How long is an injury?
Just recently someone in the horse industry made mention that they thought 18 months recovery for a tendon injury was overkill.
I must admit it was in reference to my own horse who some of you would have seen Geronimo who had 2 tendons torn off. Tendons do not knit back so what has to happen is scarring has to form , strength, form and strengthen in order for him to gain some degree of movement. Range of movement will more than likely not return to 100% normal and here is the thing, as an owner I have to re-adjust my thinking to what he will be doing in the future and be prepared for a long rehab and be flexible to adjust my thinking for his benefit not mine.
Similar I am treating a dressage horse which had ligament surgery on two hinds and unlike the tendons they will knit together and take a little less time for full recovery. They are into 8 months of their recovery and only now starting to do rehab, nice and gently and the simple reason is we do not want to re-injury or put them back any more. This horse will more than like have 4-5 months more rehab to go.
If you think of atheletes such as footballers they have season ending injuries such as tendon and ligaments. The commence back slow often doing water rehab in order to take the weight off and provide enough resistance to start working the muscles that support the area without causing further damage.
Some what does rehab look like, very simple – initially walking only a 10 – 15 minutes nothing more and the horse must be comfortable, you can progress to walking pole work and continue on in a gradual build and of course any slight ste back STOP and go back start slow. Ultimately you have to decide whether you want your horse or you want to compete.