Horse sets back on pasterns at canter- what does that mean? - Page 2
 
 

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Horse sets back on pasterns at canter- what does that mean?

This is a discussion on Horse sets back on pasterns at canter- what does that mean? within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Should a horse with pasterns wear a special
  • Horse that breaks over on back pasterns

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    01-31-2013, 11:57 PM
  #11
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
A piece of neoprene is never going to support the weight of a 1200lb animal bearing down on it. Ever. It's just plain science/physics.
Not that I am a physicist, but I think the idea is to provide lateral support and compression, not vertical support. It was just a suggestion! I have found them useful for my horse, but I know many people who would rather eat $100 than spend it on a pair of boots.
     
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    02-01-2013, 12:02 AM
  #12
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by existentialpony    
Not that I am a physicist, but I think the idea is to provide lateral support and compression, not vertical support. It was just a suggestion! I have found them useful for my horse, but I know many people who would rather eat $100 than spend it on a pair of boots.
Again, a piece of neoprene ain't going to do that. I read a study at some point that investigated the amount of "support" offered by boots and such (using neat things like strain gauges and actual science) with cadaver legs and fount that the boots have to be so tight that they cut off circulation before any support is seen.
As well, there are studies that show that the amount of heat build up in boots (especially non breathable materials like neoprene) actually degrades the soft tissues in the horse's legs to the point where injury from wearing the boots is more likely than when they don't have them on.

The boots I use retail for $200 for a set of 4 and are breathable, but still protect the leg. Which is what boots are for, protection.
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    02-01-2013, 12:05 AM
  #13
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
Again, a piece of neoprene ain't going to do that. I read a study at some point that investigated the amount of "support" offered by boots and such (using neat things like strain gauges and actual science) with cadaver legs and fount that the boots have to be so tight that they cut off circulation before any support is seen.
As well, there are studies that show that the amount of heat build up in boots (especially non breathable materials like neoprene) actually degrades the soft tissues in the horse's legs to the point where injury from wearing the boots is more likely than when they don't have them on.

The boots I use retail for $200 for a set of 4 and are breathable, but still protect the leg. Which is what boots are for, protection.
Hmmm Anebel I've wondered about the heat and neoprene boots, and I honestly don't like the idea of cooking my horses legs. I put boots on my guy for protection, not support. When he's spinning, the last thing I want is for him to whack himself hard and be put off. Can you recommend a good brand of boot that's NOT neoprene and is breathable?
     
    02-01-2013, 12:06 AM
  #14
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
Again, a piece of neoprene ain't going to do that. I read a study at some point that investigated the amount of "support" offered by boots and such (using neat things like strain gauges and actual science) with cadaver legs and fount that the boots have to be so tight that they cut off circulation before any support is seen.
As well, there are studies that show that the amount of heat build up in boots (especially non breathable materials like neoprene) actually degrades the soft tissues in the horse's legs to the point where injury from wearing the boots is more likely than when they don't have them on.

The boots I use retail for $200 for a set of 4 and are breathable, but still protect the leg. Which is what boots are for, protection.
Well, if it is "actual science" that you want... here is a peer reviewed article examining the effect of support boots on fetlock joint angle during the walk and trot (the issue raised by the OP). "The results demonstrate the effectiveness of support boots in reducing maximum extension of the fetlock, which can be assumed to reduce tension in the suspensory apparatus and SDFT."

Influence of support boots on fetlock joint ang... [Equine Vet J. 2004] - PubMed - NCBI

On this premise, I would recommend supportive boots (with obvious considerations for breathability) for a horse that suffers from hyperextension of the fetlock.
     
    02-01-2013, 12:15 AM
  #15
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muppetgirl    
Hmmm Anebel I've wondered about the heat and neoprene boots, and I honestly don't like the idea of cooking my horses legs. I put boots on my guy for protection, not support. When he's spinning, the last thing I want is for him to whack himself hard and be put off. Can you recommend a good brand of boot that's NOT neoprene and is breathable?
If you want the world's best boot then the Veredus Piaffe boots are great, but I think it's like $800 for the set of 4.
I use EcoGold boots, they aren't super protective, but they work for occasional whacks. Real sheepskin (not fleece) boots can also be good, unless your horse is sensitive to sheepskin!
There are lots of boots out there, it's a lot of common sense required to pick out the ones that aren't easy bake ovens for legs. More companies are coming out with vented and breathable boots though!!
And if you're into wrapping, the eskadron climatex quilts are great for under wraps - that's what I use mostly.
     
