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  1. #1
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    Apr. 5, 2004
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    Default UPDATE | Spinoff: Post-suspensory turnout (He's lame)

    My horse had a suspensory injury in Sept 2010 and today was his first day of "real" turnout. (We did the layup, wrapping, handwalking, lightly back under saddle, indiv. turnout, then more work under saddle, etc. as per the vet's instructions.)

    I feel like I'm going to go crazy just thinking about him out there, in the dark and (in the area by the hay/water) considerably muddy field.

    His new pasture buddies are all older horses/ponies. I drugged him this morning, wrapped up all his legs in every way, and I stood outside with him in the mud for an hour, giving him his own "hay" spot and making sure nobody got excited. Even though absolutely nothing happened (not even trotting!) I am absolutely scared that I will show up tomorrow morning and find a hot leg.

    He has bucked like hell, done some big spooks, reared and all the other shinanegans during his invid. turnout time. He is 100% sound. Vet says he's good to go.

    Do I have any reason to pull him from the field? I keep thinking what if he twists his leg in the mud.... but then again is it an endless series of "what if's?" such as what if he gets spooked by something and bolts then falls, or what if he kicks out at another horse, or what if he is rolling near something and gets stuck? Most of the field is actually pretty good for this time of year, it's that "mucky" area I am most concerned about.

    Should I be worried?
    Last edited by WW_Queen; May. 3, 2011 at 04:42 PM.
    A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing



  2. #2
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    Mar. 23, 2009
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    Paddle faster! I hear banjo music...
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    Default

    Won't we always worry? Once you've rehabbed one it's hard to let go!
    If last ultrasound was clean then you just have to trust it and know that if anything happens then it was just bad luck. I don't trust soundness as much as an ultrasound. I've seen horses with core lesions be sound.
    "ronnie was the gifted one, victor was the brilliant intellect, and i [GM], well, i am the plodder."



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
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    Smile

    My hair is gray. Too long with horses.

    Go to sleep! Tomorrow, you will find that he is fine.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  4. #4
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    Thanks guys. I guess I figure if I have done everything "right"... then there's not much else I can do.

    I hugged him goodbye and told him if he promised to stay sound he could go to Rolex one day.

    If the weather was nicer I may have been tempted to set up a tent and camp out next to his field (however, knowing his luck once I emerged from the tent in the morning he would snort/buck/squeal/bolt and blow the damn tendon again anyways....)
    A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing



  5. #5
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    Dec. 27, 2001
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    It's a phase. You'll get over it.
    (speaking from experience, post bilateral suspensory tears)

    It's really tough on you, but if he's healed, he's healed. Unless you are prepared to keep him on restricted exercise forever, this day was going to come, and whenever it did, you were going to feel this way.

    You are not alone! As time passes the anxiety with subside...mostly...but this is really normal.

    Sounds like you have taken your time and done all the right things. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that every day out from the injury makes him stronger.
    The big man -- no longer an only child

    His new little brother



  6. #6
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    So he was in high spirits, prancing and blowing and screaming out to his new BFF's as I brought him in from the field.

    His RH is still cold, which I was very happy about. Then went I put him on the lunge line, he was INCREDIBLY stiff and seemed to be favouring his RF.

    Typically I keep shoes on him 24/7, but I had them pulled a while back. He has thin TB soles and gets ouchy pretty easy. This is totally my fault for not considering this before turning him out, I should have had shoes put back on.

    The vet is coming out Thurs with hoof testers and is prepared to do radiographs.

    Ugh.....
    A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing



  7. #7
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    Apr. 25, 2008
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    I'm so sorry. With our horse, he had a few small setbacks and we ended up leaving him turned out to heal on his own for a year after he retore his suspensory (while i was walk-riding him, ugh). The vet told us no matter how good he looked out in the field, no riding. He said that scar tissue would build up and we'd see periods of stiffness and then soundness. It worked, he's now carting around beginners. Makes me wonder why we went through the time and expense of rounds of shockwave after his initial tear.

    I'm curious about the lunging. Did the vet encourage you to lunge?

    Hang in there. Sometimes it is 2steps forward and 1 step back.



  8. #8
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    Well, here's hoping it's just a hoof bruise! It's that time of year, remember.

