Lameness exam for horse that isnít lame? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 09-27-2019, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Lameness exam for horse that isnít lame?

I know I can be verbose in my posts, but I think itís justified here. Iím trying to lay out everything Iím thinking so I can get some opinions. I really appreciate anyone who has the patience to read through all of this and offer suggestions.

Iím trying to figure out what to do here. Moonshine isnít lame, but she has a history of injuries, and sheís off and on had trouble going to the right: when trotting to the right she keeps her head straight or to the left, and when cantering to the right, well, she either wonít do it or a lot of times she will pick up the wrong lead. She really struggles with it. Even leg yielding to the right is hard for her. We tried this from the ground, and she easily stepped under herself to the left, but not to the right. On the trail, sheís fine doing whatever because she doesnít have to worry about correct leads or precise movement. But my daughter is doing dressage (very low level) with her, so it's become an issue.

She was making some progress with our old body worker, but the body worker was badly injured and is not currently seeing patients. We have a new body worker, who does myofascial release, and that seems to be helping, but she charges $$$ per week and I canít pay that on an ongoing basis.

The old body worker noted that Moonshine had pain in her right hock. The new body worker has noted that Moonshine is unbalanced on that side. I watched the trainer ride Moonshine with this body worker there, and it was clear that she was short stepping with her right back leg, and couldnít get it under her properly. The old body worker said Moonshine might benefit from hock injections in the future.

Iím trying to figure out where to go from here. I can afford to keep using this current body worker, kind of sort of, up until my daughter and Moonshine do their dressage show in early November. But I canít keep paying that much money just to keep Moonshine to where she has the correct form for English flatwork and can sometimes canter in lessons. I have two other very rideable horses, Pony and Teddy, and honestly each of them could use more exercise anyway.

Of course my daughter LOVES Moonshine and only wants to ride her, but even she understands that I canít keep putting this kind of money into her. I suggested that she ride Moonshine once a week, in walk-trot lessons with maybe a little bit of cantering if Moonshine can handle it, and then ride Pony once a week for a more advanced lesson.

But to come back to my original question, Iím still wondering if it might be worth it to get a vet out to do a lameness exam? Again, Moonshine isnít lame, but she has some issues. Maybe itís time to try hock injections. Would that have the possibility of making her more rideable? Or maybe Iíd just be throwing more money away? Or maybe thereís something else I should try? When the body worker comes out again next week, Iím going to ask her, now that sheís seen Moonshine a few times, what sort of prognosis she has and how much time and, frankly, money, Iím looking at spending and where it might get me. But Iím trying to figure out if I have any good options here. Iím not opposed to spending some money to make her feel better, especially if the procedure would be something like hock injections where youíd expect it to last a year or so. I just canít keep spending this sort of money indefinitely.

In case anyone is wondering, weíll keep Moonshine even if she just ends up being a pasture pet and Iím paying boarding for her, because sheís a good girl and she deserves it, plus the two boys just worship her. Itís just that it would be nice if my daughter could keep riding her.

Last edited by ACinATX; 09-27-2019 at 10:09 AM.
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post #2 of 23 Old 09-27-2019, 11:02 AM
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The first place I'd go would be vet. Then once the vet gives the all clear (no breaks or things that need treatment BEFORE the chiro or massage therapist can work on them) I'd call in the chiro and/or massage therapist. Since this is going on for some time now, I would want the vet's blessing before going further.
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post #3 of 23 Old 09-27-2019, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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@Dreamcatcher Arabians do you think I should try to find a vet who specializes in lameness, or would it be enough to get out her regular vet?
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post #4 of 23 Old 09-27-2019, 11:21 AM
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Go to a large animal clinic.
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I am not here to promote anythingNo, that's not true, I am here to promote everything equestrian and everyone enjoying horses!
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post #5 of 23 Old 09-27-2019, 03:20 PM
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Being in Texas, do you have any track vets near you? We had to travel to Oklahoma to find one. We had to wait 3 weeks for an appointment, but it was surprisingly cheaper than what I was expecting.
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post #6 of 23 Old 09-27-2019, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeeZee View Post
Being in Texas, do you have any track vets near you? We had to travel to Oklahoma to find one. We had to wait 3 weeks for an appointment, but it was surprisingly cheaper than what I was expecting.
Hmm, I have no idea, the thought never even crossed my mind. I will look into that.
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post #7 of 23 Old 09-27-2019, 03:31 PM
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Firstly, I wonder at your definition of lame, if the horse clearly has a prob going right, clearly is short on the right hind.

Yes I'd go for a lameness exam & try to find out what is wrong. By a GOOD lameness vet, whether that's your regular or you need a specialised one.

I'd also be saying no to your daughter, unless vet and bodyworker both give the all clear. It's not about money imo, but why put the horse through further discomfort for the sake of a dressage show?? Esp when as you say you have others she could ride? And if you are going to allow this, the very least you could do is to continue forking out for a good bodyworker, as regularly as needed.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #8 of 23 Old 09-27-2019, 03:38 PM
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You need a good lameness vet, not a run-of-the-mill large animal vet. Ask for recommendations from performance/racehorse people. It's quite possible that once or twice-yearly hock or stifle injections may be all that is needed to keep Moonshine happy and comfortable for your daughter, but find out, first. Body work is great after an injury is addressed, but if it's needed a lot, there's something else going on causing the soreness and until that's done, the bodywork is merely addressing the result of the problem, not the problem itself.
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post #9 of 23 Old 09-27-2019, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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@loosie the first time the body worker came, she asked us to wait several days before riding Moonshine. Since then I have asked her every time, and she's fine with her continuing to be ridden the way she's being ridden now (twice a week for about 45 minutes at a time, mostly walk-trot).

Having said that, I'm definitely going to be asking her whether it would be better to cut down now to once a week, just walking and trotting. They are just doing intro level tests A and B, which are just walking and trotting.

@SilverMaple yes, I'm starting to feel that way, that we're just treating symptoms and not the problem here.
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post #10 of 23 Old 09-27-2019, 03:53 PM
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Usually a shorter session more frequently is better than a longer session less frequently. So perhaps once you get whatever is going on addressed, 3-4 short sessions of 15 - 20 minutes may accomplish more than 1-2 longer sessions.
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