Ink TROTS again!
It has been nearly 10 months since that fateful day when Ink’s hoof boot flipped off while cantering, she took a bad step, and came up lame. Suspensory. The most dreaded word in the sport horse world.
We have spent countless hours hand walking, then tack walking, with increasing duration during that time. We finally got up to 60 minutes of riding at a walk each day. The next step is adding in small amounts of trotting. FINALLY.
This weekend we did a lameness eval, including flexion tests and trotting on small circles. Ink passed with flying colors: 100% sound. We did not do anther ultrasound at this point, as she just had one in December and we are following the rehab plan based on that. As long as she stays sound, she is cleared to continue increasing work very gradually.
This week we will do 40 minute walks plus 2 minutes of trotting (1 minute in each direction). Each week will add an additional 2 minutes of trotting. Once we reach 10 mintues of trotting, we will do another lameness eval, and if she still looks good, we can introduce canter.
For now, we are still avoiding small circles, deep or slippery footing, hills and lateral work.
Trotting Ink for the first time in almost 10 months felt strange, for both of us. I asked for a slow trot, she hesitated, then started to jog, then broke back to a walk a few times. I think after being corrected every time she tried to trot for such a long time has convinced her that she is never allowed to trot again! She did work through it and trotted a couple laps around the arena. She was very calm and obedient. It wasn’t as exciting as I had imagined.
The rehab plan gets less torturous from here on out. Less time walking, more time trotting, and faster progress towards freedom. I can’t wait until she is cleared for hills, trail rides and lateral work. Straight lines in good flat footing is sooooo boring! (and finding flat ground around here outside of the arena is limited to a very small area in the hay field… boring!)
Hopefully this will all be worth it and Ink will heal well and never have another injury. It will be tempting to keep her in bubble wrap forever to avoid possible reinjury…