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Tell me about your successful comeback from a suspensory injury

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  • Tell me about your successful comeback from a suspensory injury

    Pretty much like the title states...It's my daughters horse, he's come back from a mild tear in his front suspensory from 2.5 yrs ago ( pasture injury ). Last year he competed and did very well at Novice level, this year will only be a handful of events but she's wondering if he could/should go up a level. The vet told us 3ft, He competes Novice but easily jumps bigger anyway....what to do, what to do? Thoughts?
    "If you've got a horse, you've got a problem"

  • #2
    I do have a good story - Prelim horse injured himself in the pasture - leg like a phone pole and 3-legged lame.

    Short version was that he went back to competing at prelim within 12 months, and never took an unsound step on that leg. I was diligent about keeping him fit, and paying attention to deep footing when he was out of shape, but if your guy is doing well, and not exhibiting any soreness or swelling, you can probably increase the work graduallyand see how he does.

    Has the leg ever given any indication of being compromised? At 2.5 years out, he is probably in pretty good shape.

    Comment


    • #3
      Every horse is different.

      you should ask YOUR VET why he thinks the horse should be limited to 3'.

      That said, many years ago I leased/rehabbed a 12 yo horse recovering from a front suspensory (pasture injury). We brought him along slowly, and then I competed him at Training for several years. He went back to his owner who leased him to a riding school, and at 30 he was still teaching kids to jump.
      Last edited by Janet; May. 7, 2013, 03:08 PM.
      Janet

      chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Janet View Post
        Every horse is different.

        you should ask YOUR VET why he thinks the horse whould be limited to 3'.
        This!

        Our success story was a swollen hind suspensory with a tiny lesion, most likely a combo of a bad turn on a XC course and poor farrier work. Threw the kitchen sink at him, including 9 weeks of stall rest with hand walking twice a day, PRP, shock wave, brought him back very slowly. He returned to his competition level (Intermediate) and has since run Advanced successfully.
        www.amiddle-agedmadwomantakesthereins.blogspot.com

        www.pegasusridge.com

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          To answer a couple questions, No indication of any issues on that leg. We are diligent about his care before and after his competitions. No bad steps.
          Unfortunately the vet that did the original diagnosis is no longer with the clinic, I have asked another ( last year ) and after reviewing his records she felt he could do his novice level with no problem but we never discussed beyond that, as a bit paranoid Mom, I said no.
          I think the plan is to start the season with Novice, but a big local event has changed it's format and now doing the Novice level all in one day, problem is, the terrain is tough, it's not an easy course on the horses. Lots of hills. Training is spread over 3 days. This is the event we are really trying to figure out a plan for.
          "If you've got a horse, you've got a problem"

          Comment


          • #6
            Depends on the horse but I would suggest a checkup with a good sporthorse vet and a guess whether the 3' limit makes sense.

            When my now 20-year-old jumper was 4, he strained a front suspensory. After his recovery, we changed his shoeing (I have him shod on a slightly steeper angle than traditional per vet recommendation) and he spent years jumping around 4'6 courses without reinjuring it. He has had his share of other issues but that suspensory has held up great.

            My junior jumper injured both front suspensories while on lease. I brought him home and a year with Dr. Green finally fixed those, but he developed ringbone during that time and was never really sound again. He was happy enough in the pasture for another 6 years, though, and again no reinjuring --but not much stress on them either so I don't know if they would have stood up to work.

            Best of luck--and condition carefully. I think that does more than anything to prevent reinjuring. In the situation you describe, the training sounds a lot more horse-friendly than novice all in one day. One thing I would think about is how muh prep he needs for dressage...if he can trot around the warmup a few times and do his test, novice would probably be fine. If he needs forty-five minutes of prep first, might be a bit much.

            Comment


            • #7
              Since I have been rehabing a slight suspensory injury from early March, it is so good to see some positive outcomes. All I have read about are the bad ones. I was beginning to believe that Tessie's eventing career was done. It still may be done, but at least there is some hope.

              OP,
              Sorry to hyjack your thread. Would you mind telling me how you brought your horse back into work? I followed the advice of my Vet in early March, but Tess had a setback. I took her to Rood and Riddle last week. They gave her injections and shock wave therapy, which we will do for a total of three weeks. I am starting handwalking again, for the next two weeks. Did you do any other kind of therapy on your horse?

              We have the opportunity to put her in a hyperberic (sp?) chamber and to start her back with swimming. Does anybody know if either of those would be useful to rehab a suspensory? I plan on asking the Vets at Rood and Riddle, but wanted to hear of positive experiences.

              OP,
              Before moving up to Training, I would definitely speak with a Vet. If your Vet said 3', there must have been a reason. Since you have had the frustration of rehabing the suspensory before, do you really want to chance having to do it again?
              When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!

              Comment


              • #8
                Although I am not, personallly, a fan of "all phases in one day", that is more from the rider's perspective thatn the horse's.

                I think your horse will find 3 Novice phases in one day easier than 3 Training phases over multiple days.

                If you want to move up to Training, and the vet OKs it, go right ahead. But do not the fact that Novice is all in one dayt discourage you from doing Novice.
                Janet

                chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                Comment


                • #9
                  To the OP. I would have your horse examined by a vet with a lot of mileage, and very active in sports medicine..

                  Auburn-I would stick with the vets at Rood and Riddle. You might want to ask them about the benefits of the hyperbaric chamber.

                  Those words written, I can also say what has been said before. Every horse is different.
                  Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                  Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                    Auburn-I would stick with the vets at Rood and Riddle. You might want to ask them about the benefits of the hyperbaric chamber..
                    And risks.

