What do you regard as 'field sound'?

noblesteed

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Hi all,
I am currently awaiting an operation for my 16yo gelding on his tendon sheath/annular ligament. He's on box rest currently though has a mooch in a tiny taped off corner of the field so as not to get too bored and to keep him moving a little (he has spavin in both hocks). He's due to go into horsepital next week and the vet seems to think the op should work, so I am feeling optimistic about things.

What I am wondering though is, hypothetically, what you do with a horse that isn't sound even when out of work? He is able to walk comfortably but is unsound in trot and is unable to canter - I know this because he attempted to do a little 'flourish' in the field and just sort of went 'ow' and remembered he couldn't!!! It's 4 months since his injury so vet doubts he will get much better without the op. Added to this his spavin doesn't help matters at all.

If I was unable to finance the operation I would be stuck with a real problem - would he be sound enough to retire? He's healthy/happy in himself but would he be classed as 'field sound' if he's unable to canter? Would it be fair to turn him away with other horses if he was unable to run about or get away from field bullies? Or would it be kinder to let him go while he is in good health?

What do people do in this situation?
 

catroo

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For me field sound is a horse that is one that is almost sound, fine in walk and only slightly lame in trot and canter.

From what you describe I wouldn't say he is field sound in current state
 

LynH

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I have a 24 year old TB I would class as field sound. She is not sound under saddle but is sound in the field in walk, trot and canter. Occasionally she may look unsound if she has been running around too much but it usually improves quickly. If she was unsound in trot more often than not/continuously or became unsound in walk then I would consider that the time for me to pts.
 

Goldenstar

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I don't keep horses obviously lame in trot and canter .
For me acceptable field sound is a horse who would quickly become lame if worked but is generally ok to enjoy itself in the field , I would not worry too much if galloping about like a loony made the horse sore as long as it settled down again quite quickly
But permanently lame in trot is IMO not a fair way to keep a flight animal.
 

twiggy2

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field sound is 'sound in the field when not worked'

what you are describing is not sound and in pain=no way for any animal to live
 
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wkiwi

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ditto for LynH and Goldenstar. If it is not sound at the trot and canter when living its normal life in teh field (barring the odd hoon) then it is not field sound. He will be sore any time that he moves out of a walk.
Note also that horses hide pain symptoms when they can, so he may be even worse when you are not around, plus I have seen horses very sore early in the morning chill but 'warm out of' before the owner comes later in the morning. You might also find that a horse sore at trot/canter is reluctant to lie down; if they don't do this for a number of days then they start to fall over.
This does not mean that you won't be able to get him pain free though, but it may mean a lifetime of drug use to keep him that way. Discuss with vet after the op, as longterm drug use (whether vet or herbal) has side effects.
Good luck and I hope it doesn't come to this.
 

GemG

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I don't keep horses obviously lame in trot and canter .
For me acceptable field sound is a horse who would quickly become lame if worked but is generally ok to enjoy itself in the field , I would not worry too much if galloping about like a loony made the horse sore as long as it settled down again quite quickly
But permanently lame in trot is IMO not a fair way to keep a flight animal.
Exactly this.
 

Red-1

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I agree with the majority.

Field sound is sound when not worked, but would be lame if worked. If the silly fool did a big hooley and was lame the next day then I would be OK with that, and give pain relief.

I have no issue with people giving regular pain relief, as long as the horse is then genuinely sound.

Our much beloved Charlie horse was sound in walk, but in pain for trot and could not canter. It happened suddenly from a ringbone that grew into the joint surface. At walk it was not interfering, but at a higher pace the joint flexed more and it obviously was very painful when the rough part came into play. We gave pain relief and 6 weeks, but it did not settle down so he was PTS. I could not have kept him in such a condition that he could not feel comfortable. It would be awful for a prey animal to only be able to walk, IMO.
 

el_Snowflakes

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I don't keep horses obviously lame in trot and canter .
For me acceptable field sound is a horse who would quickly become lame if worked but is generally ok to enjoy itself in the field , I would not worry too much if galloping about like a loony made the horse sore as long as it settled down again quite quickly
But permanently lame in trot is IMO not a fair way to keep a flight animal.

Agree with this
 

ilvpippa

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My girl is field sound. Can wLk/trot/canter around the field. But can look stuiff/sore on hard ground.
She's still a light hack; so I just see how she is day to day
 

Tiddlypom

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I don't keep horses obviously lame in trot and canter .
For me acceptable field sound is a horse who would quickly become lame if worked but is generally ok to enjoy itself in the field , I would not worry too much if galloping about like a loony made the horse sore as long as it settled down again quite quickly
But permanently lame in trot is IMO not a fair way to keep a flight animal.
This.

Plus the horse has to be comfortable when manoeuvred sideways to open/close gates and stable doors, and to have its feet picked out daily. IME, once they start to struggle with those activities, then it is time to say goodbye.
 
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noblesteed

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Thank you all for your honest replies. Hopefully his operation will work and he will eventually be able to return to his old self - though maybe taking things a little steadier from now on!!!
He's a tough cookie having worked though spavin so I do worry about him masking pain. He's a very happy, cheeky soul and I wouldn't ever let him become depressed - I'd rather let him go happy than lose his spirit. I have watched desperate owners keeping horses going when they are clearly suffering and I have always sworn I would never let that happen to one of mine.
It's really hard watching him being unable to do the things he used to do so I hope this episode is over soon and we can move on.
 

skint1

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My Tb gelding is field sound with 1x Danilon every other day and daily turmeric. He used to be on 2x Danilon a day. He can walk, trot, canter, gallop, skid to a halt, bounce around like a loony, play, defend himself, stuff his face (he's on a restricted diet now with my big ID lad) lay down and get get up easily, copes with being stabled, looks pretty good doing it but he doesn't hold up for long under regular work so for as long as he is happy he is a slightly expensive ginger lawn hoover. Is your horse on any anti inflammatory meds or supplements at all? It might be worth a try.

eta my apologies, didn't read the whole thread, I can see that your boy is having an operation, wishing him all the best with that! xx
 

MagicMelon

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For me field sound is a horse that is one that is almost sound, fine in walk and only slightly lame in trot and canter.
This IMO, but it depends to a degree as to how much it is pain-related. I have 3 retired ones who show different degrees of lameness, all are very happy though - one has cushings and is perfectly sound on grass but he limps like hell over my hardcore yard (covered with a layer of dirt now so not pointy stones) and literally looks crippled, but he doesn't have to come onto the yard (its open to the whole field), another is mechanically lame whereby its not pain related (all vet checks done, pain relief doesn't improve it) so he will gallop round the field fine but he looks a bit lame doing it, my other one injured his DDFT 3 years ago and can be very sound in the field but that then means he has moments of galloping about (he's very playful) and you can see he's overdone it the next day as he's slightly sore on it (but not enough to stop him playing still!). So it really does depend on the individual, although I think if mine was "sore" all the time even in walk, then I would be giving him herbal pain relief to see if that helped and going from there.
 

LovesCobs

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I have my daughter first pony who had a suspensory ligament injury. I would say she is field sound. You can't tell in walk, you'd have to trot her in a few circles (lunging) before before she'll start to nod slightly. She canters round the field fine. But if ridden she will go lame quickly.
 
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