Wonky Legs

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Wonky Legs

This is a discussion on Wonky Legs within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • What are wonky legs in horses
  • Foals with wonky legs

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    02-22-2013, 05:36 PM
Wonky Legs

Walterbb has wonky legs. There are a few pics in his picture thread, and it is noticeable 365 Days of Walter. He is over at the knee, and after some running around, lunging or riding his gets slightly wobbly- his knees wiggle back and forth.

My barn manager suggested giving him glucosomine in his diet- would this affect anything? I think it's more his tendons than his bones. Would there be anything to adjust within his diet to assit with his legs?

He is in light work, about 2-3 short rides a week, mostly walk/jog. We(I) haven't moved up to a lope yet. He wears splint boots on the front when we ride. 2-3 days a week I also let him have a play in the arena, and he usually runs around being a fool. He is stalled at night, and in a pen by himself in the day. He does have other youngsters in pens adjoined to his though, and they play through the fenceline.

He gets hay in the morning, and hay plus Equine Power 2000, 12% Complete Feed, and VTM 20 (from masterfeeds). I don't have the actual amounts, as I haven't moved him to the complete servings, because I don't want to put additional strain on him.

I would say he is roughly 1050lbs? And 15hh. He is not on stall rest because I don't want him losing condition and gaining weight, which would make it worse on his legs, would it not?

Thanks for any suggestions!
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    02-25-2013, 02:17 PM

Bought some glucosomine with MSM to start him on. Won't hurt to give it a try right?
    02-25-2013, 02:21 PM
Glucosamine isn't going to help with bad tendons. Have you had a vet evaluate him for riding soundness?
PunksTank likes this.
    02-25-2013, 03:14 PM
Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
Glucosamine isn't going to help with bad tendons. Have you had a vet evaluate him for riding soundness?
Nope. Guess I should put that on my list of things to do.
    02-25-2013, 03:26 PM
Green Broke
I would have a vet double check, just for peice of mind. From what I understand you are better off to have a horse over at the knee than back at the knee.
xxdanioo likes this.
    02-27-2013, 01:08 AM
The first thing that came to my mind is non functioning 'stay apparatus'. This means that the tendons & ligaments that work as checks to effectively lock the legs at rest aren't working, so the horse cannot stand without muscular effort. This tires them out, understandably. Seen no studies on it but I suspect this is a likely cause of horses suffering so called 'narcolepsy'. One of the pics on your other thread, attached here show it's very likely a contributor, if not complete cause. The horse has very high heels, causing him to be 'forward at the knee'. Correcting his hoof issues, which likely has body issues going along with it, particularly if he's been that way for some time. So a bodyworker along with a good farrier/trimmer would go a long way.
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smrobs and xxdanioo like this.
    02-27-2013, 01:17 AM
In most of the pictures of his hooves, they are pretty tall, and his heels are really underslung. Not saying that's the reason his legs look wonky, but I think it makes it worse. It can also be affecting his balance, and his tendons.
Trinity3205 likes this.
    02-27-2013, 01:41 AM
Originally Posted by xxdanioo    

Bought some glucosomine with MSM to start him on. Won't hurt to give it a try right?
While the efficacy of oral glucosamine is debatable, oral MSM is commonly used to support joints. Some studies suggest, however, that MSM can support healthy ligaments/tendons by providing protection against exercise stress (likely due to its anti-inflammatory effects). Most tendon support products will contain bioavailable silica and collagen, and some antioxidants to protect against stress-related radical damage (eg. Vitamin C).

Another option (considering the wobbling) is to support healthy neuromuscular function; this includes making sure has adequate electrolyte minerals such as magnesium and potassium and salt (sodium chloride) intake. Since he is in light work and presumably not sweating up a storm, I'd highlight magnesium more-so than the others, but your horse should always have free access to salt and mineral blocks.

Now for the horse! Looking at him, in some pictures I'd call him over-at-the-knee (a conformational defect that typically isn't anything to write home about) and in others, it seems like something else (I'm not knowledgeable enough to pinpoint "what," though). The most noticeable thing to me, however, is his feet (which others have commented on already)! And how tall his heels are! I'd change farriers if need be to have that issue worked out-- that would be my first step outside of calling your vet. That can't be doing his knee joints any good! I'd wonder if that stress is affecting the tendons & ligaments in his knee joint and contributing to his wobbliness.
loosie, smrobs, themacpack and 4 others like this.
    02-27-2013, 01:53 AM
Green Broke
Like Bluespark I've always thought a horse that was over the knee was more desirable than one that was behind. It may be an old wives tale but I was told the over at the knee horse absorbs concussion better.

Now you may not like this, xxdanioo, but you might have to stop riding him for awhile and put him out to pasture just to let him grow some more. If I remember correctly he's a little over two now, right? He looks like he's got some more growing to do and if that's the case, a little more time may be all he needs to help improve matters. I know something like that can put a damper on show plans and that sucks. A discussion with the vet would likely be useful here to make the best decision.

Keep us posted on how things shape up for Walter.
    02-27-2013, 02:00 AM
Oh! I hadn't realized how young he was! I would absolutely consider letting him have some more time to grow... there are all sorts of growth plates that are subject to damage at this age, and specifically, his knees haven't yet closed! Although every person will have a different opinion on this topic. :)

Best of luck with him! I clicked through your thread and you two look like a wonderful pair.
xxdanioo likes this.

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