View Full Version : quiet horse gets hocks injected... no longer the quiet master!!

Jan. 18, 2010, 08:31 PM
well, you can never enjoy life too much.

i just started leasing a 17 y/o TB hunter, hes still capable of 3', and was a pretty quiet guy. he was forward but not lazy. he was very trusty and stuff. if you didnt see your spot, he'll just add. the idea of throwing your rider off did not cross his mind!

well, when vet came for exam before signing papers, (this was almost 2 weeks ago) he suggested we inject his hocks to make him more comfortable, because of his age. we all agreed this was a good idea, and surely a horse with such good behavior u/s wouldn't be too different.

it does not help that my trainer was gone for about 5 days (and just came back today) but the first week after getting back on him after his injections, he was somewhat crazy, which i expected. so, i lunged him. got most of the sillies out, but he still likes to throw in random bucks when we're hacking. today my trainer came back, and he was actually hacking out perfect, i was almost on the buckle, he was only a little quick at the canter but not really. nothing to worry about.

however, it came time to jump, and WHOOSH. holy cow. the horse that never knew what a long spot was was running at every single fence and taking the long spot every time :/ needless to say, i was not expecting this. i stayed on, but it was like "ok, this was not the horse i just slammed all this money down for" .. and he proceeds to have a bucking fit after each fence.

trainer gets on and jumps him around, and he was trying to drag her around the ring too.

someone's feeling a little too comfortable? she said you can definitely tell (before we started jumping) he feels a lot more comfortable, his movement was nicer and everything, but i guess the jumping made me really nervous :[

how normal is this, and how long does it take for them to chill out about it and return back to their old self? :/ (i should add that he was NOT uncomfortable before the injections. but we figured that at his age, we might as well play it safe and help him out a little) i expected him to be frisky and more forward, but NOT a complete 360 !

PS, yes, my saddle fits.

Jan. 18, 2010, 08:44 PM
Hmmm... sounds like he was in a lot of pain and is now feeling a lot better. This happened to me with my OTTB. His old owner hadn't been riding him, I rode him all summer with no problems, at the end of the summer he bucks me off, we think whatever, it's a greenie thing. We switch to our winter barn, the trainer gets on him (after him not being ridden for 2/3 weeks) and goes WHOA this horse has no back end. The vet comes out, and what do you know, he has Kissings Spine. So he's off for 6 weeks, gets a ton of therapy, and when I start riding him again he's a crazy greenie. It just happens sometimes.

Jan. 18, 2010, 08:56 PM
Did you happen to drug test him before signing the lease papers ? Hock or any sort of injections should not cause a calm, well mannered horse to become what you describe. Pain is always a factor in behavior but I would wonder if it was given something before you got him. Just my opinion though

Jan. 18, 2010, 09:11 PM
My 21 yr old feels like silly youngster right after getting his hocks/stifles done. It tends to last a week or two, depending on the time of the year (longer in the cold weather). I try to keep him comfortable, but not inject too often because of the infection risk. He gets Legend and Adequan as well.

Jan. 18, 2010, 09:48 PM
Did you happen to drug test him before signing the lease papers ? Hock or any sort of injections should not cause a calm, well mannered horse to become what you describe. Pain is always a factor in behavior but I would wonder if it was given something before you got him. Just my opinion though

no, because we had him for about a week before the vet came for the exam. my trainer knows the trainer we got him from pretty well, too.

Jan. 18, 2010, 09:59 PM
rule out epm, etc...sometimes after injections of steroids into the joints, horses can have an immune suppression that allows epm to flare. I have had it happen a couple of times....so now we always rule that out if behaviour changes dramatically 7-21 days after joint injections.
Then again...he could just be feeling that good!!!

Jan. 18, 2010, 10:37 PM
My old trainer had a guy like that. His was a case of having a wicked sense of humor. He had been a 3'6" horse and was now doing up downers and little courses. He'd just lope over things. Well, if he thought you might know what you were doing he would just skip a stride all together. Took a totally different ride to keep him from leaving the ground a mile away from those little fences. Made him not really an intermediate horse.

