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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! My horse got chiropracted by a very well known chiropractor and he advised his stifles were a little sticky. Nothing terrible where he needs injected, yet anyways, but he advised to back him up some before I ride him to help strengthen the stifle. My horse needed hock injections that I recently got for the first time, and it seems as he has needed it for awhile and possibly because of his hocks being sore, it weakened the stifle? I was wondering if there were any other exercises I could do to help strengthen the stifles. I have started trotting and loping him over poles some as well. My horse is 15 if that matters, and we barrel race. In my videos it seems he is extending his back legs well and when we trail ride and run a straight shot he is still very fast so this stickiness is just mild. He never gets "locked" or anything. I have him on acti-flex as a joint supplement, and when we run at shows he gets equioxx to eliminate any pain if he is having any. Does this necessarily mean eventually his stifles will need injected? Thank you! :gallop:
 

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You already have a good list going of exercises for stifles.


- Backing up
- Hill work
- Pole work
- Raised poles
- Backing over poles


You want an exercise that his them lifting the hind legs up higher and forward. Slowly walking raised poles does this really well.


If the joint has been unstable for a long time, the joint may be inflamed from the stress and it's possible there is arthritis development, given his age. IA injections would benifit. Sore hocks and sore stifles often go hand in hand. I know my horse didn't get really comfortable until I did both the hocks and stifles at once (but he's an advanced case)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You already have a good list going of exercises for stifles.


- Backing up
- Hill work
- Pole work
- Raised poles
- Backing over poles


You want an exercise that his them lifting the hind legs up higher and forward. Slowly walking raised poles does this really well.


If the joint has been unstable for a long time, the joint may be inflamed from the stress and it's possible there is arthritis development, given his age. IA injections would benifit. Sore hocks and sore stifles often go hand in hand. I know my horse didn't get really comfortable until I did both the hocks and stifles at once (but he's an advanced case)


Hello, thanks for the exercises! I will start trying some raised poles too. About how high? Also if he needed injected, the chiro should have been able to tell me. He is VERY well known, he travels and is busy constantly. He advised it wasn't terrible, just a little sticky. Not saying he couldn't be wrong, just hoping he is right. He was able to tell my friend that her horse needs hock injections and he is correct. I guess I will find out when I take him back to get his hock injections again, but for now I will do my best to strengthen it. Thank you!
 

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If you go to "Horse Forum Community" and then go to "Journals", you will find everyone's journals, which are super interesting to read.

I have made it easy for you by finding pretty much the beginning of Gottatrot's adventures with this horse, who was originally named Rascal, ad after she bought him, she named him Hero.

https://www.horseforum.com/member-journals/why-i-gotta-trot-645777/page152/

It took her a long long time to get Hero going well, but her journal is extremely readable and interesting . . . and you will learn a lot!
 

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Hello, thanks for the exercises! I will start trying some raised poles too. About how high? Also if he needed injected, the chiro should have been able to tell me. He is VERY well known, he travels and is busy constantly. He advised it wasn't terrible, just a little sticky. Not saying he couldn't be wrong, just hoping he is right. He was able to tell my friend that her horse needs hock injections and he is correct. I guess I will find out when I take him back to get his hock injections again, but for now I will do my best to strengthen it. Thank you!

Not too high at first. Build up to it. You can start just by raising alternating sides of a line of poles, eventually having them vertical, a foot or so is the most you'd need. Rail road ties are great for this.
 

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Hello! My horse got chiropracted by a very well known chiropractor and he advised his stifles were a little sticky. Nothing terrible where he needs injected, yet anyways, but he advised to back him up some before I ride him to help strengthen the stifle. My horse needed hock injections that I recently got for the first time, and it seems as he has needed it for awhile and possibly because of his hocks being sore, it weakened the stifle? I was wondering if there were any other exercises I could do to help strengthen the stifles. I have started trotting and loping him over poles some as well.
How did your chiropractor determine your horse's stifles were sticky? I've never known a chiro to diagnose that, unless your chiro is also a vet.

How long ago did your horse get hock injections?

It is not common for an OLDER horse to get sticky stifles, but of course, anything is possible. It is very possible to get SORE in the stifle if they are compensating for something else (such as sore hocks). But usually, compensation for another injury is not going to make the stifles STICKY. This is why I question what your chiro told you.

In general, exercises to strengthen the stifle are making sure the horse travels collected (and not strung out with their back hollow), going over low caveletti, backing up hills, etc. As with anything, you want to start small/slow and build up at the horse's fitness increases. That is, *IF* your horse actually has sticky stifles. It's different if he has SORE stifles.

