Stiffnesswhen we start working, age or something else?
 
 

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Stiffnesswhen we start working, age or something else?

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  • 3 year old horse with stiffness in the hind legs and was never worked with
  • Old age or something else

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    11-09-2013, 02:47 PM
  #1
Green Broke
Stiffnesswhen we start working, age or something else?

Lately when I take Cinny out he seems really stiff to begin with. His shoulders don't move like they should and his hind legs don't come under him very well either. It's really noticeable on the lunge line. It goes away after about 15 minutes or so. I also stretch him before riding as well as have him do turns on the fore and hind to help loosen him. I'm wondering if I should be concerned or if it's just that he's not a youngster anymore. And what things may help?

BACKGROUND Cinny will be 11 this spring and is an APHA (AQHA barrel breeding on the bottom and apha/tb cross on top). He has previously been diagnosed with a missing vertebrae and sacroiliac sensitivity which the vets thinks could be related to his missing vertebrae. He is stalled at night and blanketed when it is under 40 degrees. During the day he is turned out in a one acre dry lot with a 2 year old and a yearling. He is fed 2 flakes of prairie hay 2 times a day as well as half a scoop of Senior which I estimate to be about a pound or 2 a day. I switched to senior 2 months ago and before that he got Strategy Healthy Edge (not regular strategy). He also is prone to tummy problems and magnesium deficiency so he is given SmartGut Ultra (for tummy) and SmartCalm Ultra (very high in magnesium). I ride Dressage and ride the trails.
     
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    11-09-2013, 04:00 PM
  #2
Trained
If he was mine, I would:

feed his hay in a slowfeeder to make sure it'll last him throughout the day AND night, that'll take care of the tummy problems.
Have him out 24/7 so he can move, which should help with the stiffness, which could be arthritis
put him on a prebiotic, again, for the tummy
have a chiropractor out.
probably put him on a ration balancer to make sure he gets all the nutrients needed and add a low starch feed if he needs more calories, or just rice bran.
     
    11-09-2013, 04:53 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman    
If he was mine, I would:

feed his hay in a slowfeeder to make sure it'll last him throughout the day AND night, that'll take care of the tummy problems.
Have him out 24/7 so he can move, which should help with the stiffness, which could be arthritis
put him on a prebiotic, again, for the tummy
have a chiropractor out.
probably put him on a ration balancer to make sure he gets all the nutrients needed and add a low starch feed if he needs more calories, or just rice bran.
His tummy and magnesium issues are under control. He regularly gets a blood panel to make sure everything is in balance and he isn't deficient. It sounds like a lot but they have to check his mag regularly so the vet just runs the whole panel to make the "stick" worth it.

My main concern is the stiffness and doing what I can to relieve it. There are so many people on here with so many experiences in what has worked and has not for them and I really want to be well rounded in my knowledge. I will be getting a vet out and have an appointment. I just want ideas of what I may be looking at and if I should be worried about arthritis, etc. He seems too young for arthritis but I guess it does happen. He's going to be 11, but he has only been under saddle since 2010 when I bought him. He was a pasture pet until then.
     
    11-09-2013, 05:14 PM
  #4
Trained
Mg levels can not really be seen on a blood panel, because most of it is in other parts of the body, so offering extra mg is a good idea in general. See Magnesium for Horses | Natural Health for Equines

if have a chiropractor out to see if anything is it of" line" and can be fixed, first, due to his problems with the missing vertebrae. He might be compensating. If nothing can be done with adjusting and the initial stiffness persists, I would think arthritis. Movement is the best, hence my suggestion of living outside( provided there's no problem with his back when doing so). Joint supplements may or may not help, MSM it's a good way to start.
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    11-09-2013, 05:52 PM
  #5
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman    
Mg levels can not really be seen on a blood panel, because most of it is in other parts of the body, so offering extra mg is a good idea in general. See Magnesium for Horses | Natural Health for Equines

if have a chiropractor out to see if anything is it of" line" and can be fixed, first, due to his problems with the missing vertebrae. He might be compensating. If nothing can be done with adjusting and the initial stiffness persists, I would think arthritis. Movement is the best, hence my suggestion of living outside( provided there's no problem with his back when doing so). Joint supplements may or may not help, MSM it's a good way to start.
My vet says that mag levels can affect levels of other minerals and nutrients (like calcium) so by seeing what EVERYTHING is doing, and the mag in the blood they can tell if he's got a deficiency or not. Mainly I watch his attitude, etc because it can cause behavioral and neuro issues. A lot of it is basically paying attention to HIM and knowing HIM.
     
    11-09-2013, 07:04 PM
  #6
Trained
Of course! From what I gather, mg deficiency is pretty common in the soils, so supplementing it is a good idea, maybe going by the tell tale signs, full dose, once he shows loose stools, his storage is full. I'd get MgOx or MagRestoreŠ, to be sure it's straight mg. To be absolutely sure, you'd have to have a hay analysis and supplement according to it.
You could also try CoQ10, 300-600mg for two weeks, then 100mg daily, it's an anti oxidant, will take care of any inflammation. I use the people stuff, just open the capsules and mix the" creamy" stuff in the feed.
     
    11-09-2013, 07:26 PM
  #7
Yearling
Isabella has arthritis in her left stifle and also has some stiffness in her right front. He age is debatable. One vet sayd 15, the other says 24!!!! She is a retired polo pony so she has some miles on her She is always "off" when I first start working her. She works out of it after about 5-10 minutes. It was really hard for me to determine that because when I first got her, when I saw she was stiff, I would stop working her for fear of hurting her. It was my vet that eventually told me to let her slowly work out of the stiffness.

She has always been field boarded 24/7 but I just recently moved to stall board at night due to her shivering weight off at night. I was torn about this because I know stiff horses should be out 24/7 but I hated seeing her shiver in the cold nights even wearing a heavy blanket.

She has been boarded at night for 2 weeks now and I haven't noticed an imcrease in her stiffness. We did a riding clinic today and the first few attempts at a trot looked pretty painful, but within 5 minutes she was loose and limber!
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    11-09-2013, 09:47 PM
  #8
Yearling
Have you noticed any swelling or change in the position of his scapula recently?
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    11-09-2013, 10:16 PM
  #9
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by HorseOfCourse    
Have you noticed any swelling or change in the position of his scapula recently?
Posted via Mobile Device
Nope, he doesn't have any swelling anywhere. I am very meticulous when I groom and really give him a good "look over" and nothing seems different, swollen, or anything. I halve pretty much every muscle, bone structure, scar, and small bump memorized. Nothing new except for the way he is moving.

My trainer is coming out tomorrow to give someone a lesson and she is going to take a peek. She is an older and very wise horse person who has pretty much "seen it all" with horses. She's not seeing him "instead" of a vet, but she may be able to tell if this is something serious or something coming on with age.
     
    11-10-2013, 12:02 PM
  #10
Foal
I have been going through something very similar with one of my horses. My horses are all barefoot. I ended up calling in a specialist and it turned out that it is the trim on his feet. His heels are too short, his toes too long and his soles are thin. He had some bruising, I would never have been able to see them but they were there. So his trimming protocol is changing and the specialist will be doing his feet until we get things right for him. There is an old saying "no hoof, no horse.

I am not saying this is the problem but my horse would move like he was stiff and he was sore from compensating. He has had several chiropractor appointments as well as is definitely doing much better.

I just wanted to share my experience with you because I know how frustrating it is trying to find the root cause so it is just something to keep in mind.
     

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