Today, five and one half weeks out from his surgery, Red and I had our 16th ride, and our third in a row of 5 minutes of pretty sound trot work. And a milestone - today was the first day we rode with no sedation. It helped that the ring was fairly quiet today, with only one other horse working. Red was extremely well-behaved, although quite feisty - he offered to canter a couple of times, and shook his head once, but came right back to me when asked. Once we can put together a string of 7 days of 5 minutes of sound trot work, then I can begin to slowly increase the time he's trotting, working up to 10 minutes of trot work for another consecutive 7 days. Once we're at that point, things should progress more rapidly, and once he's in more full work he can start having more normal pasture turnout, but we're in no hurry. I'm hoping by the end of June that things will pretty much be back to normal, but he'll tell me - Pie has to stay off the grass until then, so can continue to "babysit". (And Red actually kept his ice boot on for more than 10 minutes before he started trying to kick it off - easier for me than kneeling on the stall floor using both hands to hold the ice on his leg . . .) I'm also continuing to use arnica gel on his leg after I ride and ice. The leg's looking pretty good, although somewhat consistently a little stocked up - this may be its permanent condition due to scarring and changes in circulation. And the hair at the edges of the incision is growing in white, so we'll have another visual reminder of his surgery.
We're both just happy to be working again!