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Hi there! I am new to being an OTTB mom so I am learning as I go along, and now that winter has hit I am being faced with a slew of cold weather issues. Recently my horse Whiska, a 13 year old Thoroughbred mare, has had a hitched gait at the trot. My trainer believes that she is just being sensitive to the cold, Southern CA winters get below 34 degrees at night and she is very sensitive, but still I'm slightly concerned. Some days she comes out a little stiff then works out of it but usually she walks very free, stretches over her topline and over tracks by about a foot (she is a master at destroying bell-boots because of her reach), and is very happy to canter collectedly and do flying changes or gallop full out on mountain trails, but her trot has been off. She has the typical TB vices of bad legs but the one she is off on, right fore, has been tested sound. I've been using Back on Track boots and those have helped her slightly unsound left fore immensely, but she still has this hitch on her right. Bute does nothing for it, and if I ask her to collect and correctly use herself it's hardly noticeable or not at all. It only shows up when trotting quickly on a loose rein or when she trots around in her pasture. So, my question is, do you think this is a problem that a chiropractor can help? Since I know her right fore is sound could it be a problem higher up in her body? My friend who has a serviceably sound 6 year old OTTB swears that it did wonders for her horse, but I wanted to get another opinion before spending the money. If you would like more information or videos, just ask :) Thank you so much!

P.s. This is my first post on any kind of forum website, so I hope I'm doing this right!
 

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I have no way of knowing for sure without seeing her. But, it sounds very reasonable and I think you'd be wise to have a good chiropractor assess her.

I'm getting a horse treated soon, and so wish it wasn't our off season. The great chiropractors in my area go south for the winter to treat either polo or roping horses.
 

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Did you have a ppe when you bought her? Has a vet looked at her at all?

Could you ride her with a quarter sheet and keep her blanketed on these 'cold' days and soon if that makes a difference.

Some hind end lameness only shows up at the trot and they can be perfectly happy at the canter.

Depending what you mean by hitch, its not some mild stringhalt, is it? The canter is usually unaffected.

With having noted lameness in the front and back, I'd opt for a vet first. Chiro won't hurt, but I think vet would give more answers.

Video would help
 

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Did you have a ppe when you bought her? Has a vet looked at her at all?

Could you ride her with a quarter sheet and keep her blanketed on these 'cold' days and soon if that makes a difference.

Some hind end lameness only shows up at the trot and they can be perfectly happy at the canter.

Depending what you mean by hitch, its not some mild stringhalt, is it? The canter is usually unaffected.

With having noted lameness in the front and back, I'd opt for a vet first. Chiro won't hurt, but I think vet would give more answers.

Video would help

I did vet check her before I got her and the flexion text showed slight unsoundness in her front and hind left legs. We did not do any x-rays (looking back I definitely wish that x-rays had been taken) however looking at her records she has always failed the flexion test but moves happily and comfortably on the flat and when x-rays were taken a few years ago for her last vet check the only abnormality was that her bones seemed less dense than the normal horse. The vet said that she was not worried as she has always been manageable.

Using a quarter sheet does seem to help along with keeping her blanketed. I just invested in a back on track sheet to keep her body warm. I have not ridden her since using the sheet, so today will be a good test to see if its doing anything for her.

I don't think it's stringhalt since her hind end is moving as well as ever, but I do appreciate learning about something else to research as I had never heard of that until you mentioned it.

I can take a few videos today and share them. I really appreciate the help :)
 

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It sounds like the over reach at a free or extended trot is the root cause. The over reach may be a conformation flaw or a response to an injury elsewhere.
A chiropractor may be able to provide some relief, but this may be an ongoing issue for her.

Think about what the hinds do at a walk, collected trot and canter. The affected hind has but a brief period where it bears the brunt of the weight required for propulsion before the opposing hind comes to the rescue and takes its share needed to complete the stride.
In a free or extended trot the affected hind has a considerably longer ground contact and load bearing time. An issue anywhere in this hoof /leg /hip joint and lumbar spine will be obviously painful.

Until she is seen, keep her at her most comfortable gaits. You may need to involve the vet, chiro and massage. Good luck!
 

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I did vet check her before I got her and the flexion text showed slight unsoundness in her front and hind left legs. We did not do any x-rays (looking back I definitely wish that x-rays had been taken) however looking at her records she has always failed the flexion test but moves happily and comfortably on the flat and when x-rays were taken a few years ago for her last vet check the only abnormality was that her bones seemed less dense than the normal horse. The vet said that she was not worried as she has always been manageable.

Using a quarter sheet does seem to help along with keeping her blanketed. I just invested in a back on track sheet to keep her body warm. I have not ridden her since using the sheet, so today will be a good test to see if its doing anything for her.

I don't think it's stringhalt since her hind end is moving as well as ever, but I do appreciate learning about something else to research as I had never heard of that until you mentioned it.

I can take a few videos today and share them. I really appreciate the help :)
If she has positive flexions all around, you can ask your vet about starting on some kind of maintenance like IM Adequan or Pentosan.
 
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