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Locking Stifle?

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  • Could pacing my Tennessee Walking horse cause her to get arthritus when shes older
  • Lockingstifle arthritis

 
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    05-23-2010, 12:16 AM
  #21
Green Broke
Well, Jynx went from doing almost exactly this (only difference is that Jynx only had one leg, not both):


To this, 24 hours later:


I don't even understand how that's possible, but I'm not arguing with her!

PS - And as per the end of my video from today, she gives a fantastic confo shot when she stops totally square. She doesn't have anywhere NEAR "perfect" back legs, but she doesn't exhibit the extreme post leggedness I would associate with weak stifles. Am I wrong?


     
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    05-23-2010, 12:17 PM
  #22
Showing
Wow, I feel sorry for that horse in the first vid. It looks like he has stringhalt in addition to locking stifles :,,(.

I absolutely love Jynxy. She is such a doll and looks like an absolute dream to ride . Your right. She isn't nearly as posty as a lot I have seen. Unless something else comes of it, I am going to say it was hopefully just a fluke thing caused by some action she did like spinning away from Zierra.
     
    05-23-2010, 04:09 PM
  #23
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs    
Wow, I feel sorry for that horse in the first vid. It looks like he has stringhalt in addition to locking stifles :,,(.
Unlikely, horses with locking stifles will often move in a way similar to string-halt when coming "out of it". Don't worry double, it's most likely just the one condition. =]

She does look fantastic though, and definitely not very post-legged. I would just work on strengthening her hind end [hills, poles, cavalettis] and hopefully this will never happen again. =D ::happy dance:: I wouldn't know what to do with myself if you sold Jynx, she's one of my favorite horses on the forum!
     
    05-23-2010, 04:19 PM
  #24
Showing
Well, if she ever decides to, she may just have to ship her down here to TX.
     
    05-23-2010, 08:54 PM
  #25
Green Broke
She's a dollface. She was fine again today, we did the 5km trail again, this time with a good 2km of working trot with about 1/2 km of cantering. She LOVED the cantering - for a lazy horse, she's just loving getting out on the trails and moving out at a nice pace. It's definitely been very enjoyable riding a horse that WAITS for her cue instead of my Arab where you just let the reins out by notches to control her pace.

She also had her second bath today, and that was interesting. Five times in the last weeks she's hit the end of her leadrope and fought like HECK. We never had a sturdy post to tie her to, so I've always been cautious about tying her, but now we have solid posts and solid eye hooks in the arena, so I'm letting her fend for herself. I'm surprised she keeps trying - three times during her bath she blew up and hit the end of her rope so hard she was grunting and blowing and darn near sitting down in her effort.

But that also makes 5 times she's failed miserably fighting as hard as she can to get loose, so I figure she'll smarten up eventually. I think I scared some city folk - they were asking me questions when she blew during her bath (got the hosed wrapped around her back legs) and she pulls this Mustang size fit and they gasp and jump back and I hollered "GET UP YOU STUPID IDIOT" and she JUMPED forward and I continued on with my conversation. They were staring at me like "IS SHE OK?!" She gets a touch of the crazies every now and then!

I am LOVING having real equipment to work with. You don't realize how badly your training program is lacking until you have a chance to use proper equipment!

Heh heh anyway, sorry for the novel, I should update on her in the training forum, she's going fabulous and right now our goal is getting her ready for The Big Ride, which is basically an all day ride put on by the park in September. I don't think it's that LONG, probably only about 20-30 miles, but we're out ALL day because the city folk rent ranch horses and stop for "drinking" breaks every hour, LOL.
     
    05-23-2010, 09:14 PM
  #26
Trained
*Puts hand up* Yep I've dealt quite a bit with stifle lock.

It is common on young horses, and often they will just grow out of it. Also in horses that lack muscle around the hindquarters, and also lack of weight around the hind quarters.

The worst case of stifle lock I've dealt with was similar to what's happening with your horse. Mine was a 3 yr old ottb mare. She'd just been let down so was in pretty average condition, very little muscling and very ribby. She was terribly foot sore so she was left in a deep sand yard for a week to let her recover. Well the lack of movement triggered stifle lock and she had it terribly. As with yours, walking her back didn't help much at all, and often she physically could not walk backwards anyway.

Got the vet out, and he recommended firstly pumping food into her. I'd been slowly feeding her up, but he said to give her a shot of vit. B12 and just stuff it into her to get weight on her quickly. Then to paddock her 24/7. Our paddocks are very slopey and he said fantastic, the slopier the better to strengthen her hindquarters and keep her moving.

Once she'd been pumped full of food and paddocked after a few more days in the yard, vet said to start working her in hand up and down a hill. So just walking her, twice a day in hand, up and down a big hill for 30 minutes a go.
This built up her hind end immensely and I was soon able to ride her through this hill work. Trotting and cantering is useless in this instance, the work has to be at walk.

I think she locked up maybe one more time after that a few months later, when she had run through a post and rail fence and smashed herself up pretty bad, so I HAD to yard for for some time and the lack of movement locked her up again.
To aleviate the locking if you can't back her up, you can press upwards with your whole hand, over the patella joint to push the ligaments back in place.

Essentially a locking stifle is caused by the ligaments running over the patella, displacing and this the joint cannot move. Over time, if not addressed it *can* cause arthritis, but being a young horse, I wouldn't panic too much.

DON'T DO SURGERY! The operation involves cutting the ligaments over the joint, so they can't lock anymore. This really is only a desperate last measure, as the horse will only remain sound for a couple of years after if you're lucky, so better for older horses who are going to be retired in the next couple of years anyway. The cutting of ligaments causes the formation of bone chips in the joint, and this causes arthritis in the joint. Most vets will try to steer you away from surgery.
I think there is also another surgery option, but it is a specialised operation and like the above option, not hugely successful in many cases.

So work work and more work for her. Build up that muscle and weight on her hind end, keep her moving. Don't yard/stable her, or do so as little as possible, and if possible, work her on hills.

Lunging is probably not the best idea, the tight circles can put too much strain on the joint and cause it to lock again. My mare would lock on the lunge if the circle was under 20m, fine on a bigger circle, but once we started collection with her she struggled to put an increased load on her hind legs. I'm not sure if it was because she anticipated that her stifle would lock and she'd fall over, or because it was painful for her. Either way, I decided that it was best to give up the dressage with her and sell her on as a pleasure mount.
     

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