Here's a little background as to what has transpired over the last several days. Originally, Liz was to have a lesson with Pam and I would sit the day out since Junior was "not ready to work, yet." Unfortunately, Doc had a mishap (out of our control and he is doing well at this point) and was forced to cancel the lesson. As many of you are aware, Liz is trying to get on the Region 8 team for KY in July. To have her horse suddenly lame is devastating, but all limbs are crossed that he will make it to GMHA to debut their freestyle.As for Junior, he injured himself in early May. Throughout the course of his rehab, I treated a bit outside the box and did what the horse ordered rather than what the doctor ordered. I've never completely agreed with how vets treat tendon injuries, and since he is my horse, I let him do the talking. I did laser therapy for a week after the initial injury and used Surpass. I never truly stopped working Junior. Granted, we walked for a solid 2 weeks, but then gradually added trotting. I was turning him out in a quiet paddock from day 8. I'm not recommending people make these decisions. However, this is what worked for me and Junior. He's a special horse and you need to be a horseperson with sensitive horses. At 3 weeks, his ultrasound was clear and within 4 weeks, we were cantering and doing changes. I never went sideways, and that's important to pay attention to. Lateral work places severe strain on the tendons and ligaments and must be avoided. I would watch for increased swelling, heat, lameness, etc. Junior never exhibited any of these, so I simply continued to gradually increase the time and amount of work each week.
On Saturday night, I spoke with Pam about Doc and mentioned I would ride either Flagg or Wheels in my lesson. She said "I would prefer to see you ride Junior." She's been following our progress via email, of course. I'm so thankful to Pam for bringing it up. The barn folks were surprised to see me come out on Junior since I've been doing a lot of my work privately. I didn't want to condone the fact that I was doing things against vet orders. Junior felt like a million bucks as we challenged his hind legs a bit in order to get him off the front. You could feel the smile on his face and the relief in his body as we went to real work again. He felt loose and stronger than I gave him credit for. We worked mostly the canter since Pam made the point that his trot is very "flashy" and more apt to strain the tendons than his canter. We want the canter to come shorter and quicker anyway, so that's a good place to start. We did lots of tempis to get the canter jumping. They are not hard on his body and his favorite exercise. He played all the way to ones.
I hope my vet isn't reading any of this...and luckily everything is coming together as planned. I hope to bring Junior out for the CDI in August and after yesterday, I know he'll be ready! Thanks, Pam!