....." a trainer at my barn rode Jesse for his first rider that has been on him in over 2+ years, and said he did so well , that he could be a lesson horse of hers.. ( I want Jesse to have a job a few days a week) She did notice he was off just a bit and the vet is coming on Monday to do a lameness test. ".....
>>> Hi LJ, I cannot answer your 'when to test question' but I wanted to chime in about Jesse's potential use as a lesson horse. It may not be my business at all, but I just want to caution you to be realistic in considering Jesse's "job". While, yes, TBs generally do like to work, any older horse that has had two years off has lost considerable conditioning. It is not so easy to gauge his soundness by a single ride (or even a few) -- he has likely lost so much muscle strength that its nearly impossible to determine what is exacerbating the "offness" in an already known arthritic horse (am I mis-remembering?) I've done some rehab work and it would likely take months of walking, then walking with a little trot, then more months before adding canter, etc. Months to possibly a year to get an older horse fit & strong enough to perform at what a typical "lesson horse" program would entail (hopefully not more than one ride per day). If, however, the "lessons" were just walking lessons for beginning riders, then that's another story. If sound, yes, Jesse and every older PPID/IR horse should get daily exercise...but please do ask the trainer what exactly her expectations of Jesse's role in her lesson program would be. The life of a lesson horse is not always an easy one. Some trainers are fine with their lesson horses living on bute, previcox, etc, to render them serviceably sound.
I do beg your pardon if I'm butting into your business,
Kerry in NY