Gadgets for the older horse? (BoT wraps, icing, etc)
I have an older XL pony (age 18 but pretty good shape for his age) who just started BN this year. He is eating it up and loving it, but I want to do all I can do to keep him happy. Besides joint supplements and injections, any tips?
I ice his legs, wrap him at night, walk him constantly, long warm up/cool down, etc at events.
Are back on tracks worth the money? Any other suggestions or tips? I just want him to last as long as possible and I want to keep him happy.
and for any of you who know that i was having water issues, he went right in today at poplar! couldn't be happier. had a small...exciting moment at fence 3 where he smacked his face on the number pole thing, and scared himself, but besides that he was a xc fool! love that he loves it.
Congrats on having a healthy happy loves XC "older" horse! I'm sorry, but I had to giggle at him smacking his face on the flag. Sounds like something my horse would do!
I've got to say... I love my back on tracks. Whether or not they actually work.... I can't really say, but I feel like I can do them instead of poulticing...which is messy. And Flecks' legs seem nice and tight after.
Also, I use the ice sheets underneath his shipping boots to make icing easier.
Then chiro would be the best thing I can recommend. It really seems to help him.
Sounds like you're doing everything right! Continue to Rock on!
Really, if he's happy and healthy and has no prior issues (no major injuries like a soft tissue strain or tear, etc), then the best thing for him is as much turn out as you can give him, plenty of exercise (older guys do much better with fewer days off), and a good diet....well, most horses do best with that!
Especially since he is a pony, he should be pretty hardy and sound. Keep doing what you're doing with warm ups, keep him fit, try to keep him out of a stall as much as possible, and enjoy him. My appy evented at the lower levels until he was 20 (could have kept going, just no one to ride him), and stayed very happy and sound living out 24/7. He got the occasional shot of Adequan and was only ever wrapped if he was inside for an extraordinary amount of time. Even at 25, he looks like he could go out tomorrow and run around a novice course (and he hasn't been ridden in 3 years!).
We started my daughter's 'hony' at BN when he was 27....he had been retired for being nasty to children! He competed till he was 34. Nothing extra except 18 hour turn out, senior feed, good hay, regular work. He was built like a brick house but never took a bad step till he blew his check ligament in his pasture and the time he had Lyme. I have to say, if your pony *needs* all the stuff you're doing for him, great, you are wonderful to do it but otherwise, why make him dependent on outside unnecessary support?
Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.
i feel like what i'm doing is just trying to prevent him from being injured and make him last longer. he will get a little fill at shows because he is in the stall all the time, which is why i ice and wrap him and take him on long walks.
Anyone have thoughts on whether to give older guys a "holiday" at the end of the season or whether to keep them hacking?
I have a wonderful older guy (only 12 but lots of mileage) and though I've always given them a month or two off after a fall three day, I'm wondering whether he would prefer to keep carting my butt around on the trails
I think the creakier they are, the less time they should have standing around. While I am all for vacations, some times I think they need to keep their bodies moving. If it is low key and fun and doesn't seem like work, it should be good enough for a mental vacation.
I'm using these while grooming my mare before a ride. (Can't put them on overnight, for various reasons.) I just started, but they seem to make a difference. She has arthritis in her hocks, not bad. I'm hoping to put off her next set of hock injections for a bit...
I also have an older horse (19yo TB mare) that is still competing (competing Novice, schooling Training). While not every horse needs a lot of maintenance, my philosophy has always been to just do whatever makes your horse happy. While Lissell was sound and happy, I wanted to make sure that she stayed that way. So my vet and I put together a preventative maintenance program that includes pentosan and and two basic supplements (courtesy of the awesome SmartPak). So while she was sound and happy before, she's sounder and happier now. So while she costs me a little bit extra each month, it's worth it to me.
As Lissell ages, she is becoming increasingly more sensitive to the weather. Cold and wet causes her to shrink away from the slightest touch. So aside from keeping her covered when possible, on those days I try to put my trainer's Back on Track mesh sheet on her for a minimum of 30 minutes. I'm amazed at the difference this makes in our rides. I've been scouring eBay for a good deal on one all week. :-)
I've not put much stock in things like the BOT wraps. Much better in my book (and for my 16 year old Prelim + eventer) to put that money into the best farrier you can find, a barn with a ton of turnout, and adequan/legend/pentosan. I do think it makes sense to keep an eye on things like hocks and coffin joints, and, if needed, inject them earlier rather than later since it seems like the compensation injuries tend to be more difficult to contend with in the long run. But other than keeping up to date on the hocks, I'd far prefer to kick my old man out in the field after an event, rather than wrap him. Even given the dumb injuries he's had out in the field, I still think he's overall happier/healthier/less creaky with the time out than he would be sitting in a stall wearing fancy wraps/blankets.
My 19 year old gets Pentosan, a daily joint supplement and lots of turn out. I'm with GotSpots and have always tried to turn out my guys after events or heavy schools, especially as they get older. I do think some older horse benefit from massage/chiropractic if you have the right person to do it readily available. I also keep an eye and may blanket the older guys a bit more heavily if somewhere cold (since they move/play a little less and may not be eating quite as much, depending on horse).
My mare is 19 and goes training level. The only Back on Track item I have are the knee boots and honestly haven't used them all that much (although at the moment I have a broken foot and have been wrapping the knee boot around my foot and sleeping in it. I am not sure if it is helping it heal, but my foot is pretty warm in the mornings...)
Anyway, I agree with others who have said turnout it the best thing.
My mare does get iced after XC with boots that go over the knee and then sleeps in standing wraps while at shows and confined to a stall. I will poultice for the ride home, old habit, not sure if it helps or not but it makes me feel better.
Once we get home she goes out, no stall time unless the weather is truly horrible. I have noticed these past two winter she does get colder a lot easier then my young two boys and last winter I had to blanket her pretty heavy even when her yearling colt was naked and couldn't have cared less.
Other things I do are Adequan injections and her hocks are done in the spring, the only feed through supplement she is on is MSM. She can't go barefoot and she will get a little stocked up behind if left in for too.
Good luck with your pony!!
~"Three Phases, Two hearts, One Passion!"~
Peppy's Sweet Thing & Sweet Dreamin'