Bowed tendons - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-18-2013, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Missouri
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Bowed tendons

I saw a very nice gelding advertised that had left his H/J career due to a bowed tendon, but had recovered and was cleared by the vet for dressage and trail riding, just no jumping. I'm not really in the market for another horse, and if I did look at him, I'd have a vet examine him very closely. Mostly I'm curious about horses like this.

My question is more about bowed tendons in general. How career ending are they typically? Do horses sometimes recover 100%? Do they tend to degrade over time? I'm sure it's an individual thing, but having no experience with bowed tendons, I wonder if a horse flexes sound and is sound w/t/c after a bowed tendon has healed, is it likely, or even possible, that they'll stay sound?

Tug on anything at all and you'll find it connected to everything else in the universe.~John Muir
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-18-2013, 02:33 PM
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I had a TB with bowed and pinfired tendon. He had been a lower level jumper after his flat and hurdles career, before I got him. The firing had been done on the track. He had one flare- up when I first put him back into work, 6 weeks of strict stallrest and starting really slow took care of it. I never jumped him again, tho.
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-19-2013, 12:53 AM
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I am sure every horse is different but I had two TB with bowed tendons which ended their racing careers.

After the track they weren't ridden until I got them (4 years rest total).

Neither one ever took a lame step and we rode hard! Vet cleared them for any thing jumping etc, and I sold one of them to a show jumper and he has been sound for her (as far as I know) since!
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-19-2013, 04:55 AM
Join Date: Sep 2013
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i have a horse with a bowed tendon from racing thats fine at the wtc in fact i have been riding him for the past 2 years and he has yet to go lame i just avoid
galloping to much so i dont push him although he is in pretty good shape i just avoid it anyway i guess it all depends on how severe the tendonitis is
try leasing the horse prior or something
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-19-2013, 08:48 AM
Green Broke
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I've had horses that had previous bows & have had no problems. The main thing is re-conditioning slowly & not pushing the horse too hard. After a long (sweaty) ride, I do like to hose off the legs w/cold water, though. And keep a close eye out for any lameness. A brace or linement is helpful to keep on hand, too.
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-19-2013, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Alberta
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I haven't dealt with a bow myself, but I know several eventers with old bows that are competing training level and higher, and haven't had any problems since. It does depend on the nature of the bow and the individual horse though.

A girl, a horse, and a helmet cam!! Eventing It Up In The Great White North!!
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-19-2013, 11:03 AM
Green Broke
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I rode a horse with both fronts bowed severely, and she was sound for long hard trail miles. My cousin owned a stallion who severely bowed his tendon as a yearling and went on to be a good hunting and mountain horse.

I think you just have to be extra careful not to re injure that leg.
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-19-2013, 11:12 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2010
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The Arab gelding I used to barrel race and do endurance on had an old bowed tendon but he never showed any pain even after 6 hour rides in the mountains mainly trotting. He did eventually start showing problems in his hocks but never the bowed leg.

just a small town girl with a big town dream :]
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-19-2013, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Missouri
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My goodness, I may have to have a look at that gelding after all. Definitely going to have a vet check before anything would be final. Anyone that wants to have a look, there's a video of him if you search "Detail in Blk N White". It's just too tempting if there's a good chance he'd be reasonably sound.

Tug on anything at all and you'll find it connected to everything else in the universe.~John Muir
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-19-2013, 12:58 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ontario
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Yup, my mare was severely bowed and pin-fired on both front legs on the racetrack. She had a really bad history due to a really bad team. The trainer and driver and owner - all of them. She was actually pulled from races due to lameness. Who would ever put their lame horse in a race?
My vet said she'd never be sound and I was nuts to take her in. I only wanted a companion so I was OK with that. Here it is, 6 years later and she is strong and sound. The first year I took very easy with her. The first 3 months were all about recovery and the remainder of the year was mostly w/t. I checked her legs before and after every ride, no matter how short. Any even miniscule sign of heat meant instant treatment and I moved back my training by a week. I was impressed I could even ride her.

Now, I do long trail rides, W/T/C/G. Little jumps on the trail. I don't do any circles with her though and I don't lunge her. Last year we did an endurance ride and we're supposed to do one this weekend to. Next year, maybe 100 km. :)
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