After nearly five weeks lame I’m glad to report that Shah is now back to normal again and we’ve started our ‘back to action’ training programme. On the vet’s recommendations we started with 10 minutes walking on the road, slowly building up every other day, up to an hour where we are now.

As Shah is now perfectly sound in walk, trot and canter I’ve started to add some small trots and will extend the length of these over the next few weeks, adding a bit of canter next week, then upping the length of our sessions and so on. I also tried him on some poles the other day and he happily flew over them so we’ll be doing more of that, and adding hill work as soon as I can.

With some extra care in form of a couple of massage sessions, a course of arnica tablets, some leg aid creams, a course of devil’s claw and plenty of turnout (he’s now out 24/7 – yippee!!) we should be back to doing some more rides quite soon. The only problem now is the belly!! Yep, after his enforced rest while being lame (turned out at day, in at night) and then now being out 24/7 while I start him up, he’s put on a huge grass belly. I can’t see the ribs anymore!!!

Luckily he gets more exercised now in the field as a new mare has moved in with them. Shah is the bottom of the pecking order and as the new girl is quite young and likes to play, he gets the brunt of it, being chased around. I feel sorry for him though as he doesn’t get anyone to groom/tail swish for him anymore. With the two mares now doing that, he gets left out. Once a grumpy old man, always a grumpy old man!