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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2012
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    Default What would you do? Turn out or not? Update post 22

    My shoulder has been killing me lately. I have been to see the orthopedic surgeon and had an MRI done. Unfortunately, due to his schedule, I don't even have an appointment yet to get a prognosis.

    In the meantime, December 1 is around the corner, and I need to make a decision on whether I give my horse and my shoulder a long vacation, or keep him in work over the winter at greater expense. I have a couple of people who want to ride him, but no one who can share expenses.

    The rider who will be working with him the most is an excellent rider, so it would be free training, basically, and I would have a solid second level horse by summer, I am pretty sure. I feel like it would be a missed opportunity to not take advantage of this rider's time.

    On the other hand, I would still have to be involved with care and feeding, and now I'm thinking I really do need a break from the chores and expenses while I heal or rest or whatever I need to do (so frustrating trying to see a specialist when the shoulder guy is only in the office once a week).

    FWIW I personally have no showing ambitions, and the horse is an OTTB who, while a darling horse, will be even nicer to ride with more training, but not substantially increased in value. So I don't necessarily need a better-trained horse to suit my needs. And if he never learned another thing, he would still be an ammy/hobby rider's dream horse.
    Last edited by Bristol Bay; Dec. 5, 2012 at 11:53 PM.
    A helmet saved my life.

    2014 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2005
    Location
    Va
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    3,753

    Default

    I'm not sure what you are asking. Do you want to put your horse on turnout board for the winter and no work? Or keep in a stall and have someone else ride? Since you are talking about costs, I think you are considering turning him out. Why can't he be living on the lesser cost care and still be ridden? My Tb mare lives out 24/7 and I ride all winter long(as weather permits-no indoor). Sometimes I have to make do if the ring is not rideable, but then I just ride along the grassy strips along the driveway or in the back fields. Having a well trained horse is sure a pleasure(my mare was trained as a show hunter)and is now my old lady ammy horse who dabbles with me in whatever discipline I want to try. My goal for this year was to compete in at least three different disciplines(mind you very low levels...hehe). Having a well trained horse, I pulled her out and we rode and placed in a hunter pace, rode and completed a judged trail ride, rode in and won first place in two low level combined tests, rode a musical freestyle pas de deux and placed. I would definitely vote for the training if possible.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2011
    Posts
    1,213

    Default

    If having a healed shoulder means your horse also has to rest also this winter, that's what I would do. Those few months of training won't mean anything if you can't enjoy him because you hurt yourself further when you should have been taking it easy. My two cents anyway - a small vacation never hurt a horse and there will be other training opportunities.

    Hope your shoulder feels better soon.
    *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2012
    Location
    Eugene, OR
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    769

    Default

    If he can sit in a pasture all winter and not take much effort to bring back up in the spring I would turn him out. Trying to do too much WILL prolong the healing process (ask me how I know).

    If on the other hand he needs to be in work regularly to stay rideable, maybe the people interested in riding him could take care of the chores for you.
    It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
    Theodore Roosevelt



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2006
    Posts
    1,395

    Default

    What started your shoulder hurting? How long has this been going on? Has it affected your range of motion? How old are you?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2012
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    Default

    I live in an urban area, so him being in "pasture" would mean no riding. He would have the winter off plus.

    I know I have tendinitis of the biceps tendon, but I think now that the rotator cuff is involved. I have good range of motion, it just hurts like heck after two days of riding. I took a bad fall seven years ago and dislocated that shoulder, so this latest is probably a result of that injury. I am in my mid-fifties.

    I had an appointment to see the shoulder guy today, but yesterday his office called and cancelled. It may be a few more WEEKS before I even know the results of the MRI I had before Thanksgiving.

    I had tendinitis really bad once before, and that doctor recommended 6 months of no riding. My horse at that time was also injured so it was less complicated. So I am actually hoping that I will need surgery to repair it and be done with it.
    A helmet saved my life.

    2014 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    7,197

    Default

    That's fine if the people who want to ride him don't have the cash to chip in for board, but why on earth can't they chip in for chores?

    If you cannot find someone to cover chores (or perhaps two riders can split chores?) then by all means put him out to pasture for the winter.....heal up!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8

    Default

    Can you pasture board him somewhere where the rider can go work with him? Gets you out of chores and time to rest and gets him some education. If you want him to take it easy too why not ask the rider to only ride him twice a week? He/she could still improve him over a period of a couple months.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2012
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    322

    Default

    Well, I've had very much the same discussion with myself and I came to the conclusion...winter (and into spring) off with minimal work.

    I had a hysterectomy 7 weeks ago. I'm still not riding due to a sore sacral/tailbone area (long story but reason for said surgery). It is getting better and I will try riding next week. Then in January or early February, I am having some torn tendons in my foot repaired and will really be out of commission as it relates to the horse. With the hyst, at least I have been able to do some round pen work and for the last 3 weeks have been lunging her so she has had some meaningful work.

