What can I do?

evsj

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Hi. Some of you will have seen my earlier post regarding my mare's tendon injury. She has sprained it and following a scan, last night, the vet has prescribed 6 months rest.

I am sure many of you have had to go through this awful process before so hoping you have tips and advice to share. I am lucky that she is fairly good about being stabled so at least I don't have to worry about her going insane.

Is there anything I can do therapy-wise to assist the healing process? Would it be worth trying magnetic boots etc? I think the worst aspect will be seeing my fit horse lose all her muscle tone - can I minimise this with grooming?

Any advice for helping to keep me focussed would be appreciated.
 

AmyMay

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Grooming will certainly help - plus she'll really enjoy it. And a lot of people really rate magnetic boots - but you need to restrict how long they are on for.

I always found that a radio on either a classical station - or one like radio 2 was also appreciated by my horse when she was on lengthy box rest.

Good luck - and so glad that the vet came out to see your horse.
 

Fiona

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I bought a magnetic strap rather than a magnetic boot for my mare after an injury this spring. I have been able to keep it on all the time, unlike a boot where the leg would prob get hot and sweaty. Without entering into the whole magnetic therapy debate which has been endlessly chewed over on HHO recently, I have noticed a big improvement in my mare and no other aspect of her management has changed.
Best of luck with your horses convalescence.
Fiona
 

juliehannah58

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Hiya, know how you feel! My jumping mare is laid low because of chronic inflamation of the check ligament. She has just completed her 8 weeks box rest (complete box rest, not even any walking!) and is now in a little pen in the field. We have decided to have a foal from her come spring time to give her the time she needs.

I personally spent about £70 on magnetic stuff and just found it made the leg hotter and more swollen. I bought some cold therapy boots and used them twice a day for the first 4 weeks and alterntating with cold hosing. Then she wore stable bandages all the time and I have seen a great improvement! Hardly any swelling at all now. I bought her a snack-a-ball thing and it was one of the best things I've ever bought! Keeps her busy for ages and stopped her eating a bale of hay a day!
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She seemed very happy on her box rest and she's usually a buzzy sort.

Good luck, no how you feel! My mare wasn't lame to start with and as scans showed no damage I was told to keep walking her out (ridden), it was only after 8 weeks walking (still fine) that she jumped a fence in the field and then went dog lame! Think it was weakened then finally went, oh well! Thats horses.

Hope yours comes right
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evsj

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Hello JH58 - is that your mare pictured in your post? She looks spookily like my girl, although mine has a dark grey mane! If the injury had occurred a couple of months earlier I would have put her in foal too - probably just as well I can't now!

I should know all this but what should I do about her feed? I want to ensure she doesn't lose condition and gets all the vits she needs but there no point in pumping her full of feed if she's not doing anything.
 

AmyMay

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Bowl of HiFibre and add an all round vit suppliment. IF you can get away with it feed adlib hay. But if she is prone to weight gain then substitute a portion of the hay with a big bucket of HiFibre instead.
 

kick_On

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Regurler Routine
Lots of interset in feeds ie root vegs,
Grooming and polishing
If you can cut long grass daily, only good quaility stuff
Radio during day
Ask vet about in hand walkin - as CONTROLLED exercise is the big key to this type of injury.
And be willing to expet, that sistutation can change and it could take long.

My eventer had a holed tendon plus mucked up tendon sheath and it took a good year to get right but he's now eventing and hunting, it really getting human heads around box rest, most horse will accept very well, but mind you mine was a big sh1t about it and he's come through

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Broadway last year
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my hedge hopper
 

brightmount

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My horse had 6 months of box rest that started this time last year, so you will be going through what I went through at the same time of year. Stay positive and believe that there will be light at the end of the tunnel, although when you have to go through it, it sometimes doesn't seem that way.

I'm sure your vet will have given you a programme of hand walking, and you probably know it's important with a tendon injury in order for the fibres to mend in the right direction.

The thing you may have to deal with is pent up energy and frustration when you take her out. I used a Parelli rope halter and long line so that when she did throw a schizo I could let it out until she had calmed down. I admit we got tied round trees on a few occasions.

I would use a magnesium calmer like NAF magic to take the edge off her.

I took my girl out twice a day for an hour each time mainly grazing in-hand. She got better grass than all the other horses in the fields! I think grass is important for gut function along with all the vits, and for the horse's sense of wellbeing.

I was fortunate to be able to put my horse in the pens with the riding school ponies during the daytime for a change of scenery and some company. She got lots of fuss as she was a novelty "real" horse in amongst the ponies.

I also used a snack-a-ball in her stable filled with pasture nuts although in moderation because of keeping her weight under control. She did get fat, and I think you will have to resign yourself to the loss of muscle tone and work on getting it back later when you gradually build up the work again.

I hope this helps a bit. At least neddy will be in during the winter months and not missing much. Next summer will make up for it!
 

Triskar

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Why don't you do some clicker training with her? It will entertain you both - she could learn some simple tricks while she's laid up, or learn something that will be useful to her when she's back in work. I found a book called Clicker Training for Your Horse by Alexandra Kurland an inspiration for "playing" with my horse, and it increased our bond - maybe only because we were spending time together, but whatever, we both enjoyed it!
 

