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Hi everyone,

I know very very little about dressage. My horse had a race injury that prevents him from jumping; since I got him we have just been working on basic things but now I believe that both he and I need a job. Since it clearly cannot be jumping I've been thinking about starting dressage with him. I don't have any very good conformation pics of him and the only recent ones I can find his head is down :cool: The one with his head up is from many years ago before I had him. I was wondering what you think about his conformation as far as dressage goes. I don't necessarily want an overall critique but just critiques regarding dressage movements. He's 11 years old and has some arthritis in all 4 legs. I'm not looking to necessarily ride at a competitive level, but some shows now and then will be fun.:)

Thank you!




 

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Iquitos, my horse is small, long like a sausage, short legs, and downhill qh. :wink: I started dressage lessons last year, started showing this year. Of course you can do dressage given he's sound and will like it. :)

My only concern is if he has arthritis you may want to talk to the vet about supplements and such (not a big help here as I'm unfamiliar with the topic, but I'm sure other people will pitch in).
 

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Thanks for the response! He most definitely is on supplements with high amounts of glucosamine, msm, and chondrointant (idk how to spell that word lol).
 

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Thanks for the response! He most definitely is on supplements with high amounts of glucosamine, msm, and chondrointant (idk how to spell that word lol).
Oh, I see. :) Then I'd say just give it a try. He's a nice looking boy BTW.
 

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He's a nice horse, no shocking conformation faults. Won't be a world beater in the dressage arena but training it and dabbling in some fun comps, no problems!

Now the only thing that concerns me is his arthritis. People think that dressage is a low impact sport. This is not the case, there is a lot of stress placed on a dressage horse's joints which will require constant maintenance and careful management.
My ottb has arthritis in his hocks and as a result, is definitely not going to be the dressage prospect I purchased him as. He cannot take the weight required over his hind legs, even on constant joint injections and other treatments, he has not come sound enough on those hocks to get back into ridden work.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
He's a nice horse, no shocking conformation faults. Won't be a world beater in the dressage arena but training it and dabbling in some fun comps, no problems!

Now the only thing that concerns me is his arthritis. People think that dressage is a low impact sport. This is not the case, there is a lot of stress placed on a dressage horse's joints which will require constant maintenance and careful management.
My ottb has arthritis in his hocks and as a result, is definitely not going to be the dressage prospect I purchased him as. He cannot take the weight required over his hind legs, even on constant joint injections and other treatments, he has not come sound enough on those hocks to get back into ridden work.

Yes, Quito has arthritis in his hocks as well. What is your opinion on injections? I've heard both good and bad things. And you're right, I don't plan on competing heavily with him. I just want to have a job for him, he does better when he's actually focusing on something rather than just messin around in the arena. Also, I thought maybe all the movements in dressage would keep his blood flowing and help keep the arthritis at bay (he's only 11, and part of the reason he is so stiff is because he's coming of of a bad injury) but maybe I'm wrong?
 

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A few horses at the barn I'm at get injections in their hocks and we find it helps a lot, if you can fix it and he's only 11, why not?
Hes cute, and i don't know about the movements and blood flowing, but i know horses are much happier with a job! good luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I was thinkin the same thing! Thanks :)
 

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Unfortunately joint injections didn't help my boy at all, and actually made him worse as he contracted a joint injection from a poorly given injection - I was FUMING over that!! They are usually quite successful on other horses I have seen them used on. Hugo is a workaholic so I was very keen to keep him in work, even just very light, basic dressage while my yearling matures. But he is not coping with it and comes up sore even after simply walking around the arena. He is in a huge paddock on a slope 24/7 so he is keeping moving of his own accord, but sadly just cannot handle ridden work.

It is certainly worth having a go with your gelding though, you don't know if they can hack it until you give it a try so there's nothing to lose :)
 

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Your horse is super cute! Conformation wise he's long and downhill in the back (as most TB's are) and a bit croup high. He's long overall and has a long neck as well so he might be a bit tough to put together. But that said, my Hanoverian / Holsteiner is extremely long and he's also downhill in the back and croup high. He's had an OUTSTANDING career showing all the way through PSG I-2 and was ready to go out grand prix. He's been USDF horse of the year for 2nd and 3rd levels when he was 7 and 8 years old. He's competed in the FEI Young Riders Championships. My point being conformation doesn't always hinder a great horse from doing great things. Now my guy has almost international gaits so keep that in mind though.

In terms of the arthritic thing- the gist that I got was you're looking to do real low level dressage with him and as long as he's made comfortable you should be totally fine. It is VERY true that real dressage is demanding on the horse's joints and they do need to carry their weight on the hindend; however, this shift in the weight does not begin until about 2nd Level where collection is introduced. If you stick with schooling shows and low level work you won't need to worry too much about having your horse weighting up his hindend too much.

That said, I've done all kinds of joint treatments. I've done feed through, Adequan, Legend, and actual joint injections. I would take your horse to an equine clinic (not local vet) and have him x-rayed and soundness eval. If his hocks are fusing don't bother with the actual joint injections- you won't see a result. The hocks are very painful when they fuse. If he is not fusing then you should see a benefit, but since your horse is only 11 and eventually if you start going into the joint now he may not benefit from the steriods down the road. They build up an immunity. Since you're only doing a feed through I would introduce Adequan and perhaps Legend first. Adequan is only $46 per shot (given IM) so you try that first.

Good luck and I think with a little more maintenance you will have yourself a very nice dressage partner!
 

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Your horse is super cute! Conformation wise he's long and downhill in the back (as most TB's are) and a bit croup high. He's long overall and has a long neck as well so he might be a bit tough to put together. But that said, my Hanoverian / Holsteiner is extremely long and he's also downhill in the back and croup high. He's had an OUTSTANDING career showing all the way through PSG I-2 and was ready to go out grand prix. He's been USDF horse of the year for 2nd and 3rd levels when he was 7 and 8 years old. He's competed in the FEI Young Riders Championships. My point being conformation doesn't always hinder a great horse from doing great things. Now my guy has almost international gaits so keep that in mind though.

In terms of the arthritic thing- the gist that I got was you're looking to do real low level dressage with him and as long as he's made comfortable you should be totally fine. It is VERY true that real dressage is demanding on the horse's joints and they do need to carry their weight on the hindend; however, this shift in the weight does not begin until about 2nd Level where collection is introduced. If you stick with schooling shows and low level work you won't need to worry too much about having your horse weighting up his hindend too much.

That said, I've done all kinds of joint treatments. I've done feed through, Adequan, Legend, and actual joint injections. I would take your horse to an equine clinic (not local vet) and have him x-rayed and soundness eval. If his hocks are fusing don't bother with the actual joint injections- you won't see a result. The hocks are very painful when they fuse. If he is not fusing then you should see a benefit, but since your horse is only 11 and eventually if you start going into the joint now he may not benefit from the steriods down the road. They build up an immunity. Since you're only doing a feed through I would introduce Adequan and perhaps Legend first. Adequan is only $46 per shot (given IM) so you try that first.

Good luck and I think with a little more maintenance you will have yourself a very nice dressage partner!
Thanks so much for your advice. Yes, he is very long! Big butt and a small head :lol: My vet was out a month or so ago and said that he would benefit from the injections but I will definitely be asking about the other things you are suggesting.
 

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Your very welcome- sounds like you are both a great match for each other and if you have any other questions feel free to ask. Good luck and keep me posted!
 
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