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Horse went down today...so scary

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  • My 30 year old horse trips when he walks

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    08-18-2012, 10:34 PM
  #11
Started
Very scary! My friend's gelding had an incident like that once when he was 17 or 18. He never had another one until he was euthanized for a completely non-collapse reason over a decade later. Here's hoping it was just an odd one-off, but I would keep a close eye on him, and I'm sure you and your husband will.
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    08-18-2012, 11:09 PM
  #12
Showing
Personally, I would have a vet out to look him over, check for signs of stiffness, joint problems, etc. What worries me is that this horse is not too out of shape, not outlandishly old, and has shown no other signs of soreness or inability to do his job. It could have been a fluke, or a "Hey, this looks like a nice place to lay down" moment, but before riding him again I would definitely have a vet look him over and evaluate him and what his limits are for riding.
     
    08-19-2012, 03:09 AM
  #13
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by corgi    
The farm owners have had him since he was 6 years old. He has always tripped over his own feet... Vet says he is just a little clumsy.
Off memory the horse is 25. That is getting up there. Now a question how heavy is your husband. One could always consider the horse was milking it having his needs met by a rider who cares, but unlikely. The mention of taking the horse for a walk and not riding is a good idea.

Not all heart attacks kill, so unless blood test were done it is not ruled out. Getting up, eating, moving after a heart attack is normal for an animal that is primary a food scorce. It is what they do to survive in the wild, they will not show pain if they can help it. So just walk the horse gently untill that is ruled out. And as mentioned by another he may be giving a message its time to ease up. One of our horses patches is now getting close to 39 years old. She is a sturdly built horse but the day came a few years ago she refused to do what was asked of her. My wife is only around 60 kg so not to heavy, but Patches would not allow me to ride her 95 kg. She is now giving special needs children a treat now and again.

If your husband is a little on the heavy side it may be a factor.

Unless a complete medical is done you will always wonder. Good luck.
     
    08-19-2012, 03:40 AM
  #14
Green Broke
True heart attacks are very rare in horses, though they can have other circulatory problems.

Horse Heart Attack Risk: Information Country View Veterinary Service, Oregon, Wisconsin
     
    08-19-2012, 07:10 AM
  #15
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan    
Off memory the horse is 25. That is getting up there. Now a question how heavy is your husband. One could always consider the horse was milking it having his needs met by a rider who cares, but unlikely. The mention of taking the horse for a walk and not riding is a good idea.

Not all heart attacks kill, so unless blood test were done it is not ruled out. Getting up, eating, moving after a heart attack is normal for an animal that is primary a food scorce. It is what they do to survive in the wild, they will not show pain if they can help it. So just walk the horse gently untill that is ruled out. And as mentioned by another he may be giving a message its time to ease up. One of our horses patches is now getting close to 39 years old. She is a sturdly built horse but the day came a few years ago she refused to do what was asked of her. My wife is only around 60 kg so not to heavy, but Patches would not allow me to ride her 95 kg. She is now giving special needs children a treat now and again.

If your husband is a little on the heavy side it may be a factor.
Unless a complete medical is done you will always wonder. Good luck.
Heart attack or heart issue was my first thought as he lay there without any visible leg injuries...i think it was the trainer's first thought too as she kept feeling for his pulse.

Scuffy is 15.2 hands tall and very muscular. He is a horse that is in fantatsic shape. Hubby is 6 feet tall and about 210. So, he is heavy... Not overweight but definitely a big guy.

The owner, who was there when it happened and saw the whole thing has told us that this happened one time before over 10 years ago. Her daughter was riding him and she fell off and Scuffy actually laid down and wouldn't get up. At first they were worried and then when he eventually got up and had no issues, they decided it was because he was upset his rider fell off. I don't know if I believe that. Seems very far fetched that a horse could think that way...but hubby did come off and it is the first time he ever came off of him and Scuffy is EXTREMELY sensitive to his rider. I believe the owner knew how upset hubby was and is trying to make him feel better.

The owner is a wonderful BO and Scuffy was her daughter's first horse. They will do whatever they need to do to make sure Scuffy is safe and healthy.

