Rehabbing Simon back from his soft tissue strain has been an adventure, but I feel like I’m at the point where I’m not too horribly whiny and both feel good about our progress and his happiness. Stall rest, hand walking and all that jazz isn’t super fun but I’ve developed some survival techniques that have helped me cope and make the best of the situation
When you can do, you must do
I feel like a lot of rehab and stall rest is a combination of patience and a mental game. The mental game part is don’t let yourself get too caught up or upset (I’m famous for this), and something that has really helped me is going the extra mile when I can. Before our hand walking, I put liniment on both his hocks. After he first got hurt I put him on a joint & ligament supplement for extra support. When he started showing signs of grouchiness, I started a round of ulcer treatment. Is the liniment going to heal him faster? No. Am I 100% certain that he has ulcers? No. Do I feel better knowing I’m doing everything I can to make him the healthiest and happiness he can be right now? Absolutely.
Use this time to fuel your Instagram problem
If you can’t ride your beautiful horse, you might as well photograph him a lot – right? Plus, horse loving tweens everywhere will like your pictures and send comments, bonus!
Don’t forget, your vet is here to help.
For someone like me who is at work most days the vet is out for maintenance work or other visits, it can be hard to remember that they are a great asset. Your vet knows your horse. The internet does not know your horse. If you have an inclination to google everything (which is dangerous… you might come across a silly site like mine), maybe call your vet first. When I was worried about ulcers and needed to get some Ace for his stall walking, I had a great convo with my vet. She told me that alfalfa hay is a great choice for feeding stall rest horses, because it helps ph levels in the stomach. Who knew? Oh right, the vet did.
Without all that silly training, you can teach your horse new tricks
Like how to hand walk themselves – brilliant!
Most importantly – remember this is temporary.
Soon, you’ll be back to normal and the months you spent resting and rehabbing will not only strengthen your horse’s ligament but also your relationship!