SmartPak Monday Morning Feed: How to Maintain Sanity Through Months of Rehab

As horse owners, we all must face the inevitable: injury and rehab. Here are some tips on how to maintain your horse’s sanity through rehab.

Below is an excerpt from the April 8, 2019 SmartPak blog, written by  Dr. Lydia Gray:

In December, Newman just didn’t feel right under saddle so I asked the local veterinarian I work with to maintain my horse’s health and soundness to come out and try to diagnosis this subtle asymmetry. Through a bevy of lameness examinations, flexions, joint injections and joint blocks, application of the Lameness Locator, digital radiographs, and ultrasound, we finally localized the source of my horse’s discomfort to some sort of damage or injury to the medial meniscus of his right stifle. And then the fun really began.

It wasn’t so bad hand walking and free lunging this month, since that’s when the polar vortex occurred where I live and the temperature plummeted to 30 degrees below zero, with a minus 60 wind chill. Fortunately, I’ve spent years handling Newman on the ground, so that he works calmly and with connection at liberty (and therefore I could stay bundled up).

It was a little warmer by Month Two so we added long-lining to the regimen. Newman was clearly glad to be sporting tack again, even if was just a surcingle and bridle. My ground-driving schoolmaster offered just enough challenge to the young person who’s been a part of our program since my shoulder surgery last year. Without stressing his stifle, she’s learned to hold the long lines and whip while walking and talking; she’s developed an educated feel of his hind legs through his mouth; and she’s kept him supple, flexed, and bent.

March was a big therapy month for Newman. He underwent several regenerative medicine protocols including a combination IRAP (interleukin-1 receptor antagonist protein) and PRP (platelet-rich plasma) procedure followed by two shock wave sessions. We also added physical therapy (PT) to the mix, with stretches such as protraction (forward) and retraction (backward), as well as strengtheners such as the lateral tail pull and reinback.

Read more at the SmartPak blog!

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