Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: NW Pennsylvania
I have a 15 year old saddlebred mare who started her life as a 5 gaited show horse. I got her in 2007 and show her steadily starting in show pleasure (with show package shoeing) and finally ending up with a stellar all around horse. She did everything and anything I asked. I ended up winning 4-H state equitation on her both years I showed in 4-H and she qualified several times for the William Shatner saddlebred National western pleasure championship class. She has many wins in saddleseat huntseat western hunter hack dressage trail barrels... you name it, she could do it! She came up lame one time about a year ago. I thought she just needed a reset because she has had some on and off trouble over the years. I was away at college and the situation probably got neglected longer than I woudl have if I'd been home. This spring I took her to Peter Kanter, equine lameness specialist in Buffalo. He said she has one of the slightest cases of navicular he has ever seen. She barely limps, but I probably will never be able to show her again. He said with her age that I should just ride her and use her. He prescribed a bute a day (or half if it made enough difference). 16 years old is nearing retirement for some saddlebreds anyways, so he said just do whatever it takes to enjoy her while I can. He said light riding (no jumping, barrels, etc.) wouldn't cause that much more additional damage than just normal turnout will. He said it could get worse at any point for any reason or it could stay exactly the same until the day she dies. I haven't yet started her on the bute or regular riding, but I'd like to. I wouldn't be able to take her to shows that drug test anymore, but I think I could live with that. I also thought about getting her back in shape (and behaving, she's still super spunky) and then leasing her out to a local teenager.