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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 11, 2007
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    Minnesota
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    Default Update: Post 31 Bunny-Hop Cross-Canter and Falling?

    Any ideas what could cause a fairly rapid onset of the above mentioned symptoms?

    I was working with Gringo this morning (on the lunge) and he was lovely and sound at the walk & trot, both directions. I asked for the canter and immediately he was cross-cantering. Got the trot back and asked again, and again cross-cantering. I don't think I ever got the left lead canter, to tell you the truth.

    Going to the right, same issues but add a horrendous bunny-hop canter to the mix, along with major tripping on the left hind - to the point of nearly falling.

    Does anyone have ANY idea what could be causing this? I've got an email in to my vet - I'm moving Gringo back to my old boarding barn next Friday (this was prearranged a couple months ago) so I'll have access to better amenities at that point.

    This is just really unusual for him. He's always been a very balanced boy and very sure of his hooves. Today, he was just not himself. Even his personality was lacking a bit.

    The only change in the last three years is one of two things.

    1. He was vaccinated two weeks ago - EE/WE/Tet, Rabies, Rhino/Flu and Strangles

    2. Diet change from alfalfa pellets to Triple Crown Senior (he's barely getting 1c of TC Senior - it's just to get his supps into him).

    I appreciate any and all advice. Thanks!
    Last edited by appychik; Oct. 28, 2012 at 05:31 PM.
    Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
    See G2's blog
    Photos



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2004
    Location
    Texas
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    1,866

    Default

    How old is he? Mine went through a phase of not holding his right lead behind for about nine months when he was seven. Injected everything, pulled his back shoes, gave him a light winter, fine next spring. I always wondered if it was hocks fusing.

    He did not fall though, yours sounds more dramatic. Mine was actually quite balanced cross cantering.
    friend of bar.ka



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Posts
    1,161

    Default

    I'm interested in what the possible cause could be too. I have a lameness vet coming at the end of the month to see my guy that is doing something similar.

    My horse is not falling either though or tripping, but he did become suddenly lame after the 3rd shot of pentosan.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 11, 2007
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    Minnesota
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    Default

    Gringo is a late 9yr old (turns 10 in February). He's out of shape but still no reason why he wouldn't otherwise be able to hold the canter - or pick up the correct lead, especially when it's never been a problem in the past.
    Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
    See G2's blog
    Photos



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2003
    Location
    Tampa, FL
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    4,338

    Default

    Stifles.

    I he is out of shape, do a lot of trotting work and don't try the canter until he is better legged up.

    Just my two cents, I had a mare with a stifle injury and she used to bunny hop behind at her canter, cross canter on the lunge, and buck like a fiend under saddle when cantered.
    Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
    Bernard M. Baruch



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2006
    Location
    Massachussetts
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    550

    Default

    The rapid onset of this and the description makes me really, really suspicious of neurological problems. The bunny-hop behind is characteristic of neurologic disease, and if you add in the lethargy, feeling like he's "unsure of his feet," and almost falling? I'd be getting this horse to a specialist immediately for neuro evaluation.
    OTTB owner.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 15, 2012
    Location
    Taft, TN
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    289

    Default

    I would guess he has a stifle trying to lock on him, which will make his canter look and feel awful. Lots of trotwork, up hills if you have them or over cavaletti if you don't, should help strengthen his stifle.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    14,580

    Default

    EPM? West Nile? Neurological damage from an accident? If he was normal and 100% the day before, I'd be VERY concerned! Sticky stifles don't go from normal to falling down overnight! Emergency call concerned.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Location
    Vermont
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    Default

    My mare does exactly as you describe - bunnyhopping into it (or once she picks up the canter, she uses the bunny hop to change to the wrong lead in the back ). She has hock arthritis, confirmed by flex tests and rads. When we did hock injections, it stopped for the most part. Once those wore off, back to cross cantering. It's a bear to sit to while riding...feels like your hips are crooked and its impossible to sit straight.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2002
    Location
    The horse country of VA
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    3,286

    Default

    Lyme disease, maybe?
    Equus Keepus Brokus



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2005
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    mid-atlantic
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    Default

    I'm confused - How can this be a rapid onset if he's out of shape & hasn't been in work?

    If he's been in steady work and this just cropped up, I'd be really concerned about EPM (or other neuro condition) or SI injury.

    If he hasn't been in work, and by "rapid onset" you mean "never did that before", stifles could be a top culprit.

