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Mare faking a sore foot

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  • Horse took few lame steps, then fine

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    01-01-2013, 06:03 PM
  #11
Trained
Sorry, I don't believe horses fake being lame. I have, however, seen plenty of horses limp around for 10-15 minutes and then be fine. I'm inclined to believe they twisted/pulled/jarred something minor and just "walked it off".
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    01-01-2013, 06:05 PM
  #12
Trained
Random question for you all - how many of these horses that are smart enough to fake a limp are Arabs or part-Arabs? I ask because my gelding is INCREDIBLY smart, he's not a horse at all he's a human in a horse's body right down to playing jokes on me because he is comfortable enough with me to be himself, yet being a total "normal" poneh for anyone else. I have never met a horse as clever as my lad. And yes, he fakes lameness on occasion! Right now he is genuinely a bit off after being kicked hard in the shoulder [he brought that on himself, no sympathy from me - he is still off work until he's a-ok but he's not getting any sympathy] but he will, every now and then, come out of the pasture 3-legged lame, invariably in a front leg, so I'll bring him up to the yards, tie him up, look him over to see if I can find anything, pop him in the round pen so I can watch him... and miraculously he comes good within the first two strides. If not then, it's back in the pasture where he bolts around like an idiot with no sign of lameness whatsoever.

He's just smart enough to have learned that limping means he doesn't have to work. And he's lazy enough that he'll try it on every now and then.
HeatherRae likes this.
     
    01-01-2013, 06:13 PM
  #13
Trained
I do not believe that horses ever fake lameness. I would have a vet look at him if he is still having issues or you can just assume that he stung his leg and walked it off.
     
    01-01-2013, 06:14 PM
  #14
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherRae    
she was looked over, and nothing was wrong. We were almost thinking that since she is a kids horse, when she would limp the kids would put her away, whereas when she started limping with us we didnt. Would you consider being put away/ turned out when she is limping a reward?

If she continues to take a few lame steps, and apologies if you have already done this, but I meant to get her properly looked at by a vet.... not just check her foot for something. She could have something wrong that you can't see and may need xrays/testing to figure out the cause.
     
    01-01-2013, 06:20 PM
  #15
Trained
^^ I agree, that's how my gelding was when he had a torn suspensory. He seems fine for the most part, but he took an occasional bad step.
     
    01-01-2013, 06:40 PM
  #16
Weanling
My arab mare has (she now belongs to a friend of mine) one hell of a weird personality though..VERY dog like..

That wench, in her younger days could slip through the tiniest of openings to get into hay ( I swear she can army crawl:/ )..I once found her in our hay shed ON TOP of a 3 ton stack of hay just munching away....I thought she was going to kill herself on the way back down the pile, but she didnt.. She also once got out of a saddle (dont ask me how), I left her in our garden saddled so she could graze a little while I went in to eat lunch.. came back out, she had somehow gotten out of the saddle.. the girth was still cinched..I have no idea.

I could go on with the stories about this mare.. SHE IS WEIRD..

That all being said, I tend to agree with the others that MOST horses can't figure out the limping game.. UNLESS maybe you have impeccable timing on rewarding such behavior..
     
    01-01-2013, 06:41 PM
  #17
Weanling
The mare I was talking about was seen by both a vet and a farrier and she was cleared. Nothing was wrong, but she learned if she was "lame" she didn't get worked by him. So yes, some horses will learn by reward (her case not working) to have a few "off" steps. That is my opinion and I know others will have there own.

I do agree that the OP mare does sound like it should be seen to make sure she is actually okay.
*EDIT* Reread the OP reply. For her it very well could have been a reward. But I do agree that it could be because of an injury, possibly an older one, that may just flare up every now and then.
     
    01-01-2013, 07:03 PM
  #18
Green Broke
Faking lameness used to be called "shamming."

Back when horses were used as transportation there were stories of horses that would sham lameness. I read a lot about this years ago and heard stories from people who came from that era. A horse would sham lameness and be put back in the barn and another brought out. Apparently this came from a bout of lameness and some figured it out.

I have my doubts and have never seen it, but that was what it was called when a horse "faked" being lame to get out of work.
Trinity3205 likes this.
     
    01-01-2013, 07:29 PM
  #19
Foal
The horse I originally posted this about has been seen by a vet and farrier periodically since this happened and has been cleared every time. We think the kids "rewarded" her by putting her back in the field as soon as she would take one wrong step, whether she was hurting or not. She now only does it when she does not want to be worked or rode anymore.
     
    01-01-2013, 07:39 PM
  #20
Foal
I know horses are not dogs, but I had a dog that did it. Every time my mother came back from a vacation the dog would limp around, looking for sympathy and hoping my mother would pay more attention to him.
     

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