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Help! Horse Mildly Lame but Cant Figure Out Why!

This is a discussion on Help! Horse Mildly Lame but Cant Figure Out Why! within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        08-23-2014, 09:56 PM
      #11
    Trained
    OK, haven't read replies yet, thought I'd just comment on what I feel from your words...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Starcailer    
    Background is, he is 19 years old, an OTTB, we only do dressage (Training/First level). He is ridden probably 4 days a week solid, sometimes more, sometimes less.
    Perhaps you're only doing 'easy', low level stuff with him, but dressage can be incredibly hard on a horse, esp if they're not very fit & sound to begin with. A 19yo OT horse, I'd be inclined to think it might be too much for. Not sure what you mean by '4 days solid' - do you ride for many hours a day or some such? How does he live the rest of the time?

    'Head bobbing' does tend to indicate significant discomfort, even if they're not obviously 'very' lame to us. Horses are incredibly stoic creatures generally. I'd think of head bobbing as more than 1/10 lame. It is often also an indication of a hind foot/leg/hip problem too - eg. Bobbing on the left fore is often because of right hind probs.

    You say he's got 'typical TB feet'. Without pictures, can only guess, but I'm imagining he's got 'splatted' flat, thin soles, flared walls & underrun heels. This is something that will be very unhelpful(whether it's actually a cause or not of this thing), and getting his feet healthy & able to function better, including providing support as necessary, is something I'd be treating as a priority.

    I also wonder, if he's lame & out of action, why are you keeping him shod? I suspect you were thinking it would be a short term prob & you'd be riding again? I wonder, why does he need shoes at all, if you only ride him in an arena? Esp why you need to put easyboots on his 2 unshod feet, when he's not being worked? Are his feet that terrible? That it sounds like he's lost 3 shoes in as many weeks - is losing shoes common for him? - sounds like there is a real problem there, be it just with the farriery or otherwise. I'd be inclined to keep shoes off him for a while, until he can develop some strength to his weak feet. Why have 'his feet gotten bad'? Is this recent, that they've got a lot worse? Pics??(see link below)

    So... he's got terrible feet, has ripped shoes off repeatedly, is 19yo & had a lifetime of jumping & racing, now dressage. Is lame on left hand turns... Of course it could be a number of different things, but I'd start with rads &/or MRI of his feet, and get him well checked out by a vet chiro or such, and get a good farrier. As mentioned, I'd be inclined to keep him bare & boot him when necessary for protection/support, but if he's going to remain shod, he needs to be well shod with attention to balance, and adequate support under his feet - not just a rim shoe.
    Yogiwick likes this.
         
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        08-24-2014, 12:24 AM
      #12
    Green Broke
    Not a great vid, but he looks thin. I also suspect RH though the video doesn't show it well.

    Better pics better video and some feet pictures.

    It does sound like he may just be sore.
         
        08-24-2014, 05:44 PM
      #13
    Foal
    By four days solid I mean I usually am out there riding 4 days a week, 30-45 min a day. That is the average, sometimes I only make it out 3 days a week and sometimes I can ride 5. Either way, he always gets 2 days off anyway.

    He is really healthy, very sound, has schooled through 2nd and 3rd levels, but I have no intention of doing anything past 1st. He has never shown any problems with the degree of riding we do. He is extremely fit and sound for a horse of his age, and this is the first problem with lameness I have had with him ever.

    He lives in a paddock/run that has a loafing shed. He has a lot of room to run around, eats alone etc. It is dirt though. He gets some time to graze when I come and turn him out in the back as well as grain/supplements 1x a day and fed hay 3x a day.

    He doesnt go very well without shoes, even in the arena. Even previous owners have told me this and I tried without shoes for a bit when I first got him and he just was ouchy due to bruising.

    And he has only been out of work for the 3 weeks he has been "lame" -- I was hoping to be riding again as I worked hard on getting him conditioned this summer and want to keep it through fall and winter.

