Is this "mean"?

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Is this "mean"?

This is a discussion on Is this "mean"? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

View Poll Results: Read below
Yes, it's mean. 8 61.54%
No, it's fine. 5 38.46%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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    04-16-2008, 12:39 AM
Is this "mean"?

I am riding a 20ish year old Oldenburg/Hanoverian (I think) cross, Dukat. He's an ex-show CHAMPION and loves the show ring. He did Hunters, 4'6" jumpers, Medals and Eq. He's an amazing horse that needs a job.
However, he has ringbone in one leg only. It's really sad, since he just loves to be worked and I'm doing all that I can for him (I don't know if you all know my situation - the owner of the barn and my family are super close friends, and she lets me ride all of her horses). Anyway, he'll start out really nice (a bit off) in the ride, but end up pretty off.
Currently, I am just taking him on the trail, walk/trot around the barn and take him in the arena and to w/t/c.
Do you think it's "mean" to ride a horse that has ringbone (it's not a horrible case, since it's only in one foot)? He never acts like he's in serious pain, he just looks likes off. He always has his ears pricked and is EAGER to go (he's super forward and a pretty nice ride, with great movement for a lame guy).
The owner has already spent $7000 in medical bills. I boot him up, etc and limit my rides.
Pictures -

Thank you for your opinions!
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    04-16-2008, 12:46 AM
I voted its mean because I don't think its perfectly okay but I don't think it will kill him either. The thing is, it hard to tell if he is in a ton of pain or just a little, horses will tolerate in INCREDIBLE amount of pain before doing anything about it so it is really hard to tell.

Some horses go and go even though they can't.

If you keep at walk trot only and LIGHT canter in the arena I think things would be okay if you aren't riding him over an hour a day.

Where is at exactly? Is it very near any of his joints? If so, it is suggested to stop riding if that is the case.
    04-16-2008, 12:52 AM
Hmm. I voted mean but then again, I don't think it's that cruel. ;) I only disagree with it because you really don't wanna over-work him, & if he seems very off @ the end of the rides, that may mean you're working him a bit too hard? I'm glad to hear you limit the rides, though. Just be slow with him.
    04-16-2008, 10:20 AM
I think that since he is very off at the end of the ride, he is being ridden too long perhaps. If its not really that long of a ride or that hard, then I would say he shouldnt be ridden at all.

    04-16-2008, 02:32 PM
"Mean" is a bit strong, I would rather have voted for "inadvisable" or something like that. If he is lame, he is lame. That means things aren't working right. Does he trot and canter in the field for fun on his own? If not, he definitely doesn't want to do it with a rider. If so, maybe light riding (walking on even ground). There are other things you can do with him if he's anxious to be out - ground work is far easier on him. Teach him tricks or routines or something maybe instead. He probably loves the attention, but I doubt he loves the rides.
    04-16-2008, 02:37 PM
One of the horses at the stables had ringbone since she was 10 I two legs I think. Anyways, they did shows with her and she won countless blue ribbons...and was never lame once in her life....or at least for as long as they've owned her. She's now 24 years old...she has arthritis, but is on joint supplements and is still doing good. She loves to be worked and does crazy if she isn't.

I think the horse will let you know if the ringbone is bothering him
    04-16-2008, 02:40 PM
^ I think that's good advice. I'd probably stick to the ring where the footing is a bit more regular and you're a little closer to home if he gets sore. He's a sweet looking horse:)
    04-16-2008, 08:20 PM
How is he after rides? Is he limping and such, if so I would cease with riding him and let him enjoy retirement.
    04-17-2008, 12:13 AM
Maybe I said this a little to "harsh" sort to speak(?).

Abby - He's the type of horse that would really let me know by bucking, or swishing his tail...etc. I don't know where it is, I haven't really asked, since I only ride him once to twice a week (twice is MAX). I rode him on the trail only once, to build up muscle and again, to get him out. The trials are really good footing, too, since it's only a trail around the property - not rocks, just an easy going trail.

PoptartShop - I am really slow with him, and he's not "dead" lame at the end of the rides.

Kim_angel - I think, again, that I maybe said "really lame" - I didn't mean super lame, just a tiny limp, and, it's after 20 minutes with a good walk, trot, canter (20 minutes after I walk of course). I always ride him on a loose rein.

Northernmama - Yes. He walks and trots in his pasture. I'm sure he'd canter, but the footing isn't the best.

SonnyWimps - Yeah, I think he'd let me know and for now, he's fine. It's only when he gets super excited when he'll work harder. He always is super happy.

Sara - I don't take him on trails away from home, but sometimes (rarely) he'll go on light trails away from home. Again, the footing is really nice and it's a SUPER easy trail. No huge hills.

Harlee - After rides he's fine, he doesn't limp really.

Thank you so much everyone! I will keep this advice - I think it's really just a situation where you need to see him move.
    04-17-2008, 07:18 PM
I voted that it's fine. For older horses to stay in shape they have to be worked in some way. Not that he's older, 20 isn't really that old, but, since you said he isn't limping really after rides, I'd say he's ok, just don't try to work him too hard.

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