaces all around the boots.

One other note. Walking and even some trotting on the roads has been the gold standard for conditioning event horse legs in England for as long as I can remember. My daughter has always done this ever since her stint in England and continues to do it now that she is back in the USA

Pocket Pony
May. 3, 2007, 10:58 PM
Well I guess I'm lucky that my ground is so hard, then! My ponies live out 24/7 in good weather, and the ground here is hard. We also go trail riding a lot and do some trotting and cantering when we have a rock-free place. I hope that is doing their legs some good! I am actually paranoid about too-soft/too-deep footing, and will not ride certain places if I don't like the footing there.

Just today I was thinking about therapeutic ultrasound. I'm going to physical therapy for chronic back pain and am getting "massage" (more like torture). The PT will try to massage without u/s first to see how I'm feeling, then do u/s and then my muscles are more relaxed and easy to work with. Has anyone used u/s therapy for injury recovery for their horse?

And are there any of these modalities that the owner can purchase and use on their own? (shock wave, u/s, laser)

Hannahsmom
May. 4, 2007, 07:26 AM
horses that had long weak pasterns and also found many instances of suspensory problems/breakdowns which I feel were linked to the long, weak pasterns.

Can you be more specific than using the words "problems" or "breakdowns". Were these tears? Lesions? or what?

jreventer
May. 4, 2007, 07:49 AM
Vali-
sorry I was not clear-acell did not cause infections but the legs blew up so it looked like an infection...from the vets I spoke with this made them nervous. But it does work very well and glad to hear it is back on the market (I had forgotten about the patent infringement)
Similiar to adequan being used in joints-it does not cause an increase in joint infections post injection but the post injection flare has scared many vets off using it in joints, that along with the directions to inject into the joint several weeks in a row.

Hannahsmom
May. 4, 2007, 08:16 AM
jreventer, I wasn't aware of the scaffold-based approach, thanks for pointing that out. I tried to follow up on some lof the venodr site links hoping to be directed to some peer-reviewed articles on this approach with indications and results for my own education, I'm more familiar with cell/gene based approaches. Since I'm being too lazy to run my own searches, does anyone in the field want to synopsize and point us to the right pubs? TIA

cinnabar
May. 4, 2007, 08:56 AM
Might there be some sort of topical product that one could put on the legs under the boots that would promote cooling, but not be irritating? I've not yet researched the various leg "freezes" and such to know if something would be suitable.

vineyridge
May. 4, 2007, 09:46 AM
Noodling--
There are all sorts of ice cell sheets out there. They are reusable and not expensive.

How about designing a XC boot with a pocket for a sheet of ice cells and sending a horse off cross country (less than 15 minute run at high speed)? Would that keep the tendons acceptably cool, or would it overcool them so the horse would lose feel? We all ice down after hard work; what about during?

LisaB
May. 4, 2007, 02:49 PM
Okay, I'm going to throw out a thought.
If we had the traditional long format, would such breakdowns occur? I heard (totally through the grapevine) that quite a few **** horses missed many of their gallops and still continued on.
Maybe the thinking is since they don't have those long stretches of trots and steeplechase, they think they can 'get away with it'. But since reading all this great material, it seems that you still have to condition your horse the same way. At least for the tendons with all the trot work and roading.
And if they had to do phases a,b, and c. It would have shown up and been caught.
Please, I'm not trying to start the thread of short format sucks but there's always been a huge question mark on how the short format will affect the horse's longvity.

Also, I would love to hear about Teddy's conditioning schedule. He won best conditioned as well as having to work harder than taller horses not only in speed but jumping effort.
My instructor said he was the best looking at st. He was fit and sound and did the best st course of the day.

Janet
May. 4, 2007, 03:01 PM
But you do NOT want to increase the WEIGHT of the boots. That would be counterpoductive.

Noodling--
There are all sorts of ice cell sheets out there. They are reusable and not expensive.

How about designing a XC boot with a pocket for a sheet of ice cells and sending a horse off cross country (less than 15 minute run at high speed)? Would that keep the tendons acceptably cool, or would it overcool them so the horse would lose feel? We all ice down after hard work; what about during?

Gnep
May. 4, 2007, 03:49 PM
tendon and ligaments need a certain working temp, if they are cold they are pron to tears.
Heat exchange is the point, ventilate excess heat

canyonoak
May. 4, 2007, 05:39 PM
you might want to check out the Dalmar boots.

