Archie and Ox (as well as all the other horses) had vet visits earlier this week.  While the vet was super quick through everyone, I still had time to sit and graze Archie before we did his more thorough physical exam.

The current consensus is that he's in a holding place.  The degeneration of his right front pastern joint doesn't appear to be getting any worse, but it's certainly not magically getting better.  It just is.  The vet still wants pads on him, but acknowledged that it really isn't feasible at this time of the year:  if the moisture doesn't suck them off, he gets thrush.  We're not sound on grass and straight lines are significantly friendlier.

Before my idealism vanished or my hypocrisy appeared, I would have never even considered riding regularly a horse who couldn't handle being ridden on the fucking grass.  I mean, it's grass.  It's a goddamn natural cushion.

But here we are.

One horrible vet visit nine months ago and my ethos had a paradigm shift.  What was previously, self-righteously, unacceptable now became my new norm - let's medicate the horse to keep him comfortable enough to keep him rideable.  This vet visit recap got a lot deeper than I intended.  Sorry.

He's perfectly sound on the trails and in the ring, so I feel less like a horrible person for riding him there.  And that's all the old man does anymore.  We go on a couple trail rides a week and then dabble briefly in the ring.  I did get clearance to start reincorporating some trot poles, so hopefully we can build a little more topline.

As far as the Big Orange Booty went, he had some blood drawn for some random (to us) (in the deep south) tests.  The vet noted previously that he had some demarcation on his hooves, indicating a fever.  Trail buddy contacted his previous owner who wasn't aware of a fever, but another contact up there said that a bout of something went through the horses.  Not lyme, but something else that is similar?  Must get more details.  Anyways, she wanted blood drawn to make sure whatever is was isn't actually hiding out in his system, waiting to pop up.  Fortunately, he's currently sound and happy and just a big ol' lug.

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  1. Anaplasmosis maybe? At least Archie gets to have fun out on the trails still!

  2. With the old guys, my personal opinion is to enjoy them however you can, for as long as you can. <3

  3. So glad to hear Archie is holding steady! And I see no issue with doing what you can to keep him out and about moving around. So many of the horses I know love that bit of variety and having a job to do!

  4. I'm glad that you and Archie are still able to get out and about, hope he feels more comfortable soon!

  5. I'm glad both boys are doing well & hunk that you're doing a great job wih the hands you've been dealt. So long as all involved are happy and healthy, not being able to walk on the grass/hard ground in the dry months is not unexpected...There can be no doubt in anyone's mind as to the TLC you give these guys & I'm sure they really appreciate it and are glad their paths crossed with yours

  6. You're obviously going over and above for your old guy, and he seems really happy. That's what matters!

  7. In having an old, broken horse myself, I know that people will always criticize you no matter what you do with the horse. The biggest thing you need to remember is that you know Archie above anyone else, and you are utilizing that knowledge to keep him comfortable and happy. No one else can make that decision for you.

    1. Yeah, this. "Serviceably sound" is a huge spectrum. If the kid is happy going out on trails/lightly hacking in the ring a couple times a week, getting him moving is much better for his creaky self than sitting around. No one's gonna be jogging him for soundness out on the trail-- as long as he's telling you he doesn't mind keeping going, so what if he's not clinically perfect. At least that's what I tell myself.

  8. I seriously get what you mean. I'm trying to decide how much maintenance is worth it for my guy before he just becomes a pasture puff

  9. Belated hugs for Archie -- I'm sorry I've been a crappy everything, reading included. Life has a way of smacking a person with paradigm shifts like a pole made out of bricks, doesn't it? But we know our buddies better than anyone else does & you are a wonderful owner -- enjoy every ride, no matter how crooked, where he is content. And never let anyone question a path they haven't walked. <3