Ok to trot on roads? 21 year old horse

Summit

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I’ve had my exracer for two years, he’s 21 now. I’d say fit and healthy and nothing serious going on. Vet thinks he may have a touch of arthritis around the coronet band, but I expect at his age he’s probably got a bit of arthritis all over.

vet recommends a bute before riding but I’m just wondering if a little trotting on roads is ok?
 

Leandy

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What an odd question! What do you think the vet would say if you asked him/her? With a healthy, sound horse an amount of trotting on suitable roads is fine and may even be beneficial to fitness and bone density. You however have an aging, arthritic horse for which the vet is recommending bute (ie pain and inflamation relief) prior to work. Why would you think faster work on hard going would be a good plan? Why do you particularly want to trot on roads? On the basis that I assume it isn't necessary then I would not risk it and I'd save my aging unsound horse from excess wear and tear by restricting my faster work to softer, preferably level surfaces. That way I would hope he would stay sounder longer.
 

Winters100

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If the horse needs bute to be ridden then for me the answer is that it should not be ridden. If it must be moved for other reasons there are other ways, in hand work, leading from another horse etc, I would only ride a horse that needed bute in order to be ridden if there was a really convincing welfare argument to do so and there was no other option, but I cannot really think of such a situation. Trotting a horse on hard surfaces when it already needs pain medication to be ridden - hell no. In my opinion if they cannot be ridden without pain and without medication then they should be retired. Please don't forget that in nature pain does serve a purpose.
 

Summit

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What an odd question! What do you think the vet would say if you asked him/her? With a healthy, sound horse an amount of trotting on suitable roads is fine and may even be beneficial to fitness and bone density. You however have an aging, arthritic horse for which the vet is recommending bute (ie pain and inflamation relief) prior to work. Why would you think faster work on hard going would be a good plan? Why do you particularly want to trot on roads? On the basis that I assume it isn't necessary then I would not risk it and I'd save my aging unsound horse from excess wear and tear by restricting my faster work to softer, preferably level surfaces. That way I would hope he would stay sounder longer.
ok, no need to read the riot act. And why would you say it’s an odd question?
 

Summit

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Ask the vet?
I trot my 27 year old on the roads, she doesn't have bute but has arthritus. She seizes up without regular exercise.
Unfortunately I have no choice as my hacks are mostly road.
I already have and he said that gentle trotting jere And there would be fine. I wanted to gather other opinions
 

Summit

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I wouldn't bute a horse to be ridden, full stop.
many are and it’s not as sinister as you make it sound. He‘s only walked around the village. He’s not jumped, schooled, cantered so please don’t judge without knowing all the details.

he’s never been lame either. He’s not a crippled wreck :oops:

plenty of people here do it

https://forums.horseandhound.co.uk/threads/arthritic-horses-on-bute-what-are-yours-doing.591968/

https://forums.horseandhound.co.uk/threads/would-you-ride-a-buted-horse.427269/
 
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scruffyponies

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I trot my fit 23yr old on the road. Have done all his life. He's sound and in full work.
I don't think the age is the issue. Neither is the road work. It is the use of a painkiller to enable an activity which may make the underlying condition worse, or the horse less comfortable once it has worn off which I think is unacceptable.

If the horse is uncomfortable ridden, don't ride it.
 

Summit

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I don't think the age is the issue. Neither is the road work. It is the use of a painkiller to enable an activity which may make the underlying condition worse, or the horse less comfortable once it has worn off which I think is unacceptable.

If the horse is uncomfortable ridden, don't ride it.
you can’t make a blanket assumption, loads of people ride on Bute to keep their older horses in Light work
 

splashgirl45

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sometimes the road is better as it is level as long as you avoid the pot holes. many tracks are uneven when hard and therefore not as user friendly. i think trotting gently for a short while is fine, but hammering them long the road for a long time is detrimental....i used to mainly walk on roads with a very short trot up any hills and my old horse was more sound on the road than on the baked hard tracks, she wasnt on any pain relief either so nothing was being masked..
 

ester

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If he's not lame why has the vet suggested arthritis and bute? I think the issue OP is that you have said it is likely he is arthriticy all over - for some that does read more like a crippled wreck and none of us get to see the horse that is in front of you.

fwiw we have one (22 I think!) occasionally buted and in light hacking work (following vets advice) and one (27) buted daily and retired/led out, albeit doing a lot better than he was 2 years ago but no one wants to ride him anyway.
I've never had an issue road trotting, in part due to the slug speed walk but felt better without shoes :p. Currently he only trots for as long as I can run behind him for, he thinks it's amazing to be doing, me not so much going not in trainers, not in sports bra.... 'ok and walk'. . .
 

Summit

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If he's not lame why has the vet suggested arthritis and bute? I think the issue OP is that you have said it is likely he is arthriticy all over - for some that does read more like a crippled wreck and none of us get to see the horse that is in front of you.
. .
point taken....I only assume a bit arthritic all over due to his age and that he’s an exracer but I could be wrong, just similar to how we all get arthritic changes over the age of 40 :D

ride him into an open space and he’s snorting, tossing his head and jogging ;)

vet suggested a bute before riding just to ensure he’s comfortable due to his age. he’s only walked around the village, and as I said earlier there is no schooling, jumping, cantering or anything that could put unnecessary strain on him. He’s not lame but sometimes a bit stiff after a night in the stable
 

ILuvCowparsely

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I’ve had my exracer for two years, he’s 21 now. I’d say fit and healthy and nothing serious going on. Vet thinks he may have a touch of arthritis around the coronet band, but I expect at his age he’s probably got a bit of arthritis all over.

vet recommends a bute before riding but I’m just wondering if a little trotting on roads is ok?
I would try this, it is has a money back guarantee, really helped my oldies and arthritis, just read the reviews too. https://www.equimins-online.com/en/all-products/46-equimins-flexijoint-cartilage-supplement.html

Personally i wont trot on the road unless getting away from a corner.

