The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2006
    Posts
    2,527

    Default High low syndrome

    What does having one front hoof an inch or more higher than the other indicate.

    Thank you very much!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2009
    Posts
    449

    Default

    Look to the hind end. Something is not correct behind, horse then moves differently in front. Usually whichever is lowest, look at the diagonal hind.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    35,688

    Default

    1" is a LOT - are you sure about that?

    Pictures would really help.

    Front hoof differences are not always caused by hind end issues, and some hind end issues are there because of the front issue.

    Different front feet can be 100% genetic, it can be a "grazing foot syndrome" that the farrier/trimmer can't see in order to manage, it can be from a shoulder injury, it can be from a leg lameness, there are many things that can cause it.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2004
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    3,983

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    1" is a LOT - are you sure about that?

    Pictures would really help.

    Front hoof differences are not always caused by hind end issues, and some hind end issues are there because of the front issue.

    Different front feet can be 100% genetic, it can be a "grazing foot syndrome" that the farrier/trimmer can't see in order to manage, it can be from a shoulder injury, it can be from a leg lameness, there are many things that can cause it.
    Ditto. Is the horse shod?
    Caitlin
    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
    http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 29, 2009
    Posts
    2,576

    Default

    Depending on the angle, etc, "high/low" to me means one foot is a club foot and one is a low slung foot (iow not much heel).

    Been there done that on a horse with a club foot, NEVER again. I will never have a horse with a club foot again.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2003
    Posts
    8,675

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rmh_rider View Post
    Depending on the angle, etc, "high/low" to me means one foot is a club foot and one is a low slung foot (iow not much heel).

    Been there done that on a horse with a club foot, NEVER again. I will never have a horse with a club foot again.
    DITTO! I know plenty of horses are fine, and my last pony is fine as a pony hunter, but it was a NIGHTMARE trying to do dressage.

    My pony actually seemed to have one leg shorter than the other, at least it measured that way. Her right front heel would grow high, but her right front shoulder was at least 1" below the left. Her knees were uneven.

    We tried several different things. We tried trimming them even and putting a pad on the clubby foot, which helped the first week after shoeing but then she was lame. Trying to work her bending and "on the bit" made her shoulder very sore.

    I found that as long as she was trimmed in a balanced way,and allowed to go on a loose rein, she was fine and stayed sound, but she had to be allowed to go how she was comfortable.

    Sure was an eye opening experience.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2009
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Fharoah, this is almost certainly because of his fused pastern. His feet will probably never match, and that is okay.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2007
    Location
    Port Charlotte, FL
    Posts
    3,438

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fharoah View Post
    What does having one front hoof an inch or more higher than the other indicate.

    Thank you very much!
    It indicates that one foot is standing on something that is an inch or more higher the other.

    Sheesh!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2006
    Location
    WNY
    Posts
    5,571

    Default

    My guess would be LLD.
    Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
    Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
    VW sucks.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2006
    Location
    east central Illinois and working north to the 'burbs
    Posts
    3,836

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by amastrike View Post
    My guess would be LLD.
    IMNTBCHO, LLD is an overrated concept that fails to adequately account for the anatomy and mechanics of how the front limbs are maintained in place in the horse.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Posts
    75

    Default

    Rick can you elaborate more?

    Also, love to see pics of this high low horse. Any xrays?



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2006
    Location
    east central Illinois and working north to the 'burbs
    Posts
    3,836

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FSPBeth View Post
    Rick can you elaborate more?
    Sure. As regards the front end of the horse, the limbs are 'slung' in place by muscle and sinew. So, when the horse is high-low, the appearance is usually that the high side limb is shorter than the low side limb. the only way to accurately determine if this is indeed the case is by autopsy and actually measuring and comparing bone length from both limbs. However, many people believe that you can overcome this [alleged] discrepancy by adding shims under the functionally shorter limb. This is accomplished in various ways but is most often done by adding rim pads sufficient to overcome the perceived inequity. This may work for a very short period of time. However, because of the unique way the front limbs hang in place, the horse merely has to 'shrug' its shoulders to return it to what it perceives as comfortable. IOW, pushing on the bottom of the apparatus(adding shims) doesn't work unless the horse wants it to work, which rarely occurs. A simplistic example of what I'm describing is to take a rubber band and drape it equally over a pencil held horizontally. The rubber band represents the horse's forelimbs. Now, gently push up, from the bottom, on one end of the rubber band and watch what happens. Is there any real resistance to your action? In real life, the bio-mechanically shorter limb actually causes a 'slabbed' appearance at the withers on that side while the low side limb bulges at the withers. This happens because of what occurs at the point of the shoulder(Scapulo-Humeral/shoulder joint). As the S-H joint closes because of the high side conformation, The shoulder blade(scapula) moves downward and gives the external appearance of what we refer to as a 'slabbled' shoulder. Conversely, on the low side, the S-H joint opens, the scapula moves upwards and gives the external bulged appearance.

