Limping - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-19-2019, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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I'm having trouble deciding if my 10 year old gelding is lame or not. He loves to gallop and kick his heels up in the pasture. Whenever I get on him and ask for a walk, he limps! But if I kick him, he stops limping as if everything is fine! Is he faking? Do horses fake limp to get out of doing work?
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-19-2019, 06:48 PM
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I personally don't believe they fake it, but you might get differing opinions. I guess if a horse can be trained to do all sorts of tricks, they can also perhaps learn to limp, but I personally have never met a horse that I though was faking it. I think most horses are honest.
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post #3 of 13 Old 06-19-2019, 08:20 PM
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No, they don't fake it. Speed can mask it if they can move with momentum or a different gait's footfalls hides it.
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-19-2019, 09:43 PM
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I know a horse who had been on and off lame for a month. She would gallop and tear around the field, but she would be visibly lame at a walk and trot in hand.

After a lot of detective work, the vet found she had a broken coffin bone. Not a serious break or anything, just a chip fracture that required a bar shoe and a 30 days stall rest.

IME, horses don't lie about being in pain, but they'll still rip around their pasture even when they're hurting. It can be pretty deceiving!
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-19-2019, 10:36 PM
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Ditto to others about 'horses don't fake'. But they can LEARN to limp, if they do it honestly, and the rider quits doing whatever is hurting them - riding for eg. So the behaviour works. With a lot of repetition of this behaviour working for the horse when they *really* limp, they may then start doing so when there's no physical reason. So... even if so, I'd give benefit of doubt to a limping horse, but is it even possible/likely this horse could have learned this behaviour from heaps of repetition previously?

As for playing in the paddock happily, there are many reasons that a horse may hurt/limp when ridden but not when not. As for him not limping when you kick him(I presume you're kicking him in punishment because you think he's faking?), that could be working because it's a learned behaviour, but it could also be that he's honestly limping, but your punishment is strong enough for him to try not to. So again, benefit of doubt that he is hurting.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]
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post #6 of 13 Old 06-20-2019, 02:00 AM
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can you take videos? of you riding him at walk and trot, and maybe of him on the lungeline at walk and trot?
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-24-2019, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
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I don't know if I can take a video, I can try though
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-24-2019, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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Here is a YouTube of me riding him... I put him in a trot in a circle in both directions. I can't tell if he is limping at all.
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-24-2019, 03:19 AM
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I think it is his left rear that is troubling him, due to how quickly he stabs his right rear into the ground . But, I am certainly no expert. but, I feel his hind end is bothering him, for sure.
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-24-2019, 01:16 PM
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They can learn that "oh the person gets off if I do this" so yes they can fake it. But it's not like they're fine and one day decide to fake limp.

I would get a vet out for your horse, I think he looks pretty off. And I'm assuming this is after you've kicked him and he's "moving fine". He has a lot of stumbles in front and is moving oddly behind. How he acts in the field has no correlation to his lameness they are prey animal and mask lameness/illness as much as possible. Plus you've now added extra weight as well as making him move on your terms not his, it will definitely aggravate any slight issue.
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