Just a quick question regarding suspensory rehab...
I am currently rehabbing my horse's double hind suspensory injuries. For those of you with the experience of rehabbing suspensories, do you give them the occassional day off or have a lighter work day tossed in here and there?
My horse is in the undersaddle portion of his rehab with trotting and I was just curious what others have done. Thanks!
During the rehab of a collateral ligament (so not exactly the same thing) my horse was never ridden on Mondays, but hand-walked instead. We also lost a number of days to rain/muddy footing. Some of those days he could be hand-walked but not always. If he just missed a day or two I started back where I left off. If we missed more than that I tended to go back approximately the number of days we missed. More or less. I probably drove my trainer and her assistant crazy when the month of trotting ended up taking three months.
We stuck with the weekly exercise protocol from our vet and if we missed a day, we just picked up at the same pace - never more work because of a missed day. We also missed some time due to flooding, but handwalked when we couldn't work under saddle. I did adjust the protocol back one week during this time so that we didn't move ahead to more work until we had met the goals of the week before.
With my front suspensory the official word from the vet was 5 days a week. However, I believe, the regime was mostly a prescription for the human to maintain some level of consistency. Less than 5 days meant backtracking or treading water.
With my hind suspensory, an acute injury, I believe I maintained a 5-6 day/wk regimen. I live a good ways from the barn (plus job, plus life) and I considered it to be on the level of heroic proportions that I was able to maintain that consistency for an extended period of a year or more with maybe two or so exceptions. At best guess, I would go out 13 out of every 14 days. That's one day totally stallbound. I think I remember the vet even saying something to the effect of: it won't hurt the horse to stay in the stall for a day once a week or so. From my experience, there's 1-2 days per week where the horse was tired or one of us just needed a break! Maybe once or twice, I gave the horse 2-3 days off if I thought she was tired or sore. Your mileage may vary! Listen to your horse.
The vet I refer to is an expert in the field of lameness injuries, not just a good gp vet.
My vet's advice to a barn-mate with a hind suspensory stain was 5-6 days per week, but never 2 days off back to back. If the horse worked 6 days in a week, one of the middle days was usually a walk only day regardless of how many minutes of trotting they were up to.