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Gimpy Horses - Owners of the gimps and cripples, check in!

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  • Gimpy Horses - Owners of the gimps and cripples, check in!

    So, I think we need a thread where owners of horses who are lame, injured, unsound, or in some way inhibited in their motion in general or useability can vent! Come in, whine about it to sympathetic ears, update us with their rehab progress, share with us diagnosises(sp? ), etc!

    My mare injured her shoulder out in her pasture, probably being a nut and running down a muddy slope full blast no doubt. This was way back in June, and she's still not sound. The vet's been out to see her quite a bit, and at this point says as long as she's willing to go and continues to improve even the smallest bit, to just leave her be. The progress is excrutiatingly slow, but she's happy and extremely forward under saddle, so I try not to worry too much.

    At this point I really think it's more mechanical lameness than pain-related, as anti-inflammatories have had NO effect whatsoever, and I STILL have to convince her a happy jaunt down the trail at a canter is not a good idea just yet.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

  • #2
    AH. Ive got a mare that injured her stifle and hock 7 years ago. Vet said she would be a useless cripple for the rest of her life and hinted at euthanasia. I bought her home to ponder that possibility.

    She's still here as pasture ornamentation. I keep her comfy with joint supps and occasional injections, and could easily have bought a horse or 3 with what I've spent on her but what the hay, I've had her since she was a baby. She's 14 now.

    She thinks life is just fine as is, will still take off buck/farting across the field, but if things were to change, and I couldn't fix it, she'd cross the bridge happily munching carrots.
    Save lives! Adopt a pet from your local shelter.


    • #3
      Mine (14 yo TB gelding) has plently of arthritis in his back legs that keeps him from being sound in hard work. After he recovered fully from EPM and I bought a weanling to become his successor, he decided that his arthritis was getting too bad to do anything but sit in a pasture. He was better after his joints were injected and he was put on legend, but after 3 months he was having problems again and I wasn't about to inject him again after such a short time, so I threw him out to pasture.

      He loves semi-retirement more than anything and hates to leave his pasture. He's got his own baby to teach and keep in line and a couple neighbors backing up to his pasture to spy on (staring into their windows). He's useful for chasing deer out of the pasture, setting shoe throwing records, and for taunting our stupid dogs. Maybe if his arthritis fuses someday he'll be put back into a bit of work (more than hacking).


      • #4
        I have a 7 year old cripple! He screwed up his knee somehow, so he's a perma-cripple. One vet took one look at him and said "oh, this horse is screwed." Another said "we'll see what we can do." The third said "it'll shorten his lifespan." I go with vet #2, who seems to think that even though he'll probably never really be sound, he's not as bad off as the other vets think.

        He's mostly just my pet.. I ride him occasionally, but don't really have time to ride him more than once or twice a month. He's perfectly happy playing with his toys in his stall and hanging out in the pasture with his friends. See, no one's ever told HIM that he's crippled, so he loves running and bucking and just generally acting like a 7 year old Thoroughbred.
        Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
        Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
        VW sucks.


        • #5
          39 years old ... sound to walk, would not even think about riding. Has an old tendon issue that is as thick as a percherons cannon bone.
          Creaks all the time. No maintenace at all. Is a baby sitter!

          40 years old ... sore, lots of maintence, but worth every single possible dime left to tend to his needs.

          Everyone else seems to be doing ok XXXX fingers~!


          • #6
            21 year old TB gelding with a multitude of old racing/performance injuries that are now catching up with him in a big way. Old bows in both front legs, an old shoulder injury, a stifle that acts up now and again, arthritis everywhere...

            On his best days, he's plenty sound for pleasure riding and acts like exuberant youngster.

            On his worst days, I see him gimping around the pasture after his friends and I feel like the world's worst horse owner.
            Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


            • #7
              I got a couple.

              Gus, 18 yr old who has arthritic stifles due to an old injury shortly after I got him almost 9 years ago. This spring he torn his cranial cruciate ligament in his other stifle. Stall rest, then turnout plus light walking work under saddle helped a lot, but then having new pasturemates cause a major relapse. Retorqued it again, pretty badly, about 3 weeks ago. Back on stall rest for two more weeks then we'll see from there. Also dealing with a soft tissue injury... on the opposite hind leg.

