A discussion on the MB led me to this post, which is actually something I've been meaning to talk about here for a while. One of the things that horrifies me most in the horse world is the number of people who simply do not know squat (or seem to care) about equine conditioning. A horse, like a human being, can't just come out of a pasture and go right to work. Depending on his conformation and general "toughness," this will result in varying degrees of soreness/injury. It often results in chronic hard-to-diagnose issues like body and back soreness, but it is equally common to see tendon injuries. There's a right way to condition a horse, but it seems like a shockingly small number of horse people truly understand it.
All right, everybody, what do you think? Are you as horrified as the ignorance of proper conditioning in the horse world as I am? What is your regimen for bringing a horse back from a long layoff? What are your tips for fitting up a horse with soundness issues or back issues? Do you use protective boots/wraps or do you believe that horses get too dependent on them? (I do like the SMZ boots. Been using them for years, and no, I don't think horses get too dependent on them, though I save them for the conditioning period, and then only thereafter for strenuous activity or when footing is iffy) How many of you use relatively high-tech methods of conditioning, like aquacizers and treadmills, or do you do things the old fashioned way?