Tight front legs ... Farrier - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-22-2014, 05:35 AM Thread Starter
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Tight front legs ... Farrier

I had my horses hooves done today by a new farrier. When he was doing his front feet he said a comment that my horse has tight legs and isn't very flexible. My old farrier commented in the past the same comment about his legs.

They say it when they have my horses leg between their legs and stretch out to the side a bit while they do the trimming part or nailing part. They have to stand nearly under him as his leg can't pull to the side much, hope this makes sense.

He is only 10 never been lame and his gait is normal not short or anything. He has a nice solid stride down hills as well. Just wondering if anyone knows why and will a chiropractor help or maybe certain exercises.


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post #2 of 12 Old 08-22-2014, 05:45 AM
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A good chiro helped my horse immensely in the exact same situation, but I would start questioning if the quality of trim is connected to the stiffness in the legs and shoulders.
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-22-2014, 11:17 AM
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One of my geldings has front legs that aren't straight from head on - they curve outwards slightly starting at the knee. When he bends his knees, his legs swing closer to his midline than most horses so I cannot angle them out if that makes sense.

A chiropractor may or may not help - if the bones developed crookedly it probably can't be corrected, but if it is because of soft tissue tension, it may make a difference.
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-22-2014, 12:00 PM
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My Mustang has the same problem. No lameness or issues with his gaits, but he is pigeon toed so that might be his problem.

Having a chiro check him out couldn't possibly hurt.
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-22-2014, 12:45 PM
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Both of my horses are the same way with the farrier, it is more so my mare.
He says it isn't anything to worry about at all. Neither are ever lame and can go for hours and hours.
They are just tight conformationally in the knees. I don't know the exact issue with either. I know my mare is base narrow and slightly knock kneed, he said. I would venture to say the gelding is also base narrow, by the look of him.
He says that it puts stress on them for him to pull their legs to the side or high, so he tries to not lift to high or too wide, and to let the find their comfort spot as he works. At times he also lets go and picks back up to help it.
:)
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-22-2014, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GracielaGata View Post
Both of my horses are the same way with the farrier, it is more so my mare.
He says it isn't anything to worry about at all. Neither are ever lame and can go for hours and hours.
They are just tight conformationally in the knees. I don't know the exact issue with either. I know my mare is base narrow and slightly knock kneed, he said. I would venture to say the gelding is also base narrow, by the look of him.
He says that it puts stress on them for him to pull their legs to the side or high, so he tries to not lift to high or too wide, and to let the find their comfort spot as he works. At times he also lets go and picks back up to help it.
:)
That's exactly what it's like. He has been barefoot trimmed all his life before I got him by his previous owner. He arrived with this stiffness so I am fairly confident it's not my farriers fault. But will definitely be getting a chiro out just in case. Thanks for all the input.


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post #7 of 12 Old 08-22-2014, 04:28 PM
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You can help loosen him up. It's possibly not so much that he's stiff but resisting a bit. Bend him at the knee and start working it in small circles, gradually increasing the size. The idea is to get him to relax and loosen up. Do this daily for a week if you can.
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-22-2014, 04:51 PM
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That's exactly what my chiro suggested and it's helping my horse. I also trim my horses' hooves myself, and I act just as GarcielaGata's farrier does - lots of patience and a very forgiving attitude takes you a long way ahead. These horses just have a bit of limitations, but you can help them out in most cases.

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post #9 of 12 Old 08-22-2014, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLAZERIVERSONG View Post
That's exactly what it's like. He has been barefoot trimmed all his life before I got him by his previous owner. He arrived with this stiffness so I am fairly confident it's not my farriers fault. But will definitely be getting a chiro out just in case. Thanks for all the input.
It is always good to be kind to them, just in case (with the chiro, I mean here. Lol).
On top of the tight conformation on my two, my mare got a cannon bone surface fracture of a back leg a year or so ago, but we didn't realize it was fractured for a couple of months. She started to favor that leg being handled after the old farrier accidently grabbed her right on the fracture when he was doing her foot. (not why we changed farriers; no one knew, as it was the type of fracture that shows no real obvious symptoms). Ever since then, and all the wrapping changes after surgery we had to do, I swear she seems like she doesn't love that leg being messed with much. She tolerates it and is nice, but especially likes it to be babied and held a certain way.

I do try to do stretching exercises with them both.
But I still feel like their normal is totally fine. In my mind, it is no different than the fact that I have never been able to touch my toes, and nor will I ever be able to! I just don't have that flexibility in me! But conformationally I think I am perfectly fine. :)
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-22-2014, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
You can help loosen him up. It's possibly not so much that he's stiff but resisting a bit. Bend him at the knee and start working it in small circles, gradually increasing the size. The idea is to get him to relax and loosen up. Do this daily for a week if you can.
Yep, this too! I forget to mention that they do seem to resist as well, as they know it will be slightly out of their comfort zone. But you have to love farriers who deal with this well. If my horses give that little shift that they need, he allows them, and helps them into a good position before he commits to the longer hold. :)
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