                    You won't catch me putting a horse in a hyperbaric chamber unless ALL other approaches have been tried and found wanting.
                    Janet

                    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I had a horse that I brought from baby green to Prelim that had a fairly bad front suspensory injury (33% core lesion). I rehabbed him but then gave him to someone who wanted to do novice level. He kept jumping her out of the tack so her trainer started riding him and eventually started winning at Intermediate and even did a full three day two star with him. It's been 11 years (he's 22) and the suspensory hasn't bothered him.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Auburn- Our approach was very conservative and "old fashioned" by comparison. Stem cell therapy really wasn't easily available or affordable to us. Another girl at our barn was doing shock wave on her horse w/o much success so I didn't want to spend the money since I wasn't seeing results on her horse. My vet wasn't too concerned with NOT choosing those new therapies. She is a great lameness vet and one with sporthorse back ground. She told me what she would do for her horse and I followed it. Stall rest for 4 wks ( a bit shorter than planned for bad behavior in stall ) Then was moved to a small outside pen alone for another 5 months. He started hand walking at 6 mos, starting with 5 min and moving up to 30 min. then with rider weight at at a walk. Again working up from 5 to 45 min. Then we tested him at a trot with vet there. She gave us the go ahead to start light trot work, 1 min intervals and building him up. I can't remember at what point but eventually he was given the go ahead to canter when he held up during her exam. This all took place over a 12 mos period of time ( give or take, I can't remember exactly) Then when he seemed to be holding up, he started conditioning again and competed 1.5 yrs after initial injury.
                        "If you've got a horse, you've got a problem"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          wishinwell,

                          Thank you for your response and everyone's opinion of using a hyperbaric chamber. After what happened to Lauren's horse, I am a bit leary of it, too.

                          Since I have never had to rehab a suspensory or any leg injury for that matter, I was listening to what my Vet had told me to do. Both my Vet, who works at Hagyard, and the Vet from Rood and Riddle wanted me to start hand walking now. I am worried that this may be the wrong thing to do, again. I am starting to wonder if I should just forget treatment and give her the year off? I really hate not knowing what is the right thing to do for her.

                          wishinwell,
                          Good luck with your horse and thanks again for your response.
                          When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Auburn View Post
                            wishinwell,

                            Thank you for your response and everyone's opinion of using a hyperbaric chamber. After what happened to Lauren's horse, I am a bit leary of it, too.

                            Since I have never had to rehab a suspensory or any leg injury for that matter, I was listening to what my Vet had told me to do. Both my Vet, who works at Hagyard, and the Vet from Rood and Riddle wanted me to start hand walking now. I am worried that this may be the wrong thing to do, again. I am starting to wonder if I should just forget treatment and give her the year off? I really hate not knowing what is the right thing to do for her.

                            wishinwell,
                            Good luck with your horse and thanks again for your response.
                            Just started mine back from a year off, just walking right now. Even I could see a difference on the ultrasound. Time heals all.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Mine didn't make it back. He did lateral and medial branch tear on RF. Small avulsion in one (ie small bit of sesamoid bone broke off) stall rest 8 months, hand walking from day one, walked under tack at 6 weeks, and did u/s scans every 6 weeks to get approval to move fwd or hold the rehab program. His hocks started acting up a little and were no longer holding the joint injection longer than 3m. At 8 months we were cantering under tack and he went back to full turnout. He retore the suspensory at 12 months, turned out for 8 months, brought back and is not 100% and not in "work" is a hack out only type.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Sorry to derail a bit, but quick question. I am rehabbing hind DDFT and SDFT bows - my vet had me hand walking from day 1. I see most people do stall rest for months before hand walking with a suspensory - is that common? Why wouldn't you begin hand walking right away? Thanks, and sorry OP for the off shoot. Good luck to you!
                                “Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of Solitaire. It is a grand passion.” ~Emerson

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Spotteddrafter - depends on the type and placement of injury. Our horse was on nine weeks stall rest, but that included two twenty minute handwalks per day. Lots of fun with an UL fit 17.2 hand horse. Reserpine was out friend! When in doubt always ask your vet!
                                  www.amiddle-agedmadwomantakesthereins.blogspot.com

                                  www.pegasusridge.com

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    10 years ago, 8 year old OTTB - This was before stem stell and other alternative therapies were big. We tried him in a stall, but he was a nut case, spinning, rearing, kicking.... so we turned him out for a year. He came back sound, has evented with both of my daughters, competing frequently from May to Oct, but usually has winters off (Dec-March) due to our climate and the kids' winter sports schedules. It may be relevant that.this is an "iron horse", raced 75 times and retired sound, so I'm sure that has something to do with it. He's 19 now and ready to rock another season.
                                    "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I just got back from Rood and Riddle for the second shock wave therapy session.

                                      Before they did the treatment, Dr. Garrett had someone trot Tess up and down the road (in the rain). Tess looked perfectly sound. I am still planning on giving her six months to a year off, even if she stays sound when she gets her treatment next week. From all of your experiences which you have shared, I believe that this is the way to do it.

                                      wishinwell,

                                      I really appreciate you starting this timely thread. Did you get an answer yet from your Vet?
                                      When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I was wondering about this too as I am riding a horse with one. He has been sound on it for the past 10 years and before injuring it competed novice level. I do not see why this horse wouldn't be able to jump around novice or training level if the vet says it is fine. What would be the best way to condition a horse with a front suspensery injury? would a little roadwork at the walk help?

                                        Comment

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