Arena

Dressage Today - - Content -

T his isn’t the blog en­try I wanted to write and cer­tainly not where I hoped our jour­ney to­gether would lead, but the fact of the mat­ter is I have de­cided to re­tire For­rest. The fur­ther truth is that I sim­ply can­not ef­fec­tively re­hab him.

Af­ter our last post­ing, when sound­ness was look­ing rosy in­deed, For­rest, de­spite be­ing sedated (and we’re talk­ing nearly 3 ccs of ace here) still man­aged two enor­mous ex­plo­sions, vent­ing his spring fever and frus­tra­tion of nearly a year and a half of stall rest with only pad­dock turn out. I gave him bute for three days in a row, re­turned to walk­ing only for two weeks, and when I picked up the trot again, with my hus­band film­ing, the left hind looked so stabby that both my head and my heart said, “Enough.”

The in­jured sti­fle, with the mild/moderate in­jury in the soft tis­sue from his rac­ing days, not di­ag­nosed un­til we had ex­hausted the tra­di­tional ap­proach of X-rays, in­jec­tions, chi­ro­prac­tic and acupunc­ture be­fore turn­ing to state-of-the-art ul­tra­sound, was fi­nally deter­mined to be the rea­son for his slightly shorter step I had mis­tak­enly put down to weak­ness. And even then the prog- no­sis was “good.” How­ever, I was un­able to main­tain For­rest’s be­hav­ior con­sis­tently dur­ing re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion. He had been a star for the first three months, then there would be a huge leap or buck, set­ting us back a few weeks, then a se­ries of vi­o­lent, spin­ning spooks, a cou­ple of rears de­spite a stud chain, and se­da­tion both hand-walk­ing and un­der sad­dle.

Fol­low more of Pam Stone’s blog at dres­sage­to­day.com.

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