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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those of you who have followed my horse hunting saga from the beginning, I regret to tell you none of my previous prospects worked out. Which was actually a good thing because as winter rolled around, it's become obvious that I don't have the time to bring a youngster along. My goals changed and I started a more casual hunt for an older horse that was suited for trails and maybe some puttering around with dressage and jumping.
Now allow me to introduce Pi! Pi is an older lady, but don't tell her that. She's an OTTB who's been built to last. Never stepped wrong in her life. Pi is generally a saint. First thing I ever saw of her was an older 'cowboy' flopping around in an ill-fitting saddle. Pi did her best to frame up and went through all of her paces. After retiring off the track, she spent a period of time as a hunter jumper before becoming an event horse. She'd spent her early teen years as a solid dressage mount and spent this last year just sitting in a barrel racers pasture. She's holding her weight on a scoop of grain and hay. She hasn't been shod since coming off the track and has never had soundness problems.
Since she's in her later teens I plan on switching her to a senior feed (slowly) just to keep ahead of her curve and get her to a farrier asap. Right now she's got a little too much heel.
Basically, being an older horse and out of work, her topline has become weak. What can I do to build this up? Riding will be limited to once a week for now, but I'll still have time to do some other exercises with her.
What other care tips do you have? She's older, but I wouldn't call her old just yet. She's still got the energy and soundness to handle a couple shows as she gets fit again, but I'd like to stay proactive on her health.
And I promise pictures as soon as she's home an cozy and looking a little better.
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Exactly how old are we talking?

Belly lifts on the ground are helpful, backing her down hills, lots of trot work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
She's not super old. She was born in 1995 which makes her 18.
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I think you'll have no issues getting her slowly back into more consistent work :) Congrats on your first horse by the way!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Any more advice on turning Pi back into an active and fit equine? And maintaining her so she can stay that way as long as possible?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Also, is it good or bad that Pi has a decent mix of Canadian, Australian, American, and British thoroughbreds? More recently there are mostly thoroughbreds originating in the US, but further back it has a pretty solid foreign base. Which is also kind of disappointing as I'm not familiar with British or Australian horses (Amarco, Arctic Explorer, Tobin bronze). She also traces back to the Irish horse Princequillo twice.

Somebody was also nice enough to add a photo of her during her show years and she sure was stunning! I'm hoping to get her back to that again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I can, but I'd like to wait until I have her home and her hooves fixed (right now she's got overlong heels that make her look worse than she is)
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was doing some research and from a nutritional standpoint this would make sense. Do you believe it would help to put her on amino acid supplements? Amino acids are required to build and maintain muscle and perhaps she's just not getting enough right now?
 

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Not doubting flax seed is beneficial, but it isn't THAT easy to get a good top line.
Well, I don't know. Three of my four horses had poor top line, and after feeding flax for 6 months, they all improved. The only other thing I can think of is having 10-30 acres to roam on 24/7. But one of those horses had that before and she was the one who showed the most dramatic improvement.

Turnout and flaxseed are the only things I changed about their care. I don't ride them consistently enough to believe that has had an impact.

What do you think, Tiny?
 
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