Recovery – Day 3

Stall rest is a lot to ask of a baby.  3 weeks is an eternity to them.  I am happy to report that Indy is doing amazingly well.  He is tolerating the stall rest for the moment.  However, I came in this morning and noticed the note on his chart:

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Actual picture of chart.

I can’t say I blame him.  The wraps are itchy and annoying, I’m sure.  The goal is to keep him wrapped for just two more days – 5 total.  That would be ideal for his healing.  Once the wraps come off we will do our best to keep the area clean and use a wound sealing spray to keep the small incisions clean and closed.

We aren’t cleared for hand walking yet, so we are very limited to what we can do.  He has been very calm and laid back in his stall, as well as on the crossties.  I have been taking him out twice each day to groom him.  The crossties at least provide him with a slight change of scenery.  He doesn’t need to be groomed twice each day but he does enjoy it and he is shedding quite a bit.

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Lots of hay!

Thankfully, he does have a buddy next to him that is also on stall rest.  He’s also got a nice big window that he likes looking out and lots of hay all the time. Now I have to worry about him getting fat. Considering a slow feeder hay net.

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Indy saying hi to his buddy.

Otherwise, the activity in the clinic seems to keep him entertained. He likes to whinny in greeting at every horse that comes in.  It’s pretty adorable.

Shady has been quite awesome as well.  We’ve been getting stronger each day with lunging, in-hand work, stretching, and riding forward. Today we joined some barn friends in an afternoon jump session. We had a blast!  I used to have jump nights with my barn a few years back in the wintertime. Not only is it safer to jump together, but good motivation as well.  We set up a fun course with lots of turns.  Had I jumped alone I would have been lazy and probably only set up one or two.

Shady was very appreciative of jump group and was a bit full of it. She hasn’t jumped that much in the well over a year.  Her inner Arabian side came out!  The first time we tried to do the course she bombed around, tail in the air, ignoring me.  Slightly embarrassing.

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In my defense we did a rollback to that jump and our turn was a little wider than intended.

The next time I remembered I could actually ride and help her, a novel idea! I sat back, carried my hands, and put my leg on. Lo and behold, my horse remembered how to jump and listen. I was very pleased with her, especially considering that we haven’t jumped and still need to strengthen a lot behind.

It was a beautiful day outside so we went for a trail ride as well.  We discovered a huge hill that Shady really wanted to canter up, but we walked. As long as the weather and footing are good we will incorporate that hill into our session. Super way to build up that hind end!

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Keeping Indy Busy Pre-Surgery

It’s not really the best thing to see at the bottom of your discharge paperwork – “keep Indy as quiet as possible before the surgery.” He’s 8 months old, how the heck am I going to manage that??

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He’s going to miss his best bud for a few weeks 😦

Thankfully the vet did say he could continue going out with his friend. Yes, they will run around and play, but the main thing is to keep him from doing excessive things.  We don’t want him to do more damage to his hocks.  This meant no tearing around loose in the indoor and no long walks or jogs.  Thankfully the weather does prohibit a lot of physical activity anyway!

So how to keep him in “training” so to speak? How do I keep him stimulated and behaving? Well, we can still train and keep him mentally satisfied at least.  We can still go for walks in the indoor and around our track.  Here we can practice halting, turning (though not too tight!) and general leading.  He does like to watch the other horses being ridden and worked and is generally very well behaved when they go by.

I asked a friend at the barn, who also works at the clinic, what I could do to better prepare Indy for his big day.  She was thrilled that I asked and said he is sure to be the best behaved baby they’ve had. She said please teach him to clip, especially around his hocks and hind legs. She also suggested I get him used to wraps on his hind legs, as he of course will be wrapped afterwards. She also thanked me in advance for making their lives simpler!

Clipping, as you know, we’ve already been doing. We still have refresher courses about twice per week.  He’s been super about it and very relaxed.  I actually even gave him a little bridle/halter path.  I made sure to focus on his hocks and entire hind leg.  He took it extremely well; even resting a hind leg while I ran the running clippers up and down.

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It’s hard to see because he’s so fuzzy, but we’ve clipped a halter path!

I then grabbed a pair of polo wraps and brought him in his stall.  I was alone in the barn and did not want to put him on crossties for his first wrapping experience.  He was enjoying his hay when I knelt down next to him and rubbed the polo on his leg.  He is used to me squatting down next to him as I have done since his birth.

I then wrapped his leg, from fetlock to hock.  I got to the end of the polo before I remembered the large piece of Velcro at the end.  I prepared myself, which turned out to be unnecessary. He didn’t flinch, just continued eating his hay.  I forgot how much Velcro he has been around; his fly mask, his first blanket, Shady’s things, etc.

Now to be in a safe spot for the hopping around……

There was no hopping around. He picked up the wrapped leg three times, picking it up high towards his belly, putting it down, then picking it up again. That was it. He kept eating the entire time.

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First time being wrapped – didn’t care

I then wrapped the second leg, going over the hock this time and halfway up his gaskin.  No reaction this time either. I brought him out of his stall and into the aisle. He didn’t even do the usual “chicken walk” most horses do.

We headed to the indoor, where some of my friends were. They said something must be wrong with him to be behaving better than old horses. We walked and did a little trotting, he was great.  We headed back to his stall where I easily removed the polos and told him what a good boy he is.

We will continue with the wrapping, adding standing wraps, and the clipping review just to keep him fresh.  This will only help keep his stress levels low while at the clinic.