Sound on the lunge lame under saddle?

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Sound on the lunge lame under saddle?

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  • Lameness only under saddle in horses
  • Should i lunge a lame horse

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    11-10-2012, 01:00 AM
Sound on the lunge lame under saddle?

So I have an 11 yo WB gelding that I was riding and preparing for the eventing show season. Never had any issues with lameness and things were going fine and dandy until I suffered a terrible accident (not on horseback!). After about 4-5 months of my own rehabilitation I decided to get back on my horse again and noticed he felt terribly weird. He was off work for the most part and lunged occasionally during the duration of my rehab. Never endured any kind of trauma or accident that anyone can account for.

His stifles began locking up frequently so I had them blistered which solved the problem for the meantime. Had the vet evaluate him as he was sound on the lunge but lame with a rider on his back. His saddle was evaluated by both a prof fitter and the vet and does not seem to be the issue. The vet didn't see anything really indicating pain on ultrasound but we did SI injections anyway. He seemed to improve and his back no longer seemed locked up but he was still not quite right with a rider on his back. Few weeks later, had the vet come out again and she actually got on his back and rode him. Said he felt "neurological" as he was completely uncoordinated and unstable although he did not look as so when being viewed on the ground. He tries hard to do as he's asked but just seems he can't. She suggested chiro and working him in a Pessoa to build his back muscles.

Had another vet come out for a second opinion and do chiro work on him. This time he did flex positive on his RH but she didn't think he seemed too off or seemed neurological. Said he wasn't too bad from a chiropractic standpoint. Did neurological and lab tests which he tested negative. Continued working him on the lunge and over cavalettis for a month. Bulked up nicely through his back and hindquarters and travels sound and poised on the lunge. However...he feels waay worse undersaddle. Hardly able to travel straight and can barely trot. He feels tight and braced and his hind end keeps "giving out."

I'm having a bone scan done on him in a few weeks. I have no idea why he so lame and unstable undersaddle but it seems to be some kind of weight-bearing, compression issue. I don't know why he is lame after having time off but I am both devastated and frustrated especially after having just experienced trauma of my own. Anyone have any ideas what it could be? Anyone experience anything like this? Thanks
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    11-11-2012, 01:15 AM
I presume you've had radiographs taken too? Have you had any other opinions on the ultrasound results - or rads if you have them? Have you had any other bodyworkers look at him? Chiros are great if it's bone/joint related, but if it's nerve/soft tissue, an osteo, cranio-sacral, bowen or some such practitioner would be better. Have you ridden him bareback & if so is there a difference? I know you said, but I've had & known of many experiences where 'experts' have ruled out saddle probs, only to discover otherwise.
    11-11-2012, 01:39 AM
Didn't see anything on xrays and he has had chiro done with no improvement under saddle. Went to ride him bareback today and he seemed nervous and painful when I put my hands on his back to mount so I did not get on. Hard to tell if he was anticipating pain at the prospect of weight on his back since he was not reactive to having his back touched when he had chiro work done.
    11-11-2012, 04:26 PM
Green Broke
Be interesting to see videos.. not that anyone can give a diagnosis based on that.

Have you a veterinary college near you that could go over him? The fact that his stifles were locking interests me. Do you mean he was actually dislocating at the stifle? Horses that are very straight behind will have that issue.. and must be mechanically manipulated to get the stifle back in.
    11-11-2012, 07:31 PM
It would be a bit harder to really see things in a video. He looks good from the ground but feels horribly all over the place when actually up on his back. I actually had to have my vet get on him to see what I was feeling.

The nearest veterinary college is half a state away from where I am. I did speak to a few vets on the phone and they were quite baffled and suggested getting a bone scan done.

He is straighter behind and had a one day stifle catching incident a year ago. He was manually "popped" back into place and never had the issue again until just now after having several months off. His stifles would catch at the walk, canter, and backing up. After having his stifles blistered they only seem to lock occasionally at the trot. Now since he is working on a regular basis on the lunge the frequency of them locking has decreased.
    11-12-2012, 03:31 AM
Sorry, may I slightly de-rail this thread for just second to ask what blistering the hocks is? I've never heard the term before and it sounds kind of scary to me
    11-12-2012, 03:51 PM
Blistering the stifle is when iodine is injected to irritate the joint so it scars and keeps the stifle in place.

Interesting enough I actually got on my horse bareback today and he feels way more sound than with a saddle on. Did not feel the least bit off or uncoordinated. I'm not sure whether the saddle actually is causing the problem or if it is exacerbating it.
    11-13-2012, 01:14 AM
Originally Posted by Canterklutz    
Blistering the stifle is when iodine is injected to irritate the joint so it scars and keeps the stifle in place.

Interesting enough I actually got on my horse bareback today and he feels way more sound than with a saddle on. Did not feel the least bit off or uncoordinated. I'm not sure whether the saddle actually is causing the problem or if it is exacerbating it.
Aaah right, this makes sense

Hmm, what type of saddle is it? Are we able to see photos of the saddle on the horses back, and he horses back without a saddle on?

Keep riding bareback for a bit and see if you notice any difference over several rides, because there is a possibility that todays ride was a one-off, though I hope it's not.
    11-13-2012, 02:23 AM
I would try either a differnent saddle, saddle pad or both
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    11-22-2012, 01:29 PM
Bone scan results came back

Injury of the hip joint and SI joint...


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