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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.