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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a mare that I have had since she was a filly. She has always been very unbalanced and tripped a lot even as a foal. She was anemic when I got her, but she has been treated for that. She is 6 now and she has been broke and ridden for quite a while. She has an interesting lateral walk that she does all the time, even in the pasture. She walks like this all the time, to the water trough, when being lead, and of course ridden as well. She is gaited. I have been working her over ground poles to teach her to trot. I am trying to build up her muscles and balance. I have started working her on leg yielding and the lateral walking has persisted to be a problem. Not only is it very uncomfortable to ride, but it also looks very painful for her spine. Like I said she does this in the pasture, and she is very calm. It's a natural walk, but I am trying to correct it. Does anyone has any ideas to try to fix this lateral walk?

It worsens when she walks downhill. It also worsens the faster I walk when I lead her. I attached a link to a video of her walking.
Video -

As you can see in the video when I walk very slowly she manages to keep a normal walk. She starts moving her left legs together and right legs together the second I start walking fast at all. If I walk really, really slow she will typically stay in normal walk, but I would really appreciate any suggestions to fix this.
 

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Have a well qualified equine chiro look at her. Preferably one who is certified in acupuncture. She should have been looked at years ago, IMO.

She does not look comfortable or fluid at the slow walk. She looks as if the slow walking is painful for her.

I’ve had Walking Horses since the 1980’s and never had any of them walk like that unless they were hurting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, I haven’t considered having her looked at by a chiropractor. I didn’t consider a back problem. Is there anything I could do to check/treat joint issues before contacting a vet/chiropractor? I’ve been teaching her to trot in hopes to build balances and mussel. Here’s a video of that.


https://youtu.be/tqNlSCVvsEI

When she speeds up at a trot her back looks normal. Also she will run in the pasture on her own. I haven’t noticed any obvious signs of pain, just the awkwardness the lateral walk. Any additional thoughts?

Ive always tries to fix behavioral problems myself, instead of spending money on professionals unless necessary. Would you consider it necessary in this case? I’m really looking for training methods to fix this, and to see if anyone has ever experienced a similar problem. Of course I want the well-being of the horse to come first, so if I need to find a chiropractor or call my vet I will.
 

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When she speeds up at a trot her back looks normal. Also she will run in the pasture on her own. I haven’t noticed any obvious signs of pain, just the awkwardness the lateral walk. Any additional thoughts?

Ive always tries to fix behavioral problems myself, instead of spending money on professionals unless necessary. Would you consider it necessary in this case? I’m really looking for training methods to fix this, and to see if anyone has ever experienced a similar problem. Of course I want the well-being of the horse to come first, so if I need to find a chiropractor or call my vet I will.
This isn't behavioral - you can't fix pain with training.

I watched and re-watched that trotting video, and she is clearly uncomfortable in her hind end, I'm thinking off-side rear leg.

If it were my horse, I'd get a vet out and then a chiro for management. Something isn't right.

If you want to provide more video, take a video from straight behind, walking and trotting. I'd be willing to be bet one side is compensating, and I would expect to see one side to be 'dropping', if what I saw in the trotting video is what I'm thinking it would look like from behind.
 
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This is a very uncomfortable horse. Her gait is stiff, she's thin and undeveloped along her topline from not wanting to use herself properly. Something is wrong, and has been for a very long time. This horse needs veterinary help and a chiropractor.
 

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I watched and re-watched that trotting video, and she is clearly uncomfortable in her hind end, I'm thinking off-side rear leg.
I agree it looks like the off rear in the trotting video, but oddly before watching that, I'd just decided she looked off on the near rear in the slow-walk video.
 

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I think she looks very lame in the trotting video......like her back end is bobbing. And I own/ have owned gaited horses, so I don't think this has anything to do with her being gaited.

Personally, I would skip the chiropractor (I've never used one myself or for my horses) and call a decent vet. If nothing else it would ease your mind that she is okay........but I really feel she has a significant lameness. I'm sorry to say that. :frown_color: If she was a horse I was looking to buy, I would never even consider her, that's how lame she looks to me. I personally would think a vet's opinion is money well spent. At least you would have something to go on. Wouldn't you feel awful if you were trying to correct her way-of-moving and she has something causing her pain? Or maybe something was injured and healed wrong and even if she's not in pain, she just can't physically do much different.

I met a lady whose horse fell into a cattle guard and he has a funny way of moving, almost like a Tennessee Walker, reaching under himself, even though he is a grade horse. This could be a case of something like that. Bad spill as a foal maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I had my vet out today. He assured me that the odd/lateral walk is her natural gait. She is not in any pain, no joint issues or anything. We're going to try adding slightly weighted shoes to her front to see if that will correct her walk. The trotting work seems to be helping to improve her mussel as well.
 

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Well, I hope your vet is correct but I will go on record as saying I think the horse is in discomfort.

Good luck and best wishes with your horse:)
 

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Could it be that she is being force to move in an unnatural gait and that is making her sore? My gaited horse can trot and rack but the trot is not natural for her.

There is a reason gaited horses aren't widely used in jumping sports and other types of events. They have a different movement.

Maybe see how she moves without the trot poles for a few weeks, just work on plain old movement? It's just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Could it be that she is being force to move in an unnatural gait and that is making her sore? My gaited horse can trot and rack but the trot is not natural for her.

There is a reason gaited horses aren't widely used in jumping sports and other types of events. They have a different movement.

Maybe see how she moves without the trot poles for a few weeks, just work on plain old movement? It's just a thought.
Thanks for the advice. I have just started working her over trot poles recently, around 2-3 weeks. Already I have seen an improvement in her gait. I an trying to build up muscle in her, and the trotting seems to be working.
 
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