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Thoughts on re-habbing fresh powerful TB!

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  • #21
    Originally posted by babecakes View Post
    Ditto. I recommend SediVet. Get it from your vet. Far better than Ace.

    This isn't about training. This is about rehab. It is about controlling a large animal so he doesn't hurt himself or you.

    I've rehabbed more horses than I care to count. I'm rehabbing two right now. Until they are allowed turn out and are back in normal work I will not hesitate one second to use chemical assistance to allow us to have the best chance at a full recovery.

    Eta: swimming (or an underwater tredmill) is great especially for stifles but not something I would do until further into the rehab. Make sure you talk with your vet on that too.
    That said, most did learn a few things in rehab (even using drugs) but since you are typically limited in turning and lateral work during rehab, training will be limited drugs or no drugs.
    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


    • #22
      Originally posted by Hollywood View Post
      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:-)
      Mine did fine with Ace tablets in her grain...
      You have to have experiences to gain experience.

      1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


      • #23
        If you are worried about poking them ... Use as small a needle as you can (like a 22) and give a treat before and after.
        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


        • Original Poster

          I am in very close contact with my vet. This horse has had many issues, and the vets all want what is in his best interest! They are actually so happy he has rcovered as well as he has! Someone had mentioned stall rest not being ideal for stifles, it's a long story that doesn't matter much now, b/c he's sound and on turnout, but not full turnout with his buddies.

          My vet has no issue with giving me ace, they trust me, so I am not posting without also being in contact with my vet. I guess my post was more of a support/approval system, or thought some folks would have other ideas...which some do. Again, this horse isn't hot/crazy, he's just feeling really good and he's a strong, as in physical, horse.

          This horse is not a fresh OTTB, he's 12yrs old, raced thru his 7th year, and is a very honest, want to please, workmanlike horse, but he's sensitive and has an over eagerness to guess what I want and to please. He just tends to be too big for his britches! He's big and athletic (even after 6 months off). Actually, walking for the last 45+ days has been a training sesson all on it's own. And a good one, but he's now over it. He really just wants to cut loose!

          I would love nothing better than letting him go for a good gallop! honestly, that would make everything so much easier. But he's not ready!


          • #25
            Drugs and draw reins (or if you have access, an Abbott-Davies balancing rein type system). I've both galloped (back in my much younger days) and rehabbed a fair number of horses. For some horses, once they "get" the routine, you don't have to drug them everyday. For others, better living through chemistry continues throughout the rehab period (just go back to some of the DW posts about rehabbing the menace, not once but twice).

            and FWIW, my OTTB is much quieter alone than in company, even at the walk.
            OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


            • #26
              Personally I've found the time you are ramping up the trot and the first few canter sets the toughest for rehabbing. It is VERY common for them to be ready to GO. They often get the walking but lose it more when you start to do more. You just have to get through it.

              Every horse is different. I have two TB mares, one off the track. Both of them are supper easy in their rehab and don't need to be drugged. I have a dead head WB cross who was so dangerous that I had to send him to a layup facility. You have to adjust to the horse you have. Good luck!
              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


              • #27
                Ditto Scubed with the drugs and drawreins. I like sedivet better than any other drugs for rehab. Draw reins give you the ability to keep a horse straight, focused and in control and I find that the older horses get the message and go to work when I have them on when rehabbing (obviously not a fan of draw reins for every day riding but they do give control during rehab).

                I have rehabbed a bunch of horses and if you aren't turning out they are going to be high on life regardless of quiet they were before they got hurt. I had one that would go around perfectly (while on ace) and then all of a sudden he would just rodeo buck like he was coming out of the chute. You can undo your rehab with just one episode of that so I switched drugs (ace to sedivet) and he didn't punch through the drugs on the sedivet.

                We have a set of sand trails local to us and I would even take him there to just trot as you can go on straight lines forever. Drugs were my friend and the only way I survived.


