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Skyhuntress 05-10-2009 11:35 AM

I'm driving myself crazy.
I'm being driven absolutely crazy here, because I can't figure out if something is wrong with my gelding, or if its him just being him and me being neurotic. (possible!)

I posted a while ago about my big trakehner gelding who was somewhat off. We found that he had problems in his front area that were resolved with proper farrier work, however it didn't resolve all his problems, nor did I get the answers I wanted.

When he canters free or on the lunge line, he somewhat hitches his left hind. I shouldn't say somewhat, because he DOES hitch it up higher. Only at the canter. Only on the left lead. Happens about every 3-4th stride. On the lunge, he doesn't lose rhythm-you can speed him up and slow him down, and he remains consistent with his footfall. As far as I can tell, he's not short striding either. However the hitch also remains consistent on that left lead. Couple of normal strides, a hitch for a couple of strides, and then back to being normal.

I'll post the video I did about 5 months ago. Pay attention to his canter; the trot work looks significantly better now that his feet are fixed. Do you see that hitch?

Undersaddle, I see it rarely; and never, ever feel it. But I've had 2 of my trainers get on him while I watched and while they could not feel anything whatsoever, I saw that same hitch-but this time maybe once in every 15th-20th stride. He doesn't lose his balance, nor does he lose his rhythm (although he does seem to when he is being free lunged)
Here's a small clip of his canter at our show (not sure how clear it is though)
Now, I'm a little embarassed to admit, but he had this problem when I bought him back in April of 2008, and we had 3 vets at the pre-purchase check (long story). His flexions were 100%, we did xrays of the hock and stifle to be on the safe side. Did a brief examination of the sacrum area, found that he appeared to have no pain whatsoever with people probing him. The vets concluded that it appeared to be muscular and didn't seem to bother him. I said to myself "well, he'd been sound this far!" and decided to leave it, thinking that it would likely get better with use (he hadn't been much in work then)

Fast forward a year. It bothers me He's constantly resting that left hind whenever he gets the chance. However, to be fair, I'm showing him 1st level this year with absolutely no problems whatsoever. His leg yielding is going really well. He backs up fine, without any hesitation at all, which I've heard can be a problem if its stifles (which is what I've always thought it would be)

It hasn't gotten worse, nor has it gotten better. Which I was really hoping it would with work. (either way actually, because then I could say that it was definitely a problem) I took him into another vet, another clinic in. Didn't tell the vet much of anything. Looked 100% normal at walk and trot, vet saw him canter both directions, didn't comment much at all, in fact, said "gee, maybe that's just him". Vet had me pop on to take a look and said that it seemed that with a proper bend and my weight aids, he had no problem using that left hind and stepping underneath himself, although you could still see the hitch every 20th stride or so.
Flexions again were fine. X rays were beautiful.

I think that this has become more about me now than him. He honestly doesn't seem bothered about it-except maybe while he's racing around the arena, where he does seem to lose his rhythm. But undersaddle, he can canter and canter without problem. I'm getting a triful neurotic, and I keep wondering as we try to get better and better, will this somehow impact him.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Is it possible that it is indeed muscular? Something that he might have been born with, ect? If it is muscular, anything that I could do to make it better? We've had a chiropractor out to work with him; she has found nothing out of the ordinary either. Any suggestions that I could try to see if any improvement was made?

Maybe I should try to just let it go and hope for the best? And never ever free lunge my horse again?


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