This week on, our poll question asks readers what senior horse health condition they're most concerned about: PPID (or equine Cushing's disease), arthritic joints, weight loss, dental problems, or other issues. I considered this question for a long time before choosing my answer because, in reality, all of those health conditions are on my radar for different reasons.

For instance, Brandy, our 24-year-old Miniature Horse, is affected by PPID. Before our veterinarian diagnosed the disease, she went through multiple bouts of laminitis (some were pretty nasty) and periods of generalized ill-thrift, although she never lost her spark or the ability to scream at whoever exited the house at a given time, reminding them that she'd like some more food, please. Although Brandy's PPID is well managed now, the disease certainly remains a concern for me.

Although weight loss hasn't been a concern for every senior horse I've managed, some of my elder equines have had an extremely hard time maintaining their body condition. And in my experience, dental problems often seem to accompany weight loss issues in senior horses. Both of these conditions concern me as my family's horses continue to age. The farm I used to work at housed several seniors that, despite regular dental care and specialized diets, always seemed to be just a few pounds lighter than I'd wanted them. Keeping my aging horses' in good dental health and ensuring they maintain a healthy body weight is, of course, a continued concern.

It almost makes me a little jittery to think of all the 'other' ailments that could harm my senior horses...there's just so many other things to worry about. From respiratory problems and eye issues to colic and other musculoskeletal changes, the entire 'other' category is concerning to me.

But I ended up choosing arthritic joints as my current most concerning senior horse health problem. Although Dorado turned 17 this year and recovered from an injury last year, he's showing no signs of slowing down (or the desire to slow down, for that matter). He's jumping beautifully and his flat work—always a challenge for him—is improving. But I'm always concerned that his joints—which have been through five rigorous years of racing and four years of eventing—will ultimately be the reason he has to retire from either jumping or, eventually, riding.

What senior horse health conditions are you most concerned about and why? I'd love to hear your thoughts. And if you haven't done so already, please check out the archived poll to see what other readers chose as their most concerning senior horse health problems.