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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About 6 days ago after a ride, my horse started limping on her front right leg, and her fetlock was maybe slightly swollen. I ran cold water over it for 10-15 minutes and the swelling stopped. There was no heat and she was putting weight on it while she was standing. She was completely relaxed and grazing and didn't care if I touched or pushed on it. I missed school the following day so I could go out in the morning and check on her and call the vet if needed, but when I got there there was no swelling, no limp, and when I turned her out she took off running down the pasture, showing no signs of pain. I gave her 4 days off just to be sure, and when I just walked and trotted her for 30 minutes Thursday, she was alert, full of energy with no limp. Today I took her out, groomed, and tacked her with no issues. But when I started walking her towards the round pen, she started limping on her back left leg. No swelling, no heat, and she stood fine on it. When I called other people over to look and walked in the opposite direction of the round pen, she conveniently wasn't limping anymore. So I put her in the round pen and she is walking, trotting, and cantering fine. She is a young, smart, quick to learn barrel horse who I haven't run barrels with in several weeks because I've been trying to work on some of the slow, "perfecting" work that she gets bored with easy. So could she be faking a limp after she found out that limping gets her out of "boring" work?
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RF would go with LH.

Something in your saddle may be causing this, or you have it too far forwards?

But may show up more tacked as nerve is pinched, or possibly cracked ribs?

Tree could be broken?

Something is wrong though, and you don't need to be riding her until you find out what is going on, or you can permanently damage her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
She did it without a saddle on as well, and my saddle is treeless so there's no tree. Can't be cracked ribs because she acts fine on her own, running, bucking and playing with no encouragement. I put her in the round pen yesterday and just watched her walk, and she stopped limping. She walked, trotted, and cantered fine, showing no signs of pain. Someone at my barn suggested maybe she was just getting stiff while she was standing on the concrete while I tacked her up.
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I had a mare that would fake limp to get out of work. It was always on a trail and usually about a mile or so from home. If she wanted to go home she would start to limp. The instant you turned her towards home she would be sound. If you turned her around to keep heading out she would fake limp and then forget which limp she was "sore on" and would thus alternate between the limbs. How old is your mare? have you have a vet check? A young horse in a high octane activity it could easily be a legitimate injury.
 

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Horses can be stoic and tolerate considerable pain in the short term. If a horse were to display lameness that is precisely the horse a predator would single out to pursue. I think what you are seeing is a lame horse that is tolerating the pain until it goes beyond the point of tolerance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No, I haven't had a vet check her. She is 6. She's not showing any signs of pain except for the limp, which only lasts a couple seconds when the round pen comes into view. Last night I walked her to the pasture which is next to the round pen, and she started limping. But when she realized we were going to the pasture and not into the round pen, she started prancing from excitement and took off when I turned her loose in the pasture, again showing no pain. And she has switched legs twice now, as to which one she limps on.
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ok, she might have figured out from an old owner if she pretends to be hurt she gets out of work. see if after a couple of rounds around the arena if shes still acting lame.
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