In my videos it seems he is extending his back legs well and when we trail ride and run a straight shot he is still very fast so this stickiness is just mild.
As a general rule of thumb, most barrel horses with hock issues will not want to "push" off from the turn and not want to get their butt in the ground, and most barrel horses will stifle issues will not want to get that hind leg under themselves in the turn and/or crossfire their hind lead during the turn.

and when we run at shows he gets equioxx to eliminate any pain if he is having any.
Do you give the Equioxx ONLY on race days? Be advised that is NOT the accepted use of Equioxx. It is not like bute. Bute will give you an instant effect (but you can have GI side effects). Equioxx need to build up in the system to a therapeutic level, which usually seems to take about a week of giving it every day. For the record, two of my horses are on Equioxx daily during the competition season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How did your chiropractor determine your horse's stifles were sticky? I've never known a chiro to diagnose that, unless your chiro is also a vet.

How long ago did your horse get hock injections?

It is not common for an OLDER horse to get sticky stifles, but of course, anything is possible. It is very possible to get SORE in the stifle if they are compensating for something else (such as sore hocks). But usually, compensation for another injury is not going to make the stifles STICKY. This is why I question what your chiro told you.

In general, exercises to strengthen the stifle are making sure the horse travels collected (and not strung out with their back hollow), going over low caveletti, backing up hills, etc. As with anything, you want to start small/slow and build up at the horse's fitness increases. That is, *IF* your horse actually has sticky stifles. It's different if he has SORE stifles.



As a general rule of thumb, most barrel horses with hock issues will not want to "push" off from the turn and not want to get their butt in the ground, and most barrel horses will stifle issues will not want to get that hind leg under themselves in the turn and/or crossfire their hind lead during the turn.



Do you give the Equioxx ONLY on race days? Be advised that is NOT the accepted use of Equioxx. It is not like bute. Bute will give you an instant effect (but you can have GI side effects). Equioxx need to build up in the system to a therapeutic level, which usually seems to take about a week of giving it every day. For the record, two of my horses are on Equioxx daily during the competition season.

The chiro I use is extremely knowledgeable, and I mean extremely. He is not a vet, but believe me when I say he is very very knowledgeable. He is very very well known and travels. He could tell his stifles were a bit sticky due to feeling them while I was making him back up and he had me feel as well. He advised his stifles shouldn't need injected, yet anyways, but they need strengthened. He advised to back him up about 60ft a couple times to help. My horse is older, he will be 16 in February. Now I know no one is perfect and of course he could be wrong about the stickiness, but usually he is not wrong. My horse's hocks got injected almost 2 months ago, I took him to the chiro about a month ago so the injections were still fairly new. I have been backing him up and trotting and loping over poles. I have limited access to hills, but yesterday I trotted him up and down the hill we do have about 4 or 5 times. It's not extremely steep, but it's still an incline so hopefully it'll help. I give equioxx 2 days before, and the day of a show, so he gets 3 doses before a run. My vet advised that it takes 3 days for it to work in the system. I cannot give him equioxx daily, I would have to do that all year round because I don't really have an off season. I also cannot give him bute due to the possibility of ulcers. I mean I guess I could but if he is having a flare up he probably would not act the best with bute lol... Like I said though, I realize the chiro could be wrong, but it's just unusual for him because he is very knowledgeable. Although I am halfway expecting him to need his stifles injected eventually, or at least something else. With my luck it's won't just be the hocks forever. At the moment though we are no longer refusing to go in the arena, he has gone right in to every one, besides the last arena I ran him in before he was injected. I think he is still associating that one with pain.
 

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The chiro I use is extremely knowledgeable, and I mean extremely. He is not a vet, but believe me when I say he is very very knowledgeable. He is very very well known and travels. He could tell his stifles were a bit sticky due to feeling them while I was making him back up and he had me feel as well. He advised his stifles shouldn't need injected, yet anyways, but they need strengthened. He advised to back him up about 60ft a couple times to help. My horse is older, he will be 16 in February. Now I know no one is perfect and of course he could be wrong about the stickiness, but usually he is not wrong.

It is possible to "feel" the stifle sticking a bit when you have the horse walk forward or back up. When you had his hocks injected 2 months ago, did the vet say anything about his stifles? Pretty common for a horse to be sore in BOTH the hocks and stifles, because they often end up trying to compensate for each other, which is when it is wise to inject both the hocks and the stifles at the same time.



I give equioxx 2 days before, and the day of a show, so he gets 3 doses before a run. My vet advised that it takes 3 days for it to work in the system. I cannot give him equioxx daily, I would have to do that all year round because I don't really have an off season.

The two lameness specialists I use have always recommended giving three 57 mg tablets of Equioxx on the first day (loading dose), and then one 57 mg tablet each day thereafter. The loading dose helps you to get to a therapeutic level faster.



With both of my horses that I have on it, I can notice a difference in them at about 1 week. Yes, I think that's what the label says on the Equioxx (3 days, if doing a loading dose) but speaking from experience, it seems to be about a week before you can feel them moving better.



I also cannot give him bute due to the possibility of ulcers. I mean I guess I could but if he is having a flare up he probably would not act the best with bute lol...

Does your horse have a history of ulcers?


Yes, bute often has GI side effects and not recommended for a horse that is prone to ulcers. Just be advised that while ulcer side effects are unlikely with Equioxx, they are still possible. So heads up on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It is possible to "feel" the stifle sticking a bit when you have the horse walk forward or back up. When you had his hocks injected 2 months ago, did the vet say anything about his stifles? Pretty common for a horse to be sore in BOTH the hocks and stifles, because they often end up trying to compensate for each other, which is when it is wise to inject both the hocks and the stifles at the same time.






The two lameness specialists I use have always recommended giving three 57 mg tablets of Equioxx on the first day (loading dose), and then one 57 mg tablet each day thereafter. The loading dose helps you to get to a therapeutic level faster.



With both of my horses that I have on it, I can notice a difference in them at about 1 week. Yes, I think that's what the label says on the Equioxx (3 days, if doing a loading dose) but speaking from experience, it seems to be about a week before you can feel them moving better.






Does your horse have a history of ulcers?


Yes, bute often has GI side effects and not recommended for a horse that is prone to ulcers. Just be advised that while ulcer side effects are unlikely with Equioxx, they are still possible. So heads up on that.

The vet did not say anything about his stifles, only the hocks. My vet just advised three days, no loading dose. I looked it up and on the website it advises just one a day should work? I'm not sure, I have never had him scoped. It's only a guess he could. His attitude sometimes seems like he could have some, but his body doesn't show any symptoms. His weight and muscle tone seem fine to me. He isn't that cinchy either. I think his stomach bothers him when he gets worked up sometimes because in general he is an anxious horse, so now I give him oxy-gen mag 44 for shows just in case. The vet thinks he has ulcers though, I'm half and half on it. Now that it has been a couple months since his injections, should I take him back to see if anywhere else needs it? I would rather wait until I go back to get his hocks injected though, at the moment I don't have my own way. I have to borrow a trailer and a vehicle to haul it. He isn't giving me issues going in anymore.
 

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My vet just advised three days, no loading dose. I looked it up and on the website it advises just one a day should work?
Logically, yes, one dose is going to give some sort of effect. You can compare Equioxx for a horse to Celebrex for a human. The medication, even taking it once, will have some effect; after all, you've just consumed medication. However, just speaking from my own experience, I can't tell that my horses feel any better in their movement until they've been on it about a week with the loading dose.

The Equioxx label also says you aren't supposed to give it more than 14 days in a row. I give it all spring, summer, and fall during the competition season, with a break in the winter when they have time off. Of course, under the direction of my vet.

I don't have access to the full article anymore, but there was research done regarding the loading dose which is where most lameness specialists are getting their information from (research).

I think his stomach bothers him when he gets worked up sometimes because in general he is an anxious horse, so now I give him oxy-gen mag 44 for shows just in case. The vet thinks he has ulcers though, I'm half and half on it.

If the vet thinks he has ulcers, he might do better on an omeprazol treatment such as GastroGuard during stressful times, such as hauling and racing. GG is expensive -- I actually use a cheaped compounded omeprazol I get through my vet that's about half the cost of GG.

Usually, anxious horses are the ones that do get ulcers, but of course it can affect laid back types as well.

Now that it has been a couple months since his injections, should I take him back to see if anywhere else needs it? I would rather wait until I go back to get his hocks injected though, at the moment I don't have my own way. I have to borrow a trailer and a vehicle to haul it. He isn't giving me issues going in anymore.
Also keep in mind that just because he had hock injections doesn't mean his hocks are pain-free. They do work very, very well for reducing pain but depending on the reason for the injections, it may or may not completely eliminate the pain. Sometimes it is nice to go back for a lameness evaluation after injections for the first time, just to see how much they have helped for that individual horse, or if some pain remains, or if something else flexes sore now that the hocks are taken care of.


What was wrong with his hocks?
Fusing?
General arthritis?
Bone spurs?
 
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