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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

So mambo the horse im riding/leasing for barn work is lame/stiff in his back left leg. I was riding today and troting him and he got rambunctious and tried to canter on me. I pulled him back to a trot because a) i didnt ask for it and b) i wasn't sure if it would hurt him.
After i went back to a trot i thought about asking for a canter but i didn't want to hurt him if it was something he shouldnt be doing untill his owner gets his hocks injected like she keeps talking bout.
What do you guys think?
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If he's lame you shouldn't be riding him at all.
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Lame, stiff as in arthritis? Riding regularly helps arthritis, gets the synovial fluid lubricating the joints. Once the horse is all warmed up and loosey goosey, you can canter for a little bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
His owner says he is fine to ride. That he is just arthritic and stiff. She says he needs his hocks injected tho b4 he does any sort of heavy work. She didnt say weather or not letting him canter if he seemed to want to was ok
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Oh, I thought he was lame-lame, not arthritic "lame". In that case, exercise is good. Id keep him walk-trot until she gets his hocks done though. Things that are in motion tend to stay in motion and they'll do better the more they move around. I have an old guy with arthritis and we canter every ride. Just give them a good warm up and cool down time. After a particularly hard ride I cold hose, and after doing gymkhanas I hose, dry, massage with liniment, and wrap.
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I have been told, and have found with my mare, that cantering is easier than trotting for a horse with hock arthritis. My mare throws canter steps in to our trot work all the time unless I keep after her, and I have found that she prefers to warm up in canter rather than trot. She is much happier after a few times around the arena in her stronger lead, and I spend less time fighting her, and she feels less stiff. I think if the horse is telling you that he feels up to cantering, then he would be ok for short periods at canter. It is somewhat up to the owner, though. If she says no cantering, no cantering. If he has swelling or more pain afterwards when you have cantered, that also would be a signal not to do it.
 

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I've also heard that cantering is easier for horses with hock arthritis. There was a school horse I used to ride whom I was specifically told to canter her to warm her up.

Also, if the horse is feeling good enough to want to canter, I would say the horse probably feels just fine about cantering. Although I'd still bring the horse back and make him wait until I tell him to canter.
 

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Horses are usually smart enough to know what's hurting them so he likely wouldn't have tried to canter if he was in pain. It's not as if you were having to whip the backside off him to make him move
My very arthritic mare leaps, bucks and gallops about the field with the best of them!!!
 

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You know whether or not to ride him, entirely depends on what the problem is. There are a lot of soundness issues that can still be ridden through, in fact some of them should be ridden to get better or loosen up the joint. I would highly recommend getting a vet to come and check out why and what is going on.

As for allowing him to canter? at this point if you are riding him without knowing what the problem is, and the horse itself tried to get into a canter, I doubt it bothers him enough if at all or he wouldnt have gone into that gait in the first place.

I would get a vet out to get you some information.
 
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