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.
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