These photos are a couple of months old, but they were the best leg shots I could find. I asked the vet about the shakiness of Topaz's left front leg and the vet said that he's tied at the knee. I've googled, I've searched the forum but I can't find very good info. All the vet said was that if he's lived this long like that it shouldn't be a problem and I should ride him fine.
What does this mean for riding?
How does it affect a 19-20 year old horse?
Is there any special care I should be doing to help maximize the muscles and strengthen his legs?
Anything else I should know about this condition?
This horse would benefit greatly from regular work and lots of trotting up long hills on a loose rein with the rider standing in the stirrups. It would really help him to build the right muscles to continue to work for many years to come.
yep. The horse is hardly tied in at all. Rather nice-looking horse.
His legs shake and that is what prompted me to ask the vet when I had him out. I was cleaning his feet one day and he shook so bad he lost his balance and fell forward (he was still very skinny at the time and hasn't done it since.) Tiny, he's come a long way since September, he's gained over 200lbs and started putting even more weight on since I got his canine teeth fixed last week.
As for working him I'm taking lessons and learning to lounge him on my own, I'm getting a surcingle for christmas with sidereins and I have wonderful friends at my barn that are going to help me get him re-broke to ride.
He may need a reminder.. but I have never had a horse "forget" how to be ridden even after a few years laid off. They are not alway smart animals, but they have wonderful memories!!
He was abused, badly. I've had to start from scratch with bit training. He's terrified of everything. I'm not sure how long he was mistreated for but it was long enough that he is still afraid of new people. He doesn't rear while walking any more, and he only startles when new people touch him rather than trying to take off. Thankfully I have a wonderful trainer who has the patience of a saint and barn buddies who have helped me loads with desensitizing him to loads of things.