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knaskedov 05-12-2009 07:36 PM

Working with a horse with cushings
Iím helping a friend with her horse now that my horse is on stall rest; he has 2 more weeks to go.
Due to personal circumstances she hasnít had the time to spend with him and heís been ďon vacationĒ for about 6 months now. Problem is, he has cushings and I have no experience with that. He is on medication and seems fine, but I find him to be very lazy and am not sure if thatís him or the cushings.
He is known to have attitude problems and I was expecting to have to be careful (not planning on getting hurt on a horse that is not my own), but I find I have more problems keeping him going then keeping him calm.
I started with him last Friday, lunged him and rode him for a while, he was okay. Then I gave him the weekend off and worked with him again yesterday. He didnít seem very enthusiastic (sarcasm).
I understand we have to take it slow, since he hasnít been worked for so long and I was planning on giving him 2 days off in between sessions.
Is it possible to work a horse with cushings, is he just lazy or should I let him set the pace and just give him some exercise occasionally?
He is about 17-18 years old, Warmblood and does dressage.

Peggysue 05-12-2009 10:41 PM

why has he been on stall rest???

knaskedov 05-13-2009 12:31 AM

My guy is on stall rest because he got kicked in the shoulder during play time almost 2 months ago now. He likely (cannot take x-rays because of the location) has a hairline fracture in his shoulder and has been out on 8 weeks stall rest to give him time to heal. He'll be good to go (if the vet releases him) in another 2 weeks.
In the meantime I'm helping my friend with her horse and another friend with her TB. Mine is an OTTB and I'm used to all go, the Warmblood isn't like that at all and I don't want to push a horse too hard that has a good excuse for being lazy. That is, if cushings is an excuse for being lazy.

Peggysue 05-13-2009 07:13 AM

OH I thgouth the Cushings horse was on stall rest

what is the CUshings horse's diet like??

hotreddun 05-13-2009 10:14 AM

If you're used to a TB Im guessing this horses personality is just "slower." I have a TB and a QH...polar opposites. My TB has that long sweepy stride that you have to keep up with. The QH walks like he's on a death march...plod...plod...plod...plod. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with him...that's just who he is.

Peggy will work out all the food details with you. You can google Cushings...but I don't think it would effect temperament if its controlled. His medication is probably doing ok if he isn't really hairy and fat cresty on his neck and rump. If he is then the medicine and diet need to be reevaluated.

Peggysue 05-13-2009 10:36 AM

the diet also effects the energy level ... my first though is the amount of fat in the diet...

hotreddun 05-13-2009 10:57 AM


Originally Posted by Peggysue (Post 306217)
the diet also effects the energy level ... my first though is the amount of fat in the diet...

We're kind of starting our own conversation here...but I have a friend with a Cushings Im interested...

I wonder if the Cushings would make the horse process the foods slower and therefore the energy reserves would be at a different time.

Peggysue 05-13-2009 11:42 AM

Yes and no ... I don't know enough to say for certain but the few I have dealth with DEF LOST energy when it went full blown... I do know that thyroid problems in PEOPLE has alot to do with energy... so it becomes a balance between enough calories to give energy while still being able to lose weight... in my case.

Fat is a fairly safe low sugar/starch way of adding some energy...

knaskedov 05-13-2009 12:49 PM

He's actually not that fat and we're working on the hairy part. He was started on medication as soon as it was suspected he had cushings as his mother died as a result of it and foot issues not that long ago.
He gets bermuda, bermuda/alfalfa pellets and the supplement that grass eating horse get (yellow bucket, cannot remember the name).

It could be mostly the difference between TBs and Warmbloods that's having me wonder. The cushings might be making it even more obvious. I'll keep working with him to get him in better shape and not push him as much as I would my own horse (also because he's not mine).

Thanks for all the replies.

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