Thursday, February 11, 2016

Muscle Takes Time

Quizzical horse is quizzical.
Pig and I are two weeks in to our experiment with hock injections and weekly estrone shots. We have two shots left. I'm getting impatient.

Mainly, worry drives my impatience. On the last day before a new estrone injection is due, Pig exhibits hoppy-stifle issues again. His straightness takes a nose dive, and collection becomes nearly impossible.
Applz? You shouldn't should have!
Did I do the right thing? Should I have insisted we inject the stifles? It's impossible to know, so these questions torment me.

Of course the possibility exists that we still may need to pursue stifle injections. But, I am confident the hock injections were necessary. The first ride back I noticed Pig more willing to travel straighter. By the end of two rides, he was no longer winging out his hind right, instead traveling evenly with both. I can't describe how amazing that felt.

But now, I want even more. However, I'm reminded that building muscles takes a lot of time. The estrone shots aren't a cure, they are simply a method to help Pig and I build him enough support to avoid the issue. The fact that our rides between shots are getting better and better should lead me to be more confident in the treatment.
Empty moments in indoors are to be treasured, even if your horse spent the whole ride convinced the corner was full of tigers.
But it's hard for a crappy ride just before or just after a shot not to bring me down. I'm trying my best to stay positive, and not push Pig too hard when he tells me he can't. I'm also trying my best to keep up on the maintenance that helps him continue to improve...

1. Keeping his toes as short as possible, which is hard to do in this increasingly damp winter.

2. Building strength with lots of hill repeats, even though we both find them boring and hard.

On the days this horse feels good, though? Wow. All the worry, impatience, boredom, and work is 100% worth it. He's amazing.

18 comments:

  1. Haha I always want things to WORK RIGHT NOW so I can obsess more properly. Annoying how life isn't like that.

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  2. I feel your pain. I bounce back and forth between OMG my horse is broken forever and he is doing amazing. Im in the same boat of trying to get muscle built up on his hind end to help negate physical issues and it sucks. Hopefully all of this will work for you guys and you will be back stronger and better than ever.

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    1. I'm hoping we will. This horse continues to amaze me with his athletic ability. Sometimes not always in a positive way...

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  3. Please tell me you use gloves with that rasp, because if I didn't, I'd saw my knuckles off in one swipe. Eeek!

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    1. Sometimes? And sometimes I remove my knuckles. Live risky... ;)

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  4. i'm feeling pretty impatient about our own fitness right now, and that's without having to even work through actual physical issues... i just try to remind myself that 'the horse didn't get into this condition overnight... she won't get out of it overnight either' ...

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    1. It feels like Pig DID get into this condition overnight, which I know isn't true. It's hard, too, because he gains cardio fitness SO FAST but the heavy dressage muscle is not quite natural for his TB body type.

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  5. Muscle DOES take time, especially for these older guys, and stifles take the longest of all. Keep on keepin' on... the good rides will outweigh the bad ones!

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    1. They do. I keep reminding myself that my vet told me to check back in after 4-5 weeks back to work. So I have more time. A lot more time, really.

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  6. Patience is no fun but horses are the best teachers of it. I'm sure it will be worth it!
    Rebecca (backinthetack.wordpress.com)

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  7. Come on Pig! I put Rico on Core Builder (I think I've told you this before) when I was packing muscle on him, it really helped, but it's basically like wadding up one of your paychecks every month (well, not that much but it's pricey) and feeding it to them. But it has more protein. Can't wait til he's 100% back in action this year!

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    1. Oooh. Core Builder sounds awesome (I think you have mentioned it before), but whoa $$! Pig is actually on a high protein supplement, but it takes him quite a bit of time to build muscle. He reminds me of people with naturally lean builds who don't put on muscle easily. I've seen these sorts of people, but I have no experience what that is like with my own body! ;)

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  8. It truly does take a lot of time to build muscle, especially in an older horse too!

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  9. I'd kill for some hills. SO bored of arena work

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  10. At least the wet makes feet softer and easier to trim!

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