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This is a discussion on Limping within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    08-29-2009, 11:56 AM

My neighbor and I went for a long ride yesterday and her horse was limping. She said that she only limps when she has a saddle on her. She has had her seen by the vet and xrayed and everything came back normal. She seems to think the horse is "faking", but I don't think horses are capable of manipulation like that. (maybe I am wrong) I think something is causing her to limp. By the end of the ride it was very noticeable and seemed worse. Any ideas? She had her shod about 2 months ago for the first time (she had great hard feet but seemed to think she needed shoes) but she was doing this before the shoes.
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    09-03-2009, 05:25 AM
Have you tried a different saddle? It may not fit properly and may need a fitting..
    09-03-2009, 09:01 AM
HOWEVER ... many years ago, a friend of mine had an appy that started to limp as he was going down his driveway on the way to the trails. He turned the horse around and took a different one. There didn't seem to be anything wrong while the horse was in the pasture. This happened 2 more times but on the 4th ride, he gave the appy some leg and kept him going. The limping stopped and never returned. I think they can think in those terms, at least some can.

The fact that it got worse at the end of the ride would indicate a problem not a manipulation. It's possible that the horse has a physical problem such as an abscess, a stone bruise, or simply turned his ankle in the pasture. Check for heat/swelling in his legs or shoulder. I could also be a tack problem and Ninja suggested.
    09-03-2009, 11:42 AM
Horses can definitely fake it. There is a pony at my barn that would continuously come up lame at horse shows. She would be fine until they got to the grounds and then boom! Lame. Each time nothing came up to suggest why she would be lame and the vet finally said, "I think this pony has your number. She knows that if she is "lame", that she won't have to show." Evil little pony. I think they are way smarter than people give them credit for.
    09-04-2009, 09:56 AM
LOL @evil little pony... Now I remember she did have a stone bruise and tender area on her foot when she was shod. I think she hasn't given it enough time to heal. The vet said there was no abcess, there is no heat swelling or anything other than the limping while riding. My friend is a bigger girl but not anything more than the mare could handle. Maybe next time we ride we can try a different saddle too...other than that I think that her foot is just bruised and hasn't been given time to heal.
    09-04-2009, 10:21 AM
Yes we had a horse who had allergies and if he need an alllergie shot and was coughing alot we wouldnt ride him but then we relized he'd start coughing when we were tacking up even after he had his shot but would stop coughing once we started working him.

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