Which English discipline for my 5 yr old arthritic mare? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-03-2013, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Which English discipline for my 5 yr old arthritic mare?

Hi everyone!
So basically I have an arthritic 5 yr old QH mare. We used to do basic English, some trail, but most recently we did dressage. She is currently not sound for riding. If she is able to ride again, would we be able to enter into the dressage world again, or might that be too physically demanding for a young horse with this issue? I could do trail riding again. While I enjoy the challenge of an intense dressage ride, I don't want to push my horse to the point of her being uncomfortable. But I know arthritic horses benefit from physical activity?

BY THE WAY: if you want to read the story of my mare and her arthritis, which may help you get a better feel for how you want to answer my question, the link is: Don't know what to do with my arthritic 5 year old?

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post #2 of 6 Old 01-03-2013, 06:03 PM
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Arthritis in a 5 year old is a pretty good indication that she'll only ever be suitable for very light riding.

A career as a trail horse may be her best option.

She'll also be better in regular, steady, light work - like 30 - 45 minutes daily, without intervals where she isn't ridden. This type of work actually keeps them limber and moving and slows the progress of the arthritis.

Ring work, or any work that involves circles or turns, is probably not going to be best for her.

There are a lot of maintence options available for arthritic horses - oral supplements, oral meds and injectables such as Legend, Adequan and Cosequin.

24 hour turn out, *light* steady work, maintenence and cross your fingers.
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-03-2013, 06:52 PM
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Even with trails, you will have to be conscious of her arthritis. Depending upon the joints affected, different terrain may bother her. For example, my old guy has a tough time on hills. We now have to zig zag (like tacking with a sailboat) up and down. He pretty much does it on his own, but you have to listen and allow her that freedom-to do it comfortably. I do not ask for any steep hills at all. But-he still loved to get out-or did before I free leased him to a therapy program. He loves that job. That might be something else for you to look at.

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franknbeans is offline  
post #4 of 6 Old 01-04-2013, 08:55 PM
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What about that obstacle course stuff? I forget what it's called. That's mostly walking with opening/closing and going over various objects. Looks fun and can't be too taxing I doubt.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
MyBoyPuck is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 01-04-2013, 09:10 PM
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Competitive trail of sorts.......could work.

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post #6 of 6 Old 01-09-2013, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice. I'm now unsubscribing.
Right now my mare is not doing particularly well and she will be out of work for 3-6 months (does not include controlled handwalking and groundwork). Much appreciated & God bless.
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