We had a left lead canter last night, a fairly decent one, even. Not so much a right lead canter, so I didn't push it. The right lead is the one that isolates his injured leg, so not surprising that it's harder for him. Tonight he gets shod, so he'll not get worked much at all. I won't try the canter again til Thursday or Friday, I think.
On the other hand, I'm not entirely sure how to go about rehabbing the gastrocnemius (superficial flexor? sounds more plausible?) tendon, which is the issue now, I think. The cut is healing so well that I don't know how much effect it's even having on him. It's down to the size of a half dollar or so, and it's got a good firm base on it. The tendon, though, is still swollen in the area. Since it was nicked, I have to think that the tendon sheath was damaged. I don't want to overstate the original injury to the tendon/sheath though. It wasn't a huge cut, nothing was ruptured or severed, just nicked a teeny bit. A few millimeters only. The fix for that is just time and work, but ... is there a better way to work than what I've been doing?
What I've been doing is riding most nights, with at least 10 minutes of walking on a loose rein, then more framed up toward the end, before we pick up the trot. We go both directions in the indoor arena, and we do 20m circles and spiral in a ways, then back out, both directions. Trotting goes in 1-3 minute intervals, and we do mostly laps of the arena, with 20m circles and changing direction on the long diagonal scattered in there too. After trotting, I'll ask him for some leg yield in the walk, both directions. As he gets sounder, we do more trotting, and I'll be asking for some smaller circles at the trot in the foreseeable future. And we've worked in a teeny bit of canter now too -- a lap of the arena or less on the left lead, as many strides as he's comfortable with on the right.
When I longe him, it's walk and trot primarily, spiraling in and out in both gaits. A little canter lately, as mentioned, but one or two circles of each lead only.
So does anyone have any suggestions about how I could improve this routine? What's a good way to get that gastrocnemius/superficial flexor tendon going?