Rehabbing an idiot after PSD

scats

Well-Known Member
Joined
11 September 2007
Messages
2,747
I have a horse who has been off since May after a mild PSD diagnosis. We didn’t opt for any surgery as vets didn’t think it was the right course of action for her. To be honest, I think they were glad to see the back of her sooner rather than later. She is, for want of a better word, quirky.

It was advised she had 4 months off and then return to light work if possible, but not to hope for too much. She also has a few other niggling issues around SI and hocks too. I decided to give her longer off and am now attempting to return her to some sort of useful existence, largely also to help with her weight gain as she started to pile it on as soon as she stopped working and has to be managed very carefully now. She also has a real ‘working head’ on her and she likes a job.

My plan was to do a months long-reining and inhand walking and then get back on board in February for another months walking under saddle. The problem is, walking is not her strong point and she’s come back hotter than ever. She’s a very easy horse to deal with day to day, but the second she is under tack, roller or indeed knows she is ‘working’ she is is rather keen to get on with it and at the moment, walking doesn’t appear to be in her vocabulary. She’s the same around the Farm tracks and in the manège. I can keep her calmer in-hand and she will generally just walk next to me, but long-reining - which she has always been brilliant at- is proving itself to be a very bad idea. She spent yesterday’s session jogging sidewards and any attempt to bring her back caused a whopping tantrum. I’m aware that I don’t want extra strain on her hind legs right now so I want to avoid both jogging and tantrums.
I would be tempted to get on board but she is often a bit more forward under saddle and then I’m aware that she’s not only jogging but also carrying my weight, adding more strain. I can only assume she’s just feeling a bit too giddy about the whole thing at the moment as although she’s always been prone to being joggy under saddle, she’s normally pretty good to long rein. She’s moving better than ever so I don’t want to end up right back where we were.

In terms of PSD rehab, where would you go with this?
 

emfen1305

Active Member
Joined
2 December 2015
Messages
785
When I rehabbed my my usually laid back horse after PSD surgery at the beginning of this year, I also wanted to long reining but despite being an angel before surgery, 6 months with no job and spending 3 of those on box rest turned him into a prospective horseboarding champion. In hand he was a lamb but if I tried long reining I spent a lot of time having to drop one line and spin him around which was not good for his legs. In the end I recruited a friend to walk by his head "leading him" whilst I longreined, just until the excitement wore off. This lasted about 4 weeks of increasing the walks by 5 minutes a day until I felt he was sufficiently bored but sadly I can't rule out the fact that he broke again was the factor for him calming down. Anyway, it might be worth seeing if you can ask someone to lead her as it were.

Or something I did when my friend wasn't around for couple of days was to put all of the gear on and have the lines run through the roller but carry them in one hand and lead him some of the way until i could move further and further back which semi worked in terms of keeping him grounded but he then walked veeeeeeeery slowly because he kept trying to turn around to join me. Good luck, i hope she stays sound!
 
Joined
30 December 2009
Messages
496
Similar to emfen above I have problems rehabbing mine and on vets Advice started lunging. Big mistake. After months of box rest and in hand walking he went lame again. His was only very very mild too. Sadly I think it's very hard to rehab PSD successfully (although obviously it's possible and I'm sure some success stories will follow) but in the end we opted for surgery. Sorry can't be of more help but understand your predicament
 

scats

Well-Known Member
Joined
11 September 2007
Messages
2,747
Thank you both. I think I’ll knock the long reining on the head unless I can find a willing volunteer to walk with her. I’ll carry on this month with the inhand work. I have gone about the recovery in the less conventional way and actually turned her out as normal all throughout, so she has done plenty of idiotic things in the field, which gives me a little more hope that she might withstand very light work. Unfortunately her bombing off on the long reins last night and flying around me at canter was not ideal!
 
Joined
18 July 2005
Messages
592
Location
Lancashire
I rehabbed my PSD mare after failed attempts to get back on and walk, she too became very very hot and in my opinion dangerous, Vet and I discussed that in order to ride a horse i needed to be alive, so with a huge amount of sedative, I threw her out in a very small paddock for three weeks (This was late April) by the time the dope had worn off the need to tw1t around had gone and it completely fixed her head. I then steadily brought her back into work from a walk, not looked back!

Look after yourself, and be honest with your vet if you don't think the plan is working for you. I found things like calming cookies and pastes made her even worse, it was like i had lit a fuse.

Other than that, I highly rate sending them away if you don't have the facilities etc. I love water treadmilling mine, but I would steer with caution as you may end up with a very very fit horse who can in reality do very little work!
 
Joined
30 December 2009
Messages
496
In relation to jj's mention of the water treadmill, be very carefully where you go if you decide to use it as an option. The success of it can be very dependant on how well trained the people working it and holding the horse. I tried it and after seeing them hold my horse at an angle so he was walking crooked and also right up at the front so he couldn't lower his head due to the door I would never use that treadmill again as I believe it has the potential to do more harm than good. Ive seen them in use correctly and can see where they could assist in rehab just be careful where you go !
 

supsup

Active Member
Joined
5 January 2015
Messages
684
Mine is fortunately a good walker, and didn't give me any trouble on the longlines. But another thing I did quite a bit of was some very basic work-in-hand with bridle and reins over the withers, walking next to the shoulder. I started out doing this on straight lines out on walks, later also on large circles in the field. I tried to teach him to bend/do shoulder-in for a few steps, then on the release stretch forward-out into the bit and actively stride out. If you can get them to stretch, they tend to be less tense/joggy. Mine learned very quickly to stretch down after asking for a bend for a few steps. Maybe that is something you could practice in the school, and later out on walks?
 

scats

Well-Known Member
Joined
11 September 2007
Messages
2,747
Thanks everyone. Yes I’m from the NW emfen.
I would send her away as I know someone who does rehab livery, but the horse is companion to my other mare so it would leave my other one on her own.
I’m going to knock the long-reining on the head for a few weeks and bore the pants off her in-hand. We have farm tracks so we can do a good half hour around the land. Then I’ll enlist a willing victim into helping me on the long reins in a few weeks time to see if she has settled at all.
 
Joined
18 July 2005
Messages
592
Location
Lancashire
Thanks everyone. Yes I’m from the NW emfen.
I would send her away as I know someone who does rehab livery, but the horse is companion to my other mare so it would leave my other one on her own.
I’m going to knock the long-reining on the head for a few weeks and bore the pants off her in-hand. We have farm tracks so we can do a good half hour around the land. Then I’ll enlist a willing victim into helping me on the long reins in a few weeks time to see if she has settled at all.

I am in the NW, if you want to PM I can suggest a couple of rehab yards if thats any help?
 
Joined
18 July 2005
Messages
592
Location
Lancashire
In relation to jj's mention of the water treadmill, be very carefully where you go if you decide to use it as an option. The success of it can be very dependant on how well trained the people working it and holding the horse. I tried it and after seeing them hold my horse at an angle so he was walking crooked and also right up at the front so he couldn't lower his head due to the door I would never use that treadmill again as I believe it has the potential to do more harm than good. Ive seen them in use correctly and can see where they could assist in rehab just be careful where you go !

I echo this completely, like anything if used incorrectly can cause more damage, I would only use a treadmill where I know the physio who works with them etc.....
 
Top