I Think He Can, I Think He Can... - Dressage Today

I Think He Can, I Think He Can...

Pam Stone updates us on her Off-the-Track Thoroughbred
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We missed our 8-week ultrasound recheck with Forrest as winter had the nerve to invade our area, dumping 6 inches of the white stuff on the farm, and keeping temperatures so frigid that it was impossible to get out of our unthawed road.

Horse rolling in snow

Forrest has a good roll after 6-inches blanketed South Carolina.

But the good news is, when it was gone, and climbing back to 70 degrees, I was able to continue Dr. Gillis’s recommendation to increase Forrest’s trot sets so we could strengthen his left stifle. I had watched some video of us trotting a month earlier, and was dismayed that he still looked quite short on it, despite an improving ultrasound. But as Dr. Gillis remarked, the shortness may simply be from the horse having not truly used that leg in a year. I asked my partner, Paul, to video us last weekend, and even though there was no engine behind for the first couple of minutes whatsoever ( I’m not complaining as the Ace kept us from any spinning spooks), he began to gather momentum until he was tracking up quite nicely and I was very pleased by what I saw on my phone’s video screen: Forrest was looking much more even. In fact, if you didn’t know he’d had a lameness issue, you would have had to look very hard to find it. And I find the articulation in his left stifle, here, pretty groovy:

Pam Stone and OTTB

I also have to give a shout out to Mg12, a topical magnesium product that works as both a vasodilator and anti-inflammatory. When Forrest has body work, a common comment is that he tends to be “out in the right poll.” I apply the Mg12 not only to his poll, but all over his stifle, particularly where the injury is, and under the saddle and loins. The fact that my horse is so loose then, as we begin our 20-minute walk before going into 5 minutes of trot, without any longeing, or a single step of lateral loosening, only allowed to go in straight lines and a very few, half-arena circles, is nothing short of miraculous. Within a couple of minutes of trot, I can ride Forrest’s neck anywhere I want it, from a Training Level frame into a deep stretch all within one long side.

And for hours afterward, the areas where the Mg12 has been applied are still toasty warm from the directed blood flow. I will sometimes put it on his back, the night before, beneath his blanket and it’s amazing how warm and loose his back is in the morning. Obviously, I slather it all over myself, as well, and the best part is that, since using it on my hands, I haven’t had a single ‘Raynaud’s Syndrome’ (cold, numb white fingers) attack all winter!!

So there is real optimism, lately, with Mr. Forrest, and if I can keep him from kicking a fence post or turning a cartwheel while I hand graze him, here’s hoping he’s on his way back.