I just got diagnosed with degenerative back disease, I've got a green off the track thoroughbred, and I'm 17 years old. I love my horse. He's got a load of potential to be a really special jumper. But, can I risk retraining him over upper level jumps? He used to school level 1, but he hasnt in about 3 years. Selling him is going to break my heart, but is it for the best for both of us? Imput is greatly appreciated.

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Does he HAVE to be a big jumper?
The horses really do not care how "high" they go in training, competition, or their owner's ambitions.
If your horse is a pleasant, cooperative, and considerate horsie I would keep him for my own use. If he isn't totally cooperative I've found with my MS that the horses appreciate their rider's KNOWING that something is wrong with their (the rider's) body and that the horses appreciate prompt apologies for accidental mistakes. Some horses LIKE being care-takers and will take care of their handicapped riders just like some horses will take care of beginning riders. One of the most spirited horses I've ever riden took care of me because I was honest with him about my handicaps, I made really sure not to hurt him, and I apologized, with feeling, everytime I messed up. That horse was NOT a beginner's horse, but he liked taking care of good riders.
Degenerative back disease, does this mean it will get worse? I find that riding at the walk helps me relax my back and keep my back muscles stronger. I don't know what is wrong with your back, but I get the feeling that you may want to avoid the sitting trot.
I know that I HAVE to take things a lot slower, it takes me 3-10 times as long to accomplish anything on horseback as it does non-hanicapped riders. Give yourself time. "Normal" people do not have your problems, so do not compare yourself with their accomplishments.
If it's the cortizone shots, I received my first set about two weeks ago ^^ subtle difference, but they were helpful in the long run.
Thank you! I'll look into that. I really appreciate the tip! Anything to help, I'll give a try! Except surgery. I'd rather not go down that road unless I have too.


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