Advice needed with exuberant TB after recovery from tendon injur

claracanter

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Rather a long winded one, but please bare with me.
I have a gorgeous 9 yr old TB who came back into work in January after a DDF tendon injury. Before his injury we were just doing unaffiliated stuff and I was working towards our first BE80, all well the capabilities of an ex racehorse. While he was turned away I bought another horse with the intention of competing him and gaining more experience so that when my TB was ready we could pick up where we left off. The TB has been back in work for 3 months now and he is a much more lively ride than he ever was. Just feels like he is about to explode.Can horses change after a layoff or will he settle down? He is on a calmer ( global herbs TB one ) and also has some hack up liquid calmer before riding him. I've never needed to use a calmer before. Any suggestions for a more effective calmer( magic didn't work) He has always had a buck in him but just recently he throws these horrendous fly bucks which I have no hope of sitting too.I have come off him twice out hacking recently and he used to be the most brilliant hack. I took him to the vet for a full work up, had X-rays of his hocks ( he had them injected a few years ago) but we couldn't find anything to suggest he was in pain or why he is more 'wired' than he used to be. The vet suggested I lunge him before getting on which I have been doing for the last few weeks but again this is something I never needed to do before. Teeth and back are up to date and saddler came out last week and did a bit of reflocking as he's understandably changed shape,so all in order there. Thing is he is knocking my confidence. He has always been a bit tricky but having another horse has made me realise how tricky he is. My husband and I want to be able to take both horses out hacking and enjoy ourselves. My husband thinks i should get rid of him but I wouldn't feel comfortable selling him as I feel he is very unpredictable. This weekend the horses start living out so I'm hoping that will settle the TB more after the initial new grass 'high'. At the moment I am riding him 4 times a week. I want to take him for a good gallop somewhere and see if thats what he needs but obviously the vet has advised against it because of his tendon injury.I'm not sure what to do next as he is 3 months into being ridden and should have returned to his old self by now but he just seems to have become too much horse for me? Any suggestions or advice, encouragement from you wonderful HHO'ers would be very much appreciated
 
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PorkChop

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I would gently up his work if he is at a stage in his fitness to do so.

You see, for me, the fact that he was lively would be a positive, in that he is now pain free - however you are the one riding him, and if you truly feel unsafe then don't feel bad accepting that he might not be the right horse for you right now.
 

Pinkvboots

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my horse a 12 year old arab had 4 months box rest for a suspensory ligament injury he came back into work in September, I would say my horse was really wired all winter he is just starting to be a bit more settled now but mine are out at night now which I think has made a huge difference, my other horse also an Arab is also on the global herbs tb calmer someone recommended it to me as he does not deal with winter hacking and was doing some huge bucks, he too has also really calmed down since they have been out overnight, also wanted to say the one on box rest his always been fairly laid back but he was not himself for quite a few months so I would wait and see if the overnight turnout calms him down, how have you found the global herbs calmer I have only been using it for a few weeks?
 

claracanter

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Thank you for your replies

LJR- Yes, thats a good point, I should be pleased he is lively, means he fit and healthy and perhaps I should do a little more with him.

Pinkvboots- Your post has cheered me up. I was hoping to hear. that it might just take time to get things straight again after all that time off.I thought the Global Herbs was making a difference when he first started on it, but not now after about 6 weeks.

hollyandivy123- He is on very little, some simple systems timothy grass chaff and a handful of Equilibrium low energy mix, same feed as he has always had. He gets hay also of course
 

Pinkvboots

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Glad it cheered you up :) I also agree with LJR the fact that his so energetic would say his feeling good and pain free, my horse was very reluctant to school before he went lame I think his leg was sore for some time before, and now he is more forward than ever and working really well in the school, that's a shame about the calmer if you think it's now not working it's not that cheap either, do you think it might be the spring grass having an effect on him?
 

claracanter

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It could be the spring grass and I'm expecting him to get worse for a week or so once he's out on it 24/7 until he gets into the summer routine. It's always so difficult when they come back from injury you don't want to push them too hard but I think I've reached that point where I need to man up and ride him harder. I have a lesson booked tomorrow and I was planning to ride my other horse but no I think I will ride my TB instead.It will be his first lesson since last June.
 

ilvpippa

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My girl had surgery 2014 June; she box rested till November (was a handful to lead ) she didn't settle down for a good year. Had to lead in a chifney & took her ages to relax again out hacking. She's back to perfect now: but it took her ages!
 