    Now, when we shim the high side to equalize the limb length disparity we are attempting to get the limbs to be the same length when in fact, they are already, anatomically the same length. The horse reacts to this by adjust its posture such that 'true equilibrium' is re-established. Remember, there is nothing to resist this action. It is further postulated that the horse rotates its thorasic cavity in the direction of the low side to further aid in its compensatory actions. You can get an idea of how this works by holding your arms out in front of you horizontally and then rotating your chest cavity to one side or the other. Feel what happens to your scapula.

    The reason that shimming a hind limb is effective is because of the presence of the pelvis and the resulting hip joint. When a shim is added at the bottom, resistance occurs at the hip joint and allows the changes made to remain in effect.

    In my custom and that of other farriers of my acquaintance were we are dealing with fore and hind limb hi-lo syndrome, it is far easier to effectively adjust/alter the hind limbs than it is to adjust/alter the fore limbs. And, in most instances of fore limb hi-lo syndrome, the contra-lateral hind will exhibit, often to a lesser degree, the same symptoms.

    And, yes, I have read Esco's book on LLD, as well as its predecessor "Proper Balanced Movement" by Tony Gonzales and where I find commonality is that I too subscribe to treating/managing the whole horse to most effectively address existing and often, potential, issues.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2006
    Posts
    2,527

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Burten View Post
    Sure. As regards the front end of the horse, the limbs are 'slung' in place by muscle and sinew. So, when the horse is high-low, the appearance is usually that the high side limb is shorter than the low side limb. the only way to accurately determine if this is indeed the case is by autopsy and actually measuring and comparing bone length from both limbs. However, many people believe that you can overcome this [alleged] discrepancy by adding shims under the functionally shorter limb. This is accomplished in various ways but is most often done by adding rim pads sufficient to overcome the perceived inequity. This may work for a very short period of time. However, because of the unique way the front limbs hang in place, the horse merely has to 'shrug' its shoulders to return it to what it perceives as comfortable. IOW, pushing on the bottom of the apparatus(adding shims) doesn't work unless the horse wants it to work, which rarely occurs. A simplistic example of what I'm describing is to take a rubber band and drape it equally over a pencil held horizontally. The rubber band represents the horse's forelimbs. Now, gently push up, from the bottom, on one end of the rubber band and watch what happens. Is there any real resistance to your action? In real life, the bio-mechanically shorter limb actually causes a 'slabbed' appearance at the withers on that side while the low side limb bulges at the withers. This happens because of what occurs at the point of the shoulder(Scapulo-Humeral/shoulder joint). As the S-H joint closes because of the high side conformation, The shoulder blade(scapula) moves downward and gives the external appearance of what we refer to as a 'slabbled' shoulder. Conversely, on the low side, the S-H joint opens, the scapula moves upwards and gives the external bulged appearance.

    Now, when we shim the high side to equalize the limb length disparity we are attempting to get the limbs to be the same length when in fact, they are already, anatomically the same length. The horse reacts to this by adjust its posture such that 'true equilibrium' is re-established. Remember, there is nothing to resist this action. It is further postulated that the horse rotates its thorasic cavity in the direction of the low side to further aid in its compensatory actions. You can get an idea of how this works by holding your arms out in front of you horizontally and then rotating your chest cavity to one side or the other. Feel what happens to your scapula.

    The reason that shimming a hind limb is effective is because of the presence of the pelvis and the resulting hip joint. When a shim is added at the bottom, resistance occurs at the hip joint and allows the changes made to remain in effect.

    In my custom and that of other farriers of my acquaintance were we are dealing with fore and hind limb hi-lo syndrome, it is far easier to effectively adjust/alter the hind limbs than it is to adjust/alter the fore limbs. And, in most instances of fore limb hi-lo syndrome, the contra-lateral hind will exhibit, often to a lesser degree, the same symptoms.

