View Full Version : Riding horse with a knocked-down hip

Aug. 1, 2011, 09:07 AM
Was wondering if anyone had any first hand experiences riding/training a horse with a knocked down hip? Road blocks you ran into? Different approaches to training? Success stories?

I'm riding my friend's horse who she picked from an auction/rescue (I can't remember) and found out later about the injury from soundness issues and musculature issues. Really nice OTTB, tall, grey, great attitude, hind end is really starting to even out muscle-tone wise with lots of slow work. Horse is 5, my friend has had her for 2 years working slowly on building a top-line and keeping her comfortable, works very closely with great vet. Started jumping little jumps (2'-2'3") this year, horse LOFFS jumping, really clever and willing to try new things! Our goal is to get her to some Intro/BN level events and sell her to a PC kid or AA who doesn't need a ** horse. We're headed to our first schooling day with a stadium course, dressage test of choice and short xc course in 3 weeks!

I have noticed she's stiffer/more resistant to bending with her "bad" hip on the inside, which I expect. Again, horse is very willing to try, but has her baby moments of "enough already, that's hard!" Any suggestions for helping "loosen" that side to make it easier on her? We're trying to make nice big circles pushing her into my outside rein with inside leg. She's very nice to the left, so she knows how and understands the question. Leg yielding at the walk on straightaways are coming along, again left is easier. Owner does lots of hacks and hilltopping with the local Hunt, really trying to get her to reach/stretch through her back.

Aug. 1, 2011, 09:24 AM
I know a 4* horse that had a knocked down hip. Apparantly wasn't a problem for that horse. But inherant talent may have been a factor too that didn't make the hip a problem?

Aug. 1, 2011, 10:33 AM
Have you had a reputable chiropractor out to look at her? It won't entirely fix the knocked down hip since that'll always be there, but could definitely help if she gets "out of whack" on that side from compensating for the weakness from the hip.

Aug. 1, 2011, 11:04 AM
Yes, she has regular visits from a chiro as well, forgot to mention that. Owner's vet also does acupuncture to help sportshorses.

Real Rush
Aug. 2, 2011, 11:03 AM
My very first OTTB had a knocked-down hip from the track. I owned him for over a year before I started taking lessons. His stifles would stick a lot in the beginning, but how much of that could be attributable to the hip and not just lack of muscle to support the area, I'm not sure. However, we made it to schooling 3' fences and first level dressage before arthritis finally started to take its toll. Honestly, I don't think his hip ever hindered him, it was just a combination of poor conformation and too many track starts. And even at the end of his show career, he could and would still jump the moon. Good luck with your girl! I'm sure she'll "tell" you if you're asking for too much.

Aug. 2, 2011, 12:57 PM
I trained a lower level event horse with a badly run down hip - looked really weird from behind. We kept him fit and as supple as possible and he happily went around a few Trainings. He was always harder to ride with the bad hip on the inside and he appreciated some creative support turning to the jumps in that direction, but he remained serviceably sound and happy throughout his normal-length career. Injecting his SI helped a little.

Aug. 2, 2011, 04:40 PM
My horse sustained this injury 3 months after I bought him.

He was off for about a year but that wasn't his only problem (his feet were a mess and I was stupid enough to trust the bm/trainer at the time).

So once I moved him out of that place... I got a new farrier and also had an MT start working on him. It took me about a year to get him really going and looking/feeling sound.

As long as he stays in work and is fit, he looks just fine. Unless he moves really pokey and then you can see a slight hitch. But he doesn't show any discomfort.

I do find that he needs more support going to the left (it was his left hip) and that the winter time is a little harder on him. But he's also slightly arthritic, etc.

I've had him for over 5.5 years. I've done low level Hunters and Eventing with him.