The Horse Physio - Delivering care with expertise since 1992

23.9.2021 Hilary and Max: June, July, August


June was another busy month. We completed the treasure hunt competitions (see Mays blog) and finished with a fantastic second place in one class and a respectable fifth in the other. This month saw the introduction of trotting on the lunge and including some poles to work over. Max had no problem with this. As we were getting close to the time when Max would be starting ridden work (yay!) I decided to send him off to the water treadmill for a week to try and give him a boost and some extra strength. It also meant that I had a week off, which was badly needed, although I missed him loads. When he came back he had a physio appointment and I was disappointed to learn that he was lame behind. We trotted him up and videoed him. I sent the video to the vet and she agreed. However, the cause of the lameness was difficult to diagnose as the farrier had found a touch of laminitis in one of his front feet and the vet had found pulses in all his other legs. So was this the cause? Or was the treadmill a step too far? Or was this a result of the surgery? Whatever it was, it was obvious that care was needed. I was going to take Max to the treadmill weekly, but it was decided this probably wasn’t a good idea. He also started coming in for a few hours every day. But I was able to ride him and that was amazing. I will never take riding him for granted again, I feel so lucky that at least for now we can continue to have fun together. I had Max’s teeth checked as they were due and they weren’t horrendous but they did need doing. As I was riding almost every day I also decided that a saddle check was needed, because Max had changed shape and lost topline. The saddle fitter said that his GP saddle was fine but he couldn’t take the dressage saddle at the moment. I didn’t mind as I wasn’t really schooling him. So June was the month when everything was checked to make sure Max had the best chance of recovery. Farrier, physio, vet, saddle fitter, phew! The hacking now began in earnest as it’s such a great way to get fit. For both of us!


It was so lovely to be able to get out and about riding Max this month. Hacking is great for fitness so we did a lot. The first two weeks were spent in walk and the length of time we were out was gradually increased, which was good because you can’t go very far in just half an hour! After the first fortnight we were up to 45 minutes to an hour and then we were allowed to trot. I rejoined the WBRA (Worcestershire Bridleway Riders Association) so that we could go further afield and have variety in our hacks. This association is great because it has negotiated private parking places all over Worcestershire at farms or livery yards or pubs so that you can park somewhere safe, and different, and go for a hack. The WBRA have also done some route planning from these parking places which you can follow. Or you can do your own. I’m lucky enough to have friend who was happy to pootle around in walk, and then walk and trot, to explore some of the routes. There are so many adventures to be had out hacking. In one ride we encountered pigs, donkeys, mini shetlands, loose sheep, multiple foot bridges and gates. Our Trec training really came into its own. Its so helpful to have a horse who will co-operate while you open and close gates, or stand still while you clamber back on from gates, bridges, anything really, when you’ve had to get off. We are very lucky to have such lovely countryside to ride around as well so I really enjoyed all the hacks that we did this month. By the end of the month Max was starting to feel a lot stronger and fitter. The weather got unbelievably hot so we were hacking out very early to avoid the worst of the heat, but Max wasn’t sweating up badly and was coping well with hacks that were sometimes a little bit longer than anticipated. My map reading skills need tweaking! August is looking very exciting, I can’t wait!