The treatment plan was a month of stall rest and then slowly put him back into work. Since I was going to be out anyway, we agreed on two months of stall rest since the extra wouldn't hurt and could only help.
The full plan was:
1. Complete stall rest for one month
2. Stall rest for 12 hours and 12 hours in small outdoor paddock for remainder of summer
3. Starting at the two month mark, ten minutes of hand walking for two weeks
4. Ten minutes of hand walking and five minutes of walking under saddle for two weeks
5. Ten minutes of walking under saddle and 2-4 minutes of trotting
6. Adding more trot as he can handle the work
At four weeks past my knee replacement, I recruited friends to begin the hand walking. I was shocked at how even ten minutes of hand walking left him a little breathless. Two months of standing still really knocked his fitness level to nothing!
At five and half weeks past surgery I was getting a little impatient so decided to go just a bit faster and add a couple minutes under saddle. You'd think a horse that hadn't been ridden for two months would be a LITTLE bad his first time under saddle but he was great ..... so.... I was tempted ..... could MY leg handle a few minutes in the saddle? Since I had the help I went ahead and hopped on and did a quick circle. The whole thing was painless and easy so I couldn't be happier with our first ride back together.
We won't know how his leg has has healed until he begins the trot work but so far its looking good and he seems happy to be back in the ring. I have my doc appointment on Friday and plan to ask how it would affect my knee if I had to quickly get off. If all is good with a quick dismount, I plan to do all the future under saddle work! Woohoo!
|Excuse the outfit - didn't think I would be riding!|