I just feel so sorry for hubby. He LOVES this horse and the two of them together are such a pleasure to watch. In fact, there was a guest trainer at the farm yesterday for the Play Day and when hubby and Scuffy first returned from the trails, she commented how good they looked together and how happy both of them looked. When I told her Scuffy is 26, she was shocked. Less than 10 minutes later, he was down.
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    08-19-2012, 07:21 AM
  #16
Foal
I think it is great you are riding an older horse. They need the excercise. It keeps them going a lot longer. And has long as there are no major medical issues why not.

One of the horses I ride just turned 30 this year. And I still walk, trot, canter him, mainly walk trot but the days he feels really good I canter him a little.

My family also boards horses and we had another 30 year old gelding who up until he had major feet issues (his coffin bone turned and was coming down) his owners rode him. My first horse was 25 when we got her and I lost her at 29 to colic, but I rode and drove her up until then. Finally the horse I learned how to ride hunter/jumper on was 25 when she started then discipline (I never jumper her) and was still being riden until she was 31 and she passed away on Christmas eve 2006.

Sorry for such a long winded post, but when people think they should stop riding an older horse at a certain age it bugs me. I completely understand if there are underlying issues, but when a horse is sound and willing there should be no reason not to ride.
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    08-19-2012, 07:42 AM
  #17
Yearling
I totally agree that riding older horses sometimes keeps them healthy. This barn has a total of 27 horses and half of them are over 20 and quite a few are over 25. Some are owned by the BO and some belong to boarders. All are ridden lightly on a regular basis and none of them have any health issues. Before I bought my horse and boarded her there, I leased a 26 year old QH at this same place. When she developed some saddle fit issues right before the barn's charity fun show, the BO let me ride another of her horses....a 32 year old QH that is ornery as can be. We won the novice barrel class!!
     
    08-19-2012, 08:31 AM
  #18
Started
I notice "calling the vet" has not been mentioned

The horse "trips a lot" could mean any number of things. A crummy farrier, eventhough nearly everyone is "in love with their farrier".

It could mean early stages of EPM.

26 or not, unless there is some underlying cause you're not aware of, or the farrier is just stupid, 26 year old horses don't just trip. I have taken two horses to ages 29 & 27, neither of them ever tripped just because their old. My current Arab is 26 has an injured vertebra, when he starts tripping and/or leaving snake trails with his hooves in the dirt, I know he needs to see the chiropractor.

Your horse moaning when he was down could most certainly mean he had a colic attack and that attack could have been brought on by some form of ulcers - foregut or hindgut.

Horses don't moan for no reason - not only are they very stoic but they are prey animals and to show weakness oftentimes means certain death in the wilds ---- it's in their gene pool no matter how many years we've had them domesticated.

I have a 25 yo TWH who's been with me since a coming 3 yo. He has equine metabolic syndrome and hind gut ulcers. I almost lost him to his first-ever colic last March. Thankfully when he went down, it was in his stall and I was lucky enough to get the vet out in less than an hour - at 7:00 PM.

Even in the seriousness of that major colic, my horse never moaned - never.


For all outward appearances, it doesn't matter how many times he gets ridden and how good he looks and acts --- he did not go down and moan "just because".

I will stick my neck out and say the moaning was caused by something internal, and the fact that he tripped and went down may be totally un-related to his other episodes of tripping. It could be the pain grabbed him to the point he just couldn't stand up anymore.

Please call the vet.
     
    08-19-2012, 10:01 AM
  #19
Yearling
If you will go back and read the whole thread you will notice two things:

1. He has tripped over his own feet for the past 20 years. Vet has checked him out several times and ruled out everything except clumsiness.

2. We do not own him, he is owned by the BO and they will have him checked by a vet ASAP, even though I did not come right out and say that, I didn't think I needed to. I did say the BO was doing everything they needed to do to make sure he was ok. They will be calling the vet in the morning because he was walking, eating, grazing, urinating, and pooping normally within a few minutes and hours of the incident. But yes, he will get a complete work up from the vet this week.
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    08-19-2012, 11:33 AM
  #20
Started
I definitely wouldn't say 'not to' ride an older horse since it can help them with staying fit and with arthritis. What I do say is....there may eventually be a time that you have to re-evaluate riding an older horse. Just be sensitive to the horse during this time and read the signs.
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