    And, yes, I have read Esco's book on LLD, as well as its predecessor "Proper Balanced Movement" by Tony Gonzales and where I find commonality is that I too subscribe to treating/managing the whole horse to most effectively address existing and often, potential, issues.

    Okay so should hi low syndrome be corrected or managed by trying to trim the feet the same length or would that be detrimental.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2005
    Location
    mid-atlantic
    Posts
    2,418

    Default

    Thank you, Rick Burten, for a very informative post.
    "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2010
    Posts
    602

    Default

    Rick,

    I would love to hear more about this high/low syndrome as it relates to the hind end. I have a mare that displays high/low in the front and is off in the back but we've never been able to find out why. I'm convinced the two are related somehow but don't know how.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2006
    Location
    east central Illinois and working north to the 'burbs
    Posts
    3,836

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fharoah View Post
    Okay so should hi low syndrome be corrected or managed by trying to trim the feet the same length or would that be detrimental.
    Personally, IMO/IME, you don't 'correct' front end hi-lo syndrome, you manage it. Trimming the feet to the same length/angle/heel height/whatever is an exercise in futility. Hi-Lo feet are growing in opposition, eg: as one grows toe, so the other grows heel. You can make them match on the day the horse is trimmed/shod, but from the moment the farrier puts each foot down for the final time, they begin to change. Over the years I have found that the optimal way to deal with the high side is to trim it every three weeks once the optimal trimming/shoeing has been determined. Since the show horses in my custom are on a six week cycle, it becomes 'a matter of course' for me to work on the high heeled side every three weeks.
    Last edited by Rick Burten; Oct. 31, 2012 at 05:49 PM.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2006
    Location
    east central Illinois and working north to the 'burbs
    Posts
    3,836

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fourbeats View Post
    Rick,

    I would love to hear more about this high/low syndrome as it relates to the hind end. I have a mare that displays high/low in the front and is off in the back but we've never been able to find out why. I'm convinced the two are related somehow but don't know how.
    As noted, most of the horses I deal with have the same condition on the contra-lateral side, behind, IOW, if the left front has the hi heels, then the right hind will too. Also, with your horse standing squarely (cannon bones vertical) have someone at his head keeping his head, neck, back and pelvis in a straight line. Stand behind your horse (on a milk crate or the equivalent if necessary) and look down his back. What do his shoulders look like? Work your way back to his pelvis. What does it look like? The asymmetry behind will be much more subtle but it will be there. Look at his gaskins/limb musculature. Is it the same for both hinds? Look at his hooves(and ask your farrier to evaluate their shape). Are the hooves the same shape or is one more rounded and long in the toe and lower in the heels while the other is more pointed and/or dished at the dorsal wall, have more heel and is , overall, smaller? Are the frogs equally robust? Is your horse a shoe puller? If so, I'd wager he pulls the front shoe on the low heeled/long toed side almost exclusively. When you are sitting the trot, does the impulsion from behind feel equal?

    If your mare is hi-lo behind and it is going undiagnosed/untreated/managed, then it is more than likely affecting her higher up the limb, into the pelvis/rump. If its doing that, then to try and mitigate the resulting pain, she is or will start trying to compensate by using her back inappropriately/incorrectly. No amount of veterinary/chiropractic/other modalities will offer more than a temporary solution until the root cause of the problem(s) is correctly addressed. And that means you have to fix the foundation first. And even when/if you do that, it will take time to get the structures above the foundation 'fixed'. Which is where the vet, et al come into play. You will also need to evaluate your equipment and your riding because it is almost inevitable that you will have to make some adjustments.

    The good news is that IME/IMO it is much easier to successfully manage hi-lo syndrome in the hind end.

    And, even if your horse does not exhibit hind end hi-lo syndrome, if the front end is not managed correctly, it can still cause hind end issues because the horse attempts to compensate through its back and haunches for the front end issue(s).


    2 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2009
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Thank you, Rick! That was super informative!



Similar Threads

  1. Stallions with both high dressage and high jumping index
    By Dutch Lovin' Dressage Rider in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: Jan. 26, 2012, 03:52 PM
  2. Coffin bone fractures in foals & high/low syndrome
    By DownYonder in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: Dec. 22, 2011, 09:44 AM
  3. High Fat, High Energy feed supplement
    By LeapOfFaith in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Mar. 7, 2011, 05:03 PM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: Feb. 14, 2011, 05:03 PM
  5. high/low syndrome -- how serious is it?
    By MelanieC in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: Aug. 26, 2010, 11:30 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •