The Horse

OCT 2018

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.

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Keep in touch! @TheHorse @TheHorseMag VIEWPOINT STEPHANIE L. CHURCH, Editor-in-Chief @TH_StephLChurch 8 October 2018 The Horse | Last year's sesamoid fractures and eventual surgery gave way to a winter of weeknight indoor-arena flat schools, along with weekend hacks when the ground was thawed. I had pulled Happy's shoes in September 2017, before the surgery, and decided to leave him barefoot for as long as possible to help increase his sole depth and hardness. My vet had declared his leg with the sesamoid as good as new, and he was super sound this spring. We increased our dressage work slowly, gradually, the way Dr. Loving desribes in her article, to the point we were competing successfully in local shows. In early June I'd planned to get front shoes, but instead we suffered some setbacks: first with his feet, due to trim woes and the hard/soft/hard/ soft ground of the Central Kentucky spring, then with hindgut troubles after stall rest. All told, I lost about six weeks of riding, and Happy lost muscle tone and conditioning. But by mid-July I was encouraged and ready to go. He had shoes and seemed to be going well in them, and I had borrowed an equine resistance band system to help him build his core strength— something else my vets (both primary and chiropractic) and those quoted in the article recommend. In the past I'd done groundwork with a polo wrap stretched around Happy's hindquarters, to encourage him to step up under himself and use his core, but we hadn't tried the textured elastic bands around his abdomen and hindquarters that the band sys- tem involves. I'm not a huge fan of longeing and neither is Happy, so after I accli- mated him to the abdominal band, which clips to a saddle pad, I hopped on and went for a hack with the band in place. He took big steps, walking with purpose. I increased the amount of time he wore the band with each ride, and it became part of our daily routine. I also increased the number of his daily carrot stretches. With some trepidation, I signed up for a show that offers dressage classes at the farm where I board. By competition day, Happy was going better than I'd ever felt him go. He was fluid and very rideable and, to my delight, won both of his classes. The following week my chiropractic vet checked and adjusted him, saying he looked better than she'd ever seen him. In another four weeks or so of solid work, she said, we should be able to try jumping again. As Dr. Loving recommends in the article, I've taken it slow and kept my expectations for Happy's perfor- mance realistic. At the end of the day, I don't have any grand competitive goals; if I end up doing dressage and trail-riding and not the eventing and foxhunting I had planned, I'm happy. I just want to enjoy my horse and for him to enjoy the work that we do. h Lessons in Patience I feel like this month's sports medicine story, Back to Work (see page 43), was written for my Thoroughbred, Happy, and me. From reading my column, you know we're practically a case study in rebounding from a variety of horse care challenges—some minor, others more involved. 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 EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT 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. EXPERT ADVISORS Sue McDonnell, PhD, Cert. AAB; Milt Toby, JD FEATURED CONTRIBUTORS Alayne Blickle; Sarah Evers Conrad; Nancy Loving, DVM; Holly Mason, DVM; Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc ADVERTISING SALES AND SERVICES West Coast Advertising Executive: Yvonne Long 859/276-6701 East Coast Advertising Executive: Mark White 859/276-6710 Sales Support: Nicol Hunt, 859/276-6740 PUBLISHED BY OWNED BY TOBA MEDIA PROPERTIES Board of Directors: Everett Dobson, Dan Metzger, Rosendo Parra, Dr. J. David Richardson, Peter Willmott

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