Eventer13
May. 4, 2007, 09:08 PM
Except that is is LSD (long slow distance) that builds up the STRUCTURAL fitness. You don't need the cardio-pulmonary fitness associated with speed work in order to build structural fitness.

So what kind of schedule should you use to include both? I know the Brits talk about "legging up" before serious cardiovascular work, so do you do the structural fitness first, early in the season, and then build up the cardio after that?

vineyridge
May. 4, 2007, 09:29 PM
Another noodling thought--

We all know that the fetlock moves an incredible amount during high speed work. Could this motion be harnessed some way to pump air through a boot?

SR Rider
May. 4, 2007, 09:30 PM
I audited an Ian Stark clinic the weekend prior to Rolex. While I dont
remember him talking about boots...he did tell me that he only puts
studsin the outside of the shoe...all four feet...he doesn't even drill
holes on the inside. Said it was "an English thing"

Gnep
May. 4, 2007, 09:56 PM
legging up, means time under the saddel, a built up, long trots, walks, some gallop, just miles without mayor strain, just to develop a basic but solid fitness, its a gradual built up. You may call it the foundation, the better you built that foundation, the less risk of injuries. My experiance, good trott work, lots of trott work, up the hill down the hill etc.
If the place you bord your horse at has something like trail around it, get on it and trott 30 min, 40 min and so on, it is medium level impact, medium level cardio and very healthy. Don't do it in a crawling trott let your horse trott out.
After 4 weeks doing this maybe 2 or 3 times a week you got a very well leged up horse ready to take the stress of some real training.
I do the trott work for 3d or upperlevels as part of their regular conditioning regiment, but than the trotts are at a very sharp pace, close to gallop, 30 min to an hour, they reach heart rates up to 180, especialy uphill, taking them into a gallop at around 500 will actually drop their heart rate, by around 20 to 30.
Trott work or well galloping is extremly boring, at least for me, I can do some of my best thinking doing it ( besides the shower or the pot ), I get so side tracked that I have to write down the time when I started and have to set sometimes the alarm on my timex.
All my galloping starts with at least 5ks trott, the Nutty Woman has to do 12k right now and than she does her 5k sets.
Never had a prob with a horse pucking out on Endurance Day or X-C and have had always very healthy horses when it comes to their legs

outwestPoloPlayer
May. 5, 2007, 05:44 AM
Do you know anything about "Tildren" (sp?)??? I know it's not approved here, but know vets that are using it for joint issues...



I know a couple of people who have used it on older, arthritic eventers. It seems to be somewhat of a last resort, once the legend and adequan shots are no longer having enough of an effect to keep the horse at the desired level of competition. From what I understand, Tildren is approved for use in humans but considered an off-market drug in horses because it has not been specifically approved by the FDA for that purpose.

I did a quick google search and came up with a number of pages including this one: http://www.hevra.org/vmri_spc/spc.asp?Product_Identifier=FR/V/0134/001

According to the above website, the active ingredient in Tildren is Tiludronic acid which indirectly inhibits bone resorbtion. There seems to be a lot of info on this substance on the web (seems to be a fairly popular treatment for horses in the UK and Europe)

The people I know who tried it were not thrilled with the results. Both saw some improvement but it only lasted about 6 months and was not very dramatic. In addition, the cost of the treatment was around $1500, so I think they've both decided not to continue with the product. Definitely a good option and I have heard that it is more effective on some horses than others.

sm
May. 5, 2007, 04:43 PM
#86: “With the big, gorgeous "floaty" movement seems to often go long, weak pasterns and/or pasterns that have an enormous amount of "play" in the structure while moving. It makes sense that these horses would be more prone to injury when the joint is "loaded".
Just a few thoughts”

It could be. Also the larger/heavier bone adds to impact stress, could it be the ratio between bone mass and muscle is off --- especially aggravated now since the more robust long format conditioning is gone? Two of the three fatalities are the heavier conformation, both horses known for their excellent dressage work, I don't know about the third horse.

Anyway, fascinating thread. I’ll have to read over a few more times, some of this stuff I didn’t get the first time.

carovet
May. 5, 2007, 06:09 PM
A comment on road work

I think that it is an error to across the board think that road work on asphalt or the like is recommended to improve every horse's fitness, bone density, and/or tendon/ligament strength or elasticity.

The concept of doing trot sets on asphalt seems to come from england -- where for 23 hours a day the horses are out on nice pleasant soil/turf.

