Navicular - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 41 Old 01-27-2014, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Navicular

I just recently was given a 10 year old Appaloosa mare with navicular in both front hooves. The man has owned her since a weanling and said if you get her up daily and lunge her for 5 minutes she is fine and barely will limp. I rode her yesterday on a almost 12-13 mile ride and she did great. Just at a walk/trot. She is very energetic and likes to go. I notice if you let her sit in the field for 2-3 days and get her up she is very stiff and moves slow. As soon as you lunge her and get her blood pumping she is fine for the rest of the day and can do whatever you like. She is currently barefoot but I have read in some instances corrective shoeing can help navicular horses. Any help would be appreciated by people who have dealt with this! :)
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post #2 of 41 Old 01-27-2014, 08:20 PM
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Corrective farrier work is definitely important but if she's doing that well barefoot, she may be better off without the shoes. Give Loosie a minute to find this thread...
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post #3 of 41 Old 01-27-2014, 09:14 PM
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Navicular really shouldn't be causing stiffness. Navicular is where the navicular bone has been put under stress and has degraded by either eroding or ossification. It really has nothing to do with "getting the blood" pumping. It can be easily managed and kept from getting worse by corrective trimming, not necessarily exercise. She may have navicular, but I've never really heard of a horse with it improving in soundness with exercise, and getting stiff or off when not exercising.

How was she diagnosed with navicular? Were radiographs taken? That is the only way navicular can be diagnosed. By the way she's standing in the second picture I would say she's got some pain going on, but it doesn't really look like heel pain?

She is very cute, btw. Congrats on getting her.
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post #4 of 41 Old 01-27-2014, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Navicular really shouldn't be causing stiffness. Navicular is where the navicular bone has been put under stress and has degraded by either eroding or ossification. It really has nothing to do with "getting the blood" pumping. It can be easily managed and kept from getting worse by corrective trimming, not necessarily exercise. She may have navicular, but I've never really heard of a horse with it improving in soundness with exercise, and getting stiff or off when not exercising.

How was she diagnosed with navicular? Were radiographs taken? That is the only way navicular can be diagnosed. By the way she's standing in the second picture I would say she's got some pain going on, but it doesn't really look like heel pain?

She is very cute, btw. Congrats on getting her.
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The man I got her from said she was vet checked for it 4 years ago and that's what they said. I'm not sure if it's stiffness or just walking slow from being sore, but when she is stretched out at a trot she does fine. We had a retired vet and retired farrier look at her and the way she stands and acts (the retired vet has a older mare with navicular) was signs of navicular. They watched her ride up and down steep hills and she is the slowest thing coming down, but going up hills she is a little speed demon. I'm not sure, but I'm going by what the previous owner told me about what the vet said.

Sit tall in the saddle, hold your head up high, keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky, & live like you aint afraid to die, & don't be scared, just enjoy your ride.
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post #5 of 41 Old 01-28-2014, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paintgirl96 View Post
I just recently was given a 10 year old Appaloosa mare with navicular in both front hooves. The man has owned her since a weanling and said if you get her up daily and lunge her for 5 minutes she is fine and barely will limp. I rode her yesterday on a almost 12-13 mile ride and she did great. Just at a walk/trot. She is very energetic and likes to go. I notice if you let her sit in the field for 2-3 days and get her up she is very stiff and moves slow. As soon as you lunge her and get her blood pumping she is fine for the rest of the day and can do whatever you like. She is currently barefoot but I have read in some instances corrective shoeing can help navicular horses. Any help would be appreciated by people who have dealt with this! :)
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Okay, see if I got this straight. A horse with "navicular" and "barely limps" is taken for a 12-13 mile ride and did great? You have to lunge her so she won't limp?

I would seriously get xrays. Then find a farrier who can help with chronic lameness.

In your last picture, is the horse stretching out her front feet? If so, that may be a laminitis or founder.
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post #6 of 41 Old 01-28-2014, 12:52 AM
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Could she have navicular? She definitely could. But it sounds like there might be something else going on. Possibly arthritis or like PFB, laminitis. Did you get a vet check done before purchasing her? If I were in your position and knew she had navicular according to the previous owner, I would definitely want some radiographs taken to see the extent of the damage at the least.
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post #7 of 41 Old 01-28-2014, 06:18 AM
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Quick note... Agree with others. IF it is 'navicular', want more info - ie 'syndrome' or 'disease'? Diagnosed with rads or...?? If it is, I wouldn't be riding her bare without at least a good, experienced rehab farrier's say so. I would however, choose boots & pads any day over shoes for a 'nav horse'. She has weak, sensitive heels, with maybe some internal damage, so you need to protect & support those heels to allow her to comfortably use them & build their strength. If they stay too sore to use, she'll stay on her toes & that will create/exacerbate internal foot damage - to the nav. Region as well as otherwise, & joints further up.
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post #8 of 41 Old 01-28-2014, 09:35 AM
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The old saying is don't look a gift horse in the mouth, but you know this is a fairly young mare. ( So that wouldn't apply)-LOL. Take it easy w/her I would absolutely not do any jumping, but as a trail horse you could have years of fun w/her. Boots might help-if you go the shoeing route, maybe just front shoes & possibly pads-but then very important to keep her on your farrier's schedule-don't stretch it out. Very pretty mare, but because of the foot problem, probably not a good idea to breed her.
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post #9 of 41 Old 01-29-2014, 09:33 PM
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Regular work by a competent farrier is a good thing. I tend to think that most horses with mild cases of navicular is kind of exaggerated, as they do well most of the time.

You have to be an expert to pinpoint lameness issues. So many bones, so many causes, etc. What some think is navicular could be totally a different thing....sometimes worse, sometimes better.
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post #10 of 41 Old 01-29-2014, 10:09 PM
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As for working the lameness out of a navicular horse, a vet will tell you to do a lot of "long and low" exercises with a navicular horse, they'll also tell you that blood flow in the hoof is important. They'll recommend things like magnetic boots and isoxuprine as well. A lot of people think the magnetic bell boots are crazy, but I see a noticeable difference when I use them. My horse will also work out of a navicular lameness. Occasionally he won't but if I start him off slow and give him time, he will work out of it. (my horse was diagnosed via x-rays and we are still working on the perfect treatment for him. As of now, his APPEARS to be syndrome and not degenerative but only time will really tell).

"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your prayin knees get lazy
And love like crazy"
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