please help, lame horse

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please help, lame horse

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  • Older lame draft
  • Can a horse lame from pacing

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    09-02-2012, 08:45 PM
please help, lame horse

I love my barn, but regretfully I don't agree with some of the management. It's really complicated, because it's not a usual BO situation. That is, there is a BO, but he doesn't take careof the clients or horses, just receives the money and pays for the hay and grain. My trainer, who gives lessons on the side of her real job, is the one who cleans/feeds on the weekends and manages it in general. She does it because she enjoys it and... someone needs to do it, because the guys that clean and feed on the weekday aren't competent in that respect and have no interest anyways.

While she has experience, there's room for learning...she doesn't see that though. What I say is usually considered as the over worrying of an inexperienced horse person.

So now about the lame horse. Bailey is a draft mix (I think she has some arab in her) and while I don't know her exact age, she's around 7 to 10 years old. I'll post an old video of me riding her, (and new ones later showing her lameness), but it's been a while since she's been ridden. I don't think she has been ridden since my ex (and incompetent)-trainer left in the spring. She's clearly lame at the walk, but I have no clue how! As I said, no one has really ridden her in a while, so I'm confused as to how this has come along.

I'm pretty sure the problem is one of her hind legs. I don’t know if it’s her hock or if she tore one of her ligaments, but her feet sure don’t help! The farrier comes every 8 weeks (6 in the winter), but in my opinion it’s not often enough. All the horse’s feet are chipped and he isn’t coming until 1-2 weeks. I know draft feet are more flared than the ordinary horse, but hers just seem to be way too much and overgrown. I wouldn’t be surprised if her lameness was in part caused by her feet, though I don’t think it’s the only cause. I can’t say much now as I’d have to go the barn to evaluate her, but what I can say is she has a lot of trouble turning in tight circles (she was stepping on her front feet) and I think was dragging her hind leg. For her difficult mobility, I’d expect her to bob her head more, but it isn’t quite obvious.
I’m hoping I’ll be able to go out to see her tomorrow so I can evaluate her and take pictures/vids for you guys, but before then what do you suggest I look for exactly? I was going to go over her legs, feel the temperature, check for swelling (although I don’t think there is any, and if there is, it must be very faint), lifting/flexing lightly at each joint to see where it bothered her most, asking her to walk/back up, check what leg she puts least weight on.

I wish the vet could be called and an X ray done or something, but it probably won’t be done. The vet rarely get's called. I really want to try to figure out the problem with your help and make her better if I can. If after all the videos I post, you guys tell me there is absolutely nothing I can do to help her slowly and eventually recover, I’ll try to convince my trainer to somehow get the vet over (I don't know how, but when there's a will, there's a way right?), but for now I’d really appreciate your advice and help. (I'll get conformation shots too)

If this helps, when she used to be ridden, I remember my ex-trainer saying she had trouble at the canter because she didn't always know where to put her feet. She'd sometimes stumble/trip. It got better with training though.
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    09-02-2012, 08:57 PM
This is a video of me riding her in January of this year (if it can help to see the difference).

These are some pictures I took of her Saturday. I'm mad I didn't take videos/pictures of her lameness then. I just actually decided today that I had to try and take these matters into my own hands. It's not fair on her if nobody tries to heal her and is let to get better with time on her own.
By the way, she's been lame since the beginning/middle of summer I think.
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    09-02-2012, 09:19 PM
Is this your own horse? If it is, then you can have the vet out whenever you want to. I wouldn't go straight to x-rays though, I would just get an opinion.

As for her canter, she isn't very balanced through it. I noticed your canter circles were getting smaller and smaller. She is diving in through her shoulder, with her head tilted to the outside. This is a sure sign of being unbalanced. The horse leans too far into the circle with the shoulder and counter balances the movement by poking their head to the outside to stop them from falling over and such.

If not corrected, the circles will get smaller and smaller. You pull on the outside rein to widen the circle, but it doesn't work because the head is already leaning towards the outside, and she is leading with her shoulder. You need to do leg yeilds and shoulder-in exercises to get her standing up, flexing to the inside, and standing up off your inside leg to fix this problem.

Its hard to decide where the lameness is coming from without being there. You have no idea, you don't have a video, you're basically asking a blind audience why your horse is lame without giving us any hints.

It COULD soreness through the shoulder. She is leaning a lot of weight on that shoulder while circling, and she is half draft, so that's a lot of weight.

It could be an abscess in the hoof.

It could be soreness in the hock.

It could be the stifle.

It could be the canon bone.

It could be the fetlock.

It could be South East Asia.

Who knows? If its not your horse, theres little you can do to help her. Its the owner's responsibility to fix her. If she's your horse, you can call the vet yourself and schedule an appointment to see what the vet says.
    09-02-2012, 09:25 PM
She's moving laterally and pacing when both hind and front hit the ground at the same time. With the run walk the hind hits the ground before the front. Definitely not trotting.
    09-02-2012, 09:25 PM
She's not my horse, and hopefully as I said, I'll be able to get videos and pictures of her, as well as be able to evaluate her more clearly as to give better details. I know it's really hard to help, even if I do post videos and detailed descriptions, but it's the best I can do for a horse that isn't mine. You said it's the owner's responsibility to fix her, I completely agree! But he doesn't really fulfill his responsibilities. As I said before, he pays/orders the shavings, hay and grain.
    09-02-2012, 09:28 PM
Oh and he has an expensive horse that he shows in provincials... she get's more training/care than all the school horses put together. ><
    09-02-2012, 09:34 PM
She's moving laterally and pacing when both hind and front hit the ground at the same time. With the run walk the hind hits the ground before the front. Definitely not trotting.

Omgosh that's true, I never noticed!

So do you think she was unbalanced and curved at the canter because she was starting to become lame even back then in January? Or was that maybe due to lack of training and my inexperienced hands unable to properly correct her?
    09-03-2012, 03:16 PM
I'll be going to the barn tomorrow evening, so I'll post videos and pictures of her then.

If there is no swelling, does that mean it's probably not a ligament/tendon issue and something else, or is it still a possibility?

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