This title is funny to me. Instead of participating in an unpopular blog hop, I’m participating in a blog hop about unpopular opinions. This week L. Williams‘ asks:
What is 1 unpopular horsey opinion you have?
It seems like I have all kinds of unpopular opinions, but the topical one for me right now is how I don’t think it’s wrong to use maintenance to keep a young horse with lameness going. That’s kind of a weird statement, but let me explain.
There’s this eight year old Throughbred I know of… you may or may not have heard of him. He has awful arthritic changes and possibly kissing spines and possibly a suspensory issue. Basically, this totally hypothetical horse is a hot mess. Do I think it’s wrong to take modern veterinary medicine and keep him going? No, I don’t.
That may seem totally a-okay with everyone, but when it gets down to the nitty gritty I know there are people who disagree with me. I know I’ve read on multiple blogs that someone would just never be comfortable injecting their young horse, because injections are evil!
Not to me they aren’t. They help fuse my horse’s hocks and keep him comfortable during the necessary exercise and movement to fuse those joints.
A little bute the night before or during an away show to help ease stiff joints that can’t get turn out over the weekend? You bet.
Would I use an injectible like Adequan for long term but mild aches and pains? Yes.
If my horse was a candidate for nerving, would I consider it? Yes, I absolutely would. I would consult with a vet and I would get as many facts as possible, but I am not anti-nerving.
Basically, I will do whatever it takes to keep my horse working comfortably. I’m not going to ride a lame and hurting creature, but I think it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep our horses employed. If Simon is totally busted 100% and D-O-N-E, I am prepared to pay for him to live in a field for as long as he happily can. Do I want to do that? No, of course not. While I would never do something to my horse for the sake of getting a ribbon or pushing him to the next level, I think a horse’s overall safety in life is generally in their ability to be employed. If I were to get smushed by a bus tomorrow, Simon would be a lot safer in the long run happily walk/trot/cantering and going over small jumps than he would be as an expensive yard ornament.
Like I said this post is topical, as I head to the vet this afternoon to get more information. My goal is to keep the horse in some kind of work, but in a way where he is pain free and set up for long term success. How we get there remains to be seen, but I don’t tend to draw black and white lines when it comes to the “what if’s” of veterinary medicine.