6 Weeks In! Kitt’s Senior Wellness Restoration Update

As Kitt reaches the six-week mark in his ‘Senior Wellness Restoration’, it’s time to adjust our management program according to his progression. This means addressing his nutrition plan, fitness regimen, and physical therapy. Here are the 3 big changes to Kitt’s management program starting this week!

Nutrition Plan

Up until this point, Kitt has been eating 8 lbs of Tribute Equine Nutrition’s Kalm Ultra. Now, having gained all the weight he needs to hold, we need to cut back a bit on the calories. With this, we need to ensure that Kitt still gets all of the vitamins, minerals, and protein that he needs to continue developing topline. As a 1300+ lb horse, 6 lb of formula needs a bit of supplementation. Luckily for Kitt, Tribute carries a top of the line ration balancer that we can top dress Kitt’s meals with. Essential K is a formula with concentrated protein, vitamins, and minerals that will keep Kitt building the muscle he needs without the extra starch or fat. Now, Kitt’s daily grain ration will be 6 lb Kalm Ultra & 1 lb Essential K.

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Fitness Program

Hand walking has put some serious muscle on Kitty! Nothing makes me happier than seeing flattened lumber areas and big booties! Kitt has built up enough strength over his topline and in his shoulders and hips to support his joints a bit more. Now it’s time to add some weight. Where Kitt has lost a lot of the elasticity in his suspensories, the big overstepping gaits he naturally holds won’t be helpful under-saddle. Instead, we will start him back under-saddle with western tack and have him move in a quiet, western pleasure’esk manner. This tack will distribute weight well over Kitt’s back as he goes back into work and moving within his frame should lesson the strain on his suspensories.

Physical therapy

As we intensify Kitt’s work load, we plan to compliment it with the PT necessary to help him over the hump of starting back. Massage, Bemer therapy, and Kinesiology Taping are all in the works for Kitt. These three methods of PT will pinpoint the areas we foresee challenging Kitt physically.

Massage

A professional massage every few weeks will help to keep Kitt’s muscles loose and inflammation free. Because he will build muscle as he goes, for a while he will be working in deficiency. With this, the muscle that he does have will be loaded pretty heavily. Massages help to compensate for this by releasing fascia, stimulating blood flow to knotting areas, and flushing muscles of toxin build up.

BEMER

Using the Bemer at a maintenance level will keep Kitt’s systemic circulation efficient and help combat broad spectrum muscle tension. The Bemer will be most important for Kitt’s suspensories. As he begins to put more stress on them, increasing blood flow to the areas compromised will bring the nutrients, chemical responses, and immune reaction necessary to for biological healing.

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KT

Kinesiology Tape will be on hand for any ‘hot spots’ of inflammation or soreness that may appear over Kitt’s muscles. This will help bring biological attention to the areas via neuro-stimulation. The tape will also help release facia in the areas it is applied. Primarily though, we will use the tape in a sort of hammock around Kitt’s hind fetlocks to help support the suspensories. This has an obvious lifting effect for the joint and our hope is to stimulate the healing process via knocking on the brain’s door and pointing at the strained area.

About Madison Maavere

Hello, I am a young professional in the equine industry with a passion for improving horses' physical health and emotional wellness. I grew up riding horses in north Georgia and by the time I was 10, I decided I wanted to ride professionally. This dream grew into the mountain that I climbed every day, striving to reach the top. Until I was 16, I did not have my own horses, so I began diving whole-heartedly into any barn that would allow me to work off rides, training, and showing. While this path may not have gotten me the most blues in the show ring, it opened my eyes and my heart to the vastness of the horse world and how perception based it can be. When I was 16, my family moved out on 6 acres so I could have my horses at home (IE, so my family could see me on a daily basis), and for this, I am truly grateful. Running my own farm, albeit small, was liberating and humbling, and it revealed to me that my passion was not so much for riding sport, but for the love of the horse. Fast forward 6 years, and I am well into my final year as an undergraduate Equine Science/Management major at the University of Kentucky. I have been so fortunate in the opportunities I've received here and the relationships I've been able to build. The cutting edge research, quality horsemanship, and innovative businesses located around Lexington, KY have given me a strong sense of reality, and inspired me to really look at where I can make an impact in today's horse world. What I've realized is that while I like equestrian sports, I love the horse. Moreover, I love to help the horse. I want it to be happy and relaxed, to be sound and comfortable, to eat well and be healthy. I want the horse to have every defense against pathalogical disease, and I want it to have skill sets that people value so it can live a long, loved life. In this love, I feel called to advocate for the horse. I want to learn everything I can about how to improve horses' sustainable wellness, and I want to share what I learn so that horsemen of all experience, backgrounds, and goals can feel inspired and enabled to improve their horses' lives. It is my true desire to initiate and spread a dynamic in which horses are not for the industry, but the industry is for the horses.

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