Does dressage have an effect on soundness?
Okay, so, I have a 7 year old Tennessee Walking Horse that has arthritis in his left hock. We found this out last year and since then he's been on stall rest, cortizone injections, legend shots, the whole smash. He's MUCH better now and gets by with a shot of Legend once a month in the winter. I was talking to a lady at my barn who is a serious eventer and she was explaining to me the benefits of dressage. She said he will probably stay sounder for longer if I rode dressage instead of saddleseat, but she said for me to do this, I would have to teach him to trot instead. Now, I'm super iffy about this, I don't know if I have to completely get rid of a God-given gait in order to keep him sound. He was designed to gait and I really don't know if that should be changed, but she sounded very convincing. He does trot under saddle already . . . and I guess what I really want to do is keep him as sound as possible. She's had other gaited horses that she's trained the gait out of them . . . but I don't know. What do you guys think on the whole thing?