Toe Dragging

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Toe Dragging

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    07-05-2013, 01:10 PM
Toe Dragging

Hello HF Friends,

I have a question about a horse that I'm riding in lessons right now. I would just like to make it known outright, that the horse isn't mine and so her care is really out of my hands, I'm just curious if anyone else has experienced this and what you all think it might be.

I've been riding this mare for 10 months. She's always had some behavioural issues, mainly at the canter. She has never liked picking up her left lead and used to give a little "hop" like rear when we would go to pick up the canter. This has stopped recently and she hasn't done it for months. She also did and still does flying lead changes, seemingly at random, although, looking back now, more so changing from her left lead to her right lead than vice versa.

Anyway, my lessons alternate between flat work and jumping from week to week. Last week was a jumping lesson. Everything went swimmingly and she was an absolute angel until about the last 15 minutes of the lesson. Usually, she's raring to start the jumping course and I have to hold her back. When I went to begin this time though, she didn't want to move forward. Thinking she was just being herd-bound, I encouraged her more strongly and she started to rear and REALLY high, to the point where I was worried we were going to go over backwards. Since this was such atypical behaviour, I told my instructor I didn't think we should jump and when I finally could get her to move forward, just did a quick round of trotting to end on a good note. She didn't feel like she was favouring any part and my instructor didn't see anything out of the ordinary with her gait.

Yesterday was flat work. She was absolutely excellent at the walk and trot, although I thought I noticed a misstep a few times at the trot, but when I'd pay attention to it, it seemed to subside. My instructor also thought she noticed something, but then it seemed to go away, so she thought maybe she had stepped in a low or uneven spot in the arena. Anyway, we went to pick up the canter and she started full out rearing again, similar to what she did last week. I brought her down to the trot and that's when it became really obvious she was favouring her left front side.

I got off and just walked her around and I noticed that on some steps, when she went to pick up her left foot, she was dragging her toe. I felt down her leg and there wasn't any swelling or heat and upon picking out her foot, she didn't seem to exhibit any sort of pain when I put pressure on the sole, heel or around the frog.

I'm guessing that maybe we landed funny whilst jumping last week and she has sustained some sort of injury to her shoulder. Of course looking back though at some of her previous behaviours, I suspect this may have been brewing for a while.

I'm just wondering if anyone has had their horse exhibit similar behaviours to a specific injury and if the toe dragging is symptomatic of anything in particular?

Thanks everyone, I appreciate your feedback!

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