Post Joint Injection Routine

MM was at a horse show in Waco the last 2 weeks, so Rio and I got to spend some quality time together. I also realized it was the perfect time to get a joint injection or 2 done. The Monday she left (1/15), he got his hocks injected. Based off of his x-rays from his pre-purchase, and my desire to be as economical as possible, Amazing Vet injected the lower hock joints bilaterally.


hunky hanoverian
Our barn switched shavings and Rio loves them


How do you guys handle bringing your horse back into work post joint injection? It seems like everyone I know likes to do it different. Some give them a day or 2 off then get right back to normal work, including jumping. Personally,  I like to bring Rio back into work slowly. Maybe I am crazy and they can get back to work sooner then that- but this is what I feel comfortable with, and what was recommenced to me by my vet many years ago (different vet, different horse at the time).


  • Day 1: Day of joint injection, stay on stall rest all day
  • Day 2: Regular turnout, no riding
  • Day 3: Regular turnout, no riding
  • Day 4: LIGHT riding, walk/trot only, on mostly straight lines, no tight turns/circles/or lateral work
  • Day 5: W/T/C but light canter on straightaways and large circles only, and only for short periods
  • Day 6: Day off with regular turnout
  • Day 7: Normal W/T/C and maybe some baby x-rails
  • Day 8: Normal jumping but still at a very conservative height


I figure he gets injected twice a year, so I don’t see the need to rush it. Also, Rio always comes back a bit ‘weird’ after injections. Way more frisky then usual, and quick in the gaits. I also feel the occasional weird step. Definitely not lame or anything like that, just like an awkward misstep if he gets going TOO much, like he can’t keep up with himself when he gets going in a big trot. I do not know why this happens post injection and not any other time, but it definitely cements my desire to bring him back into regular work slowly, and let the kinks work themselves out. I never push him to do more if he doesn’t feel right.


We are now 2 weeks out from the injections and all is well. I haven’t jumped him, mostly because MM has been away and I didn’t see the need. We definitely are going to do some jumping this week though, because I want to make sure we are back in the swing of things before our clinic with Julie Winkel this weekend.


So what is your post-injection routine? What does your vet recommend, or did you decide what to do some other way?

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  1. Our routine is pretty similar, but it actually depends on what’s being injected and what the joint is being injected with. Like, if we’re blistering stifles, they’re supposed to go right to work. But if we’re doing hocks, then it’s rest before work. I usually do full day off same day as injections. Day two we hand walk and cold hose. Regular turnout day 3, and then back to work day 4. I usually do a light day that first one back. I’ll walk/trot/canter but just round and round the arena, no small circles or anything. If I don’t have anything coming up right away, I’ll probably do a couple days of good strong flat work before jumping. If there’s a show getting super close, I may jump sooner.

  2. Interesting. i have never injected a horse before (I keep waiting for Remus to need SOMETHING he is going to be 15 this year after all LOL) but i think it is smart to take your time. i would be the same way. Why rush it after spending all that money?? LOL I Love the photo of him in his shavings. That is a face of happiness 😉 LOL I want to snuggle with him!

  3. My post injection routine is along the same lines as yours. Eli feels extra frisky after injections, too! I think this means they must be working–he has his stifles injected 2x a year. His turnout is not restricted at all and he has 3 days off work, then I do a few days of simple flat work before getting back to all the other stuff. I guess the extra frisky could partly be from the time off, but it doesn’t seem quite the same as just that.

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