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Pinto Pony 09-29-2008 03:13 AM

Lame pony :( Any help??
I have been having a few issues with Comanche so I will give a couple details to start.

He is rather cowhocked, always has been but it has never been an issue before. He has always had great even movement. He has hardly ever come up lame in the 7/8 years my family has had him. His feet wear unevenly because of his toes poking out but my Dad (who is our barefoot farrier) and I have always kept on top of his feet and kept them nice and even. So while I was away my Dad sort of neglected his feet a bit dry.gif and the frog is off centre and his toes where really sticking out, poor guy. So when I came home I got Dad to start fixing it ASAP. So about 2 weeks ago I think, I was riding him, he flatted great, we started to jump some little things and he was fine, but when we went to something a little higher he started to buck after! He has never done this before and was fine over the little stuff. So I checked out his back (he also had a massage about a month earlier and his back checked out ok with nothing obvious), I checked our tack, nothing different. So Dad and I did some more trimming on his feet, took the flares off the insides to get his toes a little straighter. We trim his feet about every week or two to stay on top. So the next time I rode, two days later I think, I put the dressage saddle on him to see what was going on. He walked fine but as soon as I asked for trot he just felt so wrong. I couldn't get him to trot with his back legs. He is usually very good for me so this was very out of character. He was obviously lame at the trot but can't see it at the walk. I have also poked and prodded, felt for heat on all his feet but no reaction and nothing that I can feel or see.

So even in the paddock when he is being an idiot and running around you can see the same, he walks fine but he won't trot and does a rather disunited canter that looks bleh. He also stands with his back legs a little crossed, I think usually the right in the front with toes out.

So my little theory for now is that he was left too long with his feet out and the big cut we just did on his feet is holding his muscles in a different place and causing him pain at a faster gait? Could this be true or am I just being wishful? If he is still lame in a week my mother agreed to take him to the vet, we have a great equine vet surgery near us but it is rather expensive as I am sure you all know so we are just letting this pan out a little and see if my theory is right...

What does this sound like? Is my little theory plausible? What would you do? Should I keep exercising him in hand, like taking him for walks to stretch his muscles out and do some stretches with him while he is feeling a little lame? I don't want to make it worse but I feel like if there is anything I can do to help him that is simple enough that I can do!

So some photos...
Left hind, note the off centre frog...
Right hind, notice where my finger is how the frog isn't centred? Also there is still a little of the flare on the inside, we want to trim that slowly so to prevent cracking...
How he normally stands around, notice the right hind...
I made him square up but still noticeable are his toes out...
Some confo pics if you need to see more leg

Ok, let me know what you think and suggest please!!!

He was walking alot straighter today and he wasn't knocking his feet together but as soon as he stands the toes go out and that right hind comes forward.

Thanks to anyone who even read my novel up there and thanks to anyone who has some advice/help!!!

sempre_cantando 09-29-2008 05:03 AM

hmmm I'm not really sure. My horse was lame once after the farrier trimmed her - apparently he trimmed too much because we got shoes put on her and she was fine. Since you've been trimming him every few weeks, do you think being trimmed too close is a possibility? Just a thought i had whilst reading your post.

saddlebag10 09-29-2008 11:39 AM

It really sounds to me like your horse doesn't have a foot issue at all - it's up higher. Especially with the bucking after a jump and the unevenness in the canter all sounds like a back issue. He could be out for any number of reasons - rolling, a bumpy trailer ride, sudden movement from a spook in the pasture, anything that you might or might not have seen. A vet could locate the problem or a good massage therapist possibly.
Or you could just give him a little bute and see if that clears up the problem. Then you'll know that it is an unsoundness issue somewhere or that he might be possibly "out" somewhere.
Your trimming program sounds great and his feet look really good. I would look elsewhere for problems.

barefoothooves 09-29-2008 05:11 PM

Sometimes a person overthinks things and needs to take a step back.

First, a cowhocked horse that has a mature skeleton is not going to be "fixed" conformationally by trimming, and as you've noticed, it's a constant battle to keep the limbs straight. A little deviation from perfectly straight is not likely to really cause any lameness issues, esp in hind legs. Most horses toe out to some degree in the back with no ill effects, unless it reaches extremes. Your horse looks normal, even if he's not perfectly straight, so personally, I would not make 2 week trims the norm. If he's flaring at the quarters, just shorten them a bit more than the rest of the wall a trim or two and he should be back on track (in this situation, only-I'm not saying that all horses need a super short quarter to fix all their problems, and at times I do agree it's necessary to go on 2 week trimming cycles to fix a problem).

For the frog being off center, I think you are seeing a little dead material that's not ready to shed distorting the apparent angle. If you were to trim a teensy bit off, you would see the true apex. Normally, I don't suggest trimming off the tip, but a dead flap isn't helping anything anyways and might make you feel a lot less obsessive about it. :wink:

I would look at the pelvis as a source of pain if he's not getting any better. They can fracture just like any bone and it's hard to identify without a vet's tools. In short, I just don't think his hooves are a problem at all. They look pretty good overall. Rest and pasture exercise probably won't hurt what ails him, nor does handwalking. Taking it easy is good, but stall rest could just complicate things by letting him stiffen up.

That's just my 2 cents based on pictures and a verbal description. A vet exam would tell you a lot more. Hope you find out what's bothering him. :)

Pinto Pony 09-29-2008 06:37 PM

Ok thanks for the suggestions/opinions. So his feet being out aren't causing his hips to be out? It is something up there unrelated???

I wish horses could speak english!

Well mum has some bute here so maybe we can try seeing if we can get the pain out of the way and find something more physical and if not off to the vets...

Pinto Pony 09-29-2008 06:47 PM

Barefoothooves... Do you see how his heels are sooo uneven, that is how I mean his frog isn't centered, is there any way to correct that, or is it ok for a cow hocked pony to be like that? Should his heels be shorter?

Does anyone think a horse chiropractor is the way to go or just take him to a vet?

And we don't have stalls as such, he lives on a couple acres of paddock during the day, so lots of walking and I see him cantering around with the other pony randomly throughout the day still. And at night he is in a yard about 10m by 10m, otherwise he would graze himself to death hehe.

barefoothooves 09-30-2008 09:22 PM

The angle of the close up of the hoof makes it harder to judge what's going on with his heels. Are you meaning his heel bulbs, how one is (for lack of a better word) "meatier" than the other side? I see this a lot with horses that toe out to an extreme or have a lameness higher in the leg. For example, a horse with a hock problem may put more weight on his sound leg, and the way he stands with all his weight to one side will warp the hoof of the good leg, and one heel bulb will flatten under the load. You may well be looking at clue as to what's going on with your horse, but I don't think the skewed hoof is a clue to which side of his body ails him and if it's a recent change in his feet, then you have a clues to when he got hurt elsewhere.

A chiropractor, if it's a competant one, won't do any harm, IMO, and while it might not solve the root problem, can certainly make him more comfortable. Again, if there's a joint issue, the spine can get out of whack and the chiro may provide some insight as well, but that's a field I have no business claiming any knowledge in, other than I've seen it help .

Pinto Pony 09-30-2008 09:44 PM

Yes, the heel bulb that is what I am talking about, sometimes I rabbit on too much and can't think of the right words :)

Thanks for you replies, very much appreciated. I will talk with mother about getting a chiro out for him.

Today when I walked him to the paddock, I got him to trot, lazily but a definite trot which was nice, I couldn't get a trot out of him before.

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