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Support for Equine Ligament Injury

I rescued a horse about one month ago, later to find that he has a degenerative suspensory ligament desmitis injury from racing. The original owner did not take care of the injury and the horse was underweight approximately 400 – 500 pounds. I am slowly putting the weight back on him with little problems, but have included an MSM supplement to accompany his ration for his injury. My concern is there anything I can do for this horse so that he can be started back in light riding in approximately six to 10 months? Beth

Dear Beth,

I assume you’re working with a veterinarian to diagnose the extent of this injury, follow its healing, and develop a plan of physical therapy. That’s really the best way to assess if your horse will be ready for riding in the time frame you mention.

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Adding MSM to his diet is a good idea because of the effects on pain and inflammation that research shows it provides. You may want to choose a supplement that also includes silica and collagen, since a growing body of evidence provides rationale for the use of these two ingredients to specifically support the healing of connective tissue.

Lydia F. Gray, DVM, MA SmartPak Staff Veterinarian and Medical Director Dr. Lydia Gray has earned a Bachelor of Science in agriculture, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), and a Master of Arts focusing on interpersonal and organizational communication. After “retiring” from private practice, she put her experience and education to work as the American Association of Equine Practitioner’s first-ever Director of Owner Education. Dr. Gray continues to provide health and nutrition information to horse owners through her position at SmartPak, through publication in more than a dozen general and trade publications, and through presentations around the country. She is the very proud owner of a Trakehner named Newman that she actively competes with in dressage and combined driving. In addition to memberships in the USDF and USEF, Dr. Gray is also a member of the Illinois Dressage and Combined Training Association (IDCTA). She is a USDF “L” Program Graduate and is currently working on her Bronze Medal. Find Dr. Gray on Google+

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Posted in Ask the Vet, Lameness

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3 comments on “Support for Equine Ligament Injury
  1. Laura says:

    It is also useful to point out the word “degenerative” in the description of this affliction. I liked the caveat about consulting with a vet, it is not only true that the horse may not be ready for riding in the timeframe mentioned, but that the horse may never be ready to be ridden. Kudos for rescuing the horse, hopefully the fact that it may never be suitable for work again is understood.

  2. JP says:

    Part of Medicine Bag Project’s ‘War Horse Formulas’ is their Ligdon Formula. This stuff is amazing. It’s a natural formula with a type II Collagen. Some horses reattached their ligaments/tendons without surgeory. Up and walking in 30 days and back to riding fulltime in a few months. This is what you need, I can guarantee it. Here is the PDF for the ligdon formula I pulled off the website(

    Hope your horse is well. You need to get ahold of Conn at the medicine bag project. It will change your life as well as your horse’s!

  3. Zatt says:

    My horse is having problem wif his legiment, have x ray and scan it’s inside and will not going to heal any sooner ….for time being we just walk not stress work…help me how give care more into the issue.

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