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Discussion Starter #1
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?

Advice?
 

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i wouldnt give up on him, sometimes they just need some time to bounce back from an injury.

also, i dont know what your vet has, but i get generic adequan from my vet for $13. i know some people will say it doesnt work as well, but it works great for my horses
 

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I think that we all do the best we can for our horses. I recently put my gelding, who is only 12 but comes from a long career on the track, back on joint supplements because he has arthritis in his back legs. He didn't come to me with this knowledge, because his previous owners had not worked him. I saw the pain that he was in, and knew that supplements were something that he needed to have, not a luxury. You had no idea what taking him off of the Adequan would do to him, or to what degree. But, now that you do know, what are you going to do with it? I'm sure that Nelson could continue eventing, but not without some help. Perhaps the Adequan was what kept him going with you in the first place, rather than falling apart.

You also mentioned that there are horses who aren't much older than Nelson doing more advanced work than he is currently. While this is a great arguement for his potential, its also an excellent arguement for his longevity. Is four more years on Nelson really worth it to you? What is Nelson going to look like at the end of those four years? If you sell him now in his current condition to some little girl, would she still be able to use him at the end of these four years?

Its very hard for us to give up our dreams for something, especially when there is some sort of relationship involved. It becomes very easy for us to be selfish and only think of ourselves, because after all a horse can't butt in and say "I don't want to do that anymore". But especially with an older horse, and one that may be in pain, we HAVE to put aside our dreams and look at the reality. If you honestly think that with a little bit of conditioning and correct care (that you can monetarily provide) that Nelson will come out of this no worse for wear, go for it. But if its just going to end up hurting him in the long run, or you can't provide him what he needs, then I say it is time to retire him and find a younger mount.

Sorry for the novel, lol. Hope it helps!
 

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I had a gelding who had an injury, I did bring him back from it and we continued jumping for about 3 years (he was 11). He did good for a while but then it just seemed like he lost his edge and the injury kept flaring up on us. It took me a while but I ended up giving him to a family and their kid and he is SOOO happy just being pampered.

My friend has a horse in his late teens and is bringing up a 4 year old for English Pleasure. She never has time for the older horse, he hates the arena and loves trails but she is no longer interested in trails and hardly every has time for him anyway. He just sits in his paddock looking sad or ticked off when she is riding the other horse. I have suggested she find him a home that suites him better but she just wont, she's to attached. His behavior has become unpredictable and even dangerous (can't mount, hard to catch, abusive toward the younger horse, runs off for no reason).

I know it's hard to let go and move on. But maybe sitting down with a list and pros and cons of each out come would help? It's a very hard decision so I think your smart not just jumping into it.
 

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Not an easy place to be. But in the end, you will do what's best for Nelson. Bringing an older horse like Nelson back into competing condition will take time and you will always have to be aware of his leg (sorry not sure what the situation is). One false move and it could end badly with these older horses. Many times their heart and spirit are more than willing, but the body can't withstand the demand any longer.

I like what was written earlier about letting him be useful (not at the level you've had him of course) and being some lucky little girl's teaching horse. I would want that option for one of mine if and when we face that. These tried and true older horses are worth their weight in gold.

Whatever you decide, I know it will be based on what is best for Nelson, you've been a good friend/owner to him. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I spoke with my Vet today, and we had a good long talk.

I asked her if his hock issue was due to he not being on Adequan and she said definately not. This was a freak accident, it was severe tissue damage, which resulted into an infection. She said this could of happened by him slipping out on the ice out in pasture, or some sort of trauma.

Severe trauma to the joint, then resulting into the infection and voila.

My Vet said, retirement or no retirement relies entirely on what his hock is going to do from here.

We talked about him being put back onto Adequan and she said definately. What Adequan was designed to do, was repair. It isn't meant to be a long term suppliment, but meant to repair damage, then the user is meant to go to a maintenance suppliment - like Polyglycam or Glucosamine.

So I am going to get him back on Adequan for a few months and also a good oral suppliment and work on getting him fattened up and muscled up.

I cannot afford two horses, so if Nelson's hock tells us that he can't do what I want to do, then I will have to find him a new home. I just beat myself up because if I do that, I feel like I am "dumping" him and giving up on him. I promised him through thick and thin, and if I let him go to someone else - it'll kill me.

And I cannot bare the thought of him going to someone until they grow tired, and dump him off at some meat auction - I can't let that happen to him.
 

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^^I completely know what you mean. I promised myself that I would be with Ice till the end, especially after he was passed around so much in his racing career. Thankfully I don't have high career expectations for him, but money is a constant worry. I don't know what I would do if I had to sell him.

There is always the alternative that you can lease him out, but keep him at your current boarding facility, or at your house (I don't know what your situation is) so you can still see him, love on him, etc but you won't have to feel guilty about just letting him waste away.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am feeling much better today about Nelson's recovery. I was able to get out after work to ride, thankfully the snow stopped and the roads cleared up :)

The heat in his hock is gone, and the swelling is almost gone. He moves great at the walk *we haven't merged into the trot yet* and I am quite happy :) Very happy :) :)

He still needs weight, he is still ribby - and he definately needs muscle mass, but both will come over time.

He has a round bale in his paddock, and he is at 2 pounds of Purina Senior twice a day *gradually increasing back to 4 pounds* so I am feeling good about his progress.

I'm starting Adequan for him starting Feb 1st, and he has a shipment of Corta-Flx HA coming in from a website where I found on sale.

So I am thinking positive - retirement is still in the back of my head, but I am going to let him tell me when he is ready. I don't think that is now, but we will see.

The BO of the place where we are at, said she would take him and use him as a beginner rider lesson horse - walk, trot, canter - when the time came, so that I can move onto a younger horse to move forward with my Eventing Career.

So one day at a time, no rushing - but trying to plan ahead so that Nelson and I have a back up plan :)
 

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Things sound like they are moving in a positive direction! Very happy for both you and Nelson. Must be a relief knowing that if he can't get back to competition that the BO will use him in an appropriate way.

Like you said, he'll let you know what he can do. Best of luck to you both!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Walkamile!

I have shed alot of tears over this during the last 2 days. I love Nelson so much, and I am very protective of him. He has been through so much throughout his life, bought and sold and used and dumped by Humans, and I krefuse to be another Human to do that to him.

I wont let him suffer either. Meaning I wont use him beyond his capeabillities.

I can't give him to a family either, without the reassurance that he wont go to auction in a kill pen - because that would devistate me, there is no way I will allow that to happen, he doesn't deserve it. He deserves to spend the last years of his life, happy, comfortable, out in a field, fat and rolly polly - and that is why I am very protective of him.

And if that means me giving up my Eventing, to ensure that he is well kept and taken care of, then so be it.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #12
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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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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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. =]
Nerissa
 

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MIE
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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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?

Advice?

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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Discussion Starter #17
Well,

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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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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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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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 !!
 
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