Art, Horses, And How My Friend Cured His Tennis-Induced Wrist Strain


Hi folks,

artist, Wayne Vaughn sculpture farm, north carolina, chapel hill, Borland, cycling, FitOldDog's advice,

Got to love these high chairs spotted by my cycling partner, Sue, viewed from the road during a bike ride.

The brain and body are all one machine, so if one is tired both are tired. I have had some pretty challenging swims, rides and runs lately, one on top of the other, day after day. I find that my energy level varies like the three chairs by Wayne Vaughn, of The Sculpture Farm, in the photo opposite (love this art). Sometimes high! Sometimes low! Sometimes in between! After seeing the chairs, we rode on another 10 miles or so, to arrive at our regular mid-course destination, the horses, where we feed them pieces of apple (always brought by Sue, as I tend to forget). Strange animals, horses, but people are either into them, or not. I’m kind of neutral to horses, but I really like cats. This kind of interspecies preference must be related to our character or history somehow.  In fact, as a veterinarian I was never very comfortable with treating horses as I always felt that I didn’t know enough about them and their ways, in spite of all my veterinary training and experience – you can’t know it all. In my defense, I was a pretty good cow, pig, goat and small animal vet.

Horses, animals, quality of life, FitOldDog's advice, cycling,

FitOldDog feeding apple to a friendly equine during a training ride. Photo by Sue

I guess the level of comfort is related to the degree of familiarity one has, and where I was raised, in England in the 1950s, horses were only for rich people, which we were not. This brings me to one of my most popular blog posts, concerning the issue of forearm strains induced by tennis.

A friend of mine asked me a while ago for thoughts on his strained wrist, which was preventing him from enjoying his favorite sport, tennis. So I wrote a blog post on the issue, entitled, “Tennis-Induced Wrist Pain – Every Injury Is An Opportunity To Learn And To Improve In Your Sport.” I thought carefully about the subject, but much like my knowledge of equestrian sports, my direct experience of tennis was extremely limited, even though I had played both table-tennis and racket ball for many years.

Chez Ollie

Brace that can be used to assist recovery from tennis-induced wrist strain.

For all ‘my sage advice,’ my friend fixed his wrist using an approach that I had not considered, temporary support with a wrist brace until the pain subsided, followed by gradual weaning off of this device using the approaches that I did discuss. Now he tells me that he is playing without the brace, and all is well again.

So, I guess the conclusion to be drawn from this little episode is that you should not trust FitOldDog’s advice too far when it comes to horses and tennis. A further conclusion can be drawn, that being the value of multiple opinions when seeking to fix sports injuries.

Let’s face it, an old dog does have to know his limitations.

-k @FitOldDog



  1. Those wrist braces saved my sanity and my hands when I was pregnant! I had pregnancy induced carpal tunnel and would wake up with my hands stuck in a stiff ball until I started wearing those wrist braces to bed. My swelling and stiffness were completely resolved just by not letting my wrists fall forward while I slept!

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.