Oct. 11, 2012, 06:26 PM
Thoughts on re-habbing fresh powerful TB!
I think I know the responses, but here it goes, looking for suggestions...
I have a big powerful huge strided TB that was off all Spring and Summer due to a stifle injury. In August he was approved to start walking under tack for 45 days, building the length of time, and he was approved for a small turnout. For the most part things had been pretty easy b/c it was hot.
Well, we are just passed the 45 days, and I want to add in some trotting, but I want it controlled - now that the temps have dropped, and he feels pretty good, walking is not really what he wants to do without throwing in silly spooks or being tense, jigging, etc, and the trot...he wants to take off like a rocket!
This horse tends to either curl or go giraffe on me, and either way he hollows his back, he's tense and legs everywhere. And he's always been a struggle for me b/c of his size and he over-powers himself. And he's a horse that has never been good at walking, he's always up and ready to go.
Based on his injury he's limited to straight lines, my arena is a small dressage, so I go hack in the fields, but it's not totally flat. I'm worried to just push him out to a big trot b/c I don't want to ask too much and risk re-injury.
Any thoughts on how to manage his power and enthusiasm without stifling him in the bridle and constantly holding?
Last edited by Hollywood; Oct. 11, 2012 at 08:10 PM.
Oct. 11, 2012, 06:40 PM
I'd ride this horse in the fields along with at least one other rider on a calm "buddy" horse.
Track horses are used to going in strings of horses and they feel so much more secure in company.
Just my 2 cents.
Good Luck with your horse and keep us posted!
Oct. 11, 2012, 06:47 PM
Oct. 11, 2012, 06:57 PM
This is one of those rare times when I would say, drugs are your friend. Your goal is to bring this horse back without injuring himself and if it takes a bit of ace or something to do it I would do it to avoid injury.
Other than that, if you know if he ponies well you could try ponying him between two horses. But you have to know him well enough to do that.
If you have one in your area, a high speed treadmill would also be an option.
Not sure if swimming is a good thing for a stifle or not. Swimming can be very useful other times though.
Oct. 11, 2012, 07:35 PM
Drugs are your friend in situations like this. Ask your vet.
Also -- those straight lines of trot in a dressage arena, going down to walk for turns and the short sides, could be very helpful in regulating him. It's wicked boring, but more controlled.
Oct. 11, 2012, 08:01 PM
Thanks all, yes, I was thinking it was time for drugs, but thought I would search for some other ideas b/c this horse has been poked alot. We used drugs for our hand walks, he was on stall rest for 3 months with hand walking. He's always been fine with injections, I just feel bad, but this may be the only option. And right now with his feeling good I am not enjoying it and don't want to make it a battle everytime. 1300lbs of muscle and feeling good is alot for my small/average self to control:-)
I'm at home alone, so no one else to ride with. His friends are all next to him when I ride, and he's lived here long enough that he's not tense b/c of his surroundings, it's just the weather is dramatically cooler, he high energy anyway, and he wants to go. He tries very hard to be workmanlike, he's just easy to spin up in his mind.
I'll have to check into the swimming,I had thought about too!
Oct. 11, 2012, 08:07 PM
Have to agree for BOTH of your's safety
Originally Posted by babecakes
Oct. 11, 2012, 08:22 PM
Ask your vet about ace tablets. No poking!
Oct. 11, 2012, 08:29 PM
Also ask your vet about what the drugs really do - they numb the horse =
= 0 training value, he will not remember a thing after the drugs wear off.
Eventually you will have to face your strong and fit horse and ride it.
Wish you well.
Oct. 11, 2012, 08:36 PM
Really?! I'm well aware of what the drugs do. I'm not looking to knock the horse on his ass, I'd be looking to take the edge off. Big difference.
Originally Posted by kinscem
I am not looking at the drugs as a training tool. My goal is to get this horse healthy and fit to where he can go back to regular turnout and regular riding.
I can't wait for the day I can "face" the strong/fit horse like I have many times. The problem is he's not fit right now, and he's coming back from injury - he's been out of work/training for 6+ months, and my concern is him re-injuring himself b/c he's too keen to go when he's not ready for that.
Oct. 11, 2012, 08:38 PM
But he isn't a 'strong and fit' horse. He's a out of shape, rehabbing from injury horse. This isn't time for training, its time to keep both horse and rider alive until horse is ready for real work
Originally Posted by kinscem
Oct. 11, 2012, 08:51 PM
Yes, your horse is recovering, but you talk about your horse curling up or going giraffe, you are training your horse whatever you are doing with him.
The horse will not curl or go giraffe IF you let him do what you say you want to do - just walk for fitness.
You want to ride him in fields. Either he is sound to go in fields or not.
Having another horse along will help, not drugs.
Hey, I've ridden a lot of racehorses, raced and/or layed up. Just trying to help.
So talk to your vet what the drugs really do.
