So update on the 18yo gelding I bought a couple weeks ago...
I had a vet out to see about having his teeth floated since he is not eating his hay well...picks out the flowers and small stems and leaves the rest. Loves his pellets and beet pulp (and oil LOL).I gave my very personal opinion on beet pulp, below - lol lol
She basically said that he needs to be on green pasture 24/7 and not ridden. She basically said there is no hope for him at all and that I *may* be okay letting my children ride him while I lead him, but that he can't handle anything more than that. And that is a difficult one cause he has some temperament issues as well.I agree with pasture time. With all the arthritis issues he has, he NEEDS to be out moving around and grazing.
She also said by his teeth he looks at least 28. The original vet had said at least 30. The owner insisted she knows he's 18.I would be inclined to believe two vets. Ask the owner to see his papers as that's the only way you'll know for sure she's telling the truth, which I doubt she is
The "new" vet recommended I try to get his previous owner to take him back...said he'd be better off in their pasture than in our stall with no access to grass and only 1-2 hours a day of turn-out, especially since she believes I cannot safely ride/exercise him.The ringbone might make that a true statement; all the other things are fixable to some degree. Also, you didn't say how tall he is, so, with no offense to you, your weight might also play a factor as to you riding him. I only say that given his current structural condition. I am about 25 pounds overweight and there's no way I will get on my 27 yr old 13.3H Arab who has dealt with an injured vertebra since I rescued him 20 years ago. I won't let anyone on him that weighs more than 100 pounds.
He's gained at least 50 pounds and his ribs are no longer visible but his hips/back/sacrum are just as bony as ever. :(that is probably loss of muscle mass, mostly due to his age, if he's 28 - 30, like the vets think.
If I had my own land with a green pasture, I'd keep him and buy another horse to ride eventually. I can't afford board PLUS vet care for more than one right now (board is $250/stall in our subdivision). The kids and I are already attached to him. He needs turn out time at least during the day. No horse should be stalled 24/7 but this fella needs out to exercise his arthritis issues. Initially, you're going to have to plan on putting a strain on the checkbook to try and get him back to some semblance of normalcy. Either that or yes sell him and that means a horse dealer/slaughter auction It's not a pretty thought but sadly, it's the reality.
He's pushy and reactive and I don't feel comfortable having them near him on the ground as he's head shy and spooks at everything. That can be anything from not having been properly disciplined in his later years and he's learned to get away with stuff, to all of his current health issues causing stress which, in turn, makes him very reactive, or both.
My daughter can ride him with the bareback pad while I lead him. He doesn't seem to mind and behaves fine.That may be as far as his riding goes, given the lumps in the girth area.
FWIW, he was not like this personality-wise the two times I looked at him. Off the record, the vet said he prob. was on Bute. :( I'm such a dummy...You're not alone believe me -- this happens all the time to inexperienced horse folks
he was drifting off in the pasture while vet #1 examined him...she said he'd be more spunky on the right diet. It never occurred to me that maybe he was on something.First off, shame on that vet because I know d**n well she had to know that horse was drugged. She went to vet school, she knows the signs. Whose vet was she? Yours or one the Seller recommended?
I already e-mailed his former owner about taking him back and also sent her the vet's conclusions. I haven't heard back.You won't. Based on everything you've said, the Seller wanted rid of this horse, has already spent your check, which I hope was under under $100 or under $500 at the worst (don't say, I don't want to know the answer to that
I intended to have a PPE but when the first vet arrived she was 2+ hours late and announced that she doesn't do PPEs but that she'd look him over and let me know if he had any major problems. She said he needed to gain 50+ and that I would have to be very careful with padding but that I could ride him. She suggested walking on lead for two weeks, then riding for 10 minutes at a time and working our way up from there. She did feel he was older than the owner said."working up to" is the right approach but, IF the horse has ringbone, that is your most serious "can't be ridden" threat and also most likely the most serious death threat for the horse, unless those tumors in the girth area start to grow.
Advice?I've been paying for my own horses 54 of my 66 years so I have given you way more advice than you want - lol lol lol
Some of the notes:
- advised owner to speak with sellers about possibly taking him back, otherwise will keep him as kid's horse and need to put a lot of work into him such as dentistry, joint treatment,sand treatment and is unlikely to become sound for other than light riding by lightweight childI agree that's the logical thing to do but, you did do that and haven't had a response "yet". Don't plan on getting one either.
- My guess is the horse is yours, especially since it was underweight. Sounds to me like old injuries (that most likely created some of the arthritis issues, the Sellers either didn't have the $$$$ to put into the horse or just flat out didn't care and left it out in the field for Mother Nature to fix or not fix.
- sand test positive Depending how severe, that can be remedied to some degree with Psyllium. I used to use a daily feed thru called EquiAide when I lived in SoCal but there may be something newer and better in today's world.
