I have decided to send Echo away for some rehab schooling. This is a slightly painful thing to admit, having done everything with her myself up to now, but we just aren't making the progress that we need to be at the moment so something needs to happen.
So far she has had 2.5 months box rest since her operation and is walked out for twenty minutes twice a day. She started to have some pen turnout but she broke through the fencing quite spectacularly and galloped around the yard like an idiot. I have been riding her a little, but she is being quite difficult and I think I have too much emotion bound up in it. To some extent, we need to just get on with it- but I'm finding this really hard. Added to which, there isn't really anyone who can ride her during the week when I'm away at the place she is. There's a very confident girl who exercises lots of horses at the yard, but because Echo's back gets so sore, she has to be ridden long and low and round and this girl is a great little jockey but not into schooling at all.
So I've been having a careful think and have decided to send her to a fairly local dressage rider who specialises in rehabilitating horses after injury. She comes extremely highly recommended and I was really impressed when I spoke to her -she wants a full exercise programme from my vet and one from the physio too. She will be turned out in a pen and will be hand walked every day too, as well as having specific exercises every day. My plan is that she will be there until about April, so she can start to school her a bit too. She's really tuned in to the horses and will be able to feel if anything isn't right, but won't have all the emotion invested in Echo as I do.
I think my current yard owner is a little disappointed, but it really is nothing against what she has done so far. The fact that I work away during the week and am only here at weekends and holidays means that it's really stressful trying to manage her rehab from a distance. This will hopefully take some of the stress out of it as she will take over the rehab and has loads of experience in doing so. Hopefully I can bring her back to the current yard in a few months time, in full work and able to be a normal horse again - that's the plan anyway!
The idea that she's being ridden and trained by a dressage rider is quite exciting actually - she's someone I was hoping to start having lessons with, so it will be great that she'll know her so well.
And with any luck - she'll be back to looking like this in no time!