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I purchased a horse last October who I was going to train for barrels, seeing as I had to put mine down. He had only been rode a handful of times before I got him, but thankfully he was super easy to train. In the middle of August of this year he became on/off lame. One day he was fine, the next day lame, day after that "sound", so on and so on. I already have one other horse I can no longer ride due to arthritis, so just wanting to be safe I took him to the vet and got both front legs x-ray'd. They came up showing early ringbone. This horse is only 5 years old and was just finishing being broke. He had not been put under hard stress on his joints and we cannot figure out why he developed this so young. Since I am in college and working full time I will not race anymore until I graduate, and was wondering if anyone had some advise on ringbone and
how/if they were able to keep their horse sound and pain free. All I will be doing is riding at home and maybe a few trail rides. Any insight will be greatly appreciated :D
 

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Is it articular(in the joint) or not? Depends on that, and the degree as to whether or not you might 'rehab' him & keep him sound, although a career as hard on the body as barrel racing is probably not something I'd do with him.

If the horse hasn't been started early/hard & already has osteo changes, my no.1 guess for cause would be nutrition. I'd be very particular about him having a well balanced diet, particularly with enough Mg & not too much calcium(look into recent research on that for changes to conventional Ca/Mg ratios).

Could also be about mechanics, if his feet have been neglected or badly balanced, this can cause joint damage before the horse even gets to 1st base. Could also be damage due to limb deviation or such, but would think the vet would have been onto that.
 

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You have not provided enough information as the the posters mentioned, to give much help. Most of the young ones I see, come from poor farriers and/or poor owner upkeep. Sometimes its manageable and other times not.
 

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Without posting front and side view photos of the legs, no one can even offer a good guess. Is it possible to post photos and post the x-rays? There are some very knowledgeable horsemen on this site.

My other suggestion would be to take this horse to another Vet that specializes in lameness issues, especially someone catering to the barrel horse / roping horse barns. It is just like here. We have hundreds of Vets here in southern Oklahoma, but there is one I take front leg lameness problems to and another the works for the cutting and reining barns that I take hind limb lameness to. There are probably 40 Vets closer to me than these two and do not even slow down as I drive by.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It is not in his joint, and at this time I do not have the x-rays, but we are going back in a few weeks to take some more and I will get them then. When I first bought him his feet were horrible, and he was in poor nutritional health. Since I've had him he has been on a low-starch pellet feed, night and/or day turn-out (depending on weather) and gets 1-2 flakes of grass hay a day. He gets his hoofs done every 6-7 weeks and they are now in good shape. The one thing about this horse is his conformation. He has a horse size body, and short legs which I believe could possible contribute to ringbone. I will attach a picture of him, but of course he looks different in person than in a picture.
 

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It is not in his joint, and at this time I do not have the x-rays, but we are going back in a few weeks to take some more
Good. As many vets don't automatically do this, it's helpful to request that they use markers on the hooves, to show hairline, dorsal wall & point of frog on the xrays. In the meantime, hoof pics could help us give you more. You're right, he looks 'stumpy'!:lol: But I think the angle of your pic contributed to that - I have a photo of me on my horse which makes him look like a... sausage dog shape! His forefeet could be a bit high heeled/upright, but can't tell from that angle & with bell boots...

Since I've had him he has been on a low-starch pellet feed, night and/or day turn-out (depending on weather) and gets 1-2 flakes of grass hay a day.
May be stating the obvious, but since I don't know what you know... That basic diet could be absolutely fine, *assuming the horse also has grazing. Otherwise, if that's his whole diet, I imagine it's about half n half pellets & hay. I would add more hay & feed him less pellets. As his weight looks OK, I'd work on around 2%bwt daily in hay & pasture, and feed pellets if/as needed as small supplementary meals, to add necessary supps to or such.
 

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Those x rays are of poor quality, to say the least. They look like old school film and someone who doesnt know how to set up a horse for an x ray to boot. In addition, unless the issue has been diagnosed and additional x rays are being taken as maintenance, the first set not only needs to be complete, but without shoes. Otherwise they are as good as trash.
 

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Given the location of ringbone it makes no difference if the shoes are on or off as they won't interfere with the ability to see it
I do agree with that, if its maintenance shots. However , when you have a lame horse you need to look at the whole picture For example do you really want to start the treatment plan for ringbone and them find out you have stress fractures in the coffin bone ? Now you have put out an additional thousand or so only to find out it either wasn't what was causing the lameness at this time or you have other issues that need to be addressed. Like I said you have poor. And incomplete x rays
 

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Ringbone is usually visible from outward signs both in early and late stages of the disease so maybe the vet had already picked up on those before X rays were taken
Either way they seem to have diagnosed it from the ones taken and as any further ones will just be maintenance no need to go to added expense of removing shoes and then putting them back on again
 

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Then why is this vet looking to take more x
Rays and what was the original treatment plan. Those feet are not in the best shape either. If they had diagnosed ringbone them what was the shoeing treatment when was it done and if that is a second set of X-rays the farrier may be as big of a problem
 

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That would be normally 6 months on the first go and yearly there after. You really wouldn't see much that close together if anything. We still don't know the original treatment plan and while the shots are not the best the break over isn't being helped. The shoe is forward My ringbone issues have all gone to NB rockers with great success.
 

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Exactly what jayde said the other x-rays are just for maintenance and to see if the condition has worsened. Also he's hoofs are not in poor condition, and the x-rays are not poor. Bug zapper, I don't know why you feel the need to critisize my farrier and vet when all I was asking for in the original post was to see if anyone else had has these issues and how they delt with them, not for critisizeism. Right now, because of how he is shod my horse has been sound for about 2 months now, and we haven't had any more lameness. We are keeping a close eye on him and will consult a vet as needed. Thank you everyone for your help and advice!!
 

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My horse has low ringbone, and he can be ridden very lightly a few times a month. It doesn't seem to bother him.. I would most definitely not race your horse though. I know people who have ringbone horses who still show Dressage though they have very mild cases, and are given injections to keep it under control.
 

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can someone please use your computer to draw on the xray photo and show me the ringbone? I don't have experience reading xrays, and can only see something really obvious, like a broken bone.
 
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