I hope you’ve had a lovely September, whether that’s back to school, uni, or just the usual working week. I started a new job in September working in water billing, although not quite as interesting as being a vet (my dream job) it’s all exciting just the same. Sadly working full time has meant a little less time for the ponies so I’m really grateful to my mum who’s helped out with Henry still being on box rest and one of my best friends Robyn keeping Star exercised while I’ve been so busy.
I’ll start with updating you on Star, she’s gone from strength to strength really. Duncan saw her a few weeks ago and gave her the go ahead to do some arena work and he was really pleased with her. She’s really starting to build muscle and work really nicely and balanced. She’s so fun to ride, quite similar to Henry, she likes to do everything quickly!! She’s extremely uphill and I can’t wait to start jumping her- she’s going to be amazing. It’s quite different for me to have the ride on a mare- since I’ve had 6 geldings! She’s extremely sweet natured.
Next to Henners (nickname from Duncan not me). He’s been doing really well on box rest. He was getting a bit restless so we’ve given him a small amount of bromide daily to keep his energy levels down a bit and it’s worked so well. I was adamant that all calmers we’ve tried with him haven’t worked but the bromide from the vets has worked extremely well. He’s also been shod for the first time since he’s been on rest. He has gel filled shoes that reduce concussion in the leg that Duncan recommended.
A few weeks ago Henry was allowed to start 5 minutes walking daily. Anyone that knows Henry that handling him on the ground is difficult at the best of times- he really needs to work on his manners. Hand walking him was rather difficult so we tried some long reining, he was absolutely AMAZING!! Henry loves to do work and feel like he has a job so this style of exercise was much more suited to him.
Henry was given the go ahead to do his walking in our arena as well as on the road which was much more relaxing for me! Unfortunately on review of a video of him walking round the school he was much, much lamer than he was on a hard surface. Henry has arthritic changes in his hocks that have starting showing really badly while he is on box rest for his front leg.. I called Duncan as I was a little concerned that we might be dealing with a soft tissue injury instead. He came to see him the next day and agreed that he looked worse in both walk and on a soft surface and was worth investigating. We blocked his hocks a few weeks ago and the blocked really well but the suspensory ligament block and hock block can have a little overlap. It was important to me to rule out any possibility of a suspensory ligament injury before we went ahead and started increasing Henrys walking exercises.
A few days later we blocked his suspensory ligament and he was still very lame, which is good- likely that there is no damage to his suspensory ligaments. So we went ahead and medicated his hocks- when the needle base went into his joint a lot of fluid came out which shows just how much pain that arthritis was probably causing him. So hock medication done and we hope with an increase of exercise the lameness will start to ease off and at least be less uncomfortable. At this stage exercise is good- especially as he’s inside 24 hours a day.
Now for some good news. Last week I actually got to ride my little Henry!!! I’m riding him for 10 minutes a day for the next 3/4 weeks or so to start loading that front cannon bone. We decided to do this stage of controlled walking ridden as I feel that I have the most control of him while I’m on him and Henry seems extremely pleased about that to say the least!
I can’t wait to update you all next month! Henry should be starting some proper ridden work and Star is certainly on the right path to start some jumping. Hope you all have a fantastic October.
Lots of love Helen, Henry & Star X