Rescue Horse Tripping/Balance Issues- Going to vet next week and would love advice! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 05-19-2012, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Rescue Horse Tripping/Balance Issues- Going to vet next week and would love advice!

So last year I took in a rescued paint gelding. He had been abandoned and we dont have a health history. He is HUGE, big boned, and just a sweetie, absolutely love him. When I got him last year, the vets put him at 6 years old, so he is still young. I adore him and desperately want to get him fixed up, he keeps having these weird lameness issues, but we just click and I would love to start using him.
Obviously since he was abandoned, he had terrible feet, they were like dinner plates and the soles had grown down, flat like pancake feet. Obviously we have him on a trimming schedule and vet schedule.
My problem is this: You know when you take a barefoot horse over rocks and they act "ouchy"? Well, he literally can barely walk over rocks, like he refuses. And over arena footing, he still acts ouchy and trips a lot.
This does not go away when he has shoes on, even gel pads and believe me I've tried tons of shoes...built up shoes to give him heel support, those HeartBar shoes, different pads, just like a dozen different corrective shoes. Nothing makes him stop tripping.
Last year, i had a vet out who freaked out and thought it was EPM and treated him for that with this powder stuff. This made him much worse and did not help the issue at all. I let him sit all winter to flush it out of his system and want to try helping him again and i am taking him to a lameness specialist next week to try to get it sorted out, xrays of his hoof angles or something.
But my big question is this: Even on soft grass, or arena footing that he likes (soft dirt, no sand) he will be moving fine and then he trips like hes randomly ouchy. But when he trips, its like he cant catch himself and he has rolled over the top of me a couple times, and gone to his knees and stuff. Doesnt happen all the time, but it does happen. Uneven ground at a walk, on trails, makes this happen too. Its just like he doesnt care if he trips and falls.
So do you guys think it is a hoof issue? Or a neurological/balance issue? I've done tons of trotting poles, thinking the issue was him not picking up his feet. That did nothing. He carries himself naturally rounded, like the big rope horses that are always bent at the pole. When you try to back him up, he just leans backward really far, and then takes a couple steps backward. This situation is really weird, but I would love to get him better and use him because hes amazing! Thanks everyone!
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post #2 of 3 Old 05-19-2012, 04:29 PM
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I would suggest neck X-rays too, maybe first before the feet.
He sounds like a sweetie & I hope things work out for him.
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post #3 of 3 Old 05-19-2012, 06:26 PM
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The lean back really far is what my EPM horse used to do. Not saying that is what it is - the comment just sorta jumped out at me. Now one thing to keep in mind - if he did have EPM at one point, the damage stays with them. Some of them can compensate the nerve damage in other ways and eventually look normal while others only improve to a certain point. If your horse had come down with it in the past, maybe the owner treated it and then saw no improvements and thus abandoned it? Cruel thing to do but abandoning any horse is cruel. So if that ends up being the case the meds won't help if the infection was already cleared. Some rehab and time might help, but it might not.

Natisha has a really good though on getting the back x-rayed. May have been an old injury or it might be wobblers syndrome as well.

I wonder if a nerve block on the legs would cause such stumbling in a horse? Anyone know? Just tossing ideas out.

I am a bit concerned about you riding him if he has gone down and even rolled over on you. Might want to consider just giving him time off until you figure out what the problem is for you own safety.

Good luck.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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