Stiff front shoulder

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Stiff front shoulder

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  • Horse sore on front end being stiff
  • Sore shoulder symptoms in my horsr

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    11-24-2008, 04:14 PM
Question Stiff front shoulder

Hi! I have a 18 year old quarter horse mare who has developed a stiff front shoulder. I ride her on a regular basis and we do a number of different things from games shows (just barely beyond novice) to team penning to trail riding. About two months ago while I was warming her up for a fun show, she seemed off. She seemed stiff in her left front shoulder at the walk and trot, more so at the walk. However, she seemed to work out of it after about ten minutes and we did four events with out incident. Then about two weeks later she did the same thing at the end of a team penning session. I got off her right away, massaged her shoulder and walked her for about ten minutes and she seemed okay again. But I decided to give her a two week break. I took her out on a short trail ride and at first she was fine. Then about 30 minutes into the ride she started acting stiff again. Everytime this happens, she doesn't refuse to move or even hesitate, she just gets an odd hitch in her gate. The most confusing part for me is that she'll lope in either lead and not show the stiffness at all (I only asked for it for a short distance, trying to figure out what was going on). And in the pasture, she'll tear around like always and only show anything when she's walking or trotting. I'm looking for suggestions from anyone who's seen anything similar. I've got an equine chiropractor coming out this week and I'm pretty confident it's not my sadde since we've used the same saddle all summer and this just now showed up. Though I am wondering if I may have cinched it too tight towards the end of the summer - she's not a big horse (14h 2") and has always had a tendency to puff out during saddling, so I'm always adjusting the cinches in the beginning of any ride. Anyone have any ideas? By the way, this is my first post so I'm sorry if it got a little wordy!
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    11-25-2008, 12:40 PM
Welcome to HF!!

How are her angles on her feet? I had a horse once who over time developed these types of symptoms and we came to find out her angles were slightly off. She only seemed to be off on the trot, she never really acted like she was in pain but would kinnda limp.

I think you are the right track with getting the chiropractor out, maybe something is just pinching???

Sorry if im not much help, let us know what the chiro. Says
    11-25-2008, 02:40 PM
I actually decided to have the vet look at her first, then I'll have the chiropractor out. But I'm going to keep the angles in mind. She had front shoes on for a trip to SD in July which I had pulled in mid August. We had a three day shoot over Labor Day and she was chipping out pretty bad so I had a different farrier trim her up the night before the shoot. Since then our regular farrier has been out, but the symptoms started before he was out and continued afterwards, but it's sure possible the trim in September through something out of alignment (for lack of a better trim). I decided to go with the vet mostly based on her age since it could also be arthritis related - though so far I haven't seen any sign of that. Thanks!
    11-25-2008, 03:42 PM
In the mean time you could buy some Arnica and massage the area before and after a ride. You can buy it at most health food stores.
    11-25-2008, 03:49 PM
Thanks. I'll look into Arnica. I've tried Sore No More in the past and I can't say that it did or didn't work for sure. It would be a lot easier if she could talk!
    11-25-2008, 11:26 PM
I'm sort of dealing with the same thing, but in my case we're pretty sure it is the saddle. I didn't want to believe it at first, because the saddle never bothered him before, but he has gained weight (on purpose) and must have outgrown my saddle. We have an appointment with the vet/chiropractor on Dec 9th (same person in our case), but I'd love to hear how that went for you as I've never had an appointment like that for a horse before.
    11-28-2008, 08:33 PM
Well it looks like I was correct in going to the vet before the chiropractor came out. She did some flexion tests, blocked the navicular area on her right front (that was the side the vet saw as lame versus the left) and suddenly she was doing the same thing on the left side. A set of x-rays on both front feet and we have a navicular issue. It's not too severe, she has some pits or lollipops (?), no calcium buildup, and everything else looks good, especially for an 18 year old! So the next step is the farrier on Monday with shoes and pads - I did consider trying other trimming options, but given her age, I'm leaning towards the more conservative approach. So I'll be posting a new thread now, looking for some other peoples experiences with navicular issues and what the chances are that she may come out of this sound with good maintenance.

front shoulder, lameness, stiff shoulder

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