    With the foot, I will be non-weight bearing for 6 weeks then another 4-6 weeks in the cast.
    My friend at my barn will give her some turnout jollies (she has a large dry lot pen but grass turnout is separate) and will pony her on weekends some to give her some exercise. I debated putting her in training but I'm 57 and a secure retirement in a few years looks much more attractive to me than spending over $1000/month for board and to put her in training for a 3-4 months.

    The horse doesn't care if she works or not (but she does love attention and treats...that I can do). She has not really had any extended time off since I started her (6 1/2 years ago). I have noticed in the 8 weeks she has had off so far, she is moving really nicely and more freely than she was so I think the time off has done her some good to let all the little aches and tensions melt away. I will have a couple months to ride her between now and the next surgery. I will just have to start slowly and leg her back up which I will have to do for myself also anyway.

    I had a shoulder scope several years ago for a couple partial tears in the cuff and pretty severe impingement. The doc let me get back to riding quite quickly...within 4 weeks. Had I had an open repair...no but I didn't and was quite happy to get back to riding so soon.

    It really sucks for you that the MD's office canceled. That is the most frustrating thing. It isn't like anyone else has a life and and especially if you are in pain. I had to get assertive with my OB-GYN's office before my surgery because they kept canceling and postponing appointments. The third time they tried I just said NO and they acquiesed.

    Good luck.
    Susan



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2009
    Posts
    6,998

    Default

    I had an appointment to see the shoulder guy today, but yesterday his office called and cancelled. It may be a few more WEEKS before I even know the results of the MRI I had before Thanksgiving.
    Unacceptable - they should be slotting you in within a few days (booked or no): just tell them which day you'll be sitting in their office wating for your consult! they can squeeze you in between patients or early/late.



  11. #11
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    Oct. 3, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by alto View Post
    Unacceptable - they should be slotting you in within a few days (booked or no): just tell them which day you'll be sitting in their office wating for your consult! they can squeeze you in between patients or early/late.
    In order to get the appointment I had, I just drove over there, after spending 15 minutes on hold and eliding up on someone's voicemail. Their message canceling said they would call me next week to reschedule.

    It's ridiculous. I'm driving over there again tomorrow after work.

    I did get a commitment from from one of the riders to do the care and feeding. So it might work out to keep him here.
    A helmet saved my life.

    2014 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2006
    Posts
    1,395

    Default

    Hi, there again. I am going to throw a few things out on the table you may not want to hear. In answer to your original question about whether to have someone ride your horse during the winter or not: if it will advance the horse's training, I give this a "yes."

    Now some things about which you need to be thinking during this period of time. The first is about your riding. Your shoulder should not be getting sore from riding. The soreness is telling you that your are carrying lots of tension in your upper torso when you ride. It means your seat is not balanced...for whatever reason???

    The second thing I would say to you is that you really need to think hard about whether you really want to go the surgery route. Shoulder surgeries are tricky, and possibly the most difficult to rehab. Surgery might create a bigger problem than you already have and this is especially true of rotator cuff surgeries. You still have range of motion now...which is very positive. That might not be the case after surgery because of adhesions that might happen. I think you need to do some more research about surgeries in this area of the body, and possible outcomes.

    The other thing to consider is your age, and believe me....I know all about this one. As we age, the body tissues, especially in women tend to lose some of their elasticity. This is also a reason that surgery might not be the cure-all for which you are hoping. I wish you all the luck in whatever you decide. Out a ways in time, I can see you having to make the decision as to whether you are going to ride again at all...not saying that this will come to pass, but only that sometimes we must face such decisions. The more training that your horse has on him, the greater the chance that you will find him a good home should the need arise.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
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    9,040

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alto View Post
    Unacceptable - they should be slotting you in within a few days (booked or no): just tell them which day you'll be sitting in their office wating for your consult! they can squeeze you in between patients or early/late.
    It makes me insane that you even need an appointment to get your results.
    Is their some reason they think telephones don't work?
    Oh right, because you can't charge $150 for a phone appointment, apparently.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
    Location
    Northeast
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    10,964

    Default Just some thoughts?

    For your horse- Since you have no interest or ambitions to show, and winter boarding will be expensive. Why not give him some time off. If however you are planning on selling him, you would need to assess what additional value he would have as a potential second level horse.

    For you- You say you live in an urban area. Surely there must be another orthopedic physician capable of assessing your injuries. This person is either over-extended or arrogant. Neither is good.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
    Location
    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
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    11,552

    Default

    I feel your pain (literally, LOL, as I have two partial thickness tears, one on each rotator cuff, and they *do* hurt!) And for the poster who said riding shouldn't hurt from riding - not if your shoulders are normal, perhaps. But rotator cuff injuries are not normal, and moving them through the range of motion that includes a tear is painful, and it has nothing to do with tension. It is a mechanical problem. However that same poster is also correct that the surgery to repair those tears has only about a 50-60% success rate (broadly speaking for all tears; YMMV.) And the rehab is tricky.

