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Horse with imperfect leg in recognized shows?

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  • Horse with imperfect leg in recognized shows?

    I wasn't planning on asking for opinions for a few more weeks, especially if I could get some photos and video, but at the same time I feel like I might as well know now so I don't get my hopes up or form an incorrect opinion.

    VERY long story short, my horse has acute lymphangitis in a hind leg. This means that due scar tissue within the leg and lymph that sometimes settles in one place, the leg is permanently larger than the other. There is no cure, only management, which is working great (yay acupuncture!). There is no way to make the leg ever look 100% normal again. Period.

    However, he is sound. Trainer watched him go the other day and actually said he was tracking up more with that leg than the other at the walk. He goes great. The scar tissue does not affect the flexion in his stifle or fetlock.... atleast at a walk and trot, have not cantered in almost a year because of dealing with getting the condition under control.

    So here's my concern. I would lovelovelove to have a nice little dressage career with him, since we decided last year that jumping is really not his cup of tea. However, as I said, the leg is fat. It is not terribly noticable, especially when he's moving, but it's definitely there and the judges will notice. Am I going to get like, seriously chastisized if I try to take him to a recognized show? I don't want verbal lashings from competitors or judges for presenting a horse with an ugly leg. Trainer believes I'll face some heat and that I ought to ask the vet for a write up on his condition to keep with me to show anyone who bullies us about it.
    Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
    Thank you for everything boy.


    Better View.

  • #2
    If he is sound - there should not be any issue.

    Lots of competing horses have leg blemishes.

    Good luck with him!

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Well it's more than just a surface scar... though he has that too! His entire leg from the fetlock down is enlarged. You really think nobody will care?
      Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
      Thank you for everything boy.


      Better View.

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      • #4
        I say go for it as long as he is sound. My guy has a bog spavin on his right hock which looks like the size of a plum on the medial upper hock joint. It is unsightly but has not and will not effect his performance in any way.
        ~~~~~~~~~

        Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by katie+tru View Post
          Well it's more than just a surface scar... though he has that too! His entire leg from the fetlock down is enlarged. You really think nobody will care?
          Yep, I don't think anyone will care!

          Lots of older horses, or those with lots of "miles" on them have all sorts of abnormalities on their legs.

          Seen those with really enlarged knees, hocks, etc.

          Comment


          • #6
            I would get a letter from the vet, just in case a steward questions you about it, but if he's sound there shouldn't be any issue.

            Comment


            • #7
              I had a competition horse with acute lymphangitis in both hind legs in my barn..he was sound and did fine in shows.. even with some scarring on one leg. Also knew a nice Schoenfeld mare with same problem who also was very competitive in dressage. So as long as he is sound.. who cares about cosmetics.

              I will say that flare ups of that problem can be devestating so make sure your BO and various people know about it and to call you right away if the leg blows up..Both of the above horses showed a few years,were super nice horses but sadly had untimely ends, due to the lymphangitis.

              Good luck with your horse
              I can explain it TO you,but I can't understand it FOR you

              Comment


              • #8
                Years ago I had a TB who'd cut his digital artery out in the pasture and required stitches AND a cast (to make sure the stitches did not pull out in the middle of the night, since he could have bled to death.)

                He healed fine, but that leg (rear leg) was enlarged permanently from the cast - from fetlock to mid cannon. He was never unsound, but the big leg was unmistakeable.

                I sold him to some (for our area) big hunter trainers and the horse went on to be a top A hunter and sold for big bucks.

                If HUNTER people don't notice/care about a big leg, I am sure dressage judges won't!
                Donerail Farm
                www.donerailfarm.com
                http://donerailfarm.wordpress.com/

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                • #9
                  If he is sound, I dont think it will be a problem. I WOULD get a letter from your vet stating the condition and clearing him as sound. No one wants to spend a ton of money going to a big show and have a ring steward or judge question the horse's health. Basically, it doesnt hurt to have a letter just in case.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by jumpytoo View Post
                    I had a competition horse with acute lymphangitis in both hind legs in my barn..he was sound and did fine in shows.. even with some scarring on one leg. Also knew a nice Schoenfeld mare with same problem who also was very competitive in dressage. So as long as he is sound.. who cares about cosmetics.

                    I will say that flare ups of that problem can be devestating so make sure your BO and various people know about it and to call you right away if the leg blows up..Both of the above horses showed a few years,were super nice horses but sadly had untimely ends, due to the lymphangitis.

                    Good luck with your horse


                    Actually, having a big flare up was how we learned it was lymphangitis and not cellulitis, as we prviously thought. He's been like this for about 6 years and we've only had one major blow. He responds very well to acupuncture so I feel like we're in the clear. I'm not highly concerned for his life.
                    Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
                    Thank you for everything boy.


                    Better View.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I scribe several times a year and as long as the horse is not lame,nothing will be said.
                      mm

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Judges judge soundness, not size of legs. IF he's sound, you're fine.

                        I had a horse that would stock up and sometimes it woudl be gone by the time I rode in a class, other times he had elephant legs in the back (first horse, when I was younger). Never heard "boo" out of any judge on any of my tests. Horse was sound, so we got scores that matched our rides.
                        "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

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