LONG gone are the days when we’d retire our horses in their early teens. Nowadays, it’s not unheard of to see horses in their twenties still enjoying an active life.
“Keeping a horse sound into old age is a product of a huge number of factors, but most importantly, it’s about delaying the onset and severity of wear and tear,” says Newmarket Equine Hospital surgeon Matt Chesworth.
One of the main issues facing older horses who have lived an active life is osteoarthritis.
“Horses have a few common sites for developing osteoarthritis which become more significant as the horse ages,” explains Matt. “These include the lowest joints within the hocks, the coffin joints, and pastern joints, but arthritis can ultimately develop in any joint.”
Equine joints, like human joints, have fairly limited means of repairing damage.
“Damage to the surface of the joint, or joint capsule, and the resulting inflammation can lead to further damage and cartilage loss,” says Matt. “Enzymes produced when a joint is inflamed can affect normal cartilage as well as the injured area, so reducing inflammation minimises the speed of deterioration as well as providing pain relief.”
One method which may provide pain relief is joint injections, often involving a single or a combination of medications injected into the joints.
“Often corticosteroids are our treatment of choice due to fairly consistent results; however, other treatments are available which can be used in cases where either corticosteroids have shown a poor response or there is concern over laminitis risk,” says Matt. “Examples include hyaluronan, a normal substance found in joints, interleukin receptor antagonist protein [IRAP] derived from the horse’s own blood, or more recently a polyacrylamide hydrogel.”
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Despite only taking up eventing aged 22, this determined Japanese rider reached the London Olympics five years later and is now preparing for his home Games in Tokyo. Martha Terry meets him
What this horse of a lifetime lacked in looks as a “toad” of a youngster, says Catherine Austen, he made up for in talent and presence, partnering Zara Tindall to World and European Championship glory
The House of Windsor effect
In her seventh decade on the throne, the effect of The Queen’s love of horses has extended not only to her family, but to the equestrian world at large, says Horse & Hound’s former Editor Michael Clayton
‘I didn't mean to do that!'
Some quick thinking from Robert Whitaker pays dividends for the sole double clear in the area trial, while a horse bought after a couple of beers shows superstar credentials
‘I hope my kids are watching'
Jockey Adam Kirby turns around a “gut-wrenching” decision to win the 242nd running of the Derby
Teenager scores first win
Two riders score their first victories at intermediate level and an RAF flight sergeant has a magical day
With the delights of summer come potential risks to your horse’s soundness and health. Alex Robinson looks at common problems and how to deal with them
Hughes steps up
Phoebe Hughes clinches the junior two-star, while the jumping phases prove tough in the pony championship
A royally good start
From rocking horses to Shetlands and sturdy Pony Club steeds, horses infiltrate every aspect of a royal childhood, whether the Olympics beckons or a trot around Balmoral is the extent of their riders’ equestrian prowess, finds Madeleine Silver
Hunting – How To Take The First Steps
Lots of people think they might like to go hunting, but are unsure how to go about it. Abi Butcher explains what to do this summer to get yourself ready for the winter
SHAKY PERRY'S WEDDING WOES!
Pals fear for ‘Friends’ star after Molly dials back
GHOSTWRITER PENNED BEN'S J.LO LOVE NOTES!
LOVE-HUNGRY Ben Affleck wooed former fiancée Jennifer Lopez with romantic notes to trigger their recent reunion — after enlisting writer pals to help him up his game, sources snitched to The National ENQUIRER.
Out West AND DOWN UNDER
Quigley Down Under challenged the status quo of Western filmmaking in 1990, and it continues to inspire three decades later.
WHAT'S WORTH WATCHING - Death & Nightingales
SERIES PREMIERE Sunday, May 16, 10/9c, Starz
Winning at Wall Street—and Life!
Dorie Clark, star of the Newsweek/LinkedIn Live show, Better, asks author William Green what lessons the world’s greatest investors have for the rest of us
MATTHEW PERRY PLANS NO-FRILLS NUPTIALS
LOVESTRUCK Matthew Perry is eager to be more than “Friends” with galpal Molly Hurwitz, and the sober sitcom cutup is happily planning a lowkey summer wedding with the 29-year-old talent manager, sources spilled.
THE HAMPTONS' BIGGEST LOSER
This used to be his playground! Matt Lauer was a fixture in the tony Hamptons area of New York’s Long Island, summering with then-wife Annette at their $44.8 million waterfront estate.
FORGIVE & FORGET?
IN A MOST DRAMATIC TURN, BACHELOR MATT JAMES ADMITS HE’S STILL SEEING RACHAEL KIRKCONNELL.
For one family, it was time to start living in their house, not just existing there.
7 Yoga Asanas to Practice with Arthritis
A general guideline for people who suffer from arthritis & practice yoga is to not force or push your way into positions. Move around gently to compress and release the areas involved in the movements and move slow enough so you notice how you feel and know when to move further and when to back away.