My little pony Ben who was 13 h.h. that I had from a young child suffered from arthritis in his old age, Ben had a knee injury he had before I had him and I loved him to bits.
When the arthritis started to effected him he was around fifteen years of age, this is when he started to have slight joint puffiness , now this might sound strange to you but if you have a pony with this condition putting them into complete retirement could be the worst thing you could do because joints need strengthening muscles to protect them but with your vets assistance with a regular exercise program tailored to your horse or ponies needs and age, you can increases his joint-fluid circulation and get his nutrients up while getting wastes out, this will help keep his cartilage as healthy as possible. Whilst keeping his appetite up, his digestion system working properly and his attitude of well being going nicely.
Specific nutrients added to your horse or ponies nighttime feed can have a significant impact on his joint health, consult with your vet for a list of these and get him or her to help you put together a diet plan with supplements like I did as this can really help a lot.
Never change your horses diet without consulting with your vet first as this can be damaging.
I worked Ben’s affected joint passively, all that this means is that I used a range-of-motion exercises to en-courage cartilage and soft-tissue healing in his inflamed joints that decreased his scar-tissue formation as this is what causes a loss of range of motion. I used a blend of aromatherapy oils and took the advice of a physiotherapist friend at the time on the best way to do this, so I was self trained but now you can get the information on the internet by using your search engine, but one of the main things to do is to gently massage, bend and straighten the affected joint or joints between 7 to 10 times.
This is the mixture I used watered down.
1) Black pepper: Commonly used for stimulating the circulation, muscular aches and pains.
2) Yarrow oil: Used to reduce joint inflammation.
3) Geranium oil: Used as a circulation tonic.
4) Juniper oil: Used as an anti-rheumatic.
5) Lavender oil: Brilliant even on its own for rheumatisms and for muscle’s pain.
6) Lemon oil: Is well known for its stimulating antiseptic powers as well as being very good for arthritis.
Do you love your pony enough to have it living in your house? I did and it was the most marvelous and rewarding experience.
I used to take Ben for walks every day just like you would a dog on a lead. Ben loved to go down to the beach in the summer and would go into the sea with me, or should I say alongside me to swim, this I believe also helped him a lot, plus of course he loved doing this, he was after all one of the family. He especially liked his aroma therapy bath when we got home. I have very found memories of the way he would lift his upper lip and laugh at me when I washed him down, and run around after me like a spring chicken in the garden. Ben’s last summer was such a happy one a real treasure in my minds eye.
Towards the end of Ben’s life, and he lived to 32 years of age, he needed warmth in the winter because of his arthritis, so for the last winter of his life Ben slept on a huge mattress in front of our oil fired central heating radiator in our kitchen, now he could go in and out as he please into the garden, as he could open the door himself, and believe it or not he could also close it when he came back into the house. He never did a dirty in the house, and yes my kitchen door was a half stable one with an easy latch for Ben to use.
I do hope that this article helps another horse lover out there to make the most out of the later years they have with their horse or pony as I did with Ben.