horses with arthritis

Rapidash

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8 December 2013
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So a horse I used to ride a few years ago and loved has recently come up for sale as he has developed mild arthritis and so can't do the work she wants him for although she says he could do light hacking which is all I want him for.

Now I know nothing about arthritis in horses so is it unrealistic and perhaps cruel to ride him or with care and management is it perfectly fine and even beneficial for him to do short pootles around some fields?
 

Shooting Star

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It depends on where the arthritis is and how advanced as to whether they can continue to be worked but many do benefit from being kept in light work. If you're really keen why not speak to both the sellers vet and your own to find out more about the horses specific condition and see if it might be an option for you.
 

Goldenstar

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I have managed lots of horses with arthritis it depends on the the size of the issue but just like people with the right management horses can lead useful lives with this issue .
You just need to be realistic and be prepared for the cost of managing horses carrying this issue .
 

TheresaW

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Mac was diagnosed with ringbone when he was about 8, and arthritis in the hocks couple of years later. He is 17 this year. For the last 9 years, he has been hacked regularly, did a couple of fun rides a year. This winter has been very hard on him, turnout was restricted, and the mud was absolutely awful. We are on clay, so was very deep and sucky on his legs. He showed really lame in front in trot around the end of March. Obviously, didn't ride him at all, just rest and turnout. No real improvement, so the vet came to see him. His arthritis has now worsened, although his hocks really loosen up with movement, in front he isn't improving. Have taken the decision to retire him now, but he is out 24/7. Unfortunately, Mac won't live out 24/7 when it is cold and wet, so will have to come in again next winter. Usually around December time. I will see how he copes, it really depends on the weather.
 

Sukistokes2

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My Ffin was diagnosed over 3 years ago. I took up dressage to have something to do in the summer, this has helped him a lot. I was told that he would be rideable for about 3 years and then would it would be better to stop. I did loads of reading and worked out how to keep him comfortable.
He is out 24/7 as much as possible, I walk the first 1/2 mile before getting on to wake up his legs. I walk down very steep hills. ( I live on top the north downs....when I mean steep I mean STEEP not slopes) He is on a danalon a day and devils relief. He also sees the chiro vet at least twice a year. When the ground is very hard we tend to mainly walk but the rest of the time I bomb about the woods like any normal rider. I do not do much trotting on the road. It all sounds a lot of work i know but I really never really think about it now I just do it. I still have fun with my horse and he is still having a great time. When I last saw the vet she now thinks he will have a normal ridden life span.
 
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Sukistokes2

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The poor horse with arthritis
 

kerrieberry2

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I had a horse on loan for 2 yrs who had arthritis and she was sound the whole time until just before I gave her up when she used to get stressed out and charge around the field until her friend was returned! my 29yr old mare has recently been diagnosed with it in both of her front knees shes not lame on it at all, so don't think it would be too bad to hack this one out lightly!

in fact keeping her moving will probably help her stiffness :)
 

AandK

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I had a horse on loan for 2 yrs who had arthritis and she was sound the whole time until just before I gave her up when she used to get stressed out and charge around the field until her friend was returned! my 29yr old mare has recently been diagnosed with it in both of her front knees shes not lame on it at all, so don't think it would be too bad to hack this one out lightly!

in fact keeping her moving will probably help her stiffness :)

The loan horse mentioned above is my mare, she is now 24yo. When she was 11/12 she was diagnosed with spavin in both hocks and arthritis in one knee, as well as navicular and DJD in hind coffin joint (was an expensive year, thank god for insurance!) she's still kicking around now and would be able to hack out if I had the time.

Gentle regular exercise is good for arthritis, I see no reason as to why you'd not be able to have some fun on this boy unless his vet thinks he needs to retire.
 

dogatemysalad

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Mac was diagnosed with ringbone when he was about 8, and arthritis in the hocks couple of years later. He is 17 this year. For the last 9 years, he has been hacked regularly, did a couple of fun rides a year. This winter has been very hard on him, turnout was restricted, and the mud was absolutely awful. We are on clay, so was very deep and sucky on his legs. He showed really lame in front in trot around the end of March. Obviously, didn't ride him at all, just rest and turnout. No real improvement, so the vet came to see him. His arthritis has now worsened, although his hocks really loosen up with movement, in front he isn't improving. Have taken the decision to retire him now, but he is out 24/7. Unfortunately, Mac won't live out 24/7 when it is cold and wet, so will have to come in again next winter. Usually around December time. I will see how he copes, it really depends on the weather.

My situation is exactly the same, spavins, mud clay that after prolonged rain makes walking difficult and restricted winter turnout. He went lame last winter, particularly as exercise was difficult with the weather and flooding everywhere.
However, the vet's choice of drug for the arthritic horses at our yard has transformed a few of the oldies, so fingers crossed for next winter.


OP, have a word with the vet that knows the horse. It's generally better to ride a little everyday, rather than do too much on 2 or 3 days and then nothing for the rest of the week.
 

TheresaW

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He's been out 24/7 since the vet came. YO was pretty much ready to re-open the fields, so let me leave him and his field mate out from then. Vet is due back at the end of this month, so going to ask him to look at Mac again and see if he can be lightly hacked. The good/bad thing was, he saw Mac at his worst, been in all night, fresh out of stable. I can see quite a bit of improvement since he's been back out 24//7. Another thing I'm not sure helped him was, for the first time in the 10 years I've owned him, he started door kicking at breakfast time.
 

dogatemysalad

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Fingers crossed for good news TW. My boy is loads better since they went on summer turnout and we could exercise him every day. Winter is a difficult time. :(
 

maree t

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15 September 2010
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I have a horse , a dog and myself suffering from arthritis . I found out about taking turmeric in december when I was getting really bad . I found the turmeric user group on facebook and I cannot believe the difference . My dog was on 25ml of metecam per day and now she has none . I have been able to stop all my pain meds . pony is sound and flying around . It is cheap and natural but does need feeding properly . I think one of the major feed companies have jumped on the bandwagon and now are producing Turmericle . It does need using with pepper and the right kind of oil for the best effects . I hope you give it a try
 
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