    It is good news that it is NOT the suspensory (and for what it's worth, I think healing it right the first time does help. Maybe it doesn't work for all horses, but we never had sound days/off days -- just sound days after surgery and shockwave).
    The big man -- no longer an only child

    His new little brother



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolinadreamin' View Post
    I'm curious about the lunging. Did the vet encourage you to lunge?
    I haven't lunged him since it was first discovered he was "off". (Even if I wanted to, I couldn't have because he was so airborne, even with drugs!) I just figured I would put him on for a few minutes, to see how he was feeling without a rider. :\ I wasn't attempting to work/condition him, just wanted to see how he was physically feeling after his first night out. (sigh)

    The way my vet explained it was that by the time he's ready for "real" turnout, he's ready to resume cantering under saddle. (By introducing it slowly, like doing the 20 mins walk, 20 mins trot and a few canter laps, then repeat but the next week do a few more laps of canter, etc.)

    I will update my post on Thurs when the vet comes. It's a big let-down but I'm crossing my fingers it's something (relatively) "simple". Argh.
    A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing



  10. #10
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    Nov. 9, 2005
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    uk
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    leg injuries like tendons etc take many monthss to heal, sometimes uotp 2 yrs if they do, not all horses heal, but become sound enough to be an orniment and pet or companion, babysitter,

    next time as no doubt will be in, for a while, buy some poles and elcy tape and small engergiser you can stick on a car battery, and tape of an area large enough for him to have a wonder round but small enough so he cant buck and bronk or go for a spin on his new found freedom - so hes in with theothers but seperate so he can see his mates look over the fence line but not enough rooom to act stupid with and you want the poles 3meters apart and tripled taped



  11. #11
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    Dec. 31, 2000
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    If it's any reassurance, Jet has great feet. However when I pulled his shoes (back first for 5 weeks, then front), he was so sore even a week later that he wouldn't canter under saddle. And he's a horse that you just "think" canter, and he normally will.

    With the mud, it could easily have softened his soles, so he is ouchy when longed.

    Don't freak out yet. Have your farrier put shoes on him, and then give him a day or two and see what you have.



  12. #12
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    What and where was the original injury (tear, strain, hole) and what did the vet do when he was cleared back??? Careful exam of the horse moving plus ultrasounds, maybe a block if indicated???

    Most suspensories are minimum 6 months off and then start rehabbing taking about 3 months to return to a full schedual. This one is "100% sound" and ready to canter under saddle and do regular turn out at 8 months total. Most remarkable.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  13. #13
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    findeight, it depends on what you do -- my horse had bilateral lesions (hind, high). We did a fasciotomy right away (within days of diagnosis, horse stall rested starting the day he was lame) and 3 shockwaves.

    He was in a stall completely for a month, then handwalked only a month, then walking under saddle for a month. By this time the u/s showed healing and horse was sound on exam at trot.

    We did go very gradually back to small paddock turnout, trotting under saddle, etc. Horse went back out to full turnout (big terrainy field, 24-7) after he was cantering under saddle. It was just about 8.5 months.

    He's been sound ever since, 2.5 years and counting.

    I think in his case it was catching it as soon as we did and doing the fasciotomy right away.

    So this schedule doesn't sound improbable to me, and as I understand the OP, he is not lame on the same leg now.
    The big man -- no longer an only child

    His new little brother



  14. #14
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    It's funny because I knew about 3 other horses (one at my barn) who also damaged their suspensories around the same time. Each one of us was doing a different routine as per their vet.

    -1 horse was diagnosed (via ultrasound) and turned back out again same day. Vet said leave the horse for a year and nature will do its work.

    -1 horse had 3 months of stall rest and 2 of walking. Horse had 3 shockwave treatments done. Horse was trotting and cantering under saddle by February. Vet re-ultrasounded and the leg was fine. Horse is now back jumping and competes next month.

    -1 horse is still on stall rest. He goes outside for an hour idea in a 14x14 pen. The owner has done no rehab work or wrapping to date. (No idea how he's doing.)

    -My guy has followed my vet's instructions of gradual return to work/turnout. He has been sound and vet re-ultrasounded and gave thumbs up to full turnout.

    I don't know... I got a lot of conflicting advice, and especially it was interesting to see how each vet/owner has handled it.

    Now I am feeling stressed again... what if he has done something to the leg but its so minor there is no heat/swelling? Is that possible?

