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What are your "old suspensory" success stories?

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  • What are your "old suspensory" success stories?

    I had a horse vetted out today that is fabulous all the way around with the exception of some thickness on the lower branches of the the LF suspensory ligament. Totally sound on it, vet says it looks old and healed. Everything else about this horse is a perfect fit for me and the rest of his body got four stars (hocks included).

    I plan to do a little jumping with him in the future (he's jumping 2' 6" with his current owner).

    So what are your success stories with old suspensory injuries?

  • #2
    I'll take that over alot of other stuff any day.
    Mare had hers snapped completely, still ran, jumps round and never takes a lame step.
    Little guy tore his, 10 months off 60 days stall 30 slow ease out then the rest time out. Came back 100% never misses a day.
    WB did his up high, internal blister went on to 2nd level 4 and some H/J stuff..his feet got him in the end suspensory was a non issue.
    Now if its in teh hind leg forget it...


    • #3
      Find out how it was treated.

      I had a mare that tore a 1.5 on a 5 scale right below the knee. It took a year, but she came back sound as a dollar. We treated with shock wave back then. We did move her down from the 3'6" to the 3' to preserve her soundness. She's still going strong at 21. She doesn't show a lot with her new owner though, and they putz around at 2'6" now.


      • #4
        Originally posted by unclewiggly View Post
        Now if its in teh hind leg forget it...
        Tell that to my horse. Bilateral hind suspensory tears almost a year ago. Did a fasciotomy, strict rehab, and he is sound and happy now. Very, very experienced lameness vet I work with has seen a number of hind suspensory horses come all the way back with newer protocols. We're not "all the way" back because it's too early, so I'm not suggesting my horse is a success story, but apparently there are plenty out there.

        How old is the injury, how was it rehabbed, and how long has the horse been sound and doing work the level you'd like to do with it?
        The big man -- my lost prince

        The little brother, now my main man


        • Original Poster

          He's an OTTB, so I don't know how it was treated.

          He's been off-track a year and a half and doing the low hunters, sound and happy. I don't think I'll ever jump him more than 2'6" and only higher than that if he decides foxhunting is fun and we've got no choice but to jump something higher.

          Keep the input coming. I'm feeling better about this already.


          • #6
            Originally posted by asterix View Post
            ...a fasciotomy, strict rehab, and he is sound and happy now.
            I have one of those too - RH, and going on 4 years now. We have other issues now (unrelated), but with thoughtful care and training going forward, the suspensory thing is just history.

            I wouldn't say that it's a *deal breaker* with so many variables to consider - it's hard to find a horse that's perfect in every way, and it sounds like you've come pretty darn close - it would be hard to walk away from that, for sure!


            • #7
              I have an OTTB who "tweaked" a front suspensory. I've had him almost 4 years now and have had no problems. I foxhunt him and jump him 2'6" to 3'.
              Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
              EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


              • #8
                Full recovery

                If that's the only thing wrong with this horse you should be dong cartwheels down the street. My horse made a complete recovery from a severly torn hind suspensory(vet prognosis was he'd never jump again, proved him wrong!) AND a complete recovery from a sprained/strained/stretched but not torn hind suspensory(other one, right after the first one healed). Now he shows scar tissue, sometimes he is a little more prone to stocking up. If he stocks up I put polo's or boots on for riding or turn out(usually doesn't need to be more than one day). Occasionally I've wrapped overnight and it's gone the next morning.

                I wouldn't worry about buying a horse with signs of an old suspensory!

                Good luck
                To ride or not to ride; what a stupid question!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by asterix View Post
                  Tell that to my horse. Bilateral hind suspensory tears almost a year ago. Did a fasciotomy, strict rehab, and he is sound and happy now. Very, very experienced lameness vet I work with has seen a number of hind suspensory horses come all the way back with newer protocols.
                  asterix, not to take this off topic, but could you explain more about the newer protocols? Our horse was diagnosed a week ago today with a high hind suspensory tear. Give me some hope here.


                  • #10
                    Now if its in teh hind leg forget it...
                    Glad my horse never read that old wive's tale either. Recovery rates are not as good in the hinds, but they are really improved over the last 10 years, with modern rehab and treatment. My horse was rehabbed using a (then expirimental) protocol supervised by my vet, and although the inital prognosis was very poor indeed for a that 9 year old horse, that same horse is competing at the PSG level at the age of 20, quite sound.
                    "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Carolinadreamin' View Post
                      asterix, not to take this off topic, but could you explain more about the newer protocols? Our horse was diagnosed a week ago today with a high hind suspensory tear. Give me some hope here.
                      I have a success story here also for an older jumper with a high hind suspensory injury. He came back just fine with shockwave and rehab. Like honeydoozey's horse, he has "other issues" and hasn't returned to the same fence height and competition calendar, but he's perfectly happy doing lower level dressage and jumping around at 2'6" to 3'. I'm delighted.