My horse lives in South Carolina, and the ground is red clay...most of the year, the ground he is on 23 hours a day more closely resembles concrete than it does any friendly turf surface.

So, he spends 23 hours a day doing road work in his paddock :) -- if i did his real work on hard surfaces I guarantee I would not be adding any soft tissue strength, but would instead be stacking concussion injuries up and speeding the progress of arthritis, bruising, heel pain, etc.


On vented boots -- I have the equilibrium boots (available on dover) that are supposed to create less heat holding....they have little polka dots all through them, and they do seem to create less sweat that others.

vineyridge
May. 5, 2007, 08:30 PM
Has anyone looked to see what cavalries worldwide used to do to get their chargers in fighting trim? Think about what those elite horses had to do in the past--be their own transportation from place to place, and then charge the enemy at speed. There are centuries of experience on what and how those guys went about hardening their horses to the demands of the military.

Gnep
May. 5, 2007, 09:12 PM
vineyridge,
I had a guest ranch for 12 years. I ran the longest and toughest trailrides you could get on the planet ( Blister Ass Inc. ). We covered 500 some miles in 11 days, on goat trails, cow trails or just plain as the crow flies, 12 of those rides per year.
Horses were what ever I could get, some from the killer, 46 to 70 cents a pound.
some of those days, 10 houres non stop 80 miles plus.

We trained those horse as I had learned from my father who was a Cav Officer in WWII. Me and my Wrangler would go out, pre season, one saddle horse and two poniing, and start out with a 10 minuts walk and than trotted for 30 min, 10 minuts walk and than 30 min trott, walk them home, get the next string. We had to get 20 horses ready for the season start. We never galloped.
The longest gallop of my ride was after 8 days it lastet 30 minutes and covered over 10 miles, no trailes, sand, and some rather big wash outs to jump at 100 plus degrees. The horses would get 3 times water a day, mornings, lunch and evenings in camp.
I still have 6 of those super tough suckers, I got 4 of them from the killer in 1987, can't sell those, and 2 of them I evented later, one did go Intermediat the other one prelim, sure as hell can't sell those two.
Ol' Rocker must be hitting mid 30 now and is as clean on his legs like a 4 year old. Just my shoer has to kneel when he trims him, he is a little stiff in his old days.

silver2
May. 5, 2007, 11:27 PM
I think an obvious (but I'm sure wildly unpopular) thing that should be done first is to examine the vet records of horses involved in breakdowns or career ending injuries at competitions or races.

I was listening to a friends trainer explain how she was planning to do most of the condidionting of her upper level horse on the Aqua-exerciser because he didn't stay sound if you actually rode him when I realised that maybe modern technology is allowing us to do stuff we shouldn't be doing. That any maybe she'd hit her head one too many times because who on earth heads out to a three day on a horse who may or may not have a wheel come off at any time?

I remember people retiring event and race horses that weren't going to stay sound enough to the hunt field where they cheerfully remained for many years and I'm not that old. These days I don't think that would happen: advances in vet med allow us to nurse the horses along probably beyond what we should.

Of course any review would have to be done scrupulously fairly to avoid unfairly singling out any one situation. Perhaps more appropriate to racing- I think I heard that 25 horses died at Bay Meadows last meeting which makes eventing look positively safe, not to mention giving you a much better study pool.

Seven
May. 6, 2007, 12:08 AM
Curious - what do you think of the old style Ulster / Hampa boots that had the "honey comb" lining? Maybe not those boots in particular, but the lining. It didn't hold water and seems like it would let air pass too?

I do like the look of the Dalmar boots though, those look like a significant improvement.

LAZ
May. 6, 2007, 11:24 AM
Silver2--I'm with you on the vet records. It would have to be voluntary, but it might provide a great source of documentable data.

I've wondered if the current medical advances of joint injections/adequan/legend etc allow us to run horses too long and at a much greater risk. I cringe when I hear someone talking about injecting joints like it's nothing.

I've also known ULR/ULT that swim their horses because they don't stay sound under road work.

When I was foxhunting regularly I went out and hacked my horse for an hour on gravel roads--roughly every 4th day and built up to an hour with a short walk break half way. That horse didn't have the best conformation and had rotten feet, but she was fit and she was still sound when I last heard of her (in her 20's).