              Gringo, 5 year old who has a fractured coffin bone. Missed on the PPE cause I didn't do x-rays (didn't see the need because flexions were fine). Originally diagnosed as a new fracture May 2007... found out in March 2008 after nearly a year of pasture "rest" that it was much older then suspected. Opted for injecting the joint and corrective shoeing. Just won't stay sound.

              So, yep. I'm broke. Majorly. But, I love my boys and I'll do whatever I can, within reason, to keep them happy. Otherwise, they too will cross the bridge munching apples (and oranges in Gus's case).
              Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
              See G2's blog


              • #8
                I'm fighting the abscess that will not die. It blows, things get much better, it re-forms. Repeat. The biggest struggle is the effect that it has on my mare's personality. She is the sweetest, most laid back, cuddly, forgiving, lap-dog horse most of the time. Two months of being in pain has had a negative influence on her.....


                • #9
                  I just paid $150.00 to have him shod so that he can walk around my paddock... and do nothing more...


                  • #10
                    I've just got the x-rays in for my dear old man, who has been retired for several years due to ringbone. Not good. It has advanced fairly radically this year. The pastern joint is basically bone on bone. He trucks (slowly) around the fields with his buddy, eats well and is still bright eyed, though. So, I'm in a quandry. I don't think he's ready to give in yet, but what if he decides it's time in January in the middle of a snowstorm?


                    • #11
                      I have a six year old mare. Lilly is at the horsepital as I type recovering from a fetlock arthrodesis and wedge osteotomy. She was born premature/dysmature, we tried many things to keep her still and splinted her legs while we waited for her bones to form. Long story short, ended up doing the screws and wire in her right knee since that leg eneded up knock-kneed, in the process her supporting left leg sort of gave out on her and she ended up very toed in from fetlock down. The right leg turned out fine.

                      Got bastard strangles as a yearling and ended up getting an emergency tracheotomy, she passed out/stopped breathing and had to get a shot of epinepherine to get going again. Recovered nicely.

                      Five years pass and she is fine though unrideable. Sometimes gimpy at the trot but runs like her tail's on fire all over the pasture! Very happy mare, maintained on joint supps/Adaquan/Legend.

                      We moved to Lexington, Ky and three weeks later she's in for colic surgery, small intestine resection, they took about three feet out. Her intestine had become trapped in some ligament near her stomach I believe. Recovery was slow, then two weeks after that, another colic surgery since she had become impacted at the site they put the two ends back together. She then recovered okay but was left with a hernia.

                      Year later she starts getting sore on her bad fetlock. Upped the ante with arthritis stuff. Seemed to get better. Then within 4 months her fetlock tripled in size, could not keep her comfortable. Was looking at putting her down or fusing the joint. It was the hardest choice thus far, she was happy and still trying to run to the gate, but I kept thinking how much can one horse be expected to go through? Needless to say over the years we have become very very close and have a very strong bond, I prepared myself to let her go. But, she just would not give up, she wanted to live and I'm not just saying that because I can't let her go.

                      So, here we are. She had the surgery a little over a week ago. She has a metal plate and fourteen screws in her left leg. She is doing much better then expected and is actually more comfortable now then before the surgery. Tonight though she seemed a little down, I hope this was just a bad day since she was so so good yesterday. She'll have the cast on for 4 more weeks then handwalking, roundpen turnout, small paddock and hopefully back out to her field within 4 months.

                      So any jingles you might have to spare would really be appreciated. I can't wait for my pasture ornament to come home!


                      • #12
                        I have a 9 year old QH with ringbone and navicular. I bought him when he was 4, he was diagnosed at 7, on/off lameness since he was 6. He was my first and only horse (after 10 years of riding) and was bought to be my show horse, turns out he disagreed with that. He's sound in the summer, now he's lame - I only get maybe 5-6 months of riding time with him. He costs an arm and a leg to keep - gets his feet done every month, indoor board, extra grain, joint supplements, lots of vet bills to pay ... None of this showed up on his preprchase exam, just looked at it the other day and it said nice, clean legs on x-ray haha, yeah right. I have an awesome vet right now, so hopefully she can improve his soundness. I probably only have a couple more years of being able to ride him at the rate he's going anyways. After this experience, he'll likely be the last horse I ever own and since my animals like to be lemons and live for as long as they can, he's going to be gimping around for a long time, costing me a lot of money.


                        • #13
                          One TB bought at 5, rode for 5 years with various times out for lameness. Had two surgeries to remove chip in P1.
                          Turned out 24/7 in a herd for 11 years, stalled w turnout the last 2 yrs. After 10 years in the herd his bones fused and he canters and trots beautifully. No longer paws in pain when accidentally canters. Life of riley. But he still remembers me, and pulls my zippers or sleeves to tell me "Hey, I remember you, I like you".
                          When sound, he used to buck me off and give joy bucks that he dumped me.
                          I love this clumsy nut. Oh and he's gorgeous. Second horse I got in my life, and still have both.
                          Both are a joy to me. And I still am oh so slightly afraid of them. Horses are big (and slightly more expensive than cats to keep, who'd have guessed ).


                          • #14
                            Danny, 31yr old AQHA- he has some arthritis issues and also back end weakness issues- he doesn't always know where his feet are. He can walk trot and canter in his paddock and he will do so especially if he does not want his blankie put on or sees his breakfast, lunch or dinner He has been fully retired for about 5 yrs with the occasional neice or nephew sprinkeld in.

                            He is in a large paddock with horses on three sides of him since they are younger and he really can not defend him self if they pick on him. He plays over the fence with them. At night Danny babysits my 6yr old Standardbred,Sunny when he comes in from the big field. He is on 24/7 turnout with a large shed and also stall during very bad weather but when he is stalled he really gets stiff so I prefer to keep him moving.

                            Danny is a retired mounted patrol horse and has served the public for years and I feel honored to provide him with a comfortable, pampered retirement. He is my heart.


                            • #15
                              First, good wishes to everyone out there in this boat.

                              Well Mr. Windsor is doing ok. Put on some weight, leg and belly edema seems to be better since we extended turnout and cut back on grain. His feet are getting better, less thrush, abscess is cleared too. Deworming him regularly to get the parasites under control.

                              I have to admit to being mildly impatient. He's only been here a month! And he's gone from being 2 legged lame to walking relatively soundly.

                              A tiny part of me wishes he were sound enough to trail ride and hack a bit, the weather has been lovely and I think it'd be good for both of our brains!!

                              I've been tuning up his ground manners, and stuffing him with treats, and walking him as much as I can. So for now... he's just a big dog. Ha ha.
                              We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


                              • #16
                                I have a 24 yr old OTTB who I swear injures himself when he thinks he's not getting enough attention from me. Does that count?

                                I've been very busy recently and haven't been able to give either of my two much time so what does the OTTB do? He kicks right through the stall wall through to the exterior wall? At a level of 4'3" off the ground!!! How did he reach that high??? So a week plus of poulticing and babying and guess what, it's like nothing ever happened. Of course I am going to have him evaluated tomorrow by a vet to measure his recovery.


                                • #17
                                  My horse developed a toe drag in the spring of 2006 which by July had progressed into a full blown limp. The vet diagnosed him with an arthritic hock which joint injections did absolutely nothing for. His stifle and fetlock of the same leg were quite sore as well, but it was thought that would improve if the hock felt better. After about a year of no improvement and very limited riding (it was OKed by the vet but what can you really do with a horse that limps??) he got dramatically worse. Movement went to shite (he is normally a very cute mover sans limp) in all 4 legs, lost quite a bit of his bounce. Had the vet out to reassess right after a trim and she had me switch farriers as my trimmer had him trimmed to almost standing on his coronaries in back. Suspensories in all 4 legs were very sore and she felt I was extremely lucky he had not blown something. I had thought that his feet looked bad but a farrier friend of mine said that they looked OK so I never twigged that might be the problem. (Which lead me to learning how happy feet should look and not trusting ANYONE else's opinion!) Anyway, switched to a farrier who shod Shaq all the way around and put trailers on the hinds to support the suspensories. Within a week he looked much more comfortable and within 6 months he was barefoot and happy again. We moved to Lexington, KY this spring and before we left my vet said to start daily bute and put him back in work as the hock was largely unchanged. I did exactly that until we ran out of bute and I discovered that he was actually very nearly sound without it! I believe that a change of lifestyle was the biggest contributing factor-- he was went from daily turnout to 24/7 and it REALLY agrees with him. The limp is gone and there is only a slight toe drag, so he is back in work. We did a 10 mile trail ride last weekend and we are going attempt some schooling horse trials next summer. So for everyone with a gimp, there is hope. I was resigned to having a very cute occaisional trail horse so I am thrilled with our outcome.