                      That said, I would not be doing cartwheels in the street over a sale horse with a bad suspensory, and I'd think seriously about whether I'd buy a horse with this history. Anything that's visible on the U/S probably means there's scar tissue and weakness there. Suspensories are injured often enough on perfectly healthy horses--and trust me, rehabbing them is *no fun*--that I don't know if I'd roll the dice on a horse that's already compromised.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Carolinadreamin' View Post
                        asterix, not to take this off topic, but could you explain more about the newer protocols? Our horse was diagnosed a week ago today with a high hind suspensory tear. Give me some hope here.
                        These days we have:
                        Platelet rich plasma
                        stem cell
                        lazer therapy
                        that air chamber thingy
                        aqua tred with hydro therapy
                        anything else?

                        and vets seem to finally realize that stall rest alone isn't so great. They let you get the horse out and walk every day once the healing is at a safe point. I have always been on that band wagon.

                        Time. They just need time. It's tough to take two-three years needed before competing again but pays off in the end.

                        On average give them twice as long as they vet anticipates. So if you are looking at 8 months then just go ahead and plan on 16.
                        Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                        • #13
                          So if you are looking at 8 months then just go ahead and plan on 16.


                          • #14

                            Originally posted by Carolinadreamin' View Post
                            it's worth the wait if it means your horse will go back to sound walk/trot/canter.
                            i'm rehabbing a bad suspensory tear in the LH. it's amazing how quickly a year flew by. take it slow, take it easy. you don't want to have any regrets b/c you rushed things.
                            TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique


                            • #15
                              I know it's worth the wait, but we were just enjoying the last 6 months with him since he had been out of work for over a year recovering and rehabbing from surgery (OCD lesions, both stifles). Hard to believe that we only had 6 months and now this. I'm already getting pressure to take him off stall rest and put him out in a very small turnout. Perhaps I need to start a different thread asking for people's experiences recovering and rehabbing from suspensory issues. Sigh.


                              • #16
                                my mare was never on stall rest.

                                discussed options w/ the vet and decided to continue w/ her regular turnout in her dry lot. she underwent shockwave and underwater treadmill therapy. we were given an ok to hand walk within the first couple of months. then couple more months we got an ok to walk under saddle. while 'handwalking' i spent our walks ground driving her all over the place. we didn't go up and down any steep hills but we did venture out on trails. all of this was closely supervised by the vet. until january she was making great progress. i screwed that up in march by taking her barefoot behind through terrain that was rocky and hard. she showed signs of discomfort by the time we were back at the trailer and although the ultrasound didn't show any new tears the vet ordered us to slow down a bit.

                                since then i've put her in shoes (with pads) to ensure that she doesn't strain anything when on footing that's too hard or rocky for her, and by now she looks great again. we're going for a recheck in a month. hoping that whatever damage we did in march has resolved and we're back on track in our recovery. if not, then i may opt for a more invasive procedure in the fall.
                                anyway, that's a digest of our rehab.
                                lots of luck to you.
                                TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique


                                • #17
                                  I had a TB mare that came off the track with her front suspensory blown completely apart. She was three legged lame and after an ultrasound, the vet was not sure she would ever be more than "pasture sound". I didn't care because I had taken her to breed so as long as she was okay to hang out and have a baby I was willing to rehab her. This was a long time ago so we didn't have all the treatments that are available today and I am not sure I would have put the expense into them anyway but...I had her on stall rest for about a month, then started turning her out in the barn to wander the aisle and finally turned her out at some point. To make a long story short, she stood around for about 3 years being a pasture pet and then one day I decided she needed a job (never did get around to breeding her unfortunately) so she went to work. After that she evented through Prelim (mostly at Training) for about 10 years and never took a lame step on that leg. We lost her unexpectantly 2 weeks ago at the age of 18 and even though that leg was ugly, it never gave her a minute of trouble. Good luck!
                                  Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.


                                  • #18
                                    I had a gelding with a 40% core lesion. Bad injury, vet's prognosis was that he shouldn't event above Training level. He went to a new home and ended up competing at Intermediate and placing at the two star level, and the suspensory didn't bother him again.


                                    • #19
                                      There are lots of success stories out there. But I'd also recommend reading the "Entertaining the stall-bound horse" thread, currently on the front page, to get the full picture of what it takes to rehab this type of injury.


                                      • #20
                                        I understand the need for stall rest - no trotting around. However, in a stall the horse can get himself into trouble by whirling, pacing around or even trotting around (limited) when nervous, upset, etc. So, wouldn't you rather him do that in an area where he's not having to turn tightly? We're trying to make a small turnout to give him a little bit of room, but not enough to work up a head of steam. Our horse is tolerating stall rest fine and did before when he was in for 3 months. However, I really hate seeing him in there.