Retirement? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 32 Old 01-29-2010, 10:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Spotsylvania, VA
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I know how you feel about the thoughts of giving him up. And also about the worry of giving him to a family to get tired of. But IF it was to happen that he can't handle the eventing...or even the walk, trot, canter as the beginner lesson horse, have you thought of one of the charities? Where I grew up, I volunteered for a little bit at "A Leg Up". They take the quiet, sane, bombproof horses; and use them to let handicapped kids ride. The way we would do it is that we would take the horse out, clean him/her up and get the saddle on. One person would lead the horse, while two other people walked along on each side of the horse holding on or steadying the child while riding. It is very low impact on the joints; and where I was, none of them were really big kids. Not to mention, I know for a fact that the horses were well cared for. If he were to go to a place like this, you would also still be able to visit with him.

I sincerely hope you can get him back to where he was though. GOOD LUCK!!!
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post #12 of 32 Old 01-29-2010, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
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I contacted the local Cheff Therapudic Riding Center, and Nelson wouldn't quallify for a donation horse, because they don't want any horses that they have to put money into.

So, since Nelson needs joint suppliments, he's a no go for them.

I cincerely hope I can get him back into the shape and condition he deserves to be in as well :) Thanks Hun!

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post #13 of 32 Old 02-01-2010, 02:30 AM
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You and Nelson have been on an emotional ride from hell lately. Sounds like the vet gave you great advice and I second the many votes to treat him as well as you can and see what he tells you. Glad the BO has offered to take him as a lesson horse, I'm sure that offers at least a little peace of mind. One day at a time, you know? Neither one of you needs a decision right now, just enjoy the fact that his colic incident is behind you and he seems to be on the road to recovery from his injury. My boy is 20 also, and like Nelson he thinks he's a young buck. I am terrified of him having problems while I am in school and unable to deal with major problems. I know what my choice would have to be so let's just not go down that road.

Glad you got out and had a ride, always soothing for the mind, and I bet he was happy to have you back on board!
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post #14 of 32 Old 02-02-2010, 02:40 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Washington
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Your lucky that in your case, people arent saying "if you sell him or lease him out, you are dumping him!" I went though a lot of lease horses and everyone of the people I knew thought very poorly of me. Now I have Bear and am proving all of them wrong. "/
Enough about me though...

Hope Nelson is being better. I am glad that he is moving well at the walk. Does that mean that you are riding him now (only got through page 1, as im tired)? Its no fun having a horse go lame on you, esp. to that extent! ):

Good luck and I hope all goes well! Give the little ****** a hug and kiss for me. =]

You can never take a Thoroughbred away from a horse crazy girl.
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post #15 of 32 Old 02-02-2010, 07:04 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: UK
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There is no way of escaping the ageing problem. in animals or for that matter in humans With dogs they say every 1 year of a dog's life is 7 of a humans - which makes my little terrier 101! But she is still at my feet.
I have not seen a similar valculation for horses - but it must be at least 3:1
Is your horse 60?

I spoke with a gait analysis who says that in cross country eventing - the stress on a horse's front legs when landing is 3 times body weight - say a tonne and a half! I don't know if the figure is correct but ouch!

My Joe was eventually put down because he slipped and pulled a check ligament when bolting down an asphalte lane. It is likely that his ligament had already been damaged previously from working on mountainsides. One foot shooting out forwards when going downhill and a heavy horse can be crippled for life. Suddenly all he could do safely for the rest of his life was to eat grass.

When serious injury strikes, then it becomes decision time. The horse may suddenly become unfit for purpose. Tricky. When I bought DiDi I had in mind already what to do when I could no longer ride - I check every now and again that the options are still open. But horses are neither dogs nor humans and we horse owners have to come to terms with the difference.

The scenario will hit most of us at one time or another - sadly for you it is your dilema now. Sorry, but all I can say - is that I understand your anguish. Many of us have stood previously in your shoes.

Barry G
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post #16 of 32 Old 02-02-2010, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by MIEventer View Post
Before this leg injury thing happened, Nelson was strong, healthy and hearty. Going strong, acting like he was 10, not 20 and loved doing his job.

Now, that his leg injury occured - Nelson has lost weight, lost all of his muscle mass and looks miserable.

People are telling me "Retire Nelson, find him a good home where he can be in retirement/light work and move on" "Retire Nelson now while you can, before he gets too old where no one will want him." but I have a hard time accepting that. I have a hard time "dumping" Nelson. I can't do it.

But are they right? I see 24 year old's Eventing and going strong. Heck, my Coaches horse is 24 and doing Prelim/Advanced - so I think "why can't Nelson?"

I keep saying to myself "I just need to get him back into shape and he'll be just fine" but then his leg injury keeps popping into my head - was it my fault?

When I first got him, I remember his previous owner had him on Adequan, which I kept up for as long as I could afford. But due to Hubby losing his job and all other life circumstances that befell us, I couldn't keep it up.

