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Re: [RC] arthritis management or go shopping? - Laney Humphrey

Like Jody, I would like more info before wading in too deep. First, is your vet known to have expertise in lameness? Was the horse ultrasounded/xrayed (in other words, how did he/she arrive at the "mildly arthritic" diagnosis)? Which joint(s)? How old is the mare, how much use has she had? Have you gotten a 2nd opinion from either an endurance vet or a vet that specializes in lameness/joint problems? Do you have a skilled farrier? If so, have you discussed the horse's problem with him/her? Skilled farriers know a lot and can contribute a lot of knowledge to lameness problems. Again, if you're not certain of your farrier's skill/knowledge level, a 2nd opinion is in order.
Next, I'd want to know what qualities, other than being your best friend, make you believe that this horse, if sound, could do 100s? It seems to me that the people who end up enjoying the sport of endurance the most and staying in it the longest are the ones who start where they are, wherever that may be, work to bring the horse they have along slowly, using whatever it takes and then competing. If the horse turns out to have a limitation, by doing it that way, they haven't hurt their horse, they've learned the sport and are hooked. Most long time participants retire more than one horse. It's a rare person who gets to compete on just one horse for their entire career. Horse shopping isn't a whole lot more fun than saddle shopping but it's part of why the sport is called "endurance!"
Don't be too quick to reject supplement like Legend. It has kept many horses sound and happy and performing.
Laney
Mary Krauss wrote:
The vet/chiro came out yesterday to look at my mare Salima and left me right where I was already: frustrated. Basically Salima's probably mildly arthritic and can be ridden some if I start using supplements (which I've always thought of as voodoo). No one seems to think she'll be able to hold up to lots of miles and that heavy training definitely will worsen things for her in the long run.

I am ready to explode with frustration over not being able to commit to this endurance thing (yes, I'm one of those people who really wants to do 100's, notice the plural--if I don't discover hidden reserves of mental or physical cowardice.) The choices seem simple: manage Salima's arthritis as well as possible and ride her under her threshold and put off more lofty goals; or try to find a nice broodmare situation for her and go shopping for a young, ready to be brought into condition distance horse.

Here's the catch: I love Salima very much. No one else can. She's a pill, a pasture boss, a history of issues from poor training, and my best friend. I want to wake up every morning and yell at her for biting Bruiser, then give her her carrots and watch her get all dopey over me.

My Very Supportive Husband (non-horsey variety) can't stand to work 6.5 days a week and drive up every evening past a "horse hospice". (Our other non-endurance-horse has EPSM and doesn't seem to be responding particularly well to the change in diet. We may have caught the condition too late. I totally support his position on the subject.) He also can't stand to see how mean I am to him and our human children when I'm this frustrated. He also loves me and wants me to live my dreams.

Any ideas? Anyone know a gentle, sympathetic, warm-hearted breeder of Crabbet Arabians? Preferably this ideal human would live North of Seattle....

Mary K. (a.k.a. "the whiner")


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[RC] arthritis management or go shopping?, Mary Krauss