1st half of Month 1
Stall confinement until the staples are removed. Hand grazing for 5-10 minutes once or twice daily.
2nd half of Month 1
A few days after the sutures are removed (12-14 days post op), she can be turned out in a clean, dry round pen if she is quiet or start hand walking 10-20 minutes daily.
Moved to a small paddock and begin hand walking over ground poles for 20 minutes daily.
Moved to a large turnout (Fiona is field boarded so she will go back out in her original field with pasture mates). Continue daily hand walking exercises. If able, start trotting on a lunge line for 10-20 minutes daily.
Start hand walking with a saddle on, but not ridden. If able, trot on a lunge line for up to 30 minutes daily.
Recheck Exam After Month 4
Physiotherapy – Massage & Suppling Exercices
Can be started 4 weeks after surgery and continued until she is in full ridden work. This can include carrot stretches to bend her neck from side to side and up and down and back lifts. These should be performed daily as long as she tolerates the work:
- Stretches: 5 in each direction following hand walks / lunging.
- Tummy Tucks: Standing to her side, using hands or a firm blunt object, apply firm pressure and scratch her belly to achieve a listing of her back.
- Rump Tucks: Standing to her side, using hands or a firm blunt object, apply direct pressure about 4” on either side of the midline top of her rump. She should drop her rear end and extend her back when the pressure is applied and hold it for 5-10 seconds.
- Neck Stretches: Using a treat of some sort, encourage her to touch her nose to her elbow on each side. Also encourage her to stretch her head as far down between her legs as she will go.