What do her hooves look like? To me she looks like she has laminitis, although I am certainly no expert. If she has laminitis, my next question would be, why does she have laminitis? Has she had a recent fever or illness? Is she eating toxic plants?
No laminitis - no recent fever. Feet are cool. Hooves are done by a trimmer that the vet even likes.
Presentation of 'whatever it is' seems to vary w/ weather, damp, whatever....I think that one of the other boarders has seen her skid on her back end in the field, but have to ask her for clarification...all she said was 'skidding'.
What makes you think laminitis is not a possibility? Has the farrier seen her recently? If he is experienced and feels there is no laminitis, he is probably correct. If he is telling you she has increased pulses in her feet, stretching of her laminae or other signs, I would really try to figure out what might be triggering it.
When my big boy ate red maple back in June and developed a mild laminitis, it was several months before he had hoof changes. Now, I can see the ridges halfway down his feet, but his feet seem otherwise normal.
She looks sore on her front feet to me too. My pony mare has been lame off and on on one front for some time now. Early last week she started to get foot sore. No classic symptoms of laminitis, but I took her in to the vet anyway. After x-rays, diagnosis was mild to moderate rotation in both front feet. The coffin bone on the left has a elf slipper appearance to it. The vet feels she has been that way for awhile, something just aggravated it. My farrier, a very good farrier, didn't detect the rotation while trimming. She has no hoof rings, etc.
X-rays of her front feet might be in order. I also have a mare with EPM and your girl doesn't look at all like my mare did in her movement. Of course, I think EPM can look different from horse to horse.
The stretched laminae on the white line can indicate laminitis. My guy did not have classical symptoms. It took me a couple of days to figure it out, although it must have been on my mind, as my farrier reminded me I canceled the farrier appointment the day he went lame saying I was worried about laminitis. Only 2 months later, when my guy was sound again and we noticed the hoof rings, was I totally sure it had been laminitis. Then at 3 months, he had some stretched lamina visible in the white line of one foot, and an abscess. Hopefully, that is all behind us, as he has seemed back to normal for several months.
Yeah, I was suspecting that she had arthritis in her left front, or ringbone, or something since the lameness was on and off. I started to get worried when she suddenly became footsore. The x rays didn't show any other arthritis or anything, so the longterm intermittent lameness was all due to the chronic laminitis.
Now, you saying that she acts like she doesn't know where her hind limb is sounds more like neurological. When my mare started showing EPM symptoms, the best way I can describe it was she had vague shifting lameness. It was hard to tell where she was off. But she also has confirmed arthritis in the hocks and her neck. So she had a bunch of stuff going on. After my vet exhausted all leads, I took her to another vet (lameness specialist) for a second opinion and he watched her trot out one line and said "it isn't lameness, it is neurological." And our EPM saga started.
If your vet can't sort it out, go to a vet school clinic or other lameness guru. I panicked a couple of months after our laminitis episode when he was suddenly lame again. I felt ridiculous calling the vet school and saying that I had a farrier appointment there that day but could my horse be seen by a lameness vet as well. She asked how long he had been lame, and I replied, "an hour." The x-rays were pretty good, and all that was found was an abscess. Still, I felt much better knowing that I wasn't missing anything. Also, my farrier was happy to have the x-rays. After he dug out the abscess and put on a special shoe, I left with a sound horse. That also made me feel better. There is no substitute for a good lameness specialist board certified surgeon, when lameness is confusing.
Im no expert at all, but to me she looked significantly better on the soft footing of the arena than the gravel outside. Are you sure her feet arent sore? She doesnt scream neuro, but of course you would need a complete neuro assessment from a qualified vet to rule that out.
If lameness exam (and neuro exam) come up normal, could you try shoes for a bit and see if that makes any difference?
Will let everybody know tomorrow! Vet coming is one of the better lameness vets in the area, apparently. Coming out for one of the performance horses in the barn so we are going to have her look at this girl at the same time....
FWIW I have seen some neuro horses (albeit NOT gaited) and what is in those videos doesn't look like the way those horses move. She looks sore/lame to me. I am looking forward to an update and I hope it's something treatable.