Eventers: Getting the horse with an old injury back into competition-shape
Since there is a bevy of knowledge on the COTH forums, I was hoping to see if any of you had experience or suggestions for how to get the horse with an old injury back into shape. I am looking forward to "restarting" with an OTTB who has an old stifle injury - the nature of the stifle was a medial tear that was 4 yrs ago and was addressed. His knowledge prior to time off: BN/Novice. He is 10 and has had 3 years off, 24/7 turn out. Note: he had 3 yrs off due to being put on the backburner, not directly because of his injury.
What is YOUR "getting back into shape" method? Advice for strengthening the stifle? I have always been super guarded bringing a horse back into shape - and sometimes have been guilty of "taking it too slow/easy". Keep in mind my trails are very super hilly.
My plan was to do something very similar to this - with one or two days off a week - and adjusting based on if his stifle is getting stronger: ]
THE ADJUSTABLE REGIME PENDING:
WEEK 1: walk, 20 mins
WEEK 2: trailride, walk, 30 mins
WEEK 3: trailride, walk, 45 mins, add some short (30 second trots) on trails
WEEK 4: trailride / schooling, 45 mins - 2-3 min trot 2x
WEEK 5: trailride/schooling mix - interval trot sets @ 2 mins
WEEK 6: if we've made it that far, see from there.
Advice? Anything I should fix? How do YOU get your horse into shape?