Small daily dose keeps horse happy. Joint supplement like one above, and can quote David from Equimins, when my vet at the time said bute for like due to Arthritis, he recommended Flexijoint money back guarantee


If you have lubrication you don't have pain, if you don't have pain you don't need a painkiller. I took the risk and she ended up off all danilon and vet was shocked when I told her.
 
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ILuvCowparsely

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I wouldn't bute a horse to be ridden, full stop.
No but I bet you would take an ibuprofen and keep working yourself or you had a head ache

Plenty of people take pain killers daily for many ailments, what should they do be in pain full time and miserable. So I have severe arthritis in my knee, no cartilage left. I run a yard solo, i take pain killers sometimes when pain gets to much. I also take supplements too. Sorry what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
 
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Winters100

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No but I bet you would take an ibuprofen and keep working yourself or you had a head ache

Plenty of people take pain killers daily for many ailments, what should they do be in pain full time and miserable. So I have severe arthritis in my knee, no cartilage left. I run a yard solo, i take pain killers sometimes when pain gets to much. I also take supplements too. Sorry what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Sorry but I don't really agree with this. There is a big difference that you choose to take the medication and the type of work - if it was too much for you you have the ability to make other arrangements. Sure it might be difficult, it might involve selling your yard even, but ultimately the decision is yours.

To me retiring a horse is not something that you do only when it is crippled and totally unable to be ridden, and if the time comes that they need pain medication for this activity then it is time to move to give them the necessary exercise in some other way.

Someone else mentioned that plenty of people do this. Sadly yes, but it does not make it right.
 
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To be fair to the OP there are times when a vet will suggest buting so a horse can stay in ridden work if they feel it's beneficial to the horse. I would never ride a heavily medicated horse but one in light work with the green light from the vet and a hefty dose of common sense should be OK..??
I would not be trotting on the road with this horse though to be honest, I'd stick to walking and only trotting on softer ground.
 

Summit

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To be fair to the OP there are times when a vet will suggest buting so a horse can stay in ridden work if they feel it's beneficial to the horse. I would never ride a heavily medicated horse but one in light work with the green light from the vet and a hefty dose of common sense should be OK..??
I would not be trotting on the road with this horse though to be honest, I'd stick to walking and only trotting on softer ground.
yes this it it, beneficial to keep him moving. if the vet said otherwise then I would do as I was advised. My horse doesn’t come in limping....he runs around the field, rolls multiple times a day :rolleyes:, would even happily take off with me in an open field. The Bute is given just in case he’s feeling a bit stiff. Jesus, I stagger to the end of the hallway in the morning until I loosen up :D
 

lannerch

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Daily excercise for an arthritic horse or human with a pain killer is far more beneficial than doing nothing and seizing up. To categorically state you would never ride a horse that had to have a low dose of pain killer to make it more comfortable is ridiculous and indicates a lack of knowledge sorry to be blunt.
every case is different which is why you ask the vet .
 

ILuvCowparsely

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Sorry but I don't really agree with this. There is a big difference that you choose to take the medication and the type of work - if it was too much for you you have the ability to make other arrangements. Sure it might be difficult, it might involve selling your yard even, but ultimately the decision is yours.

To me retiring a horse is not something that you do only when it is crippled and totally unable to be ridden, and if the time comes that they need pain medication for this activity then it is time to move to give them the necessary exercise in some other way.

Someone else mentioned that plenty of people do this. Sadly yes, but it does not make it right.
The point I was making is using a low dose of danilon say 1 a day, is not that bad, and can give a horse many years of life be it active or retirement. After all Arthritis with a danilon is better for a horse to keep moving Totally different to giving a chronic lame horse 4 butes a day for years.
 

Summit

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The point I was making is using a low dose of danilon say 1 a day, is not that bad, and can give a horse many years of life be it active or retirement. After all Arthritis with a danilon is better for a horse to keep moving Totally different to giving a chronic lame horse 4 butes a day for years.
this is all I’m doing, one for riding to keep him comfortable. However some here seemed to shoot me down for it
 

MrsNorris

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My oldie is the same, stiff after standing in, not lame, probably a bit arthritic but not formally diagnosed. I was told last year by my vet to keep him moving as long as possible and if he needed Bute, then fine, it’s much better to do that than to stop riding. He was great up until March, when lockdown and a health problem put a stop to all riding. He deteriorated rapidly in just 4 months, looked 5 years older, much stiffer, loss of muscle, and he looked miserable.
I started gentle walking again a few weeks ago with him, and already he’s looking and feeling better, and I’ll have no qualms about giving him a bute if he needs it to carry on. We used to trot a little on the roads just to avoid traffic, and will be doing it again when he’s a bit fitter I dare say. Every horse is different, be guided by your vet, your horse and a bit of common sense and I’m sure you’ll make the right decision.
 
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