Hello! Some of you may have seen my other related thread a few months back:
Things have gotten a bit better for my 21 year old mare and I, but she’s still very balky at times, roots and pulls at the bit after halting (having said that, that could partly be due to my lack of finesse with the reins. I’m working on that.) and is reactive to any pressure toward her withers (jerks head up whenever rider leans forward, has been doing this for years in many different saddles, and bareback - I have suspected back soreness for a while but can’t find anyone to diagnose or help me manage the pack pain, if that’s what it is…)
For the arthritis, I’ve been giving her a gram of bute each day before riding (under vet observation), she’s on Cosequin plus MSM, she’s getting joint injections every few months (though she HATES it and needs to be thoroughly doped up to make it work…and even then I’m not sure it helps), wrapping her legs to keep swelling down, been trying to ride her every day (as I’ve been told and have experienced that light routine work is helpful for arthritis)… I have also been taking dressage lessons on a schoolmaster and riding several other horses and am learning a lot and improving my riding which my horse seems to appreciate… she is more forward now, a bit rounder on the bit,but she’s still inconsistent and showing signs of pain. I’ve addressed her saddle… my vet isn’t offering any other advice. He did do an x-ray of the arthritic hock, for those who were wondering…
Basically at this point, I’m just struggling along, trying to find a balance of what I can reasonably ask of my horse. I want to keep trying to help her - I’m doing research trying to find a chiropractor or something…but I’m not sure what i need… massage? Chiro? Rolfing? Acupressure? There are so many therapies… (I’m in Arvada, CO, if anyone can recommend someone).
I just need some input. What is my next step? How do you judge when those “aches and pains” have become problematic enough that it’s time to retire the horse? I certainly don’t want to as I can’t afford another horse and I know that I’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of what this awesome horse and i could do together… but if it’s time it’s time. I don’t want to make my horse be in pain!