The Horse

OCT 2017

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 7 of 51

8 THE HORSE October 2017 But a fracture it was and, inevita- bly, I cried. I'd only interacted with this veterinarian, who was standing in for my regular practitioner, a few times prior to that day. Now, on top of Happy's sesamoid fracture, he had my waterworks to manage. But he said something that helped bring things into perspective. "Stephanie, this could be a bless- ing in disguise," he said. "It will give you the time it will take to let whatever is going on with his back heal." Indeed, before he sustained the fracture in a paddock accident, Happy had been inexplicably back- sore for about two weeks. The vet's best guess, along with that of my chiropractic veterinarian, was that he'd pulled something in his back. Thankfully, the fracture didn't require surgery, and we began stall rest. Happy is a very "busy" retired racehorse who likes his routine. Stall time 24/7 and hand-grazing are not a part of that routine. We coped, though it wasn't always pleasant (think walking a horse-sized kite), and five weeks later he moved to a friend's farm for rehab and con- trolled turnout. Happy quickly established his routine there. In the mornings he had breakfast and spent time going both directions on the automatic walker. He was bathed or groomed, ate lunch, then spent his afternoons in small, private turnout, where he kept all four feet on the ground and grazed. He also underwent periodic Class IV laser treatments. I joked that Happy was at the spa, but the truth is, when I visited him during this stage, he was as muscled (if not more) than he had been prior to getting hurt. When Happy returned to the farm where I board, my regular vet gave me her blessing to walk and trot him under saddle; we skipped tack walking entirely. With a slight saddle tweak to ac- commodate his changing back and finding a saddle pad he truly loves, I had not only a sound horse but also one no longer back-sore. This month you'll see the first of a two-part series on whole-body rehab. Our sources talk about the importance of core strength and fitness in helping horses heal, along with a variety of modalities to sup- port their recovery. I'm confident Happy's chance to rest, then to stretch over his back daily during his hourlong walking workouts, contributed to his remark- able recovery, along with the laser therapy. And I'm hopeful that con- tinuing to focus on his core fitness with groundwork and exercises will create an even sounder horse when we're back to normal activities. h Whole-Horse Healing VIEWPOINT STEPHANIE L. CHURCH Editor-in-Chief @TH_StephLChurch S tanding in the barn aisle back in April, I remember the moment the veterinarian confirmed my Thoroughbred, Happy, had frac- tured a sesamoid. Admittedly, when he is injured or not himself, my mind can go from zero to worst-case scenario in seconds—a side effect of editing material about horse illnesses and injuries all the time. But I'd been optimistic about this particular injury, perhaps because I didn't even want to consider what it could be. Keep in touch! @TheHorse @TheHorseMag Publisher: Marla Bickel Editor-in-Chief: Stephanie L. Church Managing Editor: Alexandra Beckstett News Editor: Erica Larson Digital Managing Editor: Michelle Anderson Art Director: Brian Turner Web Producer: Jennifer Whittle Brand Manager: Shawna White EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT The Horse, Editorial, 3101 Beaumont Centre Circle, Suite 100, Lexington, KY 40513 E-MAIL All letters must include the writer's name, address, and daytime phone number for verification. ■ Letters:, or by mail. ■ Farm Call:, or by mail. ■ Across the Fence and Behavior Columns:, or by mail. ■ New Products:, or by mail. EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Scott Anderson, DVM Jerry Black, DVM Anthony Blikslager, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS Tom Brokken, DVM Ann Dwyer, DVM Benjamin Espy, DVM, Dipl. ACT Jenifer R. Gold, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVECC Kyla Ortved, DVM, Dipl. ACVS Debra Taylor, DVM Educational Partnership Disclaimer: The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), one of The Horse's partners in equine health, has no involvement regarding editorial management or advertising content within this publication and thereby does not endorse any editorial or advertising content unless so acknowledged within the individual article or advertisement. ADVERTISING SALES AND SERVICES West Coast Advertising Executive: Yvonne Long, 859/276-6701 East Coast Advertising Executive: Michelle Simpson, 859/276-6710 Sales Support: Nicol Hunt, 859/276-6740 PUBLISHED BY THE HORSE MEDIA GROUP LLC For up-to-date news, in-depth horse health articles, and more, go to

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Horse - OCT 2017