Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: State of Confusion (SC)
When my spotted saddle horse developed ringbone, I retired him because he was becoming dangerous to ride (as well as for his own comfort.)
We first noticed a stiffness, and then he began stumbling - first on the trails and then in the roundpen. If your horse has ringbone, you do not want to be on him on the trails. It's not safe for you and it's painful for him.
Walkers do nod their heads when they gait, but normal bobbing for a walker and nodding because they are lame are different. Is your horse stiff in the front? Your vet can x-ray his front feet and pasterns and solve any dispute over whether or not he has ringbone. If he has ringbone, he is in PAIN when he's being ridden (or even if he isn't, if you don't have a level field) and he isn't safe to ride.
Ringbone can fuse given time, but it's iffy. Please, if he has ringbone, find a way to retire him. There's no cheap fix for this.
I'm not a complete idiot--there are parts missing!
What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want.