There are a variety of home remedies or treatments you can use for your senior horse companion if he is having a lot of pain and inflammation with his arthritis. And several of them can be done at the same time.
The thing to remember is that your horse is an individual and may not take too kindly to some treatments, and be just fine with others. Treat them accordingly and go with the flow.
If his joints are really swollen and painful and the Vet has suggested he be confined for a 24 hour or longer period, either use a box stall with lots of cushy hay or a small turn out pen with lots of soft grass underfoot. If your horse is herd sour and pitches a fit when out of sight of its buddy, put the buddy someplace close. The last thing you want is your sore horse to be fretting and pacing more trying to find his friend.
You can try using a flexible ice pack or even a bag of frozen peas tucked in a towel on the swollen joint for 5 minutes. Remove for 15 minutes, repeat 3 times in a row. If you can wrap the joint, then try a standing bandage to help reduce swelling and inflammation. You can also try Neo-Ice Equine bandages or an ice gel that provides deep penetrating action to help reduce edema and inflammation.
Since he’ll just get as stiff as all get out if left standing in a stall, take him out twice a day and hand walk him. Remove his bandage first then walk for about 15 minutes to get limber. When you take him back to his stall or pen, rewrap the bandage. Every day gradually increase his exercise. You will need to do this about four times a day as he progresses and then also reduce the length of time he is to be confined to about half the original period of time.
You’ll be doing controlled exercises like hand-walking, ponying at a walk or slow trot or riding at a walk or slow trot. These all depend on what condition your senior is in, so use your discretion. If the swelling comes back, you need to slow down.
If there is no swelling an hour after the exercise session(s) you should be able to turn your senior back out into this regular pasture and then slowly get back into an easy exercise program. If however there is swelling, you will need to call your Veterinarian to re-evaluate the situation.