I have patience. OK, I have patience for some things. I will stalk a squirrel for hours, I will watch the birds from the windowsill in the clinic until I have just the right moment to pounce, and I will patiently supervise Shannon from my perch on her desk. Know who isn’t patient? You humans! You want it fixed, and you want it fixed now! This week, let’s explore that impatience.

The latest and greatest (AKA OsPhos)

It seems every time a new drug, or therapy, or gadget comes out, you humans are sure it will fix whatever is going on with your horse. I’m not saying new is bad, but each one of these things has a problem it aims to fix. I’m going to pick on OsPhos, but you guys can use that big ol’ brain to extrapolate.

OsPhos came out, and suddenly every horse needs it. It will fix hock arthritis, bucking under saddle, not riding well, going too slow, going too fast, and being moody. OK, I might be exaggerating, but not by much. OsPhos, and its cousin Tildren, are great drugs for very specific things, but it changes the way bones remodel. There are some very real side effects to changing the way bone remodels. Horses, unlike cats, do actual athletic events. Turning a barrel, landing off a jump, and sitting for a piaffe all require a lot of strength. Use OsPhos incorrectly, and your horse can break a leg. It’s far better to have an actual diagnosis of a problem, good shoeing, proper fitness work, and a plan, than shooting bone altering drugs into your horse!

Mood altering substances

Horses have some crazy personality quirks. I hear training can help you understand and modify many of these quirks. Now, I’m not against a bit of pharmaceutical intervention, when the need arises. You aren’t going to get me on the crazy chestnut mare coming off of 2 weeks of stall rest! There are definite situations where drugs can help your horse manage some PTSD from their previous lives. However, if you find your horse can’t do their job for months at a time without a little help from their friends, maybe it’s time for an intervention.

Expensive stuff

Horses cost a lot of money. Stuff for horses costs a lot of money. Just because that stuff costs a lot of money, however, doesn’t mean it helps. I’m picking on all sorts of things here, but in particular stem cells, and other similar really expensive things to use on your horse when they hurt themselves. Much like OsPhos, there are very good reasons to inject these expensive things into your horse, but they aren’t a magic cure-all. In fact, most research has shown that a good rehab program is more important for tendon and ligament injuries than anything else! Good rehab programs require patience though, and you guys aren’t so good at that.

Moral of the story? Be patient! It’s what horses teach you humans best. Take a cue from a wise cat: go take a nap if things get too uptight.

Until next time…..

Tony

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