Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Remi vet visit tuesday 21st January

Vet out to vaccinate Mac, and check Remi after falling on the road, and general soundness / movement check.  

Vet said Remi looking v good – soundest and muscles flowing over back best seen in a while, just need to build up strength (and not re injure himself). 

He said Remi  sound and back and SI v good. :-) :-) Just bit weak and needs carefully building back up and strengthening. Suggested lots of hacking and hill work. Said Remi a good weight and very shiny :-) Said best he had seen him move in terms of all hind leg actions being totally even – normally the left one tracks slightly shorter. 

[Side note Remi is rather random – left hind was shorter last week before body work, and the extent to which he plaits varies week to week – every time I observe him he is slightly different . . .]

I asked about work load / rehab work, and vet suggested less schoolwork and more hacking. It is January and I work in Central London re hacking – I am managing 2-3 hacks a week at the moment which is good going.

Vet said the way Remi moves he drops his hips side to side in a significantly more exaggerated side to side action than most horses (part of the plaiting he does) so his SI joint is under more pressure than most horses. So is his pressure point and the point he is likely to re-injure.

So to me a focused program of pessoa, hills, poles, 30 minute schooling sessions (where most is warming up and stretching) seems logical. (Avoiding tight turns / small circles). With the focus on building a lot more protective muscle over his SI area in the next few months. Plus bringing him in so not standing on a slippery hill if we have concerted rain, at any time of the year. As slipping when tired of bracing in mud on a hill seems to be a high risk factor.

Think I must hack him in a more connected way to help him get stronger. We tend to hack in a forwards but totally disconnected way which we enjoy but wont help build muscle. So working hacking! Not slopping and whizzing hacking!

Summary is sound, and best moving on his problem left hind, muscles good over back / neck / SI / quarters, and has some muscle, but is weak and needs to be a lot stronger.

So we will crack on with the strengthening and building work. And see where we get. I do think we need some consistency now – not sure I can rehab another SI injury if he does it again in the near future. Am hoping we can stay on current upwards trajectory, at least for a little while. My hope is the longer we can get some good work done, the stronger and more protected he will be. I have a fundamental belief that if I can get him well muscled, with good supportive muscle and moving correctly, he will have best chance of protecting his joints and soft tissue and staying sound and comfortable.

Equally I think there must be a turning point – I am not sure it would be fair on either of us, to go back to scratch again in the next few months – there is a bit of ground hog day going on, so hopefully things will mostly continue in an upwards direction for a bit. I suppose the question is, is there another internal source of pain that means he isn't building as much muscle and strength as you might expect? If so we wont build the muscle, and we wont move on from this point, and he will remain at high risk of a repeat injury. 

That said the vet strongly felt he has built up significantly from October and that his back / loins / SI area are much stronger, so maybe I am impatient – as I am still surprised he is so weak, and vet and instructor agreed he is weak. However has been a miserable Dec / Jan stuck out on a wet hill, and so maybe I need to be more patient. Hope so. 

Oops have written and essay. Tea and cakes for those who reached the end!

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