    Vet is coming in 2 hours... I will post update later tonight.
    A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing



  15. #15
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    They are all different but, yeah, if it is a suspensory, they can fool you and almost disappear. I had a DDFT that the horse was never off on, no heat, no swelling for months until it really hit us like a brick. Vet said it can "cook" for months before showing clinical signs sometimes as it continues to get bad enough to show up. Prognosis on that one was at least a year off-horse was 21 so I retired it.

    Trainer I know had another torn suspensory that just would not heal on a fancy import. Kept ultrasounding ready to go back to work and lasting 6 or 8 weeks before going bad. They ended up turning the horse out for about 18 months-and I mean out out, just a run in shed 24/7 all seasons in a hilly 20 acres with woods and creeks and about 15 other pensioners and rehabs. It came back good as new but they did drop it a division.

    Good old "Dr. Green" plus tincture of time and a dose of luck.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetsmom View Post
    Have your farrier put shoes on him, and then give him a day or two and see what you have.
    You were right! I'm happy to say vet found no additional issues with the "bad" leg, it was his front feet that were the problem. Although there was no heat he was definitely sore. Doesn't feel anything is up aside from "ouchy" feet, and shoes will help as his feet adjust to turnout.

    Farrier is coming out tomorrow to put shoes back on. I'm super relieved.



    ***Also, if anybody finds this suspensory thread down the road, while my horse was recovering I kept him on Recovery EQ and wrapped him with Back on Track pillow wraps. I know it's totally annecdotal and not scientifically-based, but I could swear I caught him bearing his weight on his "bad" leg for the first time in months about two weeks after starting to use the wraps. His giant windpuff [that he's had for years] was reduced by about 90-95%.


    Thanks to everyone who offered their advice, I do plan on some of the "Dr. Green" as big guy will now be kept out 24/7 as well. While he was very patient during his "stalled" months.... outside is where he wants to be.
    A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing



  17. #17
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    Phew! Congrats. It did SOUND like this, but I know how neurotic you (we) are at this stage.

    I can report that the neurotic horse mom thing does recede, gently, with time, but it is sort of lurking in there ready to pop back out at any moment.
    Think of it as _your_ scar from the experience...
    The big man -- no longer an only child

    His new little brother



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by WW_Queen View Post
    You were right! I'm happy to say vet found no additional issues with the "bad" leg, it was his front feet that were the problem. Although there was no heat he was definitely sore. Doesn't feel anything is up aside from "ouchy" feet, and shoes will help as his feet adjust to turnout.

    Farrier is coming out tomorrow to put shoes back on. I'm super relieved.


    Great news!



  19. #19
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    It is so depressing when something like that happens. My mare had a combo lameness last year starting out very sporadically the end of Jan and progressively more frequent,then diagnosed the beginning of July. First treatment was hock injections for very sore hocks on flexion. I was noticing a shortness of stride on right front both under tack and while she was in the pasture. She was better for a few weeks after hock injections and then off again. Took her back to vet and he was seeing offness in left front. Blocked and then ultrasounded for a left suspensory. My horse lives on pasture board and at the time was living with 2 retired horses. I asked my vet if I needed to make other arrangements for her (stall?) and he asked if she ran around alot. She was 15 last year and generally not inclined to run around. The decision was made to let her stay out, but we did do a series of Shockwave treatments. I was still seeing shortness in the right front so had a vet who specializes in chiro/accupuncture out. My vets prognosis for suspensory, was she may be sound for light riding. During the 6 months after her diagnosis she had several chiro treatments and multiple electro-stimulation accupuncture treatments towards the end even having some needles applied in the suspensory area. I had planned to give her as long as she needed off, but she started acting like a jerk to the barn staff, rearing, acting like she was going to kick. She did kick at me and the only thing that lessened the blow was that I was carrying some hay. I decided that I would put her back under light work the end of December because she was acting like such a monster. The end of March I took her to a schooling CT(walk/trot dressage, and trot over poles stadium) and she took first place. My horse is a TB, and I know if she had to stay in a stall, she would have been a complete loon having to be cooped up. She also has the extremely flat TB feet and I kept shoes on her the whole time she was laid up as I didn't want to change anything to her detriment. I hope the vet gets your horses problem sorted out soon. Oops I didn't read far enough to see just sore feet. Yay!



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