                • #28
                  Drugs, no doubt and the draw reins are a sure thing. You have to be careful with them. Use them as a guide, not a crank. They will not only help keep him with you, they will also help build up the correct back/rump muscling while rehabbing, without your having to fuss at him to march round. Throw a strap around his neck just in case ;-)
                  Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Hollywood View Post
                    And he's always been a struggle for me b/c of his size and he over-powers himself.
                    I think this is a really important part of the equation. If this horse was a tough ride for you in the best-case scenario, then maybe somebody else should be riding him during the not-so-best-case scenario.

                    Do you know a very confident rider who is good with the big, hot horses who could hop on him during this transition time? Someone who would be calm through the spooks and assertive and physically skilled enough to ride this great big guy when he's hot and fresh? Someone who could prevent the curl or giraffe so he's not learning to do that?

                    I think Ace is perfectly reasonable and even preferable but from what you've written it sounds like that's not the entire solution.

                    I hope I don't sound snarky or like I'm bashing your horsemanship. My trainer is on my horse twice per week because that's the right approach for us right now-- and she's neither big nor rehabbing. I'm a BIG believer in asking for help and I bring it up because you said that he is not easy for you to ride. It's very difficult to ride big horses who move big unless they're soft through their backs.

                    Good luck and I hope you two are back on track soon.
                    Shut up! You look fine! --Judybigredpony
                    Ms. Brazil


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by judybigredpony View Post
                      Have to agree for BOTH of your's safety
                      I never ever use them except for stuff like this.

                      I just had a mare in the stall for 4 months and needed to start walking her 20 minutes a day. I could not hand walk her without losing her and so ponied her (all my horses are ottbs who pony well, under normal circumstances). After 4 days of ponying the mare broke away from me and even though I was on her favorite pasture pal and thought she would stay with me if I lost the shank, she did not. Instead she galloped around the pasture and reinjured herself before I could catch her.

                      I've spent years working with race horses, I know how to do this stuff and shame on me for not drugging her.


                      • #31
                        I don't have anything to add except that when I rehabbed my big 4 year old TB I got over my dislike of drugging because I was worried that what happened to SEPowell (so sorry!) would happen with us - under saddle version. You can do everything right, but when they've been rehabbing that long and are feeling fresh, it can all be undone in the blink of an eye. I just squirted ace in the mouth before grooming, and the edge was off just enough when it was time to ride (40-45 min is what my vet advised). No need to stick him. You have to increase the dose, but ace is cheap. Sure, you're not training him to GP. Who cares? Without good rehab, no training you could ever do is going to matter!

                        Good luck!!!


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                          Personally I've found the time you are ramping up the trot and the first few canter sets the toughest for rehabbing. It is VERY common for them to be ready to GO. They often get the walking but lose it more when you start to do more. You just have to get through it.
                          ^^This^^ - I did not need any drugs when I first got back on to start walking, he had been out of work with no expectations, he was happy to walk, and it was easy, and good for him. Now, I've started to ask/allow some trot, and it's a lot cooler, he's just ready to go.

                          gr8fulrider - No, I didn't take your post as snarky. You don't know me and can only go on what I have offered. He's a big horse and when he gets spun up in his mind, I have a hard time packaging and getting him under me at times. When he's fit and in a program, I can ask for lateral work, turn on the forehand/haunches, or just push out the trot or do some canter in two-point, but due to the situation, my options are limited.

                          Thanks for the suggestions on drawreins, I used them the other day for another horse, and it actually crossed my mind that this may be an option.

                          SEPowell - so sorry to hear about your story.


                          • #33
                            What are you feeding him? Has he ever been on Gastrogard?


                            • Original Poster

                              Originally posted by halo View Post
                              What are you feeding him? Has he ever been on Gastrogard?
                              Primarily on a grass/alfalfa hay, with some senior feed and vit supplement to make up for what he's not getting in grain, and yes, he's been on lots of GG or UG, both for ulcers and maintenance, and just recently treated for "potential" ulcers when he came home after stall rest.

                              I *know* this horse very very well.