Have you ever had a horse with a bowed tendon?  Excessive or strenuous training can easily cause injury in your horses tendon. I had never heard of a bowed tendon, so when it happened to my horse, I didn’t have any idea what to do.  It happened when I had my horse in training with an over zealous trainer and the sad part was I watched it happen.

If you follow these three simple tips, you can prevent a tendon injury in your horse.  

First, warm your horse up properly before starting your training session.  Make sure you walk at least 10-15 minutes before you ask for the trot or canter.  Trainers sometimes don’t take the time to warm up the horse properly because it takes too much time. Always make sure to warm up at a nice easy walk with simple changes of direction, rather than at a trot or canter.

Secondly, if you notice any type of swelling in your horses legs, apply first aid immediately by icing the legs and putting a proper standing wrap for support.  Give your horse stall rest with light hand walking for a week or so, until you see the swelling go down.  

The third tip for bowed tendon prevention is to avoid hot walkers.  Even though they are a time saver, the constant strain of walking in a circle can further injure tendons. Always hand walk your horse when they have a leg injury.

If you have a horse right now with a bowed tendon, the first step of recovery is rest with light hand walking.  The following steps are what I used to help my horse make a full recovery from his severe tendon injury.

1. Ice twice a day, and apply a standing wrap for constant support.

2. Hand walk for 5 minutes twice a day during the acute stage of injury.

3. Use an infrared laser to help reduce the scar tissue, and speed healing to the tendon.

4. Make sure your farrier understands what a balanced foot is in order to reduce the strain on the tendons of your horses legs.

Karen Gall is an expert horsewoman. For more horse information, visit HorseyGal for more horsey information and products. http://www.horseygal.info

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