want to be sure I'm doing everything I can
My boy Huey is a retired Grand-Prix level show-jumper. He's 17 and he's a big warmblood. His leg joints really took a beating in his previous career. The vet said when I had the vet check that he shouldn't be jumped > 1 foot unless I wanted to have to dose him with bute. I don't need to jump that bad, and I sure don't want to do something to him that is going to make him hurt. So now we're both learning dressage, and that seems to be going pretty well (better for him most days than for me!).
My trainer/barn owner mentioned last week that it was good to see his hind legs without "all that swelling". I didn't realize he usually had swelling. So I looked at it "without" to make a note of it, and then I looked today and yes, I could tell, his hind legs had some swelling in them (the joint above his hooves and up to the big joint that is like an ankle only 3 feet above the ground). I talked to my trainer and she said, yes, that's how they usually look, they just didn't look that way on Friday. She thinks it is maybe because I free-lunged him (I think that is the term) in the paddock before I brought him in to groom him up before riding.
Right now, he is in his stall at night, and he gets turned out in the morning, usually first-thing after everyone gets their grain and Round One of hay flakes. He totally trashes his bedding every night, so he's usually one of the first horses turned out. :) He's in a paddock with a buddy all day and then comes back in to the barn in the evening. Vet gave him a body-condition score of 6, and he's getting low-carb grain pellets and mostly hay. I also give him a senior joint supplement with glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and some other goodies (Senior Flex) and an omega-3 supplement because he doesn't get to eat much fresh grass. As long as the weather permits (it is not actively raining, the ring is not flooded, there is not a layer of ice on the ground) he gets worked 4 or 5 times per week.
My trainer said this is just what happens when a horse gets his legs pounded to bits by a high-jumping career, and she thinks I am doing everything I could or should about his hind-leg edema, but I wanted to throw it out there in case anyone can think of something else I ought to be doing. I know when my joints puff up it is kind of uncomfortable, and I want to take the best care of him that I can.