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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Poll results - lameness

It seems the top 3 lameness's that people have experienced are tendon related, muscle related, or stone bruised.

This is interesting because of those three, I have only had tendon related injuries (specifically superficial digital flexor). I am suprised that no one specifically chose suspensories. During rides, especially sandy ones, I see horses pulled for lameness with a possible diagnosis of suspensory problems "often" (see disclamer in next sentence). The other 2 "common" (I'm going from gut feeling here, absolutely nothing to back this up!) pulls I see are muscle related and stone bruises.

Here's my lameness history -

Minx - tendonitis in both front superficial digital flexors. Probably due to me overriding her when I first started endurance. I have also learned that long-cannoned horses take longer to get "legged" up so I needed to take it especially slow with her. She has had zero problems since healing and a very sucessful (in my opinion) endurance season since. Sucess! Now if we could only solve all her other problems (mostly mental :) as easily! Minx also has some arthritis in her hocks that does great as long as she gets regular exercise.

Farley - bowed her left superficial digital flexor by hitting her back hoof into her tendon, during a semi-controlled runaway incident involving cows, a rail fence, a narrow trail, and a canal. I had owned her a whole 3 weeks. Tendon appears (through ultrasounds) to have healed well, but I am currently having some minor lameness issues that are related to the original bow. Probably due in part to doing three (one of them a 4 day LD) sandy rides in a row. I'm not quite ready to declare success here, but the vet is very optimistic (more optimistic than he was with Minx) that she will heal.

I learned A LOT from the above lamenesses, and while I would not wish a lame horse on ANYONE (if you learn from your mistakes) a lame horse can be a very valuable education.

If you would like to share any lameness stories, please do in the comments!


  1. Totally with you on the arthritic hocks thing. Mimi's had off-and-on quasi-lameness in her hocks for the past two years -- fusing hocks. I think they've finally mostly fused, though, which means she's slightly short-strided in the rear, but not in any discomfort. Best thing to do is get out and ride them when it's a minor hock thing like that!

  2. Do you ever get any funny looks from the vets at rides since she's short strided? Minx doesn't flex her hocks much, but is long strided, so she sort of swings her legs to the side and scoots them in place. However, since she's a standardbred, all I get from the vets is "huh, doesn't move like an arab does she?"

  3. Most of the leg problems I've had are due to stonebruising and arthritis. Where I ride, there's a lot of rocky areas that can't be avoided. I have to keep reminding myself to slow down when going through the worst of these areas.

    The arthritis is more of a problem when it gets cold, and especially cold and damp- like rain. :-) I feed my boy a glucosimine supplement and every 6-8 months or so, I give him a shot of Adequan. This seems to do the job most of time. Apparently my boy was ridden pretty hard as a youngster, according to my vet, and now there's some stiffness. It usually takes about 30 minutes to get him warmed up sufficiently for trotting and cantering (he'll do it before then but he'll often protest and refuse on occassion).


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