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Suspensory rehab program?

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  • Suspensory rehab program?

    Have read Proximal suspensory thread in eventing many a time, but am looking for some rehab plans. this is not a tear, no surgery, no stem cell. 1 month recheck showed 20% decrease in thickness of suspensory ligament 5 cm distal to the chestnut.

    Here is what we were given:

    1. The amount of walking can be increased gradually to as much as 45 minutes a day over the next 30 days. During this time, the horse should continue to be confined to a stall.

    2. After 60 days, the horse can be turned out into a small paddock (30' x 30'). The horse should not be turned out into a large field for free exercise, nor resume any kind of regular training program until six months from the start of the rest program.

    3. After the horse has been turned out into the small paddock, this horse can begin jogging; starting with a few minutes each day and slowly increasing the amount of time that the horse is jogged to 20 minutes a day over the following 60 days.

    4. At four months, if the horse is jogging sound, the horse can begin walk/jogs under saddle. However hills, rough uneven surfaces, and small circles are to be avoided. At this time, you should have this horse re-evaluated by a veterinarian to determine his level of soundness.

    5. If the horse is not jogging sound at four months, the horse should continue to be confined to the small paddock and have no more than 20 minutes of jogging a day until the horse is out six months from the start of the rest program.

    6. The initial jogging should preferably be performed with no one on the horse's back, either jogging in-hand or next to another horse. Lunging is not an adequate way to rehabilitate lame horses as it puts increased torque on their injured limb(s).

    7. After six months, the horse can slowly resume a regular exercise and training program if the lameness is resolved.

    While I like the plan...it seems super vague. Anybody have any minute values for trotting and when after small turnout he can trot? Just a little too broad for me.

  • #2
    I'll send you a PM with my horse's rehab plan.


    • #3

      Here is my thread from last year. Someone posted a great program, which I used successfully. My horse is now sound and back in full work.


      • Original Poster

        Thanks guys!!!!


        • #5
          I would do at least 30 days of hand walking and then do again 30 days of walking under saddle walking. (total of 3-4 months). But that could also depend on how the ultrasound looks, your comfort level and your vet's comfort level. I've found that some people have faster programs than others.


          • #6
            I've gotten great results using magnets on the horses. Nikken does have a great elbow wrap for people that fits perfectly on the horses cannon bone.
            Equine Massage Therapy Classes and Rehab for Horses


            • #7
              you may want to check into Cold Laser treatments for your horse. If there is a vet or a rehab facility near you they may have a cold laser as part of their program. It's inexpensive and very effective. We use it as part of our program and it's invaluable. Cuts the rehab time in half.
              MY I1 gelding is confirmation that it does work. At 20 years of age he's still working all of the I1 movements, better now then he did 2 years ago.
              For more info check out our site.

              PS. Our treatments cost $20 per, usually for this type of injury we would do up to 20.


              • #8
                My horse is on this rehab program exactly. The problem is that we are into the third month, when I should be starting to trot him in hand and first of all, I can't run myself and second of all, he isn't sound at the trot. I have decided to do yet another month of 45 minutes of in hand walking, but I wonder if its unusual that he's not trotting sound at this point?

                He was diagnosed with high suspensory/check ligament injury through process of elimination in the nerve blocks, but a tear was not seen on the ultrasound. So, we did not pursue PRP, stem cell or shock wave therapy and there really isn't a lesion to go back and check out.

                Does anyone else have experience with a suspensory lameness at this stage of the program. There were some tiny arthritic things in his foot, but he didn't block sound until the suspensory block.


                • #9
                  Our guy was unmanageable in the stall, so we went right to paddock turnout without hand walking. After several months, he started walking under saddle, and gradually increased the time. Then, he did a minute of trot under saddle that gradually increased to about 20 minutes of trotting. We brought him into the clinic for ultrasounds about every 6 weeks, always before progressing to the next phase, to make sure his high suspensory lesions continued to resolve. From start to complete return to normal exercise was about 7 months. I wish I had written down the complete plan, so this is from memory. It has been about 12 years, and he is still sound.


                  • Original Poster

                    I would say not normal if he is lame...

                    as for my guy, we were doing great until month 4. he seems to have reinjured himself back to square one in turnout, 2 weeks out from cantering under saddle.

                    have to do more blocks, but looking at surgery or retirement.


                    • #11
                      uuugh, really?? Can your horse's lesion be seen with ultrasound? If so, has it changed at all over time?


                      • #12
                        I have. Unfortunately my horse never came sound even after the surgery and rehab. At month 3 he was pretty lame too. Vet injected the suspensory with steroid and he did go sound for awhile while I rehabbed him at trot but as soon as I started canter, lame. Just had him reevaluated one year from initial exam and was told this is what I have. Ultrasound looks good but suspensory is filled with scar tissue. Hope you have a better prognosis.


                        • #13
                          I hope this link works...but here is a great article from The Horse about a rehab program. It's pretty much what we are sticking to with some minor tweaks since every horse is different. But mine has been sound after 2 weeks of stall rest, healing is at 70% percent and we expect to be back under tack sometime in November. My guy is also turned out 24/7 with no issues!

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