Unpopular Blog Hop

Unpopular Blog Hop

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.

13 thoughts on “Unpopular Blog Hop

  1. I don’t totally disagree with you. I disagree with injecting a horse just because it is in hard work and “might develop” a problem is dumb. But a horse with demonstrated changes? That’s just being a conscientious owner. Right? Also, I am totally for buting a horse clearly experiencing pain.

    I take ibuprofen and avail myself of modern medicine to keep up with my own athletic pursuits. Why wouldn’t I afford the other half of my team the same benefit?

    Good luck at the vet today. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you guys….

  2. I totally agree with you! While my horse is not young, he has a mystery lameness, and I always thought it was important to keep him moving. He is officially retired now, but I still hop on and at least make him walk around a bit. Best of luck! I now how frustrating it can be dealing with a lame horse especially when so much money is spent and there are no answers.

  3. People are dumb if they think offering a horse the medical care is not good! LOL I am not a fan of injections…but if they are needed I am certainly willing to entertain them. You are a good owner 🙂

  4. I am not up for masking pain but I am totally with you on making them as comfortable as possible to do a job that you and the vet think is reasonable 🙂

    And nerving… hot topic and I think it’s a case by case situation but I am not opposed to it either.

  5. Loving this blog hop though I’m still too chicken to participate at this point (ahem, especially in light of your recent “what you post on the internet” post). You are clearly a loving horsey mommy who cares about your horse’s comfort and longevity – and that you don’t have black-and-white views on medical practices the way some people do. You are open to them if they are right for your horse, with the help of vets. That’s good horsemanship!

  6. This is why I love blog hops. We have 100% different opinions on this topic but it’s cool to read other perspectives and hear reasoning. It doesn’t bother me in the least what you do with your horse because hey, it doesn’t effect me at all, but it’s nice to be able to read about everyone’s opinions on different topics.

  7. Interesting topic and something I can certainly relate to! When Wilbur comes home we’re going to inject his coffin joint to keep him marginally sound for the trail rides and short hacks my husband will enjoy. That being said- I can’t afford to have two horses right now- so until that time comes he is going to continue to enjoy living in his field. I agree- safer in the long run to have a working horse- but at this point he has a forever home with me.
    And I know this is slightly off the topic of maintenance- but as a rider who would like to move up- if I end up with a young, broken horse that will remain chronically lame without regular treatment (and who has shown us he doesn’t like to jump)- I don’t feel obligated to keep him in work. I don’t think it’s wrong to want to move on. I’d rather keep him in a field and know he’s safe than try to find a free home for him.

  8. I’m right there with you. I think the bulk of the controversy lies in the all-too-common practices of over medicating a horse to either mask a serious problem from clients, cover up problems in the show ring, or make up for a lack of proper conditioning when asking a horse to perform beyond what its been prepared for. Unfortunately, the gross misuse of medications of those kinds has made this a bit of a touchy subject and in many circles it’s much easier to say “Oh no! Medicine is evil!” than risk crucifixion. I know many horses young and old alike who deteriorate drastically when simply taken out of work for extended periods of time. While thorough conditioning should always be the first step, if a little bute from time to time can help keep them working and happy, I’m all for it. I know I sure as heck need a little Ibuprofen now and then. 😉

  9. I love your response! I am mid way between your thoughts and not willing to ride horse through anything. I am all for injections (although not straight into the joint unless needed) for maintenance on young horses as preventative, and would do so myself if I had the extra money laying around, but I refuse to ride a horse that requires daily bute. I like your point on doing all you can do to keep your horse working comfortably. After all, most horses thrive off working and the interaction!

  10. I have no problem with maintaining a horse, although I do think that people/vets go to the injecting a little too readily these days. It’s a case by case situation though. I’m certainly not against it and a little bute now and then isn’t going to hurt them. Legend and adequan are good things. I’m not a fan of nerving them to be honest, but that’s just me.

  11. I don’t disagree with you either. I do think that some people make rash decisions about what their horses do and don’t need and that some vets are too quick to prescribe certain types of treatment. I think the difference lies in someone who is trying to keep a horse going who shouldn’t be forced to keep going, if you know what I mean. I would do anything to keep my horse comfortable, which may mean something like injections, but which may not mean continued work. That is a discussion each person has to make with their vet and themselves.

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