Stifle Exercise Journey Begins

Ok, first day in to our exercise routine was Saturday.  It was surprisingly very nice this weekend, with relatively low humidity.  I did us both a favor by getting up in the wee hours of the morning as well (I hate heat).  Setting us up for success, woo!

I think Kosmo was surprised to see me; no matter how much he hates work, he’ll always greet me with his classic low whuffle whinny: I love it!  But usually it’s only when I’m halfway up to the barn; this time, I actually got a whuffle as my car door opened.  It was like “Hey Mom, what.. what’re you doing here?”

My plan of attack was rotations of different exercises: long and low walks, long and low trots, walking up and down hills, and walking over raised cavalettis.  I also attempted to take pictures of his stifle muscles, but I’m an idiot, and took them in the aisle against the sun, and well, they were NOT the best photos in the universe.  I’ll be there today after work, and I’ll try again without having a dumb moment.

Our cycle was: 5 minutes of warm-up walk, 5 minutes of easy trot, 5-8 minutes of walk while incorporating the raised cavalettis (coming from both directions), 5 minutes of trot, and then I’d say about 10 minutes of walking around my parents property (including up and down the long driveway) and all of its hills.  For not having been ridden for a few weeks, he was a doll.  He trotted up with no issues (he’s never felt lame this entire time, just FYI), but wasn’t crazy forward.  Was very brave going around the property by himself (the last time I tried this, Lollie was alive and would keep calling to him, which made him anxious to get back to her).  He also has never tackled raised cavalettis before; the first time through, he promptly toppled the raised ones.  I had to remember to NOT push him through those (as we always have difficulty through trot poles because of his short stride, it’s just habit).  The slower he goes, the more he’s using his muscles, and the better off we are.  He got the hang of it quickly.

I’m sure he was bored to tears, but sorry bud.  I’ve employed my mom to walk him in hand on the off days (Thanks Mom!) either up and down the property hills or over the cavaletti.  So here’s hoping this’ll get him feeling good again!  I debated starting up some sort of supplements (we were on SmartCombo when he was at the boarding barn), but seeing as I don’t think this is a joint/tendon/ligament issue, rather just a conformation general weakness, I think only exercise will help at this point.

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