So my horse has just recently (2 weeks) became kind of off in his gaits. Not quite lame but not normal either. I've been taking it easy on him and not working him really hard but about a week and a half ago when I was lunging him I noticed that he was cross firing at the canter in both directions. He would pick up the correct lead initially but then change leads behind after a few strides.
I've given him a few days off, and then today a girl came to ride him (hoping to take him to a local show on Sunday in walk/trot) and he seemed ok and then I told her she could try to canter him and see what it felt like and he cantered nicely for about 10 strides, crossfired and dropped to a walk acting as is he couldn't get his hind legs under him all the way. Just enough so that he wouldn't fall but still walking. It looked awful! He did it for a couple of times around a 20 meter circle and then walked right out of it like it never happened. What is wrong with him? The vet is coming on Thursday but I'm going crazy not knowing how serious this is. HELP!
Here is a video of the girl riding him after he walked out of it. I wish I had my camera while it was happening! Does he look bad to you? Have you seen what I described in another horse? How serious is it? Thank you!
Stifle Problem? - YouTube
If he has stifle problems, STOP lunging him. STOP doing circles.
Sky is going through the same thing. We are only doing lines and large figures, excluding circles.
Get your vet out, definitely.
What did your vet say about Sky? Is it something that's going to heal on it's own? Did your vet recommend that you continue to ride him lightly (without doing circles as you previously mentioned)? Please tell me more! :)
However you should definitely get a vet to look at your horse as an individual. It could be something you're not seeing
The vet is still scheduled to come out tomorrow. I'm dying waiting! I'm stressing about all of the possibilities...what if I can never ride him again? What if he needs surgery and the vet bill ends up being thousands and thousands of dollars and I can't afford it?
It seems like Jack's issue would be different than your horse though. He's outside in a big field for 13 hrs a day and gets ridden 5 times a week. Glad your horse is better though!
Getting him checked out is the right way to go because if it is stifle then you need to know whats going in in there, exercise helps tighten muscles that hold everything in place but if its from an injury that you haven't seen happen then rest can be better to help it repair. Arthritis starts slowly with just slight intermittent lameness at first but it can accelerate really fast with no warning - best to know what you're dealing with and go from there
Thank you for the advice! I hadn't even thought of arthritis! He is 17 now but he was only a pasture pet for the seven years prior to me getting him so he shouldn't have had too much wear and tear on his joints. I'm hoping that's not what it is anyways...not a whole lot you can do about that right? Supplements and/or injections? Ugh... my husband isn't too excited about the prospective expenses Jack could throw our way through this whole thing. Tomorrow can't come soon enough.. I'd rather just know, and not kill myself stressing out about "what ifs".
My old mare started with it (arthritis) in one stifle 4 years ago (she was 16) - she's always been a complete hot head so wear & tear was to be expected I suppose. Its gradually got worse but stayed only on that one side, she is on Previcox most of the time and has good and bad periods but remains bright and happy. I did give her a few light rides last year but this year I doubt I will as the extra weight she puts on her other leg when she has the bad days is having a negative effect on her fetlock joint and suspensory ligament so she's looking very uneven now though she still gallops in full speed from the field and can kick her heels up with the best so I probably worry too much
I hope you get good news, please let us know
The vet just called and isn't able to come today. We rescheduled for tomorrow...just one more day of waiting.
Just to let you know, my retired polo horse has a stiff stifle. Like Sky's horse, the vet recommended flat work...no tight circles, turn out 24/7, and consistent riding. Said the worst thing for her was circling..but that trotting in a straight line would help build up supporting tissues.
I have her on joint supplements and BL pellets and she is doing great! She is 23 years old and will be slightly "off" until she works out of it and after a few minutes, is perfectly sound.
She runs around like a horse half her age!
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