First of all, thank you upnover, yes I am positive I am talking about a different quality of horse.
My mother's horse is very well bred (ie both parents are from Europe), gets 8 on gaits and has almost every trick in the book up to half steps (he has nice half steps too :P). And although he knows all this she can still take him on a trail ride and be completely safe. Yes he was not expensive, but that wasn't just because he is arthritic, it is also because of the hay shortage, a friend of ours with one too many horses offered him to us for a bargain after my mother had been leasing him for over 12 months.
A horse with comparable breeding, the same age range (10-13) and performing well at PSG with a clean vet check in my area sells for around $150,000.
Originally Posted by Honeysuga
upnover, I am happy your guy is doing so great. I did not mean any arthritic/older horse should not compete. And yes, as I said in my original post, if it is just a little stiffness, fine. I agreed that bute is great when used for mild stiffness and other mild issueslike sore muscles after a hard workout and stress from trailering and puplic stalling in tiny stalls it is like an athlete taking an advil. I specifically meant horses that cannot compete in relative comfort without being drugged should not be competing at all, at least until they are sound. But as many horses are competing well into their 20's today, by the time they do finally show the wear and tear to their joints, it is time to retire them anyway rather than drugging them up to be able to force them to compete for a few more years till they have nothing left in them.
I believe that there are many many cases in which the horse would benifit from a mild anti- inflammatory, and I am happy for those horses with bute being legalized, now they can have a much more comfortable time competing and compete to their fullest without the pain and stiffness inherent with long multi day upper level shows.
So then what makes my mother's horse so special that HE should not be allowed to compete because after being stalled for 3 days his arthritis acts up??