Stiff hind legs? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-01-2008, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Stiff hind legs?

when I was helping teach the lesson the other day, I noticed that Devon, a 14 year old Morgan, had what looked like REALLY stiff back legs. The movements was REALLY jerky and he didn't seem to be reaching as far as he should/could.
I bought this matter up to the BO and she said that it also looked stiff....but the girl riding him said that that was just "him".

Now to me, having a horse with stiff legs can't just be "them"...and it's not normal.

He's a gaited Morgan if it helps at all, but it just seems weird that his great moving, strong, and powerful Morgan would have stiff legs.

Any way to help "unstiff" (lol) them? Is this something we should be worried about?
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-02-2008, 12:29 AM
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How many times have you seen this horse before? Is he usually stiff legged...The way you worded it seemed to me that the girl riding owned him this is why I asked how often you see Devon..

My friend owns a 9 year old whom gets stiff front legs, and she moves around sloppy I guess you could say, She even canters around by her self straight legged not bending at the knee in the front legs... Her case is she doesnt get worked enough, and it depends on the horse whether their tendons will stay streched and supple for months after not being exercised and streched out, but with her mare and maybe in Devons case, after a while of no exercise (trotting, and flexing I mean mainly) their tendons shrink back up(i'm bad at words) and do not stay streched and loose, causing stiffness....Now again this is only my experince in stiff legs and may not be the case for Devon.

If this is Devons problem, that he doesnt get exercised enough, it may cause problems with tendons later on if the rider just hops on and asks him to do alot of work before properly streching him out....

This is what we do with the mare that gets stiff legs, after a while of not riding or any exersice, before we tack up, we pick her legs up and stretch them out in hand, massage them gently with our fingers and then put work boots on her, when we get on her we get her to walk the arena 2 times, stop her and flex, get her to touch your toes with her nose 2 times on each side, have her diengage both ways, then walk her out, then do lots of trotting, this will be the best to get the tendons streched out...Do as much work as you can at the trot(build good muscle tone as well), LOTS && LOTS of trotting, as many days as you or the rider can, after like 3 days of this there should be no stiffness, then we just trot everyday around the arena twice before anything else just to keep the tendons supply....

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post #3 of 7 Old 07-02-2008, 09:52 AM
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It may be normal motion for this horse or it may be due to a problem in the hind end or even back. What should be done is going to depend on what is causing the stiffness if it is a new occurance.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-02-2008, 12:36 PM
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I always noticed that Gem was stiff in his hind legs and no matter how much warm up time you did for him, nothing seemed to make a marked improvement. Though, trotting in a 2 point seemed to help a little bit.

Turns out he has arthritis in his hocks and had lower back pain. He no longer has any back pain, and since his hooves were just trimmed, he's looking fantastic.

I'm not saying that Devon has arthritis, but i would keep an eye on it. See if it's only under saddle that he's stiff, or if he's still when he's turned out. If he doesn't seem to be getting better, i would call a vet.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-02-2008, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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it's the BO's horse that the girl (or me) rides for lessons. He always seemed to have a jerky motion in his back legs, but it was really noticeable on Sunday...maybe it was because it was more noticeable or because I wasn't on a horse and saw it....I dunno
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-02-2008, 04:01 PM
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alot of gaited horses look stiff or even off to people that are used to "regular" horses. I have a walker and everytime i've ever taken him out in a public situation, someone somewhere has watched him move from behind and told me he was off or stiff and he wasnt. He is now but he's also 29 years old now...

I'm not saying your horse isn't stiff... just saying it might really be just him....

You could flex that back leg and see if he trots off lame....and check his back and hips...
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-02-2008, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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well this isn't my horse, but I'm just more curious on seeing if it's just "him" or something abnormal. He's never been lame from what I know of...and he does lots of jumping so I thought it was odd that he'd be stiff before and after taking a jump.....
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