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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted about this a couple of week ago, but it's still going on.

Was it three weeks ago maybe Or two weeks? I rode Pony on a Saturday, and he was great. I went out to see him on Sunday, and he had a slight limp (favoring his front right foot). On Monday, it was terrible. Every single step (on that foot) seemed to hurt him. We put him in his stall / paddock overnight. When I went out on Tuesday, he was absolutely fine. The barn owner lunged him on Tuesday evening then put him back out in the pasture as he seemed fine to her also. Someone rode him that week, and the trainer also, and they both said he was great.

That Saturday, he was lame again. Not noticeably on the ground, but after a few minutes of trotting. It was kind of subtle, but definitely there. So I got off. Someone rode him in the early part of the next week and said he was great. The trainer was going to ride him on Thursday, but she said she could tell just from looking at him in the pasture that he was going to be lame, so she didn't. This past Saturday he was very very slightly lame on gravel, so I didn't ride him. I didn't go out to see him on Sunday (yesterday), but the barn owner told me today that he was limping so badly in the pasture that she almost called me. Today he was absolutely fine. Even over gravel. I didn't try to ride him, as I'm giving him the week off to see if that helps.

When it first started, one of the grooms got a reaction by pressing the apex of his frog (just pressing it with his thumb). However, the farrier came out the next day and tested both front feet and got no reaction. I'm pretty sure it's his foot, as it seems worse on gravel. He has no swelling and heat (up and down both legs and up to the shoulders). He has a small hoof crack in his other front foot that I've been soaking intermittently with white lightning. There was one day during this time that it rained a bit, but otherwise it's been dry for the past month or so. He has very thick soles and has never had a problem on gravel.

Since the farrier didn't find anything, I guess if he's still having problems at the end of this week I'll get the lameness vet out. But does anyone have any thoughts about this? What could it be that he's fine one day and limping the next, off and on over weeks?
 

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Do you have a sole picture of that foot? Or maybe an opinion from a different farrier? If you're sure its the feet.

Someone i knew had one that was on and off lame like that and it was a cyst or something that would rub a tendon in the lower leg or so i was told.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm getting another farrier out next week. I forgot to mention that.

When you say it was a cyst, was that something internal?
 

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Yeah it was something internal in the leg. This is like 3rd hand information on the issue. It was a horse i had ridden so i have seen the on/off lameness, but due to the lameness and several treatments not working she free leased the mare to someone she knew. She thought it was the feet previously. But the lady that free leased her got an xray or MRI or something done and they found the cyst. 🤷‍♀️ Not my horse and i didn't see the actual pictures.

I don't think she was ever dead lame, but a couple times i went out she looked fine at a walk and i saddled her up. Warm up walked then asked for a trot and she'd be slightly off. Sometimes she'd be a little gimpy out in the pasture and I'd grab a different horse. But some days she'd be limping then the next she'd be running around bucking and having a grand old time in the pasture while she was on "rest". She also was really prone to kicking fights with another mare so that was also a suspicion for a while.
 

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Radiographs would be recommended of the hoof. It sounds like there is definitely something going on inside the capsule.
 

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Sometimes an on again off again lameness turns out to be navicular. I have read that this will often show up in a horse around 7 years of age (don't know if this is true, just something I read).
I don't know how old Pony is and if he falls into that age group.
 

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TIme to have he hoof x rayed. If he is lame one day , sound the next, stop riding him. Tell the trainer and whomever else is still riding him to stop riding him. I thought you were changing barns?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes he has this week off. Perhaps I mentioned that in another post and not here.
 

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Navicular. Take your pony to the vet. Do not wait. He has a problem. It will not go away. It's already been 3 weeks.

This is how my horse Red presented. He never head-bobbing lame, but was always "off" sometimes but not consistently. Red's xrays are clean but he most def has heel pain to be managed.

Dexter presented in somewhat the same way although his outward symptoms were much more subtle than Red. However, his xrays look worse even though his presentation isn't as bad as Red.
 

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We also have a retired mare that had on and off lameness. It was infuriating because I'd see terrible limping but by the time the owner got there later in the day she would trot over fine. I must have sounded like a total noob but things did worsen and she had to take the mare to another yard for proper stabling and recovery. It was laminitis and months later, now she's back, has the rings to prove it.

