Honestly in my opinion, if you like it or not, an arthritic horse should not have to compete just because your arthritic mother wants to, that's not fair,If your mother cannot ride a sound animal she shouldn't be riding. Wild_spot, yes that is what I meant exactly, thanks, I would have cleared that up sooner but I have been out of town. And I agree also with whoever said that as a responsible owner you should know when it is time to retire hour horse from competing, even if its o fun for you, horses aren't toys for our enjoyment.
I guess what I meant to say in my looong post I will say here without all the fluff, I agree with bute being legalized for sound athletes, but the horse should have a clean vet check before bute is administered to make sure problems aren't being attemptedly masked by the drug. Old and/or arthritic horses shouldn't be drugged just so they can be used to compete without the proper care and strict scheduling it takes to keep them, they have done their time and deserve a break, old arthritic moms or not. Im speaking for ethical ownership of competition animals here, not for the people who ride them.