Sorry I know this doesn't answer your question - I'd give this guy a week to get his yahoos out - he's probably feeling pretty darn good!

Jan. 19, 2010, 09:10 AM
My Tommy horse only needed his hocks done occasionally, but I always dreaded the first rides afterwards. He acted like a little kid with new tennis shoes and loved to test the "spring" by bucking around like a madman. My trainer would refuse to get on him for weeks!

Jan. 19, 2010, 10:09 AM
Ahh not my guy... he was sore after his injections and 7-14 days later he became the horse he was again... a mopey dopey dude :)

But, ride it out. I love to see an older horse feeling good!

Jan. 19, 2010, 10:59 AM
I agree with Ozone.

My guy, who is 10, got his hocks done for the first time over the summer. It hasn't changed his personality or work ethic one bit. He is definitely more comfortable doing his job but his brain still works just fine. He didn't loose control or "feel too good". As a side note, my vet said it would take about a month for us to see the full effects. I think you might need to give it more time. :confused:

Jan. 19, 2010, 11:04 AM
My horse just got his hocks done as well, and definitely showed off how much better he was feeling. :)

However, I would be concerned about the racing towards fences part. Granted I wasn't there and don't know this horse, but lots of times helping one part of the horse makes another 'injury' or 'pain point' show up more. So now it could be that his front feet are hurting or something. In any rate, I'd get him checked out if he didn't calm down a bit soon.

Hope its nothing and he's just feeling great!

Jan. 19, 2010, 02:57 PM
Could it be too that he just hadn't jumped in a while and was fresh and excited to jump? You mentioned that he had a few days off after his injections and then was wild to flat, but after a few days he settled down into being quiet to hack. If he had a significant time from the last time that you jumped him to your most recent experience - he might just be excited.

My horse, who is VERY lazy gets fresh to the jumps if he goes more than a week without jumping. However, so long as I stick to his schedule of jumping him one day a week he is perfectly quiet.

I am certainly not advocating pounding this horse by jumping him everyday (especially since he is 17) but perhaps he needs to stay in a consistent jumping program (once or twice a week) to stay quiet.

I would give it some time before you really let it get to you. Good luck with everything and let us know how it works out!

Jan. 19, 2010, 04:49 PM
The weather has been so weird on the East Coast that a lot of the horses are very fresh -- mine included. She's been bucking over crossrails for heaven's sake and I swear I touch the ceiling when she does her dramatic flying changes!! So it might be coincidence.

However, I'd say he was in more pain before the injections than you knew. I've always found my mare to be fairly stoic and I figure by the time I figure out that she needs her hocks done, she's been in pain for awhile . . .

Jan. 19, 2010, 04:59 PM
I'd agree the horse was probably in more pain than originally thought. It was such a constant that he might have grew used to it & now finally is actually feeling good so he acts it.

Injecting his hocks may have relieved those pains, but as hollyhorse2000 mentioned it may have uncovered another problem that needs attention.

Have you contacted the former trainer or owner to see what they have to say? Has anything else changed in this horse's life--turn out, feed??

Jan. 19, 2010, 05:16 PM
I've had a couple different horse's hocks injected and have never had anything like that happen. Not saying it's not possible though.

It will be interesting to hear if he works out of it in a couple weeks.

I also think suddenly racing to the fence (in a schooled horse) is usually because of pain somewhere and did have a horse who's hocks were injected all of the sudden come up with pain in his front feet (it's like the hock pain went away and now all of the sudden that front foot pain, which was always there, is suddenly a lot more noticeable).

In addition to possible diet changes, etc, did you just have farrier work done, or add a new supplement(s)?

Jan. 19, 2010, 05:20 PM
My first thought is that this is a horse in pain.

Speak to the vet, try an NSAID.

If there's an improvement, you know your answer.

BTW, horses coming back from injections do not thrive on longeing during the recovery period.

Note the term "recovery." Injecting joints is invasive, a minor surgical procedure. Not a routine training aid.

Jan. 19, 2010, 05:33 PM
My first thought is that this is a horse in pain.

Speak to the vet, try an NSAID.

If there's an improvement, you know your answer.

That's a great idea (I'm like DUH that I didn't think of it).