    02-01-2013, 12:18 AM
  #16
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
If you want the world's best boot then the Veredus Piaffe boots are great, but I think it's like $800 for the set of 4.
I use EcoGold boots, they aren't super protective, but they work for occasional whacks. Real sheepskin (not fleece) boots can also be good, unless your horse is sensitive to sheepskin!
There are lots of boots out there, it's a lot of common sense required to pick out the ones that aren't easy bake ovens for legs. More companies are coming out with vented and breathable boots though!!
And if you're into wrapping, the eskadron climatex quilts are great for under wraps - that's what I use mostly.
Thanks! I'm running out to get those $800 boots right now!!!
Actually I do like wrapping and have plenty of practice at it (show jumping groom) so may look at that too......once your good at it it only takes about 10 minutes or so to wrap properly. Thanks!
     
    02-01-2013, 12:30 AM
  #17
Foal
I can vouch for the Piaffe boots being crazy pricey for the set of 4...I have them . I do think they were around the $200 mark for a pair when I bought mine, so a little over $400 for the set (not that that makes them that much better price wise haha). Beautiful boots but I hate the back set. I honestly never use them because they twist in the back so that the back part of the boot ends up on the inside of my guy's leg and then he trips himself which is always awesome when you're cantering around on a 18 hand horse . I'm really not sure why they do it. The front ones are great though! I've had them for 3 (?) years with regular use and they're just starting to show some wear. I just pair them with polos for the back. Just my $0.02
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    02-01-2013, 05:47 PM
  #18
Foal
It could be fatigue

Quote:
Originally Posted by eeo11horse    
So I was looking at some pictures of me riding my horse at the canter, and I noticed that when he puts weight on a certain leg his pasterns go down and it looks like his fetlocks are almost touching the ground! You're probably thinking that it's because he has long/ weak pasterns, (that was what first came to my mind) but I realized that's not the case- his pasterns are normal length. I measured them once and they were fine. So what else could it be? Would protective leg wear help? I really have no idea.
How long and how hard had you been working your horse when these pictures were taken? What you are seeing is called "overdorsiflexion" of the pastern joint. It can be caused by fatigue. If your horse is fatigued it can lead to injuries like bowed or torn tendons and ligaments.

I read a really good explanation of how this happens in The Bowed Tendon Book by Tom Ivers. Tom Ivers (1944-2005) was a equine exercise physiologist. He trained thousands of Thoroughbred and Standardbred race horses during his career and he became an expert on what causes tendon/ligament damage. This excerpt is taken from Chapter 5: "Why Horses Bow"

"Fatigue

There are two kinds of fatigue in the performance horse: chemical and mechanical. And there are two forms of chemical fatigue: lactic acid fatigue and fatigue caused by fuel depletion. In both forms of chemical fatigue, the muscles of the forearm, and all the other propulsion and stabilization muscles of the body, lose their ability to contract and , instead, relax. When the muscles relax, the tendons must take up the slack, absorbing rapidly increasing forces as the fetlocks droop lower and lower toward the ground. Worse, the lowered fetlock overdorsiflexes the leg, the knee bends backward, and the toe refuses to break over at the end of the contact phase of the stride. This throws the gait into increasingly erratic motion and missteps begin to occur. Some fibers in the tendon pull apart with the first fatigued stride, weakening the tendon. With each new stride, the fetlock sinks further toward the ground. At this stage of fatigue, broken bones ala Go For Wand often occur. Considerable injury to the tendon is virtually guaranteed.

Prevention of chemical fatigue is a matter of developing a level of fitness appropriate to the demands you expect to make on the animal. Later we’ll examine this in detail. Fuel depletion can be fought on two fronts, appropriate exercise combined with fully supportive nutrition. Again, in depth later.