- arthritic changes in RF pastern and possibly other joints front and rearThat one is a sticky wicket and probably is the one reason the horse will not be able to be ridden much. Just depends how bad it is. There are very good powdered meds on the market for horses. I use Hylarin/Boswelia on my mid-20's Fella with hock/ankle arthritis because he has insulin issues and can't have some of the other drug or herbal remedies.
- I also put thermal wraps on him, 3 - 4 hours daily ONLY during the cold months, that help a lot.
- chronic injury sacroiliac/limbar spineI have another horse with a fractured sacrum. He did that catapulting himself backward off my 4-horse trailer six years ago. Unless arthritis (calcium buildup) has fused him together, your horse would benefit immensely from a GOOD equine chiropractor. Like human chiros, they are not all created equal; it's important to find one that has good instinct and really knows their job, for this horse.
- Massage helps a LOT - something you could do, once a trained person showed you how.
- Back On Track makes a thermal therapy pad - it helps my fractured sacrum horse immensely during the cold months. He won't wear it during the hot months because it re-generates his own body heat and it's just too much heat for him.
- I also bought one of those Shiatzu, neck massagers in WalGreens - he loves that too.
- There are a bazillion liniments on the market to help bring him relief. Cooling liniments for hot weather, heating liniments for cold weather.
- All these things help keep him limbered up.
- stocked up in rear, worse on the leftNo surprise, I'd bet money it's all related to his sacrum issues. Put your sacrum in his sacrum's place. If your lower back is injured or out, what does that do to how you sit, stand, walk?
- lumbar spine and sacrum protrude dorsally, Again, a well-qualified chiro could be of immense help with this.
- RF turns out, rolls and appears to have ringbone"appears" to have ringbone? A VET said "appears"???? When that very serious "ringbone" word comes out of a vet's mouth, it needs to be a lot more than "appears"
- Either the horse does or doesn't. If it does have ringbone, that is serious. Depending on severity, is the other reason the horse isn't ridable except for the occasional hack around the arena to give a child a happy horse memory.
- sand test mildly positiveSee above
- lame in the rear on walking and trotting, very uneven in lifitng of hips at a walk and trot, LH flexes stiff in the pelvisMost likely all goes back to the sacrum issues and would benefit greatly from an equine chiro. This is one of those cases, where the horse can't be fixed with one treatment either. Two or three treatments, generally a month apart, would hopefully be beneficial.
- oral exam: undulating waves, rear hook, 411, overworn upper incisors, sharp points<sigh> didn't the vet file the points down? They CAN be filed to some degree; my 25-1/2 yr old just had his lightly filed three weeks ago. When they reach a certain age, granted not a lot can be done but Geez Lahweez, some THING can be done about those points to make the horse comfortable.
- It may be the vet talked you into not doing anything but for the sake of all that's ethical, those points need to be filed a little.
- 2 firm growths in the girth area on the off side- non-painful, firm and pedicle attachment to muscle.Sometimes those growths are cancerous, sometimes they are benign. I'd leave them alone and perhaps take periodic pictures to compare shape and size. Sounds like no saddle for this guy - someone will have to learn to ride bareback - not a bad thing if the horse is quiet.
- purchased 10 days ago as a broke trail horse, had Dr. xxxxxxxx looked at him and felt he was much older than 18 and 50# under weight50 # isn't that bad. I'm guessing he's losing weight from his teeth needing done and all the stressful pain he's living with. I'm surprised he doesn't have ulcers - which he very well might
- he has been on alfalfa 4 flakes a day plus free choice bermuda hay plus senior equine pelletsGood stuff. Please don't let anyone talk you into feeding him sweet feed - huge no no.
- You can also add Equine Rice Bran to his senior feed. Tractor Supply sells Max-E-Glo made by Manna Pro. It is good stuff and comes in either pellet or meal form. The majority of horses love rice bran.
- Equine rice bran has to be "stabilized" so it doesn't turn rancid and also "calcium fortified" to keep the calcium/phosphorous ratio correct.
- A lot of folks will recommend beet pulp. It does come in pellet form, which still needs soaked. I am one in 5,000 horse owners that has no use for beet pulp. Horses choke and colic on beet pulp, I have yet to read about a horse choking or colicing on rice bran. JMHO
- hip bones still protrudingMore food, a chiro adjustment might help a little.
- teeth filed by farrier a few years agoI'm sure the Seller made it a point to tell you that and it means nothing today; actually, if I were the Seller I would have been embarrassed to say "a few years ago".
- More proof they stopped caring about this horse "a few years ago", when other health issues started cropping up; some of which may have been mad-made or he could have hurt himself in the pasture.
- He's got points on his teeth NOW. Older horses can sometimes need their teeth filed twice a year. Not always but that's where a good vet comes in handy, since we don't know these things ourselves
- supposedly was being ridden weekly"ridden weekly" is by whose definition. I could put my niece on my 27 yr old Arab, send her around the roundpen once or twice every week and that constitutes him "being ridden weekly"