    I think if the rider can help with chores enough to give you enough of a break, I would try to keep the horse in work. Particularly if it is a free lease situation, you can always, "give it a try" with the proviso that you might end up having to end the arrangement early and turn the horse out if the chores end up being more than you can physically handle. (This may also increase the contribution on the labor from your rider, in an effort to keep the ride, which is not a bad thing either.)

    Best of luck with all the rehab, and if you are really dying to know the results of your MRI, then call medical records at the facility where you had the scan and ask for a copy of the report. (Depending on whether it was a hospital based facility or free standing imaging center, you may have to contact the radiologist's office instead, but they will tell you that.) Legally you are entitled to that report and they can only charge you a nominal fee to make a copy.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
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    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
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    11,552

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by meupatdoes View Post
    It makes me insane that you even need an appointment to get your results.
    Is their some reason they think telephones don't work?
    Oh right, because you can't charge $150 for a phone appointment, apparently.
    She can get her results directly from the radiologist, whether she has an appointment with the orthopod or not. (Although it is possible that the ortho office owned the MRI where the study was performed, it would be somewhat unusual - but she can still get a copy regardless of who performed the study.)

    In any case, everyone is entitled to a copy of their medical records, and can get them with a simple request. Usually you have to sign a document saying you understand their HIPAA policy and sometimes acknowledge that you have received a copy of the films, in the event there are actual hard copies provided (also unusual these days since most imaging is now digital.) But for a simple report it's not a big deal at all.

    What you don't get in that scenario is a "translation," so to speak. The radiologist will comment in the report on the structures they saw, but they will use terminology that many of us would have to look up... which may or may not be helpful. The person delivering the report to the patient in that instance is almost certainly not someone with clinical training, so they are generally unable to answer the, "so, what does that mean?" question that most patients will have after they read the report.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2009
    Posts
    3,417

    Default

    On the flip side of things, let me ask how old is your horse? Some years ago I had major surgery, was out of commission for over two months. I found someone to ride my horse for a couple reasons: First, it was winter and turnout time in our climate was iffy and unpredictable. Second, the horse was, at the time, 16, and I did not want him to lose too much of the fitness. He had a lower level rider and somewhat reduced workload, but it worked well all the way around.
    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2012
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    2,053

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by angel View Post

    Now some things about which you need to be thinking during this period of time. The first is about your riding. Your shoulder should not be getting sore from riding. The soreness is telling you that your are carrying lots of tension in your upper torso when you ride. It means your seat is not balanced...for whatever reason???
    My seat is well-balanced when I blow dry my hair, but it hurts after I do that as well. But really, I do make a huge effort to let that arm hang at my side, and my horse is not heavy in the bridle. I can feel that tendon being pulled down when I post.

    Quote Originally Posted by meupatdoes View Post
    It makes me insane that you even need an appointment to get your results.
    Is their some reason they think telephones don't work?
    Oh right, because you can't charge $150 for a phone appointment, apparently.
    That's exactly the conclusion I reached. What's worse is that because of my job, I cannot make or receive phone calls until nearly noon, and that's when they shut down for lunch. they come back at 1:30, but my next class comes in at 1:36. It's impossible to get them on the phone.

    Quote Originally Posted by merrygoround View Post
    Surely there must be another orthopedic physician capable of assessing your injuries. This person is either over-extended or arrogant. Neither is good.
    Not in my HMO. Grrrrr.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucassb View Post
    She can get her results directly from the radiologist, whether she has an appointment with the orthopod or not. (Although it is possible that the ortho office owned the MRI where the study was performed, it would be somewhat unusual - but she can still get a copy regardless of who performed the study.)
    That's a great idea. I will call them and see if they can fax a copy of the written report to me at work.

    2Tempe, my horse is 9. He turns 10 in March. I was planning to sell him after next summer.
    A helmet saved my life.

    2014 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2006
    Posts
    9,040

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucassb View Post
    What you don't get in that scenario is a "translation," so to speak. The radiologist will comment in the report on the structures they saw, but they will use terminology that many of us would have to look up... which may or may not be helpful. The person delivering the report to the patient in that instance is almost certainly not someone with clinical training, so they are generally unable to answer the, "so, what does that mean?" question that most patients will have after they read the report.
    I don't get why they can't "translate" over the phone.

    I love it when I drive all the way in after taking off work, pay them some three digit sum, and they go, "Your results were normal."
    Thanks much.
    Next time, let's gchat this same convo!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2008
    Location
    Missouri
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    2,202

    Default

    If you have a good rider you trust to keep your horse going then I would take that offer. I have been in PT due to my rotator cuff the last month or so. It is amazing how much it hurts to do some things. But the exercises do help and I am so much better. I do hope you have success getting in to your doctor and getting treatment.



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