Mare faking a sore foot - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 26 Old 01-01-2013, 06:46 PM
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They absolutely can fake it. And yes, putting them away and stopping work is reward. Most people feed them when they put them away too. Double bonus. It takes a very smart horse and just the right situation to learn this IMO. Something has to connect in their very simple brains that the lameness is connected to not working and most horses do not think like that.

I knew a mule once who would limp on every leg on the way away fro the barn to not have to work. There was nothing wrong with him. He tried it every time. If one foot didnt work, he'd try another. People had fallen for it so many times and put him away that he forever tried to fake a limp and not have to work. He was sound as a dollar on the way home and in his field. There is no question he was very smart and figured it out clearly from actually being lame at one time or another.

Again, its very very rare, but it absolutely happens. IMO, anytime a horse shows lameness, you believe it until you can prove otherwise and a vet backs you up like we did with that mule after we saw a clear pattern in his behavior. If you ride a horse that really has a real lameness, even intermittent, you could seriously damage it. Always assume the animal really IS lame until you can prove otherwise with vet backup.

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Last edited by Trinity3205; 01-01-2013 at 06:50 PM.
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post #22 of 26 Old 01-02-2013, 10:42 PM
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Maybe she had a rock or a pricker in her hoof that was hurting her
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post #23 of 26 Old 01-03-2013, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Trinity3205 View Post
Always assume the animal really IS lame until you can prove otherwise with vet backup.

We did clean her hooves under vet supervision and also had a farrier check her out after the vet was done. Nothing out of the ordinary and both cleared the mare.

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post #24 of 26 Old 01-03-2013, 08:44 AM
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It may be rein lameness. Regardless, horses don't fake lameness. There's a problem somewhere.
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post #25 of 26 Old 01-03-2013, 05:57 PM
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I will have to be the one to disagree.. I have seen a horse fake a limp in a front foot. She was well over healing from her abcess (yes, she did have a problem before), but in front of the guy who owned her she would limp. The second he turned away from her she would be just fine.

Your mare though sounds like she does have something else going on. I doubt that she is faking it.
I agree that the mare in question probably did or does have something else rather than faking going on BUT...

Many years ago a friend was looking for a tb, she needed a hunter. I was going to a sale and she said if I saw something good buy it for her (she was going to pay me back of course.)
A gorgeous tb came through the sale, a seven year old very dark bay. He moved beautiful when trotted out but oh my....he had an osselet! Pretty large in fact. I kept watching and he seemed sound sound sound.
I called my friend and told her about him and she said if I liked him buy him so I did.

The next morning, early, she was out to meet her new horse. She just drooled when she saw him. We saddled him up and she took him in our large ring. LAME, DEAD LAME! My heart just sank. I figured he'd been drugged with pain killer.

We turned him out and off he went bucking, whirling and having a high old time. Didn't see a misstep..not one.

Next day saddled up the seemingly sound gelding and lame again. Turned him out and WHOOPEE!

I called my friend and told her to come out and what I suspected. Told her we were going to ride this horse but I sure was going to be sick if there was really anything wrong with him.

We rode and he limped. We rode longer and he stopped limping on the leg with the osselet. He limped on the other leg. We rode and he stopped limping.

He never limped again and she had him for years and years. They hunted and they evented. He was a good one.

What I THINK happened is that he was smart enough to connect that when he was lame people didn't ride so.....
Only trouble is he almost smarted himself into a dog food can. At that time
Hills had canned horse meat for dogs and there were meat buyers at the sale that day.
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post #26 of 26 Old 01-03-2013, 11:50 PM
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I have to agree with those who say horses don't lie. When they tell you something's wrong its because it is! Agree with trinity tho that in (extremely) rare occasions they can be inadvertently trained to limp, but just not limping when turned for home is not evidence of that - they are stoic, instinctive animals + mind over matter/adrenaline plays a big part in their reactions - just think about poor racehorses found to have serious injuries despite getting through the race
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