JOSEY TIP OF THE WEEK
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Leg Protection

    Injuries do happen, but I'm a firm believer in trying to prevent what I can. I always keep my horses legs wrapped in the trailer for protection from getting cut. I also wrap them in no bows and standing wraps with products such as Draw it Out to help keep tendons tight and swelling out. I also feel that a lot of injuries can be prevented by having your horse in great shape, I back up my horse anytime I stop to strengthen the hind end. Sometimes no matter what horses get hurt and when they are healed it's time to bring them back.

    In my book, Run with me to win, I explain how long it takes to get a horse in shape which is 45-60 days. A horse that's been off two to three months may only take 45 days while a horse off three months or more may need the full 60. (Great place for Martha to talk about why she didn't have many issues)

    I like to have at least 30 days of exercise before I take my horse back to the barrels for more than just walking the pattern. (Check with Martha here). I'm a firm believer in counting. I like to keep track of my laps, stops and steps I back up.

    If I have had an injury somewhere on my horses legs while bringing them back I will do extra hydro therapy and icing after exercise. I always spend time hosing my horses legs off of every ride but if I know my horse had an injury I will spend extra time on That specific area. Knowing where you horse may tend to get sore or has had an injury is important. Every horse has a place or two that may have a problem, if you will work towards helping them daily whether it is by icing, lineaments, lasers or PEMF you can help extend your horses performance years.

    Bringing a horse back from an injury can be a very long process, but the importance of it being done right is major. Depending on the injury most vets will give you specific instructions on exercise, always work with your vet closely on how to exercise your horse. Most routines start back with hand walking once your horse graduates from hand walking and you begin to start riding I believe in taking your time. I spend a lot of time walking my horses any day so when you begin riding again plan on spending a week and sometimes two just walking focus on straight lines and then work your way to walking perfect circles, stopping and backing up. When your cleared to trot do the same thing the first few days focus on straight lines then work towards trotting some large circles and stopping. (Martha should add her two cents here )