This is a great thread, and morphs in with what I've been taught by some of the old time foxhunters and the endurance people.

catmchorse
May. 6, 2007, 12:15 PM
First off I'd just like to say this is an AMAZING thread and I'm glad I opened it :) It gave me an awful lot of food for thought and I'll be rereading several times as some of the stuff went over my head the first time.

My TB gelding goes 'naked' in everything we do, but my mom's horse (who is going to become my main horse, as we are selling my gelding) has the neoprene sports medicine boot type boots that we use on her forelegs for jumping and gaming. We don't do eventing yet, but I'd like to. The jumping is pretty darn low-intensity, and gaming (poles, flags, etc) is still at fairly low speed because I want her to learn to do it correctly. Are the boots going to do more harm than good in the long run? We've never worked at a high enough intensity for her legs to be really hot when we're done, but she's never been my main riding horse before, either. Would the boots have the same detrimental effect when gaming (short, intense bursts of speed) as when doing longer bouts a la XC? I think that whacks from other legs are more of a risk in gaming where they're going superfast and doing quick turns, but I wouldn't know.

Basically, should I ditch the boots??

Also:



With the big, gorgeous "floaty" movement seems to often go long, weak pasterns and/or pasterns that have an enormous amount of "play" in the structure while moving.

Does anyone have some pictures that they could show to compare long, weak pasterns with good strong ones? I'm not exactly sure how to tell and it would be nice to have that bit of knowledge when looking at horses :)

Again, thanks all for the wonderful thread. It's a joy to read.

ToucheToujour
May. 6, 2007, 09:39 PM
I've been a longtime lurker, new member. This is an awesome thread. I've learned so much and will think twice before wrapping for roadwork or fitness work again! Not to mention, sounds like I should be adding roadwork into the Horse's daily regimen.

miggyb
May. 12, 2008, 10:53 PM
I know that people say that there is research out there on the effect of boots on the temperature of the leg but is there actually any PUBLISHED research (eg. in Journals) out there???

RAyers
May. 12, 2008, 10:57 PM
I know that people say that there is research out there on the effect of boots on the temperature of the leg but is there actually any PUBLISHED research (eg. in Journals) out there???

Yes, there is published, peer reviewed, research in the form of various theses. Do a literature search on heat, tendon, heat shock proteins to start.

Reed

miggyb
May. 12, 2008, 11:04 PM
Thanks!
I can find plenty on the effect of heat/ temperature on tendons/ tendon fibroblasts but I cant seem to find one that specifically looks at the effect of boots/ bandages.

RAyers
May. 13, 2008, 01:49 AM
Thanks!
I can find plenty on the effect of heat/ temperature on tendons/ tendon fibroblasts but I cant seem to find one that specifically looks at the effect of boots/ bandages.

No, there would be no scientific studies along that route as that is product testing.

Reed

poltroon
May. 13, 2008, 01:58 AM
Hormones can also affect tendon and ligament attachments - for example, there is a lot of general softening in the late stages of pregnancy. I wonder if that may be a factor on the race track?

RAyers
May. 13, 2008, 02:05 AM
Hormones can also affect tendon and ligament attachments - for example, there is a lot of general softening in the late stages of pregnancy. I wonder if that may be a factor on the race track?


That is a nail on the head statement!!!! Some of the local vets and I were discussing that in reflection of the Kentucky Derby. Studies show that women athletes in menstruation tend to have a higher rate of ligament injuries. Why? Estrogen and oxytocin receptors on ligaments enable stretching of the ligaments to allow the baby to pass during birth.

Reed

frugalannie
May. 13, 2008, 08:33 AM
Boy, my mind is spinning with the implications of that one! I have about a hundred follow-up questions, but will reserve them until I've had enough coffee to be cogent.

Jealoushe
May. 13, 2008, 10:29 AM
Wow, I thought I was definitly alone when I read some research that heat can help lead to tendon/ligament injuries. Since then I have been dying for someone to design a boot that allows air to flow through, I have even contemplated designing one myself if one doesn't come out on the market!

I was wondering if packing my current boots in ice (in plastic bags) the morning of the competition could help stave off some heat? Would it even be worth the effort? I'm thinking porter-protectors are the way to go, they are extremely light and breathable, but are the wraps overtop breathable?

As for hard road conditioning, I learnt that method in Scotland and have kept it ever since. A horse in my yard there had 2 front tendons blown, and with time off and proper slow build up conditioning he is now competing Intermediate and his tendons are nice and tight.

