I figure it doesn’t hurt to check that what I think caused an issue today is truely the most likely cause. I trimmed Shelbet the cranky Ponymare today. She’s an 11.2 hand, coming 7YO mare who had 2 foals and is a pen pet. She unfortunately gets far too little exercise. She behaved reasonably well when tied short to a tree (since it isn’t intimidated by the Marezilla act she tries on new humans), but at one point when I went to her left hind she tried her ‘move butt into human and push human over’ routine. I untied her and started moving her in a circle with a crop& flag behind her. I got her moving and yielding her butt at a hustling walk for a couple circles counterclockwise and a couple circles clockwise.
When I switched directions again for a few more counterclockwise circles, she suddenly froze with both hinds camped well underneath her and spread a little wide. She would not move, for flag waving or a smack on the butt or a strong push on her hip. Didn’t pin ears or threaten like I would have expected, just looked surprised like ‘I caann’tt!’ I got her to walk forward and she wasn’t off, just wasn’t willing to move butt sideways and cross hinds very much.
We went back to trimming and when I picked up the LH and started bringing it forward to bevel – CLICK- right in my ear, from her stifle. Well, gee, when my knee starts catching I don’t like moving sideways either. Put the leg down and let her shift around a bit before picking up again. I was careful to keep her leg relaxed and stable while I beveled, and it didn’t click or give further trouble.
I’m assuming what happened was that reaching across with the hind put sideways stress on the stifle joint, and some tendon got a bit untracked and ‘caught’? And that like a human knee catching and clicking, if it happens rarely than it isn’t a big issue? My PT’s recommendation to me was more exercise to strengthen the muscles around the joint so they help everything track correctly; vets generally say the same in cases that present like this? Other interesting/similar stories people want to share?
Once again no diagnostic equipment in Haiti, no vets or farriers readily available though a vet team is coming in February. X rays and joint injections and whatnot just aren't possible for us, but it is good to know what other signs I might want to look out for.