b'SPORTS MEDICINEthen not having your horse because hes injured isnt worth it, Dryden says.And, even if your horse is well-conditioned, know when enough is enough.Horses often have their injury toward the end of a ridefatigue is a major con-tributor to injury, Bell says. The rider should learn to recognize when (the) horse is fatigued, and call it a day.Dont overwork your horse on repetitive-motion exercises. You can cause a lot of trouble by overusing these horses, especially longeing them, Dryden says. I think a lot of horses are broken because theyre being overlonged, getting them quiet.Sure, a horse needs to learn the barrel pattern and how to work a cow, but once he knows his job, dont drill him on the same movements repeatedly. Also, avoid overlongeing, Dryden says. Vary your Horses rehabbing from a variety ofconditioning and training rides to help ABIGAIL BOATWRIGHTinjuries can bene\x0bt from controlledavoid repetitive-use injuries.exercise programs using modalitiesFeed your horse properly. Appropri-such as underwater treadmills.ate nutrition for the level of work and conditioning is very important, Bell says. Horses lacking adequate nutrition will palmar digital nerve to desensitize the Have patience . If you dont give thembecome fatigued faster.foot) can be considered, Bell says. enough time and you bring them backKeep your horse on a consistent farrier This is a salvage procedure (meaningto work too early, youre going to makeschedule. A long toe can do a lot of dam-the horse might only be pasture sound),it worse, and then youre starting allage, especially on a performance horse, and nerve regrowth does occur typicallyover again, Dryden says. Dryden says, noting that a long toe com-over two to five years, he adds, meaning Listen to your horse,Bell says. Dontpounds the load on soft tissue structures repeat surgeries might be required.push him through discomfort, andin the hoof already under heavy stress.PrognosisDepending on disease sever- recognize fatigue, he says. If you thinkHave your horse trimmed and/or reset ity and how well horses respond to treat- something isnt right or his condition isevery four to six weeks. This might vary ment, they have a fair to good chance ofgetting worse, call your veterinarian.slightly among individuals, so work with returning to soundness, Bell says. Work closely with your horses healthyour farrier to find the ideal schedule for However, horses with flexor surfacecare team your vet, farrier, trainer,your horse. erosion, ulceration, and/or loss of theand anyone else involved in provid- Also, resist the urge to delay appoint-navicular bone (visible) on radiographsing careduring treatment andments, even if it doesnt look like your tend to have a poor prognosis to return torehabilitation.horse has grown much foot. Even subtle soundness, he says. changes in hoof angle can affect the me-Prevention Is the Best Treatment chanics within, which can put your horse For Best ResultsWhile you cant prevent every injury,at risk for injury.Regardless of your horses injury, theyou can reduce your horses chances of following steps are key to giving him thesustaining one. The Bottom Linebest chance at returning to full use orBe sure your horse is fit. An unfit orIdeally, take steps to prevent injuries soundness: fatigued horse is at high risk for injury,from occurring in your Western perfor- Get a proper diagnosis , Dryden says. ItBell says. A person would not decide tomance horse. But if youre faced with a might be a time-consuming and pricyhead out and run a marathon or sprintproblem, involve your veterinarian early, endeavor but, chances are, itll be lessa 100-meter dash without conditioningget an accurate diagnosis, stick to the expensive in the long run if your veteri- for that level of exercise, so dont expecttreatment and rehabilitation plan, and narian knows what youre dealing with. your horse to, either. work closely with a skilled horse healthFollow your veterinarians instructionsNot having a horse fit, pulling themteam. This will give your horse the best and recommendationsto the best ofout of the stall, going to the show pen andchance of returning to the show pen and your ability, Bell says.being a rock star for five minutes, andpicking up where he left off. h46August 2019The Horse | TheHorse.com'