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.
Thank you for your opinions!