Slowly slowly

The most important thing that I have learnt in the last six months is the fact that time and patience are the key to rehabbing a horse back to work from injury. I'm in the unfortunate position of having to rehab both of my boys who are both suffering from front leg injuries but area of the leg. Which means I have acquired a lot of knowledge about all the tendons and ligaments of horses' front legs, haha. Many months of reading different veterinary articles, blog posts and websites one of the main things that applies to all horses is that they need a lot of time to heal. Neither of the boys' injuries were bad enough to have to think about retirement or anything worse, so we have given both boys lots of time to heal!

Not looking too shabby for 4 months out of work
 But months off means having a heck of a lot of patience. And I admit I'm not the most patient human being, but when it comes to rehabbing both boys back into work, I have been more cautious and given them both longer than what vets have recommended at every stage to try and ensure that both heal fully! So everything is happening at a very slow pace, but both boys are hopefully recovering slowly, slowly. Whilst Basse still have 4/5 weeks of walk work left, Vallu is now on the 'back to work' stage, where every week we get to do more work. I've just had my first ten minutes of trot day and both Vallu and I were exhausted afterwards, especially thanks to the heatwave that we're currently experiencing here!


Equ StreamZ

We have been very loyal customers of the Back on Track products so much so that we have boots for all of the horses and mesh rugs for three of them and we also have the several of the products for people too. However, when I came across Equ StreamZ I was willing to try to see if it was any better/different to the BoT products!

StreamZ Global products contain a mixture of natural rubbers and compounds known as ‘StreamZ Technology’. StreamZ products are unique and differ greatly from more traditionally used products such as ‘magnetic pulsing devices’ and ‘hologram ion balancers.’ Magnets create a pulsating effect that increases the electrical conductivity of the blood and increasing the amount of ions (atoms that carry a charge of electricity). Although the StreamZ bands contain a magnetic field they do not create this pulsating effect but instead introduce a new technique in magnetic therapy – magnetic resonance technology so in stead of pulsing, StreamZ spins! (Taken from their website)

Whether or not it works, it will be interesting to see if it has any affect on Basse. We chose to try the bands out on Basse because he is the most 'injured' and stiff of our horses so if the bands do help him it should be easy to spot! I wanted to blog about this product because I don't think a lot of people know about them as well as they do about the other major magnetic boots brands and I would suggest having a read about the products and the technology behind them!


Good news!

Finally some good news in my life!

We had a clinic day booked for Friday morning to do a final check on Vallu and a two month check up on Basse. For those of you who don't know the story with both my boys,  Vallu hurt the medial suspensory branch on his right front leg in late December/early January. Basse hurt his straight distal sesamoid ligament (SDSL) on his left front leg in a nasty freak fall in his paddock in February but due to two incompetent vets, it took us until the fourt vet two months later to find out truly what was wrong with him and start the correct rest and rehab plan. Basse has also had a near constant navicular inflammation since February most likely due to the inflammation of the SDSL aggravating the navicular.
After his initial diagnosis in the beginning of January, Vallu had a month of box rest followed by a month of hand walking twice a day and the third month of limited turn out in the mornings with a hand walk in the afternoons. We then had a check up two months ago where the vet said to start riding him in walk, increasing it every week and to do as much hacking as possible. We obviously did this until he moved back to Finland, after which he has either had all day turn out or morning turn out and ridden walk work in the afternoons. So on Friday at the vets I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the leg has healed really well, the suspensory is looking really good apart from some scar tissue forming there. We won't know for sure if he can ever go back to full time advanced work because of this, but we have been given the go ahead for bringing him back into work. This stage of rehabbing for us involves starting at 5 minutes of trot per ride in the first week and increasing the time by five minutes every week. When we are 25 minutes of trot per week, we can then introduce canter work and again increase by 5 minutes per week so that by week 10 we should be at 25 minutes of trot and 25 minutes of canter. I'll probably end up taking Vallu back for another check up at this stage to make sure that everything is still okay and get X-rays done of the front legs to see if there are any changes that could do with some cortisone injections to make him feel better.