    As for weight, because he doesnt distribute it to his ribs; he might look skinny, but he is not. He looks really great now, compared to the spring where we were struggling with some weight issues.

    RH has seemed to give out a few times during warmup. He seems to lose it when going to the left, then regains it. After warmup he is fine which coincides with the fact he does have arthritis. (He also gets adequan + an oral supplement)

    Yesterday I went out and let him run around in the outdoor, he rolled and got up and ran and bucked and was sound, as not to risk it, I put him away anyway.

    Today I turned him out again, and again he was sound. I tacked him up and rode walk/trot for 20 min, then took a 10 min trail walk on the track at the back of the property. He was rather stiff going to the left at first, but certainly sound. He got less stiff as time went on. No headbobbing.

    Friends vet/chiro is coming out this week still.
    loosie and Chasin Ponies like this.
         
        08-24-2014, 05:55 PM
      #14
    Foal


    Also a photo of him waiting for me to get his bridle... He poops before and after riding without fail and he hopes everything is a cookie.
         
        08-24-2014, 05:56 PM
      #15
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Starcailer    
    By four days solid I mean I usually am out there riding 4 days a week, 30-45 min a day. That is the average, sometimes I only make it out 3 days a week and sometimes I can ride 5. Either way, he always gets 2 days off anyway.

    He is really healthy, very sound, has schooled through 2nd and 3rd levels, but I have no intention of doing anything past 1st. He has never shown any problems with the degree of riding we do. He is extremely fit and sound for a horse of his age, and this is the first problem with lameness I have had with him ever.

    He lives in a paddock/run that has a loafing shed. He has a lot of room to run around, eats alone etc. It is dirt though. He gets some time to graze when I come and turn him out in the back as well as grain/supplements 1x a day and fed hay 3x a day.

    He doesnt go very well without shoes, even in the arena. Even previous owners have told me this and I tried without shoes for a bit when I first got him and he just was ouchy due to bruising.

    And he has only been out of work for the 3 weeks he has been "lame" -- I was hoping to be riding again as I worked hard on getting him conditioned this summer and want to keep it through fall and winter.

    As for weight, because he doesnt distribute it to his ribs; he might look skinny, but he is not. He looks really great now, compared to the spring where we were struggling with some weight issues.

    RH has seemed to give out a few times during warmup. He seems to lose it when going to the left, then regains it. After warmup he is fine which coincides with the fact he does have arthritis. (He also gets adequan + an oral supplement)

    Yesterday I went out and let him run around in the outdoor, he rolled and got up and ran and bucked and was sound, as not to risk it, I put him away anyway.

    Today I turned him out again, and again he was sound. I tacked him up and rode walk/trot for 20 min, then took a 10 min trail walk on the track at the back of the property. He was rather stiff going to the left at first, but certainly sound. He got less stiff as time went on. No headbobbing.

    Friends vet/chiro is coming out this week still.
    My weight comment was based on the horses overall condition not his rib covering. Again lousy video for looking at weight but he stood out to me as pretty thin.

    Even if he was good condition I would recommend graining 2+x/day.

    Glad you have people coming out. Let us know how it goes!
         
        08-26-2014, 01:22 PM
      #16
    Foal
    He was sound yesterday after work too (however we are due for rain all day and such) I just managed to lunge him for 15-20 min yesterday before the storm. He was even better then he was sunday, less stiff.

    Chiro coming out Thursday anyway.
         
        08-29-2014, 01:47 PM
      #17
    Foal
    Chiro had to cancel, and reschedule for next week, but he is still going sound. Rode Wednesday and let him run around Thursday, have a lesson today (just doing a half lesson)
         
        08-29-2014, 03:09 PM
      #18
    Yearling
    The shoe coming off tells the whole story. He probably stood on a nail.

    What you are describing is a classical abscess.

    Ask your farrier to call in, remove the shoe and hunt for the abscess. Then poultice for several days until your horse is again sound.

