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My mare is 17 and so I don't doubt she may be arthritic. But when she eats, and only when she eats, she staggers.

She'll be eating the pile of hay off the ground (so she'll be in a normal grazing stance) and she'll be shifting her weight and swaying and moving her legs to stabilize.

When I let her out of her stall and walk her she's fine. I'll let her out into the arena and she rolls and bucks and gallops around. She's responsive and perceptive like normal. She just eats weird.

I do my best to flex her and stretch her as well. She's been in bed rest because of a tendon injury, but this has been her habit since I got her.

One thing I noticed is she stretches her legs out behind her when she stands, kind of like a stallion. I think it's because her hind legs are a lot longer than front legs do she stretches out that way. When I've observed other horses eat they kind of camp their legs under their hind end and that balances them. But she stretches her hind legs out and then her head is down to eat so she isn't balanced all.

Another observation I've made is if she's in a stall versus out in a pasture she gets more wobbly. As if tight spaces make her dizzy.

Has anyone else experienced this?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I mean the vet has done basic observatory tests on her for lameness and basic functions. Don't really have the resources to do in depth tests.
 

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I mean the vet has done basic observatory tests on her for lameness and basic functions. Don't really have the resources to do in depth tests.
So what do you intend to do to investigate this further? Asking a bunch of strangers will get you all sorts of replies, and I'm guessing most of them will get to "check with your vet' at sometime or other.

SO if she is out grazing she staggers? She has hay in front of her 24/7 and she is staggering?

I don't think it would be anything to do with being dizzy more to do with mechanical issues through lack of movement. I take it she is no longer on stall rest before she is bucking and galloping around the arena.

My best guess, VET....
 
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I do plan on contacting my vet I was just curious if other people have experienced this because I never have.

But thank you for your condescending advice.
 

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When you say staggering...is she literally staggering like a drunk, or is she just shifting her weight constantly? Is it only when her head is down?
 

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Have you tried giving her hay to her up off the ground, maybe at chest height? If she only staggers when eating it at ground level, that might solve her problem.
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I would think this a good experiment to perform. It would help narrow down possibilities by perhaps showing that the strain of the normal horse eating position is bothering her in some capacity (ie sore joints, pulled/bruised muscles, damaged tendons, etc.) and would, thus, be the jumping off point to initiate more in depth investigation into the mystery.
 

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Actually, the best way to see if she has a neurological issue is to back her up several steps quickly and then turn her. Do the same going forward. Turns should be abrupt and sharp.

If she loses her balance in one direction more than another or acts wobbly during or after this (I mean REALLY wobbly, like she could fall down or acts drunk wobbly) you KNOW you have a problem.

From your description and NOT seeing the horse I would guess a neck issue (pinched nerve etc.). Can you provide a video?
 

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But thank you for your condescending advice.
I'm sorry for your horse, but when you say she's done this since you've had her(however long that may be), she 'camps out' and you're asking an internet forum, rather than getting her seen to... YOUR rude reply was uncalled for and Golden's advice was entirely reasonable!!

In addition to getting a comprehensive vet check, I'd get a vet chiro, as bodywork is likely an issue(if not THE issue), and also a hoof care practitioner. While only having one unclear pic to go on, by no means sure, but it appears her front hairlines are almost horizontal in that pic, which could indicate founder.
 
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