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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My parents own this 2016 Standardbred that does harness racing. We have begun to notice, that he shivers as he's waiting at the pole to leave so my parents have started waiting him out so he would be more "patient"
But I'm not sure if this shaking is a medical issue or he just does it because he's really excited or nervous. I'm really new to horses (even though I've owned my pony for 8 years)
Could it be lameness? Maybe shivers?

(Picture of the pole below, the horse in the picture isn't the one of the topic)
Horse Wheel Tire Sky Plant
 

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If he's not cold (standing in the wind, rain, etc), then it is from adrenaline. He is probably anticipating the workout. Shivers is a neuromuscular disorder where the hind legs shake when you pick them up, and they will have difficulty backing up. It is most common in very large horses such as drafts. It does not involve whole body tremors.
 

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WELCOME to the Forum!!

Isn't there a deficiency of vitamin/mineral in the body that makes a horse tremble/shake?

An adreneline rush many racers get can also express itself as shaking and tremors...it is anticipation
What is done for it IDK...but to make the animal stand and wait "in patience" to me is counter-productive.
If the horse has not been seen by a vet for a full exam and blood chemistry...you might want to rule out something physical is happening that needs correction...
🐴...
 

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If it’s only happening as he’s waiting for the pole, it could be either excitement or fear. If he seems willing to race and energized, it’s likely just excitement. I agree doesn’t seem to make sense to hold him back, if he’s eager to go may as well just let him run it off.


Another thought is if he had some violence with past owners when racing and is fearful at the pole. If it is that may be a bigger issue to resolve. In my experience once they (ie my dog) starts shivering, there isnt anything I can do to stop it - in the moment, she knows best how to resolve it and anything I try to do can make it last longer, and sometimes the only thing to be done is to leave the place that triggered the fear response. It’s a deep physiological response to overwhelming stimuli.

Desensitization can be done but that’s best done by a professional if it’s is a fear response.
 

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It could be anticipation and it could be pain related. My navicular horse (before he was diagnosed) would shake when I was standing. I thought it was overheating at the time but looking back, I think it was pain.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It could be anticipation and it could be pain related. My navicular horse (before he was diagnosed) would shake when I was standing. I thought it was overheating at the time but looking back, I think it was pain.
My parent's apparently figured it out and yeah It's pain-related. He's got such a bad memory of having a bike behind him and then it hurts. He's never gonna race again and he'll stay with us as long as his life will last <3 It would cause more bad to sell him as a working horse when he's really not. I hope he'll live a long and healthy life as a pasture buddy for the other horses.
 
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