Rehabbing the Sport Horse and Sport Husband

As you all know, I have been rehabbing Spot from a hind suspensory strain. We diganosed the injury via ultrasound, had 1 month of hand walking 25 minutes a day, and then was cleared to start tack walking and slowly come back up to work.

However, when we started cantering a few weeks ago, Spot pulled up with what seemed to me at the time to be a career ending stifle injury. Her right hind was locked up and was super hitchy/lame. Cue water works and a complete meltdown.



We immediately stopped riding and just hand walked for a week since the vet was due to come out the next week to inject Spot’s coffin. I did a 3 day bute test to see if that helped her lameness any, but it had no effect so that narrowed it down to more of a bio-mechanical issue than inflammation or tendon/pain related. Cue intense Horsie-WebMD google searching. My search turned up something called Intermittent Upward Patella Fixation, or in other terms a “Sticky Stifle”. Sticky/Weak stifles can be pretty common in growing young horses, but also with horses coming out of rehab and that lack fitness and muscle in the hind end. The two most common ways to deal with IUPF are:

  1. More work.
    • Lots of trot poles, long trot sets, and trotting/walking up and down hills to build hind end muscle. Minimal circling,minimal cantering, but leg yielding and SI/HI are ok too
  2. Blistering
    • This is where an irritant like iodine is injected into the stifle ligaments to “irritate” the ligament to create scar tissue to tighten up those ligaments.

After my vet examined Spot and flexed her out, she was very confident that more work with trot poles and walking up any incline would sort Spot out. There was no sign of any ligament tear or anything more serious, and she does not recommend blistering as it is painful, doesn’t work all the time, and just isn’t a fan of it in general.


So, for the next month or so Spot and I will be in trot pole boot camp and depending on how she feels I’ll start adding a little bit of canter after about 2 weeks. Hopefully this sets us right so we can get back to full work!

Anyone have any fun trot pole exercises for the Flying Potato and I?

Now, what’s this business about Rehabbing the Sport Husband?


Andy, horse and sport husband extraordinaire broke himself last Saturday on a mountain bike. Like really broke himself

He was out biking in the foothills with a buddy when he crashed on a steep, tight, technical section of the trail where ironically, a ton of other people have also crashed, and most people end up walking it. He fell down about 4 feet into a creek ravine and snapped his right radius. Medics hiked in to splint him and then he had to hike out 15 minutes to get to the ambulance for the ride to the ER.


When I got the call I was just about to get on Spot and I admit, I thought briefly about just getting a quick ride in before heading to the hospital. I thought better of it so I super quickly un-tacked and headed to the hospital. They attempted a reset that was somewhat successful, splinted him, gave us a boat load of painkillers, and I took him home.  We had a follow up with an orthopedic surgeon who told us a plate and pins was necessary for it to heal correctly so we scheduled surgery for a few days later. The surgery went very smoothly and the Dr was confident that it would heal great! Yay!

I had several thoughts go through my head this last week pre and post surgery that I think most of you will find hilarious:

  1. “OMG his leg  arm  is broken. His performance career is over, I’m going to have to put him out to pasture”
  2. “I need to find supplements for him…Cosequin? Maybe we can do Osphos or Tildren to help that bone heal”
  3. “I’m totally going to use Spot’s ice wraps on him during rehab”
  4. “Going to need to buy more Sore No More”
  5. “He’s not eating very much…omg he better not colic”

True to my horse hoarding nature, I attempted twice: once while he was a bit loopy on painkillers and the second when he was coming out of anesthesia, to convince Andy that we needed another horse. I think the word “horse” might be a trigger word for him because both times he wasn’t buying it. Even when he was coming out of anesthesia and I mentioned it, he looked up at me blearily and said “I’m not THAT unaware” ~sigh~ I tried, guys! I tried!

It’ll be about 6 weeks until he’s healed and 3 months till his arm is back to full strength so in the mean time:

Any recommendations for Netflix shows for Andy to watch while he’s on stall rest? 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Rehabbing the Sport Horse and Sport Husband

  1. Kate Little says:

    I laughed pretty hard at “he better not colic” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. EquiNovice says:

    Holy cow!!! My first thought was, “is that an ARM???”
    Lots of healing thoughts to Spot and Andy as they bounce back.


  3. That arm! Ugh. I saw on fb or instagram (I forget which and thought it was a horseback riding injury at first). I hope he heals up quickly. Shasta (my husband’s mare) had a stifle problem. She was actually kicked in the stifle in a pasture accident. She was able to recover from it, but she needed to be ridden a lot to stay sound. She might have been fine with less riding if she could have pasture turnout, but that’s not really available around here. Staying in shape is the most important with lots of movement being essential. Trot poles and hills are great, but backing up is also excellent. Even in hand backing will really help them build those muscles. The chiro and vet also recommended mounting from both sides and switching it up frequently to keep the one side from getting strained. Turn out after riding to let them buck/stretch/roll in a non confined space (even if it’s just the round pen for 10 minutes – you don’t need a pasture) can be very helpful. Feel free to email me if you’d like more tips. The vet was initially not sure if she’d ever recover from that stifle kick and we got and kept her sound for years (even doing jumping) so I have some experience there.


    • peonyckw says:

      Oooh…I think I will be contacting you about your stifle experience and any tips you might have. That’s awesome that Shasta was able to come back and jump!

      Spot has become less “potato-y” lately so I’m thinking the weight loss and more work will keep her fitter and not have as many issues with the stifle. I’ll message you soon! 🙂


  4. Yikes! Hope he heals up quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Emma says:

    Dear god, ouch!! Hope everyone involved heals quickly!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. carey says:

    Ouch! I hope he heals quickly and smoothly. And I totally make my hubby who does endurance running use my ice wraps, sore-no-more, and made him start taking a joint supplement. It just makes sense, right?


  7. draftmare says:

    Ugh that is a gnarly looking break!!


  8. L. Williams says:

    Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, I think all the Star Treks are now on Netflix. I really love Ripper Street its like CSI meets Victorian England.


  9. Avery says:

    Yikes! How is the arm healing?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s