Basse's SDSL has healed amazingly in just two months. I would love to have his scans published in a book or article as they're so interesting to look at and to see the improvement. He's had shockwave treatment at every visit and at his one month check up last month he also got PRP treatment. On Friday he got his third shockwave treatment and the vet said that we could start doing ridden walk work! Which is great, because that poor horse was so bored of hand walking. We have another check up at the end of July to see if it has possibly fully healed and then to check the navicular. There is a 50/50 chance that due to the length of time that he had navicular inflammation that is could have led to an early onset of arthritis :( he trotted the other day in his paddock and he still doesn't look 100% sound so my biggest fear of arthritis might just come true with him... But we mustn't give up hope, the original injury to the SDSL was so bad that I didn't think we would see the kind of improvement that we have seen in just two months! Fingers crossed.

So on Saturday I got to ride both my boys on the same day for the first time in approximately two years! It was wonderful to see how happy Vallu was to be trotting and how happy Basse looked to be ridden and 'doing work'. I love both of my boys so much, that to see them both happy makes my heart swell.


Happy birthday Vallu!

Vallu is 14 years old today! Happy birthday my wonderful crazy wild cart horse, here's hoping for many more years of adventures, grey hairs and heart attack inducing moments. I'm sure he won't be calming down in his old age! ♥︎
Birthday cake!


First rides!

Yayayayayy! I've now had two successful rides with Vallu back home now! On the first day it was all hands on deck, with mum holding the reins and feeding Vallu sweets whilst dad was hand walking Nelli in the arena with us at the same time. All went well and Vallu was super well behaved. Yesterday I got on at nearly 8pm and I got on with only mum giving Vallu sweets not holding on in front of the stables, and then proceeded to ride to the arena where we then did 15 minutes of walk work on our own before going back. Vallu was tense for the first few minutes and called for the others before settling down and doing some really good relaxed work. I did a lot of lateral work (shoulder in, travers, leg yield and half pass) to get him focussed on me and not on the fact that he was on his own in the evening when he's used to getting fed at that time! I'm so pleased that we only had a few bunny hops/buttunderandtakeoff moves.
 The reason for this slight hysteria is that I fell off the last time I rode him in England... And I can't even say that I rode him, Vallu threw me off before I had properly managed to get on!! :D Naughty pony. Lili had been super lovely and promised to take us to Beacon Hills for a short hack before I left, but Vallu clearly had other ideas as whilst I was getting on he leapt in the air and whilst all four feet were off the ground in mid air he bucked and I got thrown off in the car park. Mortifying! And petrifying, as then Vallu decided to gallop about for the following fifteen minutes and not let anyone catch him. Even after 2 weeks I still have a sore hip and poorly knee :( Vallu's had a day off today and we start again tomorrow to see how he's feeling!
Someone sent me this the day :D


And breathe...

It's safe to say that I have finally been able to breathe now that Vallu has been home for a few days and everything is starting to settle down. He arrived Friday midday in the middle of the heatwave, and was absolutely covered in white foam sweat, shaking from head to toe! Poor boy. We quickly washed him off and then put him in his stable where he proceeded to roll for a good ten minutes, during which he managed to bang his left front leg really badly so that swelled up! Gaaah, horses sometimes!! The rest of his legs were swollen a bit too, but I'm not surprised considering how long he'd been travelling for. Thus he had Friday and Saturday just chilling in the paddocks giving him time to settle back into this routine.

On Sunday he'd started to perk up a bit so mum ordered us to go for a hand walk in the indoor just to see how he was doing. And I'm very happy to report that he was more than happy to be going somewhere and doing something! I couldn't keep up with how quickly he was marching and since his legs look 99% better than on Friday, I think I might try to venture back on tomorrow. He has another hand walking session today, this time on our outdoor to see how spooky he is :D

Half giraffe half horse