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View Full Version : Could this be my trotters stifles?



Grizzleycheddar
Aug. 18, 2009, 01:58 PM
We have a 3 yr old standard bred trotter. When he races he trots the turns fine but he has a hard time in the straight aways. The Vet can't figure him out and we injected nearly every joint on him. Could there be something we are missing. Also today we started him on ECP shots. Anyone have any suggestions? He is a real fast horse and we are trying not to give up on him. Thank you

Laurierace
Aug. 18, 2009, 02:30 PM
I will start by saying I don't know a single thing about trotters, but it might help if you describe exactly what you mean by saying he has trouble on the straightaways. What sort of trouble?

Grizzleycheddar
Aug. 18, 2009, 02:33 PM
He hikes as if he is galloping behind but still stays trotting.

Laurierace
Aug. 18, 2009, 02:38 PM
That didn't help me much but any upward movement is likely to be coming from the hocks I would think if that is what you mean by hiking.

Grizzleycheddar
Aug. 18, 2009, 02:45 PM
NO it is higher up. He is very sore in his sacrum area down to his stifles. We had his sacrum injected a couple weeks ago and block his tail and that seemed to help a little. But there is still something we are missing. Just thought that someone might have had a horse that had similar problems and they could point us in the right direction. Thank you

middy
Aug. 18, 2009, 02:48 PM
Have you injected the Whirl bone? It sounds like he may be sore there to me.

Grizzleycheddar
Aug. 18, 2009, 02:54 PM
No not yet. The vet doesn't seem to think it is that. It is like pulling teeth to get him to do anything. If it is not his idea it won't work. You know what I mean. After he races Fri. and if he races bad I will suggest it again to the Vet. Thank you

sk_pacer
Aug. 18, 2009, 02:58 PM
Is he stabbing too?? Does he bear in or out on the straightaway? How is he on turns?

Would suspect hocks and whirlbones if he isnt stabbing.

Get a new vet

Grizzleycheddar
Aug. 18, 2009, 03:06 PM
He stabs alittle. He wears his hind right shoe on the inside and wears the left hind on the outside. I have actually had 3 vets and a chiroprator/accupunture look at him. I did alittle research and think it could be his Patella.

sk_pacer
Aug. 18, 2009, 08:24 PM
If he is wearing his shoes that way, he isnt shod properly either - should be even wear on the shoes, which means he has to be shod level. A bit of wear on the toe is normal but not unequal wear on the sides. Talk to your shoer about it and see about changing that. Tipping a foot isn't what you are really looking for either, you want tape measure equal and completely level. As to strengthening stifles, long slow jogging.

nightmoves
Aug. 19, 2009, 02:10 PM
I'd say he's hitting in the straightaway . It's a training issue you need to get him hung up right not a veterinary issue.

nightmoves
Aug. 20, 2009, 03:34 PM
My husbands been out of town but I talked to him today and mentioned this thread. He said the same thing horse is hitting on the straightaway. He was a Standarbred trainer for 20 years before switching to TB and trotters were his favorite. He asked what kind of shoes you had on the horse?

wildernessD
Aug. 20, 2009, 07:09 PM
from March 1959 USTA Hoof Beats and Del Millers Corner (a column where readers submitted questions):

Q. Many trotters, including one of my own 'hikes', or 'hitch' as some say. Is this due to structural defects, improper shoeing, habit, or what is the cause?

A. Most any good sound horse will as the expression goes "trot on all fours," but once in a while you will see top horses with a little hitch or hop in their gaits.
I believe there is always a little lameness that causes this such as stifle, fibula or spavin trouble.

nightmoves
Aug. 21, 2009, 09:16 PM
from March 1959 USTA Hoof Beats and Del Millers Corner (a column where readers submitted questions):

Q. Many trotters, including one of my own 'hikes', or 'hitch' as some say. Is this due to structural defects, improper shoeing, habit, or what is the cause?

A. Most any good sound horse will as the expression goes "trot on all fours," but once in a while you will see top horses with a little hitch or hop in their gaits.
I believe there is always a little lameness that causes this such as stifle, fibula or spavin trouble.

But if he goes o.k. on the turn it ruins that whole theory.

wildernessD
Aug. 21, 2009, 09:30 PM
I just searched my dataset and provided the most significant result.

Del Miller knew more about trotters than any of us, thus I would take stock in his reply, even though it is quite vague.

nightmoves
Aug. 22, 2009, 10:10 AM
I just searched my dataset and provided the most significant result.

Del Miller knew more about trotters than any of us, thus I would take stock in his reply, even though it is quite vague.

And Dell Miller wasn't told the horse was good in the turns....

propspony
Aug. 22, 2009, 05:44 PM
I'm going to back up Nightmoves here. My first thought too was that he's obviously getting into himself somewhere on the straightaways. If he's hitching and hiking due to soreness, then he's going to do it WORSE on the turns, because that's more torque/pressure on him.

What is left out of the Delvin Miller article would be the implied statement of "if he is not interfering, THEN..."

Obviously, we can't see the horse go, and the whole armchair quarterbacking thing really is all theory, but my first thought was that when he straightens/flattens out he's probably hitting somewhere.

edited to add: I know in my experience, the "galloping behind" motion is often caused by the horse trying to get out of his own way and not being all that successful.

Grizzleycheddar
Aug. 22, 2009, 06:38 PM
Thank for all your info. We raced the horse last night and he trotted in 1.59.2. That is 2 seconds faster than he has ever trotted before. Also his gate was almost 99%. I believe it was a couple of things 1st Yes he was interfering with himself (hitting low behind on his right hind foot) so now my simple rigged trotter now wheres the tack shop on his legs. 2nd We treated him for his locking stifles(EPC). If you are interested in watch him race go to www.Saratogagamingandraceway.com he was in the 7th race number 3. on Aug 21, 2009.

Thanks Again

propspony
Aug. 22, 2009, 07:04 PM
Congratulations! That's fabulous. :-)

Almost all trotters wear boots behind, no shame there, just smiles when they do well. :-)

Congrats!

nightmoves
Aug. 23, 2009, 08:05 PM
He raced really good the finishline just came too fast.

Grizzleycheddar
Aug. 25, 2009, 05:32 PM
Hi thank you for the nice comments. Our horse Moms super boy is racing Fri In the 3rd race he has the 7 hole at Saratoga. Wish us luck. I trained him today and he was really sharp.

sjdressage
Sep. 2, 2009, 10:03 AM
Sounds like you figured this out but I had a similar issue with a dressage horse. He was fine on circles but on straight aways he got strung out. He just had difficulty doing the work. The horse was a great mover but had trouble in transitions, etc. We did all kinds of diagnostics including x-raying his back, everything came out ok. His stifles were a little loose though especially after I pulled his hind shoes. We fixed the issue with putting heavier shoes on behind (the shoes were like little weights that added muscle to his stifle area so when I pulled them things got progressively worse) and doing hill work. I just have a little hill behind the barn and I rode him up and down it every day. After all this time and money of trying to figure it out he is now athletic and willing......