I understand if you want to wait and see but the most I could bear probably would be a week. Katie was limping badly and everyone told me to wait. Every time I looked at her foot I couldn't see ANYTHING or even get a reaction. But she had a thorn, like wire, right through her frog. It was hard to see with the mud, even washed off. I managed to wait 30 hours before caving in and getting the vet out for an xray. But before the vet came I found said thorn, phew, but waiting for them to remove it. I have lost relatives and beloved pets/animals due to playing the wait and see game. Not all could have been saved of course but you never know. No hoof no horse. Plus if the horse is demonstrating they are in pain then that they were likely in pain long before we even knew. I've been stung too many times on that front as well.

Hope its nothing negative but I wouldn't wait.
 

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I wouldn't jump to navicular but I would definitely want to rule it out. Is the lameness on the straight of way or on a turn? It could be so many things at this point. It could be an abscess that is working it's way out, it could be a tendon issue, it could be navicular, it could be a bruise something going on inside the hoof, it could even be something up high in the shoulder area. It's so hard to tell when it's on again off again and there is no obvious sign of injury.

Having the farrier out is a great step and would probably be my first step as well. Next would be the vet. I wouldn't be in a rush to call them out emergency because what you are describing, but I also wouldn't be working the horse or waiting a long period of time. I'd be calling the vet out for an appointment after I talked to my farrier. You could set up the appointment now and always cancel if the farrier is certain of the issue....
 

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From your past posts and the fact that you learned to trim your horses out of evil necessity (crappy farriers), there is no way I would be taking any farriers words for anything - I don't care what their "credentials" are.

As others have said get the vet and GET X-RAYS.

The best farrier on the planet has zero idea what is going on inside Pony's hooves without x-rays.

He could have navicular.
He could be suffering from sub-clinical laminitis.
He could have a coffin bone infection.
Off/on lameness can also be associated with an issue in the neck that is radiating down, into the hoof. I've never had to deal with this but I have read about it.

This has been going on for at least 3-4 weeks that the forum is aware, so maybe longer. Nobody should be riding Pony for any reason.

As has already been commented: "no hoof, no horse". If Pony doesn't get a vet's attention, including x-rays ASAP, Pony may end up permanently lame.
 

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From your past posts and the fact that you learned to trim your horses out of evil necessity (crappy farriers), there is no way I would be taking any farriers words for anything - I don't care what their "credentials" are.
I think I missed the part about the crappy farriers. My farrier is well educated and specializes in special needs as far as hoofs are concerned so I would have had him out first with the vet scheduled for a follow up. BUT I also already have a set of x-rays. I will eventually need follow-up ones as time goes by but my farrier (with the vets comments) has made massive improvements with my guy (navicular).

If your farriers have been an issue then I too would skip that step. Although, I would be looking for one. Hopefully your vet can recommend one because I think it is going to be an important factor.
 

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A vet is necessary, because intermittent lameness can be hard to diagnose. One of my horses had an intermittent limp that came from back arthritis. A limp can look very similar if it comes from laminitis, a bruise, a shoulder injury, or a pulled tendon. The vet can help isolate the area it is coming from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If he's not lame on the day the vet is out, will that complicate things? You guys have convinced me to have him looked at and to get XRays, but I'm just wondering about the visual evaluation part.
 
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If he's not lame on the day the vet is out, will that complicate things? You guys have convinced me to have him looked at and to get XRays, but I'm just wondering about the visual evaluation part.
It won’t complicate things IF the vet specializes in lameness issues. Google lameness vets and see who is in your area. Now that you have the truck & trailer, you can carry Pony to someone who might not make farm calls.

And truthfully, this mystery lameness has gone on long enough that I would not mess with the general vet, unless you know for fact he is good with lameness issues.

I love my general vet BUT when it comes time to do the PRP Therapy on Joker, the Sports Medicine Vet will do it:). We would not want our regular MD inserting the stent after our heart attack:)

A lameness vet will likely do a nerve block for starters and go from there.
 

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X-rays and maybe a block will be key to figure out where the pain is. Mine was sound a couple times when the vet came but we thought it was shoulder pain and were looking in the wrong place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
@walkinthewalk no, he's a lameness specialist. He's really THE lameness specialist in our area.
 

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@walkinthewalk no, he's a lameness specialist. He's really THE lameness specialist in our area.
well alrighty then!!! Get out the checkbook and let him have at it👍😀👍😀

But to be more serious, the issue does need resolved before permanent damage is done and, IMHO, it has to start with a vet knowledgeable on lameness issues and who knows sometimes they can start further up the body🙂
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
well alrighty then!!! Get out the checkbook and let him have at it👍😀👍😀
Even better, they have my credit card on file. :rolleyes:

Pony came cantering up when I called him today, even threw in a little buck. But I'm still going to have this guy look at him. I'm thinking I will wait until the new trimmer sees him since she's already on the schedule.
 
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