Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Keeping Older Horses Supple

A lot of people have been asking me recently how I keep Trooper supple and prevent him from getting stiff. For those of you that don't know, Trooper is 23 years old and had a tendon injury just over a year ago. He no longer jumps but I school him and he still goes nicely and can do lateral work and is not too on the fore-hand. The only thing he does do is trip up a bit.

People have been asking me if he is on any extra supplements to help prevent him from getting stiff but he only has Happy Hoof and sometimes Winergy Ventilate in his feeds. They were asking about glucosamine and chondroitins. Our dog is on glucosamine tablets and they are meant to be quite a cheap option for horses. Cortaflex is the one of these feeds that I have heard the most from, this contains both glucosamine and chondroitin. These are meant to increase the synthesis of joint cartilage so in theory help with things such as arthritis. However, in horses more research is still needed, especially into the dosage of these products.  Codlivine is another product given, some people do not like feeding this as it is an animal product. It is hard to tell what effects these have though in each individual horse and it may be more beneficial to give them a try if you are wondering and see how your specific horse reacts to them. I would be interested to hear if any of you have tried any of these products and how you have found them! Maybe in the future we will try out some of these products and report back!

I think the main thing that is keeping Trooper supple is the amount we exercise him. We try to ride him at least 3 times a week and he is turned out every day for at least 6 hours even through the winter. When he had his tendon injury we still turned him out as we thought keeping him on box rest may lead to him stiffening up. When I ride him I warm him up for a good 5-10 minutes and then he goes really nicely. I think he does get a bit more stiff when he has not been ridden as often.

Also I have now found a way to add more photos into my blog after the Picasa storage ran out. For those of you wondering I have uploaded the photo to Flickr. I then went onto the "share" setting and got the HTML code for the photo. I then went onto the HTML button whilst writing a blog post and copy and pasted it into there! There might be other ways to do it but this is the way I have found! At least I can keep uploading photos for free! The photo below is a bit of a random one to go with this post but it wouldn't upload the other day so I thought I would try it here!


Love Laura

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