Firewell

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Ok, so I think I can help!
My TB had 6 months off while I was pregnant, he was turned away. I've owned him over 6 years, done everything with him, fabulous horse ect ect.
The first time I rode him after my baby, I just hopped on for a little walk, a tiny wobbly trot and he was an angel. He continued to be an angel until I started to work him a little harder. Then he just kept getting stupidly excited over stuff. He has always been one to have a little buck when excited especially when jumping but only a leap and a yeeha. It's never bothered me before.
However now I would be cantering him around and he would get tense and then run and throw a massive buck, leap and I would have to one rein stop. It was seriously putting me off. The first time I rode him down the road I had to have someone lead me he was that explosive. This is a horse I used to hack for hours on my own. Jumping was interesting! He would warm up quiet and then even a pole would get him so excited he would leap 6ft over the pole and explode on landing. It was worrying me and I ended up crawling around on him scared to kick him on in case he got excited and started messing around.
I started having lessons and he was awful in the lessons. Lazy and then getting more tense as we went on. A lesson didn't go by when he didn't have one 'moment'.
First I got a good back person out and he was sore. I realised that even 20 mins of work was tough at the moment with his fitness level and his muscles were sore. I like you ride 4x a week. So my lessons were too hard on him and his tense horrid shoot off and buck moments were because he was struggling and that made sense as they got worse as the session went on.
I gave him Bute for a week to ease any sore spots and he felt so much better.
I got the vet to x ray him and do a full check up and he was fine. Not lame, nothing wrong.
Once I had all that sorted and I had built up his fitness I knew if he was naughty now I had to man up and ride him through it. Next time I jumped I kicked on bravely and sure enough he thought it terribly exciting did a huge buck and I pulled his head up, smacked him and kicked him on. Then I cantered him round for ages. Then I rode him round a field to chill him out. Then took him back in to jump and finally he was calm. The next day I jumped again and he was my old perfect horse! I had forgotten that I actually had not told him off for his behaviour! Without thinking I had been bringing him back to walk after his episodes because I was nervous but in doing that I was rewarding him.
Basically 1. He was sore. 2. He was excited! He loves his work and found it all too much fun. I have always had him in full work 6 days per week, competing ect and a long lay off plus 4 days a week of work was a change for him.
He lives out and now I know his base fitness is there (which took about 4 months btw) I am respectful of his need for work. So if I am going to be doing something exciting like hacking or jumping or galloping I make sure his edge has been taken off with a lunge or a half an hrs good schooling or whatever so when the adrenaline does kick in its not too much for him and he's focused. He's one of those horses that feels like a dead donkey while you are mooching about but then ramp it up and the energy suddenly explodes out!
When I do ride I try to do exciting things the day after a work day. For example yesterday I lunged for 20 mins and then hacked around the farm for 30 mins.
Today I will school and jump.
I also realise when I do ride it needs to be for 45 mins. I am the worst at thinking I have ridden, getting back to the yard and realizing I've only been on board for 20mins!
He is back to my lovely boy now. It's has taken 6 months.
These TB'S they are clever, fun loving, athletic guys!
 

Slightlyconfused

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Also I have been told that tbs can have a reaction to magnesium, it was certainly true in ours as he was a monster on magnesium.

Also bare in mind ulcers as tbs are prone to them especially if he has been on box rest.

Get saddle and back checked but also have a good think about ulcers.
 

claracanter

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ilvpippa- Thanks, it seems like there is a pattern emerging here with getting them back to normal. Again it is encouraging to here your experiences.

Firewell- Thanks for your comprehensive reply. It sounds like you were in a similar situation. I'm only lunging him for literally 5-10 mins before I get on as I don't want to get him too fit, I just let him have a bit of a buck and wait until he calms down but it sounds like that could be counter productive. I need to work him harder. Based on your experiences, I will set out a new plan for him.
 

claracanter

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slightlyconfused - He is on a magnesium free calmer. I mentioned to the vet about ulcers as I am always aware of him being an ex racehorse and it could be an issue. He is on the list for scoping when the next ulcer clinic happens.
 
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