This month’s New Vocations rehab update (click here for the first installment) shows the ups and downs of retired racehorse rehabilitation with one of our subjects going to a new home and the other having a setback.
Recovering from surgery for his knee went well for Doctor Victor, who quickly moved from stall rest to small paddock turnout to making friends with new pasturemates. Over the past two months, trainer Leandra Cooper has seen him change every day as he adapted to his new routine.
One part of his rehabilitation was getting a joint injection into his knee to help the healing that was occurring naturally. The injection allowed his knee to prepare for the training he will go through in his second career.
“[The injection] has resulted in a ‘tighter’ knee that in turn puts him on the fast track toward being ready to train,” Cooper said. “He has benefited greatly — both mentally and physically — by more turnout and social time! He has a very quiet disposition generally, and when he was previously in a phase of rehab that involved more stall time, he could be more excitable. He has now returned to his more placid attitude!”
Doctor Victor never made it into the riding phase of the New Vocations rehabilitation process, however. When word got out the gelding was ready to start life back under saddle, he was quickly adopted and will continue his rehabilitation with his new owner.
Grade 1 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve runner Money Moves rehabilitation hasn’t gone as smoothly as Doctor Victor’s with the gelding suffering a setback last month.
“He was rechecked by the vet in June and, while the right hind suspensory branch desmitis shows 100% improvement and an ultrasound of his left front shows that the SDFT core lesion has resolved, his positive reaction to distal limb flexions LF still pointed to an issue,” Cooper explained. “There was a new spot of mild fiber disruption in the tendon sheath and his fetlocks also showed some mild arthritic change in both front fetlock X-rays. We opted to have both front ankles injected (steroid and hyaluronic acid) since he was going to need more rehab time to heal the new spot of fiber disruption.”
With this development, Money Moves had to move to another, smaller paddock with a new pasturemate. A horse who had to boss everyone else around, he was moved to a two-acre paddock with the resident New Vocations babysitter Ranger. Not the type to let any horse boss him around, Ranger makes sure that Money Moves isn’t too rough on himself.
Though he’s going through his setback, Money Moves hasn’t allowed that to change his personality and has proven to be the jokester of the barn.
“Money Moves is a 'class clown' type of horse, who benefits from mental stimulation, like toys in his stall or a stall that allows him a vantage point, so that he can feel involved in activities going on at the barn,” Cooper explained of her charge.
While Doctor Victor heads on to his new home, Money Moves will continue his routine of walking under saddle and turnout with Ranger for the foreseeable future.
To learn more about New Vocations and horses they currently have available for adoption, visit horseadoption.com.