11-08-2011, 08:17 AM
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Hmm, I can see both sides, but being so young, I wouldn't personally keep a horse in this condition in any ridden work, a stable companion at the most.
Bute is effective, but long term can have serious effects, same as humans taking a paracetemol every day, really! I have only ever used bute once on one of my own horses after she was kicked by another. I don't understand why bute is sometimes used cure for things, when its purely masking the pain. You've got to think about winter, too. I don't know how cold it gets where you are, but boggy fields, cold nights etc, and being a young horse, how long are you planning on keeping him on bute for? Hope your vets has a cheap supply ;)
Have you looked in to homeopathic things? I used Rhux Tox on my 19yo dressage horse last winter as he was showing huge signs of stiffness, and we did a small comp and led a quadrille! You'd have to speak to someone with more experience though.
There are lots of options, but you know your horse better. Good luck, and speak to your vet, and perhaps another vet. Can never do any harm having a second opinion.