Mechanical or structural fatigue can be likened to what happens to a paper clip when you bend it back and forth over and over again. At some point, it breaks. Concussive stresses, especially those involved in jumping or running at maximum speed, sudden loading of thousands of pounds, stride after stride – these must cause at least some damage in the toughest of tendons. Normally, organic structural materials like bone and tendons repair themselves, and given time, come back stronger then they were originally. But if you fail to notice structural fatigue as it’s coming on, of you cover it up, and if you continue on with the exercise that’s causing it, then failure is preordained.

Mechanical failure occurs more gradually in the tendon, with far less chemical fatigue involved. You work a horse hard today, a few fibers give up the ghost and the repair process begins. In a few days you have a little heat and filling. You cover up that repair process with a leg bandage, keeping the leg “tight”. The regular hard workouts continue, causing more damage. You add icing to your daily therapy and the leg looks tight as a drum. More work, more damage. Then, the final big workout or competition and the remaining viable fibers in a few bundles taking the most abuse give way – you’ve built yourself a nice, juicy bow. You have a hole in the tendon that an ultrasound section scanner has not trouble finding no matter how much wrapping, firing, blistering, cortisone injecting and Bute feeding you can marshall. If you’ve injected cortisone before the full bow, then you can thank yourself for hastening the disaster along."

Chemical and mechanical fatigue are not the only things that cause tendon/ligament damage and injury. The book discusses other causes as well: improper shoeing/trimming, unnatural demands (asking the horse to perform beyond his normal capacity), sudden stress, concussion, accidents, conformation, pushing an already injured horse, and owner, trainer, rider indifference (they just don't care). The Bowed Tendon Book is a good book I highly recommend.

Another factor in why a horse's pastern join may look very low in motion is the composition of the suspensory ligament itself. Here's some information from a book called Equine Photos & Drawings for Conformation and Anatomy.

"The suspensory ligament is more elastic than other ligaments. This is because it contains tendinous tissue. In young horses, it even has a small amount of muscle tissue in its deep part (which is why it is also known as the interosseous muscle). Its main function is to support the fetlock, guarding against extreme hyperextension (or overdorseflexion) of the joint. The two branches that join the common digital extensor tendon limit extreme flexion of the pastern joint."

Here are some photos of horses that are exhibiting overdorsiflexion of the pasterns. As you can see, overdorseflexion can happen anytime - while under saddle or at liberty - when the horse is in motion and the leg is loaded with weight.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Pastern+Fatigue+1.jpg (34.1 KB, 123 views)
File Type: jpg Pastern+Fatigue+2.jpg (73.1 KB, 120 views)
File Type: jpg Arabian+dorsiflexion+both.jpg (49.0 KB, 120 views)
File Type: jpg dressage+dorsiflexion+4.jpg (51.1 KB, 119 views)
File Type: jpg Arabian+dorsiflexion4.jpg (63.2 KB, 120 views)
     
    02-01-2013, 07:22 PM
  #19
Green Broke
Wow, great post, x.
     
    02-02-2013, 09:11 AM
  #20
Weanling
Wow I was off for one day and bombarded with replies! To answer the first people who replied I will post some pics of him standing below. As for the boots- I know it won't fix the problem but I thought there might be some special kind for this problem- I really don't know what I thought, just wondering.

XIntperuvian- Wow- that really was a great post- I enjoyed reading that. To answer your first questions I've had him for about 5 years but he's only been under real strain (with me) within the last 2 years or so. Before I had him he was owned by a roper that I believed started a little roping with him and before that he raced a couple times as a two year old (He's almost 12 now). The people selling him then believed he would make a great racer or barrel racer.

Some of you sugested it and after reading this it seems appropriate that I should talk to my vet about this, I will do that and see what she thinks about it.

Gosh I'm trying to remember to answer everyone's questions. Other background about him- he's an Appendix QH (more QH than TB though), will be 12 in April, 15 hands, gelding. I've never specifically noticed him doing this at the walk or trot but if I find some pictures I'll put them on too. I have, however, noticed that when he's resting one foot (got one cocked up) he leans down very heavily on the other, and it looks similar to this only not so bad.

Thanks everyone for the posts, please continue to discuss the new pictures!
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