Thinking back on it, I remember after we moved to Lou Don, while grooming him in the isle way, I remember he lifting up his hind right leg, the very one with the "injury", holding it for a bit and then placing it back down.

Could that "injury" been a cause of regular wear and tear, getting older, not taking care of his hock with suppliments?


You know a lot of things could have caused his injury. Tho I see where those people are coming from, you know are the only to be able to make the judgement call of what you want to do with him.

I would be giving up on him just yet. You know him better than anyone. I would suggest starting him and slow and start working him up again and he'll tell you if he can and will make a come back or not. My worry with his situation was the colic. It was a pretty serious one wasn't it? once they have colicked once, they are that much more likely to colic again and because of his age that would be my concern.
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post #17 of 32 Old 02-02-2010, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Eventing Country
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I just started Nelson on a Digestive Suppliment. This is supposed to aid in prevention of Colic and it repairs the stomache lining and ulcers and gets everything in his digestive tract flowing.

Good news though - I trotted today, and he is great! He is walking fabulously, and trotting smoothly and cleanly.

Bad news - I found out what caused his injury. He's a stall kicker.

*mumbles profanities*

I found out tonight. How?

After our hour walk with a tad bit of trot work out, I took care of him, and put him away into his stall.

I then threw him some more hay, and walked into an abandoned stall where Nelsons grain and suppliments are kept. I baggie everything up, into ziplock bags - grain and suppiments.

While I was doing that, I would hear a squeel and then boards being hit with force, I assumed it was the mare beside Nelson - cause she's a beotch. After I got to about 5 bags, I happened to look up - just as I looked up, I heard the squeeling again and saw Nelson's *** up in the air, and then the stall walls banged.

That little S.O.B!!!

So I have to figure something out....

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post #18 of 32 Old 02-02-2010, 11:03 PM
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Oh no!!! Luckily my boy's only kicked his stall (which is made of cement mind you) the first day he got to the new place----he didn't expect his automatic waterer to be in the corner, and the nasty ****** bit him! He kicked out at it and broke the thing, lol, and in the process gave himself a nice deep bruise on his toe...he was lame for a few days.

And as far as the joint supplements go, I swear by Flex-Force with HA....its made by Cortaflex, but I think it just has more of all of the ingredients. Works wonders on my guy. You can only find it at Jeffers and at Valley Vet as far as I know, I haven't been able to find it anywhere in stores.
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post #19 of 32 Old 02-02-2010, 11:26 PM
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I had one horse, who had suspensories so messed up I couldnt ride anymore. I had him for about a year just as a pet, after I spend four years riding and showing him. I told him I'd keep him forever. No one really wants a lame horse, who require $250 custom made shoes every month, well no one would take him that I could trust to keep him. I kept him untill 2004, when we decided to put him down because he had extensive neurological issues, and was not gaining weight on anything.

My second horse, has navicular syndrome. She's been on and off again lame for the last two years. Since July shes not been ridden. She isnt a horse I would sell. Shes just to dangerous for nonaggressive riders. She requires alot of transitions and half haults to stay somewhat calm. Her lack of training and her lameness make her almost unrehomable. Shes my baby, she just kind of hangs out in the pasture, her main job is to teach the other horses manners. If I had to I would sell my yearling before I got rid of my mare.

I do understand that some people just really want to ride and show and have a horse they can show off. And they just can afford two. But I just dont have the heart to send a horse to someone else who has given me so much love and trust me completly.

If I were in your situation I would keep nelson, if it was feasable, and I would start searching for a horse who could take me places, or a lesson horse I could compete with, and ride nelson for fun, if it turns out he cant hold up. Of course I am assuming you lessons would be the same price on another horse, and you could find a horse to ride for free.

Sometimes having a horse you cant ride is pretty heart breaking too. I used to watch the local dressage shows. But I just cant go anymore. One time I went, we were in the parking lot and I just couldnt get out of the car. I wanted to ride soo bad. It was so depressing to watch a show and know you could never do that with your best friend anymore.

I have my two, I wish I could afford more. The only reasons I can really afford both of them is because I dont pay for a place with a ring, or hot water, or full service/care. I

For stall kicking, I would probably keep him outside, with access to a large run in (of course this may not even be possible in your area) see if he still kicks. I hate shifting around to different barns alot, and I like to stick with one place if they have good care, but maybe you could continue with your instructor, but more nelson to a less expensive barn, assuming it still has good care, and use that extra $$ to pay for more lessons, or contribute to nelson's "extra things he needs fund."
Althought I know were I live its hard to find good care, a good barn, and a good price, unless you work off board or know someone.
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post #20 of 32 Old 02-03-2010, 12:05 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: wisconsin
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maybe you could move him to a different stall with a neighbor he gets along with better ? my horse scout has broken 3 boards kicking at the wall at his neighbor....we also reinforced the wall a bit with some extra boards so if he does kick it hard their is less of a chance of him kicking through it or having it splinter. thankfully i wont have to move him as the other horse is moving to a new barn out of state soon.. im glad nelson is doing better !!

Gypsy & Scout <3
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein
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