JER
May. 13, 2008, 10:47 AM
Thermal issues are systemic, not just the result of boots/coverings.

In motor racing, body temperature and thermoregulation -- specifically, the driver's ability to cope with extreme heat -- is known to be a key issue for driver safety. An excess of heat and an inability to regulate it leads to a loss of mental acuity. Reflexes are slowed, decision-making processes are impaired.

Drivers know this (their medical people have plenty of data) and often do their non-driving workouts in hot, humid settings. In the summer season in Brazil, driver Ayrton Senna used to run cycles of 8k, 16k, 24k on successive days as part of his training regimen.

Perhaps we shouldn't just be worried about our horses' legs and soft tissues. What about their brains? Does increased body temperature alter their ability to make physical adjustments? Does it alter their ability to make decisions, to understand the obstacles we're asking them to jump?

Pferd51
May. 13, 2008, 01:03 PM
The equine stem cell therapy is a spinoff of an approach originated by Arnold Caplan (AI Caplan, for pubmed searchers). His group isolated what he named mesenchymal stem cells from marrow and showed they could differentiate into lots of other cell types, but they concentrated on bone and cartilage. The technology spawned a company called Osiris Therapeutics. Their target has always been humans. Bringing the stuff to market has taken them years and years. I'm not sure they're there yet. The horse application is relatively recent, and I'm sure it's only possible since the regulatory requirements are less stringent (especially for animals not in the food supply).

poltroon
May. 13, 2008, 01:44 PM
Perhaps we shouldn't just be worried about our horses' legs and soft tissues. What about their brains? Does increased body temperature alter their ability to make physical adjustments? Does it alter their ability to make decisions, to understand the obstacles we're asking them to jump?

Wow, great point.

I've often thought about my brain (and used the Cookie's Cool Cap on occasion) but never once thought about my horse's. Boy do I feel stupid. :D

poltroon
May. 13, 2008, 01:52 PM
I've been thinking about boots and heat for years, since the rec.equestrian days. Those new carbon fiber boots look great.

Now I'm old and lazy and I have a pony (hard to fit) with extremely hairy legs. Putting boots on her seems silly, so I haven't been. I have no idea what I'll do for her for cross country and serious jumping, though. In the past I've avoided neoprene whenever possible and gone with the boots that made the least sweat.

Tom Ivers was a big proponent of TENS, which creates microstimulation of the muscles to promote strong tendon recovery. The idea was that lots of small contractions would help ensure that the new fibers were aligned properly for maximum strength, but that the unit would allow it to happen in a controlled environment and over a nice long period. What is the thought on this today?

RAyers
May. 13, 2008, 01:52 PM
Great idea! Another data point to add to the GPS study. Thank for making our lives harder. ;) :D

Reed

poltroon
May. 13, 2008, 01:55 PM
My TB gelding goes 'naked' in everything we do, but my mom's horse (who is going to become my main horse, as we are selling my gelding) has the neoprene sports medicine boot type boots that we use on her forelegs for jumping and gaming. We don't do eventing yet, but I'd like to. The jumping is pretty darn low-intensity, and gaming (poles, flags, etc) is still at fairly low speed because I want her to learn to do it correctly. Are the boots going to do more harm than good in the long run? We've never worked at a high enough intensity for her legs to be really hot when we're done, but she's never been my main riding horse before, either. Would the boots have the same detrimental effect when gaming (short, intense bursts of speed) as when doing longer bouts a la XC? I think that whacks from other legs are more of a risk in gaming where they're going superfast and doing quick turns, but I wouldn't know.

Basically, should I ditch the boots??

Boots for protection, especially with gaming, certainly seem appropriate, but I think the sportsmedicine boots, which are made of extra thick neoprene and have more coverage than any other boot, are probably the worst possible choice for a horse where you're worried about tendon injury, because of their enormous heat trapping properties.

poltroon
May. 13, 2008, 02:01 PM
Curious - what do you think of the old style Ulster / Hampa boots that had the "honey comb" lining? Maybe not those boots in particular, but the lining. It didn't hold water and seems like it would let air pass too?

I do like the look of the Dalmar boots though, those look like a significant improvement.

I've had a set of the Ulster boots for literally decades - I won't let those things go because they can't be replaced. I've always liked them and thought they were better for heat than many of the alternatives. They could and did hold some water, though. They need to be designed with drain holes between the lining and the shell but in a way that keeps sand out.

