Rehabilitation Plans After Kissing Spine Operation

It has been 8 months now since Dustry went in for his kissing spine operation and to coin a phrase ‘its been emotional’.

He has wintered out really well. Thankfully he has had a little furry friend ‘Rufus’ (Dustry’s ‘handbag’ as he has been nicknamed!) to keep him company and the winter weather has been kind. So the start of his rehab is imminent as soon as the yard switches from winter back to summer routine and he moves to a paddock nearer the yard then his work shall begin.

Last month he had his 6 monthly dentist appointment (and got a lolly and sticker for good behavior!) my vet who carried out his initial lameness assessment came to sedate him for the EDT and was very pleased with his post-op progress and condition – yay!

The rough plan I have in my head is to do approx 4-6 weeks of ground work (lunging, long reining, poles, equiami in the school and round the farm etc) to build up his topline before getting the saddler out to fit a saddle and enable ridden work to begin. As you can see in the meanwhile Dustry has also been implementing his own fitness regime.

I’ve mentally penciled in a visit from my vet and physio to assess him at the start of his rehab to provide an updated opinion on progress and exercises to work on.

Foot-wise he needs to be shod again all round, but his feet are in great shape from 7 months barefoot (heels much wider and less contracted than before) I’m going to get some front pads on him and see how they work out (everything crossed that they stay on!) hopefully I won’t have to splash out on the Jimmy Choo pads aka bl**dy expensive blue gel thingys he had previously!!

Dustry’s new kicks. Nike Air Equestrian! #horses #horsestagram #Equestrian #blogger #hoof

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As I was planning his rehab timetable the bods at VioVet read my blog and got in touch to see if they could provide me with any products to help his lordship get back on track. Definitely a nice email to receive on a grey uneventful Wednesday! They gave me free rein (pun intended) to choose £100 worth of products to order as part of Dustry’s ‘back to work bundle’.

In addition to that they’ve also provided me with a £25 VioVet voucher to giveaway, for your chance to win that CLICK HERE TO ENTER


Because I am indecisive it took me about a week to complete my virtual ‘supermarket sweep’ (obscure 90s TV show reference for those readers born in the 80s) on the VioVet website, but I eventually settled on the following products…

Equitop Myoplast


I’ve seen this on the market for a few years but never really had a horse that I felt needed it or have been able to justify the price tag. With the huge physical change that D has encountered, the loss of topline and need to rebuild strong healthy and correctly shaped muscles around his new improved ‘Spine 2.0’ I thought this was a good time to give it a go! I’ll start adding this to his feed when his ground work begins and hopefully it will be a valuable addition to his rehab program. The little black charcoal looking balls smell quite herby but Dustry is a real foodie so I don’t think I’ll have any issue getting him to eat them as part of his feed.

Equine America Glucosamine Joint Supplement

The little bay rebel has reached the ripe old age of 11 now so I felt that it was time to ramp up his joint care and I’ve always been a fan of Equine America products so opted for this joint supplement to protect his joints as his work load increases.

Le Mieux Overreach Boots


With his wider foot profile and the need for front pads the likelihood of D pulling shoes off is high so a good strong pair of durable overreach boots for turn out are essential. The Le Mieux ones have that nifty ‘no turn nobble’ thingy (yeah I’m sure it’s called that by their marketing dept 😉 ) and feel really durable.

So those are my best made plans for his rehab, but as we know things with horses very rarely run smoothly! I’m ready to have to adapt and adjust as things progress, depending on how Dustry copes with his return to work, but fingers, toes and eyes crossed that his rehab marks the start of a much more comfortable way of life for him.


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