The words “tendon injury” fill most horse owners with dread. But even with a poor initial prognosis for tendon injuries in horses, there can be a happy ending, as show horse Pink Floyd proves.
The successful large hack qualified for Horse of the Year Show two years ago — during his first season competing in the show ring — and his owner, Sarah Briggs, envisaged an exciting career ahead. But less than a week after returning from Birmingham, the 16hh gelding severed a tendon and his future looked bleak.
“He was only six and had his whole life in front of him,” says Sarah, who bought the half-brother of multi-titled Pearly King as an unbroken three-year-old.
A son of Kilvington Scoundrel, in 2013 Floyd progressed from novice to open large hack classes with Loraine Homer in the saddle. The pair claimed five championship titles and stood reserves on two occasions.
“No one saw Floyd injure himself because he was in the field. He might have been playing around, and caught himself with a hind leg. Suddenly the girls on the yard saw that he was on three legs and called me.”
Tendon injury treatment
The first few days are critical following a tendon injury. Pedantic care, veterinary attention and the horse being a good patient are vital.
“Floyd had good days and I began to hope, but also bad days where he looked uncomfortable. Scans confirmed it was a severe injury, but I wanted to give him a chance.”
Floyd spent six months at Radway Equine Rehabilitation Centre, which is run by Fiona Elliott, a vet at the Hook Norton practice.
Spa treatments became key to the horse’s recovery.
“Floyd didn’t even like stepping in puddles, so at first he was sedated. But by the end he was so relaxed that he would doze in the spa,” recalls Sarah.
Half way through his rehabilitation Floyd was able to walk in slow, straight lines, progressing to large circles and, as the walking increased, spa time decreased.
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