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Newly shod horse unbalanced at canter?

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  • Newly shod horse unbalanced at canter?

    Mare's first time getting shod all around in 4 years. Prior to that she was always barefoot except for 12 months with shoes on all 4 feet.

    It took days to get used to the shoes and she is going well walk and trot, but canter is a mess. She feels wobbly and unbalanced on her hind feet. Due to repeat abscessing which may have been caused by no heels, which is why she is now shod, she has been out of proper work for 5 months. Her hind end is weak due to muscle loss and the weight of the normal steel shoes is heavy for her.

    I'm working on strengthening her hind end slowly but wonder if this sounds abnormal to anyone because I worry about everything with this horse.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Chestnut_Mare View Post
    Mare's first time getting shod all around in 4 years. Prior to that she was always barefoot except for 12 months with shoes on all 4 feet.

    It took days to get used to the shoes
    This is not normal.

    and she is going well walk and trot, but canter is a mess. She feels wobbly and unbalanced on her hind feet.
    This is not normal.

    Due to repeat abscessing which may have been caused by no heels,
    Your horse doesn’t seem to have been trimmed properly.

    which is why she is now shod, she has been out of proper work for 5 months. Her hind end is weak due to muscle loss and the weight of the normal steel shoes is heavy for her.
    Regular shoes shouldn’t cause so much hindrance.

    I'm working on strengthening her hind end slowly but wonder if this sounds abnormal to anyone because I worry about everything with this horse.
    You need to consult with a vet and get a proper training plan to put her back into work.
    ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

    Originally posted by LauraKY
    I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
    HORSING mobile training app

    Comment


    • #3
      Ditto. This is not normal.
      get those shoes off now and get a vet out to radiograph

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Vet is involved and I'm following exercise protocol. X-rays were done 4 weeks ago, vet suggested shoeing all around with new farrier due to low under run heels possibly causing bruising and abscessing on hind feet only. Nothing notable found on x-ray except the abscess tract which was drained by the farrier. Everything is well except for the strange feeling canter.

        Comment


        • #5
          Any possibility that she is now moving more normally, with more swing in her gait, and she was previously not stepping up freely up under herself or moving her hind legs more or less together, so she *feels* unbalanced to you since you were used to an abnormal gait before (I'm reaching, I know)? How does she look on a lunge line at the canter?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Chestnut_Mare View Post
            Vet is involved
            I would have your vet look at your horse again because she’s lame.

            Has the vet saw the new farrier’s work?

            Your mare should have felt better right away and shouldn’t have need days to adjust...

            and I'm following exercise protocol.
            It doesn’t seem to work as planned. Revised it with your vet.

            (...) the abscess tract which was drained by the farrier. Everything is well except for the strange feeling canter.
            If the farrier had to dig, there might be still some sensitive spots that hurt while cantering.

            It might be infected again.

            After 4 weeks, it’s time to talk to your vet again.
            ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

            Originally posted by LauraKY
            I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
            HORSING mobile training app

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Toblersmom View Post
              Any possibility that she is now moving more normally, with more swing in her gait, and she was previously not stepping up freely up under herself or moving her hind legs more or less together, so she *feels* unbalanced to you since you were used to an abnormal gait before (I'm reaching, I know)? How does she look on a lunge line at the canter?
              I'll lunge tonight or get someone else to ride so I can see what is going on, but I'm hoping this is the case!! She is definitely moving great and way better at the trot with more push from behind.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post

                I would have your vet look at your horse again because she’s lame.

                Has the vet saw the new farrier’s work?

                Your mare should have felt better right away and shouldn’t have need days to adjust...



                It doesn’t seem to work as planned. Revised it with your vet.



                If the farrier had to dig, there might be still some sensitive spots that hurt while cantering.

                It might be infected again.

                After 4 weeks, it’s time to talk to your vet again.
                I will call the vet back if need be but the abscess was massive and it does make sense for that foot to be sensitive. Her canter on the right is not great when she has to put that right hind under herself. The abscess blew out at the heel as well as a hole that was made on the sole.

                Frankly I'm all vetted out. This horse always has something wrong no matter the best care - best hay, best supplements, chiro, massage, turnout, paddock footing changes, etc... I just need to wait and see what happens with the shoeing for a few cycles. She will be on a 4-5 week cycle so we can make small changes to foot shape each time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Did your farrier explain what he was doing to help the feet? I only ask because I recently had to put front shoes on my gelding after being barefoot almost a year. We had no rain for almost a month, no arena to ride in, and the hard, dry ground had taken a beating on his feet and he was quite sore on his front left. Although he seemed better on the first day, by the second day he looked off again. Not as bad as previously, but not to where I felt comfortable riding him. He lost a shoe by the 4th day.

                  Farrier came back out again, fixed the trim, re-adjusted the shoe shape, and added a pad. Previously, he didn't even want to trot on that foot. This morning, my friend sent video of him tearing across the pasture without a care in the world. This evening I went out, and he was moving like nothing had ever bothered him.

                  So just a suggestion. Maybe you need to get the farrier back out and ask questions, or get a second opinion on the shoeing job?
                  "Horses are too spency!" - Mom

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chestnut_Mare View Post
                    Frankly I'm all vetted out. This horse always has something wrong no matter the best care - best hay, best supplements, chiro, massage, turnout, paddock footing changes, etc... I just need to wait and see what happens with the shoeing for a few cycles. She will be on a 4-5 week cycle so we can make small changes to foot shape each time.
                    If your horse had such underun heels, you cannot consider that as « the best care ».

                    *Not necessarily your fault, you visibly didn’t know better*

                    Waiting is ok for certain things and when you know what’s going on.

                    But waiting just ‘cause for a longer period (+4weeks) tends to also lead to more (un)expected problems.

                    So the « this horse always has something wrong » might be from not doing the right things, soon enough.

                    Forget the chiro and the massage, call the vet first.

                    Your horse is still lame after 4 weeks.
                    Don’t you think it has been lame long enough?
                    ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                    Originally posted by LauraKY
                    I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                    HORSING mobile training app

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Chestnut_Mare View Post
                      Vet is involved and I'm following exercise protocol. X-rays were done 4 weeks ago, vet suggested shoeing all around with new farrier due to low under run heels possibly causing bruising and abscessing on hind feet only. Nothing notable found on x-ray except the abscess tract which was drained by the farrier. Everything is well except for the strange feeling canter.
                      Can you post the xrays? Something more than just an abscess track has to be there if you're dealing with chronic underrun heels. Feet like that don't have good, let alone great, internal structural alignment. Likely too-thin soles too.
                      ______________________________
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Chestnut_Mare View Post
                        Mare's first time getting shod all around in 4 years. Prior to that she was always barefoot except for 12 months with shoes on all 4 feet.

                        It took days to get used to the shoes and she is going well walk and trot, but canter is a mess. She feels wobbly and unbalanced on her hind feet. Due to repeat abscessing which may have been caused by no heels, which is why she is now shod, she has been out of proper work for 5 months. Her hind end is weak due to muscle loss and the weight of the normal steel shoes is heavy for her.

                        I'm working on strengthening her hind end slowly but wonder if this sounds abnormal to anyone because I worry about everything with this horse.
                        I looked up OP's profile to make sure I was thinking of the right horse.

                        And yes, this horse has been on and off lame for several years, major abscesses and NQR on various footing, problems with canter transitions, problems with the SI, