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Stringhalt and picking up the correct lead...

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  • Stringhalt and picking up the correct lead...

    My OTTB has slight stringhalt (at least that's what I've been told it is)... it's most noticeable at the trot in his left hind. Typically he only shows the hyperflexion of the left hind for the first couple of strides and then he works out of it.
    My question is could this be keeping him from correctly picking up the right lead canter? He will swap his front feet to be correct on the right lead but he NEVER starts off correctly behind. He will occaisionally swap his hinds to be completely correct but it is difficult to get him to do so. We have been working together for over a year and he has never consistently gotten his right lead. My trainer even has trouble getting him to get it.
    His left lead is fantastic. I lunged him yesterday outside for the first time in months and his left lead canter was beautiful. Well balanced, even paced, quiet yet moving forward. We changed directions and all hell broke loose! haha
    I can't seem to figure out why he gets so anxious about his right lead and why it is so hard for him to figure out his feet. The stringhalt is the only thing I can think of.
    Any help or information would be GREATLY appreciated!
    Thank you!

  • #2
    Have you had him adjusted? Many if not most OTTBs are out in their pelvis from breaking from the gate. Being stuck in the pelvis would cause those problems.

    My old guy has stringhalt and I have never had a lead problem with him. Not saying it isn't possible, but cross cantering etc IME is usually a pelvis/ SI issue.

    Good luck!
    Unrepentant carb eater


    • #3
      I have known several horses with stringhalt, and canter transitions were never a problem. If you are having trouble with transitions on one rein, I would look elsewhere in the hind end. Low grade tendom problems can cause it even though the horse appears fine at the trot.
      Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

      Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


      • Original Poster

        Thank you so much... I have NOT had him adjusted but that definitely makes sense!! I'm a little skeptical about chiropractors but at this point it is worth a try!! Thanks again!


        • #5
          I had a mare with stringhalt and never had issues with picking up the correct lead. I would want to investigate a little further and question if there is more to it.
          There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse-Robert Smith Surtees
          Breeding TBs, Connemaras and TB/Conn crosses for eventing


          • Original Poster

            Once he does pick up the right lead fully he is quite nice and seems comfortable on it... however he is quick to swap back to left lead completely and does so very often. It is frustrating but I will definitely look into the chiropractor thing and probably have the vet out to see if it is anything else... I am just kind of out of ideas of what it could be.


            • #7
              Our dear departed Merlin, who competed through the 2 star level, had fairly severe stringhalt and never had problems with his leads or his changes. The only place it cropped up was in the turns on the haunches. I agree, look elsewhere--namely pelvis and SI.
              Phoenix Farm ~ Breeding-Training-Sales
              Eventing, Dressage, Young Horses
              Check out my new blog: http://califcountrymom.blogspot.com


              • #8
                Agree with what the others say. I leased a jumper/equitation horse with fairly severe stringhalt, and it was only noticeable (very, very noticeable) at the walk. His trot and canter work, including changes, were pretty flawless, and he had no real preference for a lead on the flat or over fences.

                Would definitely check in with a vet or chiro. Don't be skeptical of chiros... I was, too, but I've felt amazing changes in a couple of my horses. I've also personally had chronic shoulder/neck pain (10 years of it) completely alleviated by a single adjustment- I was in complete agony and desperate. Doctors couldn't find anything but muscle tightness, and prescribed painkillers and muscle relaxants. Going on 4 years since that first appt- after initially needing somewhat-regular adjustments for a couple of months (muscles kept pulling things out of place until they got used to the new alignment), it now only requires the very occasional slight adjustment to maintain.


                • Original Poster

                  Yea I was seeing a chiro for a while too and he made me feel A LOT better, lol... I just worry about my horse! lol... I can live with pain if a chiro messes me up... I would hate to see him do that! But I think you guys are all right, it doesn't sound like stringhalt is really going to be the thing that's affecting his willingness to pick up his lead (which is good because I can't do much about that)... sounds like I need a chiropractor and an adjustment to start with... Thanks!


                  • #10
                    Chiropractors, unless they are veterinarians would not have the tools to accurately diagnose tendon problems. You need a veterinarian.
                    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                    Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                    • Original Poster

                      Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                      Chiropractors, unless they are veterinarians would not have the tools to accurately diagnose tendon problems. You need a veterinarian.
                      I'm in CT and I think all chiropractors HAVE to be vets in CT... I might be wrong but I'm pretty sure they do. Hopefully I can get this all done in one shot and get him on the road to a comfy right lead canter!