MarthaRodman1

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Hi ya

My horse did a severe tendon injury at point of hock at the beginning of April, initially 3 months box rest, then 1 months paddock turn out, then 2 weeks ago he had stem cell treatment, so we are now back on another 3 months box rest - but I can at least exercise him, building it up each week - and can get on him in 2 weeks!!!

Anyway, like you I was distraught at the thought of so much box rest, I have a TB who I thought would never manage - but he has! I moved him to an outside stable instead of in a barn, so he got fresh air and sunshine, I had a snack a ball which I put polos and pony nuts in, I also hid carrots and apples in corners of his stable - and I did Apple bobbing in his water bucket, cut it up into sections! Re his feed I gave Jack readi grass which he loved! For his breakfast and dinner I gave him a small scoop of nuts and a scoop of hi fi, with carrots etc. Then in a seperate bowl/bucker readigrass with carrots and apples in it - as well as a hay net - this used to keep him occupied for hours! And I know you'll prob all laugh at this, but I invested in a stable mirror - best £50 I ever spent! He licks it, head buts it etc, loves it and thats after having it in his stable since Mid-April!

I used to give him a thorough groom every evening, and massage all his back and bum - not much you can do about muscles and top line, I just had to watch Jack's dissapear, but as that disappears all your energy is then focused on getting him well and fit - and that becomes your next mission!

For supplement Jack has garlic in his feed and I feed the magnesium calmer MAGIC by Naff, which seems to be doing the trick! I was lucky enough to be able to strip graze Jack in a v small paddock, not much bigger than a stable, he would go out there in the am when I was mucking out and in the evening when muckin out - this way they get more fresh air and a bit of grass! Make sure it's away from all her horsy friends though otherwise she could get a bit wound up - Jack soon learnt that he was out there on his own and was ok.

Hope this helps - good luck - and remember there are always other people coping with box rest and 2 muck outs a day - even though at your yard your the only one - thats how I used to feel!

MX
 

Skilgariff

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My mare was on box rest from this time last year with tendon injury. I found that time went in quite fast as I got myself into a good routine. Visited her twice daily, at first I would break her day by just even being tied up outside stable. I started doing some of the Parelli games with her in the stable and plenty of grooming and scratching, she loved that. I made sure she was taken for grass twice a day (even if pouring down) as this helps keep her spirits up(would stand for half hour plus with her). She had ad-lib hay as I did not think it was fair to try and restrict her food while being locked up and dealt with any weight gain later. She also had a ball which at first she looked at as if I was daft and then got very good at emptying it. She had lots of carrots, which I swear kept her sane and healthy. She always had a turnip in her stable to munch on. I took one month at a time and it was exciting when you got to next stage ie walking out in hand and building that up. I also used lunge line and bridle when walking out as she did get excited a few times. Before you know it, it will be February, you may then be at stage of hacking and you will have formed an even better bond with your horse. Have a look at the Parelli, I don't really do it much now, but during that time I found it very useful and something to keep both of us occupied and entertained and something to work towards.
 

juliehannah58

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Hiya, ah no the mare in my siggy is my new horse who I was lucky to find on loan whilst mine is recovering! My mare started her rest just at the end of the breeding season so I had a few days of mad panic then decided I couldn't cope with the rush so would wait until spring! I think my Mares injury is more severe than yours as we were looking at about 9months - 1 yr off work. Because they don't know whats caused the inflamation, it's treated as a chronic injury. One of the hardest things has been seeing my mare getting her broodmare shape back (she was previously a broodmare) which I worked so hard on getting rid of! Especially because she looked so good and fit and now she looks all saggy. But she is happy and thats the main thing!

Ah well, sounds like you will do your best by your girl and I'm sure she'll be on the road to recovery soon
smile.gif
 

evsj

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Thank you everyone - I have taken everything you've suggested on board and will give everything a try. I know she'll cope with the box rest itsself but I am interested in trying some parelli/clicker training so I will look into that over the weekend.
It has been really interesting to hear all your tales and it's comforting to know that you have all managed the situation without too much grief!
I am lucky to be at a nice yard too and although we've only been there three months, everyone is very fond of my girl (despite her being a moody madam) so I'll get plenty of support there.
Thanks again - and make the most of it if you are eventing this weekend..I'm missing it already!
 

monstermunch

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Unfortunately I don't know your horses exact tendon injury as did't see the post before.
I would definately use ice and cold hosing daily which will speed the recovery process. Cold boots are a fab idea, but don't ice or cold hose for longer than 10 minutes at a time as the body thinks that it is freezing and reverses the effect by pumping more blood into the area. Don't underestimate the power of cold therapy. Well worth the daily tedious effort.

Sports massage is well worth considering. It can help keep your horses muscles in good condition and increase blood flow and circulation in un used muscles.

I am not a fan of box rest unless it is an, extreme condition. I would personally section off a small paddock that your horse can graze and do a minimal amount of walking. A small pen will create no more walking than if she were in her stable, but will be more comfortable for her as it is fresh air, grazing, and this small amount of muscle movement with grazing will help maintain muscle tone. It doesn't matter how fine a horse is stood in a stable it will also have a psychological impact on them. How would you feel being locked in a bedroom for 6 months. It's not great, you'd be pulling your hair out. However I don't know your exact circumstances but consider small paddock rest instead.
Good luck I hope she has a speedy recovery!
 
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