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Background info:
Lovey is a retired standardbred harness racer. She came into my hands almost a year ago now. She was ridden infrequently the previous three years (twice a month maybe). I have been able to ride her once a week minimum for a couple hours at a time. She is boarded. My uses for her is just pleasure and trail riding.

Her stifle issue that causes her to be sore now and again. From my understanding, she was buted with most meals so we've dealt with getting her to recover from stomach ulcers. She's always been on MSM to try to minimize her pain. In all, she was pretty angry when I first bought her because of all the pain she was in. Being lame on and off. Things improved for a bit up until recent.

Now she has suddenly sore almost on a daily basis and her stifle locks. Nothing has really changed in her care or exercise. We bute when its clear she's in absolute pain and discontinue asap.

I guess what I am wanting to know is how long did it take to see an improvement with your horse after beginning a simple strength training program with walking/hills and building muscle? After going through a bunch of old threads on here, I read that DSMO is beneficial so I bought that in gel form. Will be having a chiro out to see her shortly too. I should add that like the other horses at the barn, she has the option to be inside and outside all night but due to her previous owners always stalling her at night...she becomes a nervous wreck if she is left out. I know stalling is not ideal with a sticky stifle but she is flippant if she can't get some "relax time" as part of her routine. The set up allows the horses to come inside the actual barn or be out in their field with a round bale.

Here are some images of her top line to get an idea of the muscle she's lacking. Any suggestions are welcome!


yesterday


yesterday also

a year ago when I got her

year ago as well - pretty gal


Also: she's always had issues keeping weight on. She had fattened up decently with beet pulp (in addition to her grain) and suddenly refused to eat it as of the other week. We just switch her to a different feed that's high in fat to see if that'll help. Overall she's also a picky eater. Right now she has complete access 100% to grass and hay all day and eats roughly 50lbs of hay a night. I'm a stressed horse momma so any words of advice would be awesome!
 
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