31 year old Arab - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-07-2020, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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31 year old Arab

I have a 31 year old Arabian mare. I got her when she was 2 years old. She spent several years at a friend's place where she bred her a couple of times and did a few endurance rides on her. I since got her back (wish I had never let her go!). I"m not sure whether or not to retire her from riding. I'm getting mixed signals from her. She's sound. She does have one knee that is bigger than the other but she's had that for YEARS. She could have some arthritis in that joint now. She is on a joint supplement. Her knee will buckle a bit if she's dragging along. I noticed that over the past year, she is losing her top line and withers are more prominent. She gets all the grass hay she wants with a bit of alfalfa added each feeding. A mash that is soaked beet pulp and rice bran - along with her supplements. Joint supplement and probiotics. I had her on equine senior last year and she got a bad case of colic at that same time. Might not have been the feed, but it scared me so I quit giving it to her and she's been fine since. Going up hills she now stops and then continues, stops, continues. Not to catch her breath but feels more like muscle issue. Get her on flat ground and she still trots like no other! I don't ask her to trot, it's all her. Saddle still fits her and I use a special saddle pad for sway backs. She's a bit sway and she came back to me like that after my friend had her. I think when she bred her, she didn't keep up with the exercise and just let her go :(. She still carries herself nicely. Not strung out or anything. I'm pretty sure I'm doing everything I can as far as under saddle. She's a trail horse. Did several endurance rides in her younger years but she never liked them so we decided to stick with just trail riding.
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-07-2020, 06:45 PM
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Welcome to the Forum!!

Your horse sounds amazing.
I would love to see a picture of her...

For me, I would not retire her completely but would no longer push her to carry you up hills or down but stick to level ground riding her.
Shorter rides where she enjoys setting the pace and then allow her to walk or just stand to gather her breath and slow her heart rate.
She obviously enjoys going out for rides by your description... I would just tweak them to her limitations taken into consideration.
As she ages and can't be ridden still take her out for walks with you, ambling along together enjoying each others company.
She will let you know by how she acts when enough is enough. Till that time keeping her gently active is good for her joints and entire body.

As long as she is comfortably padded there is no reason a sway-back can not be ridden...you just need to take a bit of extra care as you are.
Enjoy your time together still on trail rides.
...
boots and Foxhunter like this.

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-07-2020, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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There is no getting away from the first hill - it's the only way to get to the flat trail. We are limited on trails where we live now :(. There are a lot of trails up on the mountains but those are VERY hilly, rocky and would be too hard on her. So like you suggested, I can just let her go at her pace up the one hill and then it's just flat. She has not problems going down. Once we get to the flat, it's all sagebrush area (high desert riding). Let's see if I can get the pic to post.... It was taken last year when we lived in Calif. we no longer live there.
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-07-2020, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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I don't see the pic so it didn't work :(
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