18 year old polish arab-hips protruding with backbone - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-23-2014, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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18 year old polish arab-hips protruding with backbone

I have a polish arabian that is 16.1 hands tall and 18 years old. I let my father lease him out to take riding lessons on him. He looked good for his age and most thought he wasn't a day over 10. I feed free choice alfalfa at night and grain during the day. But he has been a easy keeper and haven't had any problems until recently. The trainer and my father were doing mostly clinton anderson ground work and my father kept saying we are going to get him in shape. I wasn't there and I don't know what that meant but figured it was just circles and backing and yielding. Then I get a call from my mother who said they couldn't catch him and they had been running him around with the ranger for over a hour in 20 degree weather for over a hour! I was very upset.....left my job and drove over 100 miles a hour to stop them. When I got there he was soaked from his ears to his hooves and his gut was tight as a drum. I walked him and cooled him and yelled at them. Funny part was they still hadn't been able to catch him and when he saw me he ran to me and I immediate started checking him over. The trainer apologized but I am now questioning what they have been doing to him. A week later he dropped weight fast!!! His ribs showed and his hips became noticeable. His butt bone sticks out but not his back bone. I have since found him his own horse and I started my horse on senior pellets for the first time in his life. You cannot see his ribs or feel them but his butt bone and hips still protrude. What can I do to help improve him? This is my baby! I have raised him since he was 6 months old. By the way it was my father that didn't know what he was doing because my horse has never been hard to catch. He threw the lead rope at his face when he went to catch him and of coarse he ran away. I put the horse in the round pen and had him show me what he did. He now gently puts the rope around his neck and then halters him. He feels terrible for what he did to my horse and he really does love this horse. I need to get some better photos but this is the only one I have and it was one week ago.
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-23-2014, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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more photos

He is furry. To me his coat looks dull. Dewormed four weeks ago.
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post #3 of 14 Old 03-23-2014, 03:53 PM
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I think his coat does look a bit dull.

It's kind of late in the year for him to be so shaggy. Is that fairly normal for your area? (I'm asking because my horse has almost completely shed out already) Have you had him tested for Cushing's?

Arabs are kind of sensitive. I do have to wonder what was going on that you don't know about. They don't do well with rough handling.
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-23-2014, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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We are still pretty cold here....but he has always had a lot of hair. He usually sheds off really nice though for Summer. It is a high of 28 degrees right now if that tells you anything. We might make it to 40 if we are lucky.

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post #5 of 14 Old 03-23-2014, 04:07 PM
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Hmm...weight wise...I really don't see him looking bad.

He does look dirty and scruffy but that's just it, he could be dirty/dusty and scruffy right now. One of my horses always looks like crap during this time of the year. And looks like a completely different horse come May.
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-23-2014, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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He is dirty....rolled in mud puddle two days ago. He was ribby but he did put some weight back on. Just never have seen his hips stick out that much.

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post #7 of 14 Old 03-23-2014, 06:59 PM
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"Corporal", (1982-2009, RIP) was a lean and sometimes ribby Arabian. Yours is not. Perhaps you don't like how your father is keeping him, but I didn't see this in your photos. Hard keepers are easy to recognize.

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post #8 of 14 Old 03-23-2014, 07:17 PM
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I think his weight is fine. If anything he looks too fat. I definitely wouldn't feed him more than his norm.

His coat looks a little dull but I would not worry AT ALL because he is clearly shedding and that can happen.

Here in MA the horses are just starting to shed, and only some. I wouldn't worry about that.

I do see a slight difference with the pointiness of his bones (technical, no? lol). I wonder if maybe he hurt himself a little sprinting around? When they're worked up like that, esp for a long period of time I'd be surprised if he didn't.

I would get a chiro out asap and then a vet.

If he dropped weight so drastically (maybe cause he hurt himself?) he may also of lost muscle mass and it changed the way he looks, with an older horse that might be difficult/impossible to get back.
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-23-2014, 08:09 PM
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He looks fine. His coat is a "dead coat" meaning it is getting ready to shed and is no longer getting oil. I bet it is already coming out little bit and will soon really break loose. Thick furred horses will commonly look dull and dry when the coat starts to break loose.

I see nothing that would alarm me.
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-23-2014, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allison Finch View Post
He looks fine. His coat is a "dead coat" meaning it is getting ready to shed and is no longer getting oil. I bet it is already coming out little bit and will soon really break loose. Thick furred horses will commonly look dull and dry when the coat starts to break loose.

I see nothing that would alarm me.
I can easily see the loose hair all over him already. Makes me want to grab a shedding blade and go to work. I bet there would be a good sized pile.
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