Mild lameness? When to get worried...?

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Mild lameness? When to get worried...?

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  • Mild lameness in front left
  • Persistent mild lameness in horse

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    05-13-2011, 08:44 PM
Super Moderator
Mild lameness? When to get worried...?

So Lacey was pretty darn "off" on gravel about a week and a half ago and I just figured it was because she had gotten her hooves trimmed the Friday before and her hooves had been a little long.
However, yesterday when I went for a ride over that gravel, Lacey was still very off on it. I would have figured that a week and a half would have made her more comfy but she seemed possibly even worse that the week before. She was stumbling less over every single rock, but she was stumbling harder over the ones that caused her to stumble and she was actually bobbing her head while briefly trotting (I thought I'd just check).
It's defintly her left front hoof/leg that's the major culprit. She's stumbling on her right front too but not nearly as bad as the left front.
She's totally fine in the pasture and pretty ok on asphalt (maybe a little short strided but no stumbling...). I've felt her feet for heat=no heat/pulse or anything that indicate a founder situation...

I gave her some bute this evening just to see if that helps since she seemed a little stiff today after our ride yesterday (we went on a trail that was mostly dirt/pine needles which she had no issue with, we just walked).

The one thing I can think of is that right before she got her hooves trimmed, we had gone for a ride where she was being a major jerk and we ended up cantering (it was one of those, "she's taking off with me and won't stop so she is going to run until she begs to stop" situations) over quite a stretch of gravel/asphalt stuff in such a way that her hooves ended up looking visibly worn in the toe area... The trimmer said she couldn't see any bruising the next day but maybe that wore down enough sole that it's causing this? I had figured that if that was the case, she should be much better by now...

When would you start getting worried? I don't want to just leave it and leave it until it's a bigger issue (if it's something more than just her soles being a bit too thin...) but I don't want to jump the gun, call the vet, be all freaked out, and have it be nothing, you know?

What do you, more experienced horse owners think? :)

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    05-13-2011, 08:49 PM
Was she sound consistently on gravel before the trim? Have you tried riding her on softer surfaces and noticing if she feels the same? If she is moving out comfortably on grass or in an arena I'd say the tenderness is related to the trim. Depending on how she was trimmed, a week and a half probably isn't enough growth to compensate for over-trimming.
    05-13-2011, 08:54 PM
Super Moderator
She was consistently sound on the gravel before... At least, for the last few months. When I first started riding her on the gravel back in September she was sometimes ouchy, but not to this extent, and she did get over it by December-ish...
But good point... In my thinking I guess I kinda forgot about how hooves are not like super fast growing fingernails. Haha And her hooves do grow very slowly (6 weeks out from a trim, the trimmer only has to rasp, no nippers at all, 8 weeks out her heels just need nipper-ing, toes are just rasped).
So I guess I'll give it a few more weeks since she is totally fine on grass/dirt, even hard dirt...
    05-13-2011, 08:56 PM
I also forgot to ask: was there any recent change in her feed? For example, with spring grass growing in many horses can become mildly laminitic (or worse) if they are not transitioned properly from hay to pasture...
    05-13-2011, 09:07 PM
Super Moderator
She's on and has been on pasture 24/7 this entire year so I guess you could say she transitioned herself. If she hadn't been, I would be worried about that too. She did recently get allowed in a slightly lusher pasture but it wasn't all that lush and I've only seen her down there eating that grass once (it's farther away from her buddies)... Other than that, there haven't been any changes...
I also checked her hooves for a pulse/heat (that would be signals of laminitis) and neither were present so I don't think it's that...

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