Since she is a gray, a tumor on/in her spine, like gottatrot mentioned, is definitely possible and even likely. Maybe you're already aware of this but grays can have melanomas all over their insides, even if they are melanoma-free on the outside. :(
Breaks of the gray game.
I would just like someone to tell me the rationale behind throwing money at a 'rescue' like this while that same money could have 'saved' a dozen young horses from the slaughter house? What am I missing here?
I'll even take this a step further. There IS no "rationale" . Just like I wonder how people can spend $$ on a fancy designer purse, or expensive jeans, or boots, or a fancy car ... when people, as well as horses, are dying because they don't have food.
BUT people have the ABSOLUTE right to spend their money on what they WANT to spent their money on (legally), and you can't judge the tugging of one person's heart against another.
It might not be something you or I would do, but who are we to say ..............
I've seen that stance in standardbreds, my own included. Mine had a locking stifle and I was told it's either a stifle or "lower back" issue. The horses I've known with it, kept racing.I'd have a vet take a look and maybe a chiropractor.
My old mare who has a stifle problem on one side stands like this a lot of the time. I wouldnt expect her to do any work.
I keep her because I've had her for years and I owe her - she's been a terrific horse and I can afford to keep her properly and on the meds she needs to stay comfortable.
It might seem harsh but I have to agree with Cherie on this, there are currently thousands of young healthy horses that are going to have no chance of a useful life - or any life at all - because no one wants them.
We are not living in typical times as far as the surplus of horses goes. Even the official rescue centres in the UK are contemplating euthanising old and unhealthy horses to make room for all the young ones coming in.
Youth is no more a guarantee of health, happiness or a useful life than old age is a guarantee of sadness or ill health. Age seems a poor factor in determining whether a horse should live or die. As in humans, who may be miserable and ready to die at 50 with a used up body, or else healthy and living a full life at 95.
I don't think this horse needs to be put down, she doesn't seem in any pain - she just walks funny. She's not completely comfortable, but she's FAR from miserable, I'd hate to hear what some of you think of some of my rescues.
My concern is for the prospective owner - taking on a horse like this IS going to be expensive, chiropractor work may help, pain medication if needed. And this Is Not a horse that could reasonably be rehomed - this would be a sanctuary horse, not a rescue/rehome horse. So the new prospective owner should be prepared with this horse for the horse to spend the rest of it's life as constant work with little-to-no reward and also be prepared to make the difficult end-of-life decisions that are going to someday need to be made for this horse.
Our rescue is definitely more of a sanctuary - we take only the horses who have no other place to go - but aren't so miserable they need to be euthanized. They are far from perfect but they still love living. Most of these horses are unsound or have neurological issues. We use clicker training to teach some of the more able ones fun tricks and games, anything they're capable of - I'm teaching 2 minis (one of them is blind) to drive team :) Others are just being taught these tricks and games to give them something to think about and keep them happily entertained during the days. This is an option for the prospective owner for this horse too, she could easily do some basic tricks with limited movement. While she may not be 'useful' she could still be quite enjoyable!
First of all, again, this is not my mare and so yelling at me to have the miserable thing euthanized to make room for all of the young horses in the world isn't going to help. Not my mare, not my facility, not my call. What I may or may not put to sleep is not what the owner of this horse rescue/sanctuary may do. I have a habit of rescuing trainable horse and training them. She has a handful who will remain on her farm forever, she enjoys them and if they have a home who are we to judge.
Second, this is a 6 year old horse, "age" doesn't matter in terms of health.
The mare is not in a great deal of pain, PunksTank is spot on. I am sure she isn't completely comfortable but neither am I! Arabella is very happy, she is extremely sweet and if this is the face of a horse who needs to be immediately euthanized then ...
As you can see in the video, baking isn't her strong point. But she walks around just fine. Lies down, gets up. She can trot and canter, play, boss pasture mates around and function completely normal. When I first saw photos of her I thought stifle but that is clearly not the case when I went to visit her. Nothing locks, pops, slips, snaps or is otherwise obvious aside from the fact that she walks a little funny, mostly, just stands funny. Running a hand down her spine gave me no indication of pain, hitching her legs up and trotting her off did not change or worsen the issue. To my knowledge a vet looked at her enough to conclude that she is not in major pain (which any knowledgeable horse person can see when they mess with her in person) but they have not done anything to "throw money at" what this actually is, or why.
That was where the asking for ideas came in. I suggested she get her on a magnesium supplement and have a chiropractor look at the mare but I really do not think that this is something that will "fix" with an adjustment and a can-do attitude.
I just inquired about the vet visit and she said the vet said "Meh, with more weight and some exercise she'll be fine" and suggested riding her. (Vet also thinks the horse needs 200 pounds) mmmhmm. The horse was being ridden where she came from previously and has been with my friend for 3-4 weeks now.
The vets in our area amaze me :)
I suggested she contract the previous owners to try and track down the owners prior and see if she can collect an injury history of any kind.
Definitely doesn't look like locking stifles to me. My mini mule has a pretty bad case of locking stifles (growing out of it though, it look like. Yay!) and she literally drags the entire legs when walking if she's locked up, and it doesn't alternate legs every few steps. This still looks like a stroke to me.
If she's happy and otherwise healthy, by all means let her live out her life to its fullest. I'm not sure I agree with the vet's idea of riding her though, just because I wouldn't want to run the risk of her tripping/falling. That's just IMO though, and I'm not necessarily right.
I definitely don't agree with just putting her down because she isnt useful though, or because she's going to be expensive to care for. The filly we're fostering right now (daughter of the mare who died of a stroke in my first post) has already costed us thousands of dollars in fees and they just keep coming, but she's improving in leaps and bounds and is a complete joy to be around. I'm not sure yet if she'll be ridable, since she's only a yearling, but it really doesn't matter. Just because you can't ride a horse doesn't mean its worthless.
IMO the rescue owner should try to get some xrays of Arabella's spine to look for problems though. The last thing you want is for her to be in pain and just masking is very well (I have a mare that does that), and not know it.