Crossing front leg completely over the other??

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Crossing front leg completely over the other??

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  • Horse crossing front legs over
  • Horse standing with crossed front legs

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    10-20-2012, 11:12 PM
Crossing front leg completely over the other??

When I first started with my new OTTB a few weeks ago, I noticed he was doing something weird while he was standing at the tie rail. He took one of his front legs (believe it was the left) completely across the other front leg and stood there. I made him stop and he did this twice a few weeks ago. I had not seen it since, but today I had him tacked up and was hand walking him to the arena. I was fixing his girth (while he was standing still) and he did it again (same leg). This time I had to pull the left leg off the right one and had him stand normal again. After that, I was standing to his left side with my back facing his left shoulder, as I was fixing his reins or something. I didn't see what happened, but his left leg then struck my hand and left hip/side.

He only 3 yrs (off the track almost a month), but is NOT disrespectful at all, so him striking took me by surprise. His gaits appear fine and we even started working over a trot pole yesterday (though he has walked over a series of poles and over raised poles.... and was also lunged over fences prior to me getting him). When he crosses his legs, it is not just crossing them as in standing with both feet on the floor... he completely wraps his lower left leg across the front of his lower right leg (meaning he is only standing on three legs). He is sound and there are no visible leg issues (swelling, etc.). If not for the crossing, I would have no concerns about his legs.

Any ideas on what this could be caused by or anybody have any similar experiences?

I have been trying to search for similar descriptions online, and this is all I found.

Horse crossing front legs -possible suspensory lg problems - Horse and Hound Forums

Bilateral tenotomy - Horse and Hound Forums
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    10-20-2012, 11:17 PM
Oh, not sure if this has anything to do with anything, but he also overreaches/clips his front with his hind at the walk. I just bought him Professional's Choice Ballistic Overreach Bellboots, and the farrier is coming out this coming Friday (he still has his track shoes on).
    10-21-2012, 10:09 PM
Vet said he is probably just a horse with an oddball behavior.
    10-21-2012, 10:21 PM
I've seen horses completely cross over the back legs before, standing and at rest....but not the front....interesting.....
    10-21-2012, 10:50 PM
I have seen some very quirky saddlebreds do this! I am not sure what it is, but if you ever find out, I am interested to know. :0
    10-21-2012, 10:55 PM
I know one horse who does his constantly - even scratches his leg with the other leg by crossing the and usin the hoof. Just is an odd behavioral quirk for him - he's a fine hunt horse otherwise.
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    10-21-2012, 11:13 PM
I knew a colt who volunteered that behavior once when he was little. His owner thought it would make a fine trick so she taught him to do it on cue. Ever since then he would cross one front leg all the way over the other constantly; when he was tied, when he was bored, and when he was supposed to be standing square in showmanship! I wouldn't be able to get permission to post any pictures of him doing it, unfortunately.

So, that could be a possibility. I've never seen any other horses do that.
    10-22-2012, 06:55 PM
We have a mustang filly who does that at our place. She does it when she's itchy or trying to get rid of flies.
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    10-22-2012, 11:38 PM
It's also a stretch I've seen on 'yoga for horses' and apparently some horses like it so much they'll stay in that position not wanting to release the stretch (for shoulders and scapula).
    10-23-2012, 12:21 AM
I've seen a bunch of Standardbreds do that. Actually scratching one leg with the other. One if mine did it, too.
As for the overreaching, that's fairly common in TB's. A good stride in the walk means a good galopp. Have the farrier square the hind toes a bit. And he might grow out if it, being still a baby and not yet done growing.

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