That same lining style has been available more recently in the black roma boots. I'm not sure if anyone else has adopted it.

I think for years the 'standard' in boot design was something that could be tightened for "support". Now people are starting to believe that that's a pipe dream, and we're moving towards these shells with minimal linings that I think are probably better.

I also wonder if training with heavier boots and then switching to something lightweight for competition might be useful. Certainly I don't think I'd want to school without boots and then add them for a competition.

SEPowell
May. 13, 2008, 02:12 PM
When I worked in racing in the '80s we always did road work in the early spring to build bone density. I've been wondering if the advent of training centers with specially designed training tracks has changed that aspect of race training which in turn may have contributed to the catastrophic breakdowns we've seen among racings most elite horses.

This is a great thread and thanks for the many thoughtful and informed responses and ideas.

texang73
May. 13, 2008, 02:20 PM
The same is true for martial arts. They figured out biomechanics centuries ago and hid it in mystical sayings. Only now do we have the vocabulary to explain what we have known all along.

Gnep, what I am thinking is an open mesh in front of the tendons on front boots (so you still have strike protection) and trying to have a completely open cell covering for the back legs. Now, if this goes to market we have dates for all of these ideas so we can claim we thought of this first and get the profits. If you all help me, I'll be happy to share. :D

Reed

What are your thoughts about Dalmars? I have just bought a used front pair and they do seem to keep the leg cooler, much more so than the Nunn Finer American Style boots I have... and though expensive, I am planning on a pair of Dalmars for the hinds.

VERY interesting thread BTW. And though I have tried my best to follow along, I have not read it all... so, a question...

How much effect does environmental temperature have on the heating of the leg? For instance, I live in VERY HOT and HUMID Houston, where it reaches the mid nineties with high humidity, would that increase heat build up in the leg? TIA

miggyb
May. 14, 2008, 08:23 PM
I have a set of the Dalmars and from my experience they seem to keep the leg cooler and I like how protective they are both front and back while being incredibly light. They also take 2 seconds to take off when you get to the vet check unlike some other boots!

Since there is no research out there (that i can find!) looking at what effect boots actually have on leg temperature compared to bare legs I think that it would be unwise to be cooling boots or icing legs before work. Most of the heat produced in the leg will be dissipated by counter current heat exchange in the blood and some by evaporative cooling through sweating so it seems silly to cool the legs before work as you would be restricting the blood flow to the area. All boots are going to cause some increase in temp but whether that has a detrimental heating effect on the leg is unknown. We use boots mainly to protect the leg and tendons and there is going to be a trade off (big or small depending on the boot) between protection and heat. I would rather a hot tendon over a severed tendon anyday.

Reed- you will find that Pessoa already have a boot out that is made of open mesh and is called "Pessoa protech" but I am sceptical of how protective they actually are.

Texang 73- Obviously and increase in temp or humidity is going to affect the rate of cooling but you will probably find that high humidity is going to have more of an effect on evaporative cooling from sweating than just high temperatures because of the amount of moisture in the air. In Australia when we compete during summer we just get really hot dry heat and they seem to cope quite well as long as you look after them properly (they sweat but dry off and cool down quite fast) but when I was in America last year during their summer it was hot (not like Oz though!) and really humid and the horses seemed to take longer to cool down (as well as myself!). They seemed to take longer to cool down and were wet for longer.

JER
May. 15, 2008, 03:58 PM
Bring up the temperature idea again. I just read this and thought the guys at the very excellent blog The Science of Sport (http://scienceofsport.blogspot.com/2008/05/fatigue-series-exercise-in-heat.html) did a very good job explaining just how sensitive mammals are to temperature. They discuss limiting factors in athletic performance as well as what happens when values cross certain thresholds. The stuff about the 'off-switch' is particularly provocative in terms of horses on XC.

Saskatoonian
May. 15, 2008, 05:19 PM
Thank you to whoever resurrected it! It's very timely for me, as my new guy needs legging up pretty much from zero. I must go pull Conditioning Sport Horses and see what Hilary Clayton says about road work. She goes into great detail about LSD and sort of starting from scratch.

Thanks for all of the great info and thoughtful posts - what a pleasure to read!

(off to my D lesson... wish it were roadwork... ;) )

RAyers
May. 15, 2008, 05:24 PM
Reed- you will find that Pessoa already have a boot out that is made of open mesh and is called "Pessoa protech" but I am sceptical of how protective they actually are.

