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So two days ago I went out and longed my horse. He's 20 years old and he has been pretty much a pasture horse the past 2 or 3 months due to the weather.. Anyway, when I started longing him, he went into a fast trot right away, spazzed out like his leg was hurting and then went into a canter like he was trying to run from the pain. I managed to get him back down to a walk and he seemed okay.

I checked all of his hooves right away and they seemed fine, then I felt his back legs and his left, rear cannon bone area had a little heat - not hot, but definitely warmer than the other leg. When I started longing him again to watch his gait, the lameness was only noticeable at the trot (I didn't make him canter again). He looks fine when he walks.

The next day it wasn't as bad, and a trainer was there and when I asked he said it looked like something up in the stifle area and he asked if I knew what happened. I said my best guess was that he slipped in the mud (which there is a lot of at the moment). Anyway, the severity of the lameness seems to go away as he trots, almost like he's just kinda stiff. So should I call the vet? There was no heat on the leg yesterday or today, and his gait is definetely improving.

I don't have enough money to call out the vet after every little thing happens, but I do want what's best for my horse... If I need to call the vet, I will, but I don't want to get ahead of myself either.. Is somthing like this pretty normal and not much to worry about?
 

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If it's a sprain, they usually start to get better after 3-5 days. I wouldn't think of calling a vet until at least that long unless it's really getting worse. I would also let him go for a few days without work.
 
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