Right hind foot lameness

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Right hind foot lameness

This is a discussion on Right hind foot lameness within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    10-20-2011, 03:37 AM
Unhappy Right hind foot lameness

My horse Beau is a 13-year-old APHA gelding, about 16.1 hands high. I've owned him since he was 6 months old. I primarily do barrel racing and speed events with him, but we do a large variety of other things (trail riding, cattle work, reining, showing, etc) to keep his mind fresh.

He was only ridden off-and-on this summer, mostly on the weekends when I could come home. I am in my last year of graduate school, and my parents are keeping him for me. We went to one horse show this year.

Almost every single time I rode him this year, he has this weird mis-step lameness issue with his hind right foot. Some days it was awful (doing this on every single step at the walk or trot) and some days it was so-so. He does this only at the walk or trot. He does not do anything at the gallop. Instead of picking his right hind hoof up to step on it, he is catching his toe and letting it rock over, so that he is then stepping on his own bent-over ankle.

If you look at this photo (horrific fall), he is stepping on his RIGHT hind ankle much like how this horse's LEFT hind ankle is positioned on the ground. This is the best google picture I could find to describe what's going on. I wish I had video to show it instead.

There are zero signs of anything else. No swelling, no tenderness, no heat, no lack of flexibility, and no outward signs that anything is wrong. Plus, he bucks, runs, and plays in the pasture like nobody's business. When he slows back down to his walk or trot, he's doing this ankle thing on his right hind leg again. He'll also gladly breeze in the wide open fields, when I did ride him this summer and shows no signs of any pain at a dead sprint (let's just say he loves to run ... he's like a dang 2-year-old).

I've been in Arizona since August and he's basically been on pasture rest since then (wasn't exactly in shape before that either .... ). It's progressively getting worse despite not being ridden.

If I think back now, I think this has actually been going on for years, but it was always very infrequent and I probably took it as him being clumsy (which he kinda is). For some reason, it has escalated this year to the point where sometimes when I would ride him, over 50% of his steps on that foot would be these ankle steps at the walk or trot. Again, galloping he is fine.

I have finally convinced my parents to take him to the vet. (Me being on clinical rotations and currently 1600 miles away, there's not much I myself can do.) My mom is going to try to take him in next week for me.

So mostly, I am just kind of curious if anyone has experienced anything like this with their horse, or if anyone has any suggestions as to what it might be. Maybe I'm trying to prepare myself for what the vet is going to say, as I somehow have a bad feeling it is not going to be good.

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    10-20-2011, 03:40 AM
Green Broke
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    10-20-2011, 03:49 AM
I do have this pole bending video from the one show that I took him to this summer. On one hand, we weren't going to go because of this weird issue. But on the other hand, he typically moves like a bat-outa-hell acting like nothing is wrong for the events. I guess I ended up going to the show anyway, because at that point, I was not able to convince my parents of a vet trip. But point aside...

If you watch us walking up to the arena gate to enter, you can't quite see his hind feet in the video but you will notice his right hip fall as if he did a strange limp. THAT is what he is doing.

And somehow, I do think that our big stumble coming around the very first pole had something to do with that right hind foot.

And overall, disregard our shameful pole run. We bascially ran them cold turkey. Hadn't ran or practiced anything for over a full year. Not our strong point anyway.

This is our keyhole run from the same day. We took first place. Nothing to note as far as him doing his step thing, but it's maybe it's at least another look at how he is moving.

    10-20-2011, 11:31 PM
So my mom called the vet today, to see when he will be around next week to look at my horse since he is a 60 mile drive from us.

She explained what was going on and he thinks (as I kind of thought already) that there is some sort of nerve problem going on. Possibly also involving his spine. He wants to do more research on it before we bring him in to see what else should be checked or done, as he's the "small town vet" and not necessarily a horse-only expert, although I trust my horse with him 100%. He'll go the extra mile and if he can't help us, he'll refer to someone who will. He mentioned he may want to do a spine x-ray, which he doesn't have, so we may end up traveling somewhere that does.

So I am REALLY REALLY hoping there is nothing seriously wrong!! Could it be possible that he just needs a chiro adjustment? Maybe something is bent out of shape and putting pressure on a nerve for that right hind leg. He's never had a chiro check, so I don't doubt that he needs one. I just wonder if something like that could be causing it.

Any input from anyone?????
    10-21-2011, 01:59 AM
Green Broke
It's very possible it's neurological
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    10-21-2011, 04:20 AM
Agree with .Delete.
Have you got someone who does equine massage in your area? It may be worth letting them have a look, they'll go over everything. If he's got a knot in his back, it could effect his hind leg.

Hope you find whats wrong!
    10-22-2011, 02:44 PM
Actually, there is an equine massage therapist that I know who makes trips all around the state. However, I don't think that just a knot in his back could be causing this .... but I guess I don't know that for sure.

I really hope we do figure it out soon though.
    10-23-2011, 01:15 AM
Looks short on rigt hind. Chiro or hock/stifle. Let us know what vet says.

Turn him in a tight circle both ways and see how well he crosses over behind. This will help w/ nuro diagnosis.
    10-23-2011, 03:16 AM
I was just going to say this sounds like your typical stifle problem. The horses back end feels like they step in a "hole" and they recover immediately. Its an easy fix these days and fast recovery. Hill work and keeping the horse conditioned can also help greatly.
    10-23-2011, 03:19 AM
Trinity that makes me feel very optimistic! Thank you. I hope that is the case then, or at least something that is easily treatable.

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