Ah, that's the rub, how to provide tendon and cannon bone protection with cooling effects. I am just cutting side holes in what I have putting panty hose over them to keep dirt out.

poltroon
May. 16, 2008, 01:32 PM
Bring up the temperature idea again. I just read this and thought the guys at the very excellent blog The Science of Sport (http://scienceofsport.blogspot.com/2008/05/fatigue-series-exercise-in-heat.html) did a very good job explaining just how sensitive mammals are to temperature. They discuss limiting factors in athletic performance as well as what happens when values cross certain thresholds. The stuff about the 'off-switch' is particularly provocative in terms of horses on XC.

Wow, that is a great link, and you're right, quite provocative. Whether or not it applies, what an interesting bit of biology (and who knew that someone had trained cheetahs to run on a treadmill? :D ).

Do we have information on weather conditions for events where there have been problems versus events where there were not?

Pferd51
May. 16, 2008, 06:55 PM
Since the whole body temp of 40C corresponds to 104 F, you can easily see that at point the person has the equivalent of a dangerously high fever. 41 C is almost 106 F, which adults probably can't withstand very well. But it's not easy for me to see how exercise would result in temperatures high enough to substantially alter the properties of the tendons and ligaments, even with something blocking the heat dissipation from a small area. In fact, it seems to me the saddle would be worse than anything on the legs, since it covers a much larger area and covers muscles that would generate heat. Nobody seems to be concerned about the stability of the horse's back under a saddle on a hot day. Granted, the stresses aren't the same. The temperatures mentioned earlier as ones which cause disruption of collagen are quite a bit higher--they might even be hot enough that the surface would be somewhat painful to touch. Does it ever get that hot? People expose all or part of themselves to rather high temperatures in whirlpool baths, hot tubs, and saunas. Is there any evidence that their joints are compromised while they're doing this? I am a scientist by training, so I am perfectly capable of being convinced by data. Conversely, as a scientist by training, I am also inclined to pick apart data that I don't find sound. Just our nature.

JER
May. 16, 2008, 07:06 PM
I posted this on the aorta thread but I thought it was a good resource to post here as well.

This book, Equine Exercise Physiology: The Science of Exercise in the Athletic Horse (Hinchcliff, Geor, Kaneps, eds.) (http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookdescription.cws_home/714065/description#description) has a good analysis/descriptions of equine organ systems, metabolism, soft tissues, etc and their function under the stresses of athletic activities.

scpezold
Aug. 9, 2009, 04:43 PM
In regards to conditioning on hard surfaces and the resulting bone regeneration due to the concussions; do you (not talking to anyone specifically) think this may contribute to some racehorses of the early days (before synthetic tracks) racing to later ages/more starts then what is more commonly seen today?

Bobthehorse
Aug. 9, 2009, 05:21 PM
Weekly roadwork is always a major part of our conditioning above Novice level. We live on clay here so once the ground gets hard in the summer (around May) we stop the roadwork and pick it up again around November when it gets wet and mucky again. Its the first thing my coach had us do when the decision was made to move up in the future, "you better be trotting around that block every week if you want to move up".

Boots, well, Ive always been in the "no support" camp. I have always used boots to protect from knocks and such. Its just far too likely that my horses will over reach or interfere or bang themselves in a mistep, and having open wounds all over their legs is far too volatile for my liking. However, I hardly ever ride for long enough that they get more than slightly damp under their boots, so Im not worried about generating such extreme amounts of heat that damage is done. And those boots come off right after work, the horse gets hosed off, and he goes out for his 24 hour turnout in the nude.

Kairoshorses
Aug. 9, 2009, 11:58 PM
That is a nail on the head statement!!!! Some of the local vets and I were discussing that in reflection of the Kentucky Derby. Studies show that women athletes in menstruation tend to have a higher rate of ligament injuries. Why? Estrogen and oxytocin receptors on ligaments enable stretching of the ligaments to allow the baby to pass during birth.

Reed

WOW. I'm a HUGE believer in the power of hormones, after a pubescent son, menopausal mom, and ....well, let's just say I have a LOT of experience. So are geldings sounder because of the non-hormones (or at least consistent levels)?

EiRide
Aug. 10, 2009, 09:16 AM
So are geldings sounder because of the non-hormones (or at least consistent levels)?

Not in my experience.