    Definitely get a vet out for this.
    "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2010
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,357

    Default

    Run, run, play, slip, slide, twist and boom!

    Horses can do this out in the pasture pretty easily.

    They can also get cast in their stalls when no one is looking.


    Can easily make them sore.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 11, 2007
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    Minnesota
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    Default

    Thanks everyone. While a lot of people are screaming "stifles" - trust me when I say, I know stifles. Just spend a few minutes looking up my past drama issues with Gus. Seriously, I know stifles better then I wish I ever did.

    Yes, he's out of shape but there is no reason why an otherwise sound horse can't canter on the lunge. He's pasture boarded 24/7 - and his pasture mate and him are always out running around.

    Entirely possible that he slipped and fell, straining his stifle, but when Gus has flare-ups, it's evident at the walk and trot - Gringo only looks off at the canter. He's even tracking up nicely at the walk and trot. Again, only doing the bunny-hop.I.can't.move.my.hind.end. at the canter.

    I'm still waiting to hear from my vet ... but if he still looks crappy by Thursday, when I can get out next, he's definitely going to be seen.

    This is just so frustrating as I was planning on getting him back into work again and hopefully get him going undersaddle - least that's was my intentions for this winter. Long story as to why I have an almost 10 year old that is still "not broke".

    Anyways, thanks everyone for the ideas re:disease/neurological problems. Unfortunately, that was the direction my brain was taking ... I'm just hoping it was a fluke and he was just messing with me. Though I know that is very much unlikely the case.
    Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
    See G2's blog
    Photos



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2006
    Location
    Saco, Maine
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    4,715

    Default

    How sudden was the onset? Has he been successfully cantering on the lunge for a while and then bam this one day he was bad or has he been weird for a while? If for a while, I'd be looking for EPSM too. You can do some neuro tests in hand yourself...here are 3 easy solo ones-back him up a small hill, pull his tail to the side and see if he pulls against you or tumbles toward the pull, turn him in a TEENY circle and see if his feet cross neatly over or get tangled. Those will at least tell you if you should freak out or not on the neuro front. Good luck. Keep us posted......
    Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.



  15. #15
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    Jun. 12, 2007
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    Westchester County, NY
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    Default

    Neurological, SI and stifles would be my first thoughts, in that order.



  16. #16
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    Jun. 11, 2007
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    Minnesota
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverBendPol View Post
    How sudden was the onset?
    Honestly, I haven't lunged him (at the canter) on the lunge in a long time. He can be a bit loony and with not having proper lunging areas [read: fenced in area other the his pasture], I'd rather not risk him taking off on me - which he has done before.

    That being said, a month ago or so I saw him and his pasture mate running around in their turnout. He had a nice, lovely 3-beat canter when he was ripping around out there. My MIL sees him daily - she's his primary caretaker, until Friday. She's never noticed anything and she's very particular (and crazy anal to boot). He doesn't seem himself and she & I both noted that, so who knows why?

    So, yes, this could have happened a month ago and I just noticed it because I don't always ask for a canter when working with him - but regardless, it's not normal.

    I think I'll try the neuro tests on him Thursday and see what we've got. Appointment schedule for a week from Thursday with my regular vet.
    Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
    See G2's blog
    Photos



  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 24, 2006
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    2,887

    Default

    One of mine did this when he had an abscess brewing that took FOREVER to pop...he was never positive to hoof testers, I spent tons of money on vets etc to no avail...finally popped a ginormous abscess after like 2 months..Never had an swelling etc..but he bunnyhopped at the canter, and was worse to the left.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2010
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    2,235

    Default

    Well I know that you say that you know stifles because of your past horse but when my otherwise sound and healthy mare is out of shape she does that exact thing on the lungeline at the canter despite being 100% W/T and being sound cantering around the field.


    Cantering in a field is not the same as balancing on a 20 meter circle nor does sound and balanced W/T mean stifles cannot be the cause. While I think you should look into any and every possibility that you think is worthy, please don't discount stifles just because it doesn't match the normal symptoms you experienced with your past horse.

    I am putting my money on stifles or hocks.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2012
    Posts
    93

    Default

    Neurological concerns and stifle/hock/SI injury or soreness would be my starting point. Sounds like hind end weakness caused by one or more of the above.



  20. #20
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    Oct. 26, 2007
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
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    Default

    Mine bunny hops and cross canters behind when she is out of shapre - because she has a lose right stifle.



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