As I have long suspected, it's all in the eye of the beholder.
Now if they had combined that study with a force plate analysis of the same horses to see if there was a difference in limb loading and if the limb loading or non-loading was the same as the vets opinion of lamness, that would be interesting.
1 lame horse, 1 owner, 1 vet, = 3 opinions!
Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
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There is also a lot of "offness" that is not clinical. A while ago, we had a horse that was causing an issue with his pre-purchase exam. He was quite "one handed" and didn't want to bend on a small circle, in one direction. One side of his body didn't want to stretch, so he almost waddled from leg to leg around the circle. If you worked a bit to soften him to that side, his strides got even and regular. But then the question was, is it something he worked out of? His flexions and xrays were totally clean. Once he was worked a bit to bend better on both sides, he vetted sound & has never had a problem since.
Posting the definitions of the scale in case anyone is not familiar:
1: Lameness is difficult to observe and is not consistently apparent, regardless of circumstances (e.g., under saddle, circling, inclines, hard surface, etc.).
2: Lameness is difficult to observe at a walk or when trotting in a straight line, but consistently apparent under certain circumstances (e.g., weight carrying, circling, inclines, hard surface, etc.).
3: Lameness is consistently observable at a trot under all circumstances.
4: Lameness is obvious at a walk.
5: Lameness produces minimal weight bearing in motion and/or at rest or a complete inability to move.
If the AAEP lameness score was greater than 1.5, the veterinarians agreed whether a limb was lame or not 93.1% of the time;
If the AAEP lameness score was less than or equal to 1.5, the veterinarian's only agreed 61.9% of the time, and