Oct. 11, 2012, 09:20 PM
[QUOTE=kinscem;6603353]Yes, your horse is recovering, but you talk about your horse curling up or going giraffe, you are training your horse whatever you are doing with him.
The horse will not curl or go giraffe IF you let him do what you say you want to do - just walk for fitness.[QUOTE=kinscem;6603353]
Point is valid and taken. By the end of the ride, he was much more relaxed and focused on me. The horse is walking, but he's want to do more that he's not ready for.
[QUOTE=kinscem;6603353]You want to ride him in fields. Either he is sound to go in fields or not.
Having another horse along will help, not drugs.[QUOTE=kinscem;6603353]
The horse is sound and approved for riding - walking with some trot - I'm riding in a well groomed field, just not totally flat. Why does it matter where I ride?
I've walked this horse with another horse, that is calm. He still has his moments of high energy. This horse is not hot or out of control, he's just ready to go.
Although I have no idea who you are - You a better rider and horse person than me, and I assume those race horses you rode never had any drugs for any reason.
Originally Posted by kinscem
I appreciate the help, as that is why I posted. But you are actually passing on this holy attitutde that implies something different than helping.
Anyway, emails, text, writing, doesn't always come across as it should.
Last edited by Hollywood; Oct. 11, 2012 at 09:53 PM.
Oct. 11, 2012, 09:43 PM
Rehab does not equal training. In the former you do what you have to do to get the job done safely without re-injury or injury.
The Evil Chem Prof
Oct. 11, 2012, 09:45 PM
Oct. 11, 2012, 09:55 PM
Oct. 11, 2012, 09:55 PM
Oh my goodness. Peggy has it right. You need to ensure your safety and your horse coming through rehab in a condition that you can put him back in training. Two completely different things.
There is absolutely no shame and, in fact, it will be to your credit, to use ace or other drugs in accomplishing your rehab goals. Sheesh--I've rehabbed two after 6 and 10 months of stall rest, and I've lived to tell the tale--but only because I used the appropriate drugs. Another horse alongside wouldn't have helped in the least.
By the way, both got back to a good place AFTER we were able to resume real training.
Oct. 11, 2012, 09:59 PM
I definitely DO NOT want to be snarky.
OP needs some help and I believe I can give advice from my experience as a long time track rider.
The horse we talk about here needs work with a rider who can deal with young TBs, lay up, or this horse will not end well.
And that hurts.
Oct. 11, 2012, 10:10 PM
I have tried to rehab without drugs, but sadly my horse was just a cup of expresso! Talk to your vet-a good way to give oral ace is in a stud muffin. I resorted to giving it in the crossties so he wouldn't spit it out. A 25 given twenty minutes beforehand( 800 lb horse) will buy you about an hour of walking- but every horse is different. It will enable you to get legged up without reinjury. It will also permit you to stay out of the ER.The best part is having that first great ride with your horse knowing he is able to trot down the trail with no pain or lameness.Sweet!
Oct. 11, 2012, 10:23 PM
Honestly, it isnt rocket scientry!. Simply explain to your vet you are re-starting a fresh tb -- one with a stifle issue. I am surprised layup was recommended--standarly, regular work is the remedy.
You can give Ace orally -- right from the bottle, syringe (without needle) to under the lip -- wait 20 minutes -- I would start in your ring, ride the diameter, change directions until you feel your horse begin to relax - sometimes it takes movement for the Ace to kick in.
I would also suggest you ride with side reins, 1. to help your horse balance, 2. to help your horse understand the correct headset 3, to help your horse understand frame 4. to help your horse lighten in the bit on contact.
Definition of side reins: Draw reins attached to the girth at the cinch buckles. ok? questions? pm me.
It was suggested you take a pony with you a few times, yes, thats ideal -- you may not have that option. TB's can nd do often ride alone and have learned to train independently from other horses.
Stifle issues require walking up hills to strengthen -- study the mechanics of this muscle. There is a lot of information on the net, read it all, take what applies. Its a muscle, that needs conditioning --
While doing this conditioning -- start your training at the same time, asking for contact, frame, transitions, all those wonderful baby steps. TB's for the most part are bombproof, they've been exposed to more at the track than most trail horses in their first 3 years -- traffic, tractors, bells and whistle,s charging horses, kids screaming and running, umbrellas! (thats always a good one).
The secret: do the same thing, the same way, every day.
TB's have been raised to routine, pattern -- habit, hopefully yours is based with good habits.
They do walk to the track quietly, loose rein,warm up before galloping ... trot for a short cool-down, stop and stand before exiting to the off gap ..and...... quietly walk home.
Start with 2cc's Ace oral ( Disclaimer: >>>> Im not a vet, not acting as a vet, this is a program that works for me, ask your vet for confirmation this is a correct dosage for your particular circumstance) -- if you are on a longer trail ride, carry some tabs (and peppermints) to use as needed. Eventually, habit will allow you to reduce dosage and ride as it wears off -- wa-la, a very nice horse
Most of all -- have fun!
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