horses legs swollen after riding - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 10-15-2013, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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horses legs swollen after riding

I have a 7 yr old ottb and every time I do any hard work with her I come back the next morning to find all four legs swollen. It especially happens after jumping but happens after especially hard flat work too. What do you think is causing this and how can I fix it? Thanks!
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post #2 of 13 Old 10-15-2013, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by thoroughbreddd View Post
I have a 7 yr old ottb and every time I do any hard work with her I come back the next morning to find all four legs swollen. It especially happens after jumping but happens after especially hard flat work too. What do you think is causing this and how can I fix it? Thanks!
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Do you warm her up properly?
Do you cool her down properly?
Do you use boots or bandages? Are they too tight?
Do you take the time to cool her legs off after work?
Does she have any previous injuries to her legs?
What are her hooves like? Is the heel balance even?
Is she stabled at night? Can she move around to help prevent her legs filling up?
Are her legs hot and swollen or are they just swollen?
Do you use stable bandages?

There are a number of things that could cause it and it depends on the cause as to what you can do to help prevent and manage it.
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post #3 of 13 Old 10-16-2013, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NaeNae87 View Post
Do you warm her up properly?
Do you cool her down properly?
Do you use boots or bandages? Are they too tight?
Do you take the time to cool her legs off after work?
Does she have any previous injuries to her legs?
What are her hooves like? Is the heel balance even?
Is she stabled at night? Can she move around to help prevent her legs filling up?
Are her legs hot and swollen or are they just swollen?
Do you use stable bandages?

There are a number of things that could cause it and it depends on the cause as to what you can do to help prevent and manage it.
Yes, I warm her up and cool her down properly.
I use open front jumping boots for jumping and polo wraps for flat work.
She had her legs pin fired so I'm assuming she does have some sort of past injury but I'm not sure what it is.
The farrier recently came out and did her feet. He said the heel was low but he fixed the angles.
She is stabled at night and has room to walk around in her stall but usually just stands.
Her legs are just swollen, not hot.
I don't use stable bandages because she likes to chew them off!

Thanks!
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post #4 of 13 Old 10-16-2013, 09:41 AM
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My gelding tends to stock up if kept in stall over night stocks up worse if he was riden that day. He gets MSM in his feed daily makes a big diffrence.

He also does better being outside instead of in a stall so he's out 24/7 now.
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post #5 of 13 Old 10-16-2013, 09:54 AM
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If she had pin firing treatment, they she may have had a bowed tendon at some point.

If she is clearly stocking up after every hard ride, then you need to take more steps to take care of her legs after a hard workout. How long do you cool her down and what do you do? Chances are, you need to make it longer because her legs aren't cooling enough before you go and stick her in her stall.

You should either cold hose or poultice her legs after a hard workout to remove the fluid and swelling.

What if you turn her out at night instead? The extra movement will help greatly to keep her from stocking up.

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post #6 of 13 Old 10-16-2013, 10:13 AM
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I would begin by being suspect of being stabled all night. A horse will naturally move around his environment to allow stimulation of the frogs to keep blood pumping through the legs. I had an old horse who would stock up when stalled and it completely went away when he was turned out instead.
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-16-2013, 10:22 AM
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agree with Boo Walker. This horse(ok, all horses, but we wont get into it) should be out side, moving around. That would likely completely solve her problem.

As far as pin firing, its used for any number of issues. I've seen it used on developing splints, buck shins, any number of things. Don't worry about the pin firing.
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post #8 of 13 Old 10-16-2013, 10:23 AM
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I'm with Beau- is there any way she can be turned out after rides rather than stalled? That along with some cold treatment, either hosing or ice wraps, may do the trick. If not, you're back to needing to wrap +/- poultice her legs after hard work, which may be a problem if she eats them...
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-16-2013, 10:24 AM
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For ALL of you who want an OTTB, THIS is why you NEED a Vet to check them out. They are run hard as teenagers and it takes a toll on their legs. Essentially your horse has permanent lameness. I have had two OTTB's. One had a back problem and good legs, and the other had swelling leg issues in front, just like you describe. She had been pinfired and you could see the quilt pattern on her front legs. I've heard many people say, oh, yeah, pinfiring can fix lameness. If you've had a horse with this your experiences contradict this THEORY.
My OTTB mare would be lame for two weeks if I jumped her. MY OTTB gelding's back was sore when my DH rode him hard, like at CW events, and I bought him FOR my DH. He was ok in lessons and when I rode him.
It's truly a shame, but the animal is suffering being ridden. I am truly sorry.

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post #10 of 13 Old 10-16-2013, 10:27 AM
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Yes, I'm another for not stabling as movement should help.
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