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The Rehabilitate & Recover Program in the Treatment of Major Injuries

Welcome to the story of Lucky & Sky, the test subjects in the Rehabilitate & Recover program. The core focus of the R&R program is to educate equine professionals such as veterinarians, trainers, competitors, shippers, and others on the Draper Therapies products and how they work to help your horses recover after competitions for faster recovery time. When my horses Sky and Lucky injured themselves recently, they became the test subjects in an even more intense use for R&R: in this case recovery from severe, and potentially career (and life)-ending injuries.

On May 19th, my 17 year old OTTB Lucky tore open his leg in a pasture accident at the site of an old scar, leaving a rather large, unsuturable skin flap. While Lucky sustained a back injury years ago that left him only light-riding sound, this leg injury is an even more serious concern for us. Sky, my 16 year old OTTB and main jumper/hunter pace partner was recovering from a muscle pull. When starting back into work, he damaged a suspensory, probably also in the pasture as best as we could tell. He’s happiest when in steady work, 4-5 days a week, and showing and competing at least 2-3 times a month. Inactivity is not something Sky does well. With stall rest, regular leg wrapping, and close care in order for both boys, keeping them calm and quiet in the stalls has been the biggest challenge.

Lucky is happy to be rehabbing at home, and always excited for carrots and treats from visitors!
Lucky is happy to be rehabbing at home, and always excited for carrots and treats from visitors!

As if leg wrapping wasn’t important enough, in the cases that both horses are experiencing, keeping circulation going to help each horses’ injury site healing is going to be a very important factor in how quickly and completely they recover. To date, neither horse has been on any regular bute, and they are both having minimal to no swelling. Lucky is living in his Draper Recovery Wraps 24/7 over the pressure bandage, while Sky gets to rotate between Draper at night and ice wraps during the day. In addition, Sky is prone to stiffness when he’s not turned out – he’s used to 6 hours a day or more – so he’s been in his Draper Therapies Stable Sheet at night, along with his hock boots whenever those hocks seem a little creaky from all this time in the stall. I know we’re just a few months into our road to recovery, but both horses are high strung TBs and are dealing with things very well so far. Hopefully we can continue on this path, and with the Rehabilitate & Recover plan in place, I’m hoping both boys are on their way to sound sooner than the original 12mo+ prognosis.

Since May, Lucky has had a few setbacks, that include reopening the wound, and just yesterday cutting off a chunk of hoof in a freak accident in the barnyard that took the heel bulb off to the bone on the underside of the barn door. He is rehabbing at home under the close care of myself, my barn staff, and my vet, to minimize the risk of infection and maximize the chance for the bone, hoof, and skin to regrow while the other leg continues healing (it’s been going really well!).

Sky has been off at rehab for August at the New York Equine Fitness Center at Clermont Farms in New York. It’s a state of the art rehabilitation center with the an equine saltwater spa from EquineSpa.com, and the only hyperbaric oxygen chamber in New England. He returns home in a week when we hope to have more updates, ultrasound on those hind suspensories, and we plan to inject the right hind, which had the older scarred suspensory that wasn’t responding as well to treatment as the newer left hind which shows signs of a more complete recovery.

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Sky enjoying his spa treatment!

Keep following Sky and Lucky’s story on their road to recovery and learn more about how the Rehabilitate & Recover program can help you and your horses. To learn more about becoming a part of the Rehydrate & Recover program, drop us a line! You can email Becky from Draper Therapies at Becky@DraperTherapies.com or call (781) 828-0029 ext. 3448.

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