Whisper had Xrays, and we have navicular changes. Which in one way is like being told you have arthritis and osteoporosis. Not a death sentence, just a sign you are getting older and need to cut back.
The prognosis for a horse with Navicular Syndrome is guarded. Many times the horse does not return to its former level of competition. Others are retired. Eventually all horses with Navicular Syndrome will need to lessen the strenuousness of their work but, with proper management, a horse with Navicular Syndrome can remain useful for some time. – wikipedia
It also means we start regular, expensive, injections now. Thankfully he’s been shod in the correct way for this for years, which has probably allowed him to stay more comfortable for years. I knew when I bought him this was probably going to happen because of his conformation and breeding. We had nine years of nearly-perfect soundness, which is better than a lot of people get.
It’s really hard to admit your best buddy, who’s so big and strong, and perfect in all ways, is getting older and won’t be around forever. *sigh*
On a more positive note, equine Xrays are all digital and immediate nowadays. No waiting around, and they’re cheaper!