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turning lame horse out for the winter -opinions

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  • #21
    Originally posted by Big_Grey_hunter View Post
    ... I'm seriously considering moving him to 24/7 turnout for the winter and just seeing what happens. He'd still get looked over and fed daily...blanketed, farrier, etc. But, I won't be doing any handwalking, no more blood tests, x-rays, ultrasounds, flexions, injecting, trying medications, antibiotics, etc....
    Has anyone else done this? ...
    This is what I do with my horses every winter!
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by kiwifruit View Post
      Just wanted to see if the OP had an update. Did Dr. Green fix your horse?
      We decided to give him a full year off, so I won't know until December (I'm planning on starting him again over my school break). He does seem much more sound though when he trots around the pasture, so I'm crossing my fingers! He's gone rather feral, so I'm not really looking forward to getting on him again

      Regardless of whether or not he returns to work sound, I'm so glad I pulled his shoes and turned him out for the year. He can be 'difficult' to deal with when he's not in work, and last year trying to rehab him, he was terrible at best and dangerous at worst. Other than getting his feet done every 6 weeks, I never bring him inside. He is so much happier just being a fat, dirty pasture ornament!

      I'll update again after he gets his shoes back on and starts in work.


      • #23
        That's awesome! Keep us posted on your progress. I decided to do this to my competition horse. He had a faciotomy and PRP for both hind suspensories and after 9 months and light rehab he came up lame on left hind. I decided to turn him out and look at him again in the spring. I guess he just needs more time and fortunately I have the means to give it to him. Bummed but hoping dr green will give me a sound horse in spring.


        • #24
          Originally posted by howardh View Post
          I believe it is called Dr. Green! Sure cure for JARS (just ain't right syndrome).
          It's what we do here! A cross between Outward Bound and Club Med (er, "Mud") for the ones that More Meds, More Often just won't fix.

          Fuzzy coat, medium Rambo, good hay, PARTY!


          • #25
            You know, overall stiffness, and your location - I'd test for lyme disease if you already haven't. Can be a pesky PITA.


            • #26
              Yes I did

              I have two horses that I just couldn't keep sound anymore. Both diagnosed navicular and one with pretty ugly ring bone. (spavins, SI injuries etc etc...)

              I tried just about everything... a friend found a pasture situation really close by, I went for it. It was SOOOOO difficult because both horses are fat and sassy show horses in the barn, knee deep in fluffy shavings - Also they were in my back yard where I could see them every day.....

              I had empty nest for a few weeks but once I saw how happy they were in the pasture and how SOUND they were - - - there is no turning back.

              Now, as we all know, each horse is different. Just try it and you will know if it's the right thing to do.
              Live in the sunshine.
              Swim in the sea.
              Drink the wild air.


              • #27
                I have a 2001 gelding who started eventing training at age 5, and at age 7 came up sore in the front. He was his trainers' 50,000 horse, according to her, but he came up sore in front and after 1000s of dollars in imaging and diagnostics they couldn't feature what was wrong. Blocked sound down low for a while, but he moved on to a good friend who turned him out for about 2 years. Occasional trail rides, and when I got him at age 9 I started flat work and got him well shod. He's sound as a dollar, going strong and we will do some more diagnostics this winter to see if he can start jumping again, because he has a whole ton of talent cross country. Horse has legs like iron. free shoulder, really really nice. I am crossing my fingers that he is healed up from a soft tissue injury from back then, and doing well. Frankly, through the woods and over brooks and stone walls, dressage at 2nd level and basic ring gymnastics, there is nothing wrong with the horse. So I say go for it, save some money, and see what happenes next spring. A year or two out, then some really good farrier work to make sure he is well supported and even, and you could be doing very well.
                My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods


                • #28
                  I had a 15 year old reined cowhorse gelding that was starting to be a little sore in his right hind due to ringbone. My trainer said that make sure I keep him in work all year and he would do better. We had him on Previcox and Surpass and he did ok. One winter I wasn't able to ride alot due to an injury of my own and when I brought him back that next spring he was so much sounder and we did really well showing that year.

                  I actually believe in giving horses in moderately hard work the winter off. It gives their body time to recover. Even if it is a couple months it seems to help them!!
                  RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                  May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                  RIP San Lena Peppy
                  May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by kiwifruit View Post
                    That's awesome! Keep us posted on your progress. I decided to do this to my competition horse. He had a faciotomy and PRP for both hind suspensories and after 9 months and light rehab he came up lame on left hind. I decided to turn him out and look at him again in the spring. I guess he just needs more time and fortunately I have the means to give it to him. Bummed but hoping dr green will give me a sound horse in spring.
                    "A year with Dr. Green" used to be the way things were done...

                    My mare had a similar injury/surgery to kiwifruit's and a long, slow recovery. I'd decided to give her a year of rehab and then Dr. Green if she wasn't sound yet. She did well enough that at one year I stayed with the rehab program, and she's now sound for my purposes (LL dressage, trail riding, little jumps, just did a First Level dressage test for the first time since 2007 with my trainer, and got a 63%). But Dr. Green was definitely under consideration.
                    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                    • #30
                      we took in an OTTB last year when the track closed for the season, he had "something" in one of his ankles-- trainer had blistered him, "cuz he was a little sore". one of the ankles got infected, and we treated that, but the trainer told us to just turn him out until spring, and he'd be fine....

                      he was actually never LAME, just NQR on it, so, even tho the vets wanted to do all sorts of xrays and tests, we pulled his shoes, stalled him in the really bad weather, but let him be.

                      He's completely sound now, no ouchy or anything-- um well, except for the huge hole he has in a different hoof cuz he put a stick thru it, :-)

                      we had just started working him lightly too, and very excited to see what a nice mover he is!!


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Big_Grey_hunter View Post
                        Thank you everyone! This boy is my 'heart horse'. I feel so corny using that term, but it's true. I always plan ahead, and even when I buy a horse I know they will be sold. My current show horse I just bough two months ago, but I already have planned out when he'll be sold (in a few years). But I can't imagine selling my poorly moving, cranky, poorly built, lame horse. He's my baby. I'm feeling SO guilty taking away his stall! I'm glad to hear others have had good experiences with it!

                        What are your opinions about taking off his shoes? He's always had shoes on, with pads in front. But I would be saving $140 every 6 weeks if he could go barefoot. If you were in my situation, would you try him barefoot? If he's sore, I would definitely put shoes back on. Is it worth trying?
                        In my experience, 95% of "lame" horses just need a divorce from their shoers. DO pull his shoes and see if you can find a competent natural trimmer in your area. With that and T/O, huuuge chance your boy will be all better come Spring! He'll be happy, too.


                        • Original Poster

                          Thought I should update this (old) thread. Horse is now quite sound. He has a clean vet bill after hock injections and and was cleared for work. He went completely feral after a year as a 'wild' horse, so we moved him back inside in december before starting him again at the end of the month. He's been great, I think he's glad to be back in work! He is WTC and jumping small jumps. There's no reason to think he can't go do 2'6" hunters and hopefully get sold eventually.


                          • #33
                            Great update

                            re the feral, doesn't usually take them long to remember tame - just always start with the groundwork rather than going straight to u/s