    Lameness on the inside of a circle tells us the horse is lame in the foot as there is more weight placed on the inside of a circle. So if sore the horse will go more lame.

    If lameness increases on the outside then the injury is higher up as it hurts the horse to stretch the shoulder forwards.
    loosie likes this.
         
        08-29-2014, 05:25 PM
      #19
    Foal
    I may be the only barefoot advocate on this forum, but I recommend pulling the shoes and then x-raying. Numbing the hooves by driving nails into them and inhibiting bloodflow will never help. I have seen countless horses returned to soundness after going barefoot, even with the same issues your horse is having. Pulling the shoes and finding an experienced barefoot trimmer is the first start. There are many farriers who trim for barefoot but also you use shoes. This is not true barefoot. AAHNCP has a national list of trimmers so does ECIR.org. Then trimming every 4 weeks. Changing the diet is the next step, and then using support boots while transitioning. Also giving your horse freedom of movement while not working is crucial, I.e. Don't stall with limited turnout. Horses were not meant to live in cages. 24 hour turnout, if your barn has a pasture set up will work the best. Barefoot works for all disciplines - dressage, eventing, jumping, reining - anything. This is not a quick fix and takes time but well worth it. Alexander the Great's army's horses wore no shoes, and the animals traveled for great distances over rugged terrain. He was able to conquer and build an empire on the backs of horses who had the advantage of using their natural hooves.

    All the best for your horse!
         
        08-29-2014, 06:17 PM
      #20
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by holly77    
    I may be the only barefoot advocate on this forum, but I recommend pulling the shoes and then x-raying. Numbing the hooves by driving nails into them and inhibiting bloodflow will never help. I have seen countless horses returned to soundness after going barefoot, even with the same issues your horse is having. Pulling the shoes and finding an experienced barefoot trimmer is the first start. There are many farriers who trim for barefoot but also you use shoes. This is not true barefoot. AAHNCP has a national list of trimmers so does ECIR.org. Then trimming every 4 weeks. Changing the diet is the next step, and then using support boots while transitioning. Also giving your horse freedom of movement while not working is crucial, I.e. Don't stall with limited turnout. Horses were not meant to live in cages. 24 hour turnout, if your barn has a pasture set up will work the best. Barefoot works for all disciplines - dressage, eventing, jumping, reining - anything. This is not a quick fix and takes time but well worth it. Alexander the Great's army's horses wore no shoes, and the animals traveled for great distances over rugged terrain. He was able to conquer and build an empire on the backs of horses who had the advantage of using their natural hooves.

    All the best for your horse!
    Holly77 - Farriers can be perfectly good barefoot trimmers - whether they use shoes for some or not does not mean they are not true barefoot. My mare is barefoot and has been for 10 years - my farrier is a qualified UK Master Farrier. The first thing they learn is how to trim!

    The horse pulled a shoe! The horse most likely stood on the shoe, with a nail puncturing the sole. There the drama of barefoot is not necessary.


    OP
    "Monday he is still lame, Tuesday I finally do not go out there. Wednesday I go out there and lunge him. (mind you its been dry for 4 days finally) and he was sound! W/T/C on lunge line both directions. I opt to put him away after that and see if I could ride on Thursday.

    Go out yesterday and he was back to being lame. Arena was sloppy messy, paddocks muddy due to it pouring rain on Wednesday night. " - This is classic abscess behaviour - eases when the weather is drier and the hoof capsule becomes hard and then lame when the rain starts and the hoof capsule becomes soft.

    Farrier, open abscess - wet poultice until sound, dry poultice for a few more days while you organise the farrier to put on the shoe along with a leather pad. Stuff hole with cotton wool and Stockholm Tar and then fill the gap between the pad and sole with a layer of cotton wool and stockholm tar
    loosie likes this.
         

    Tags
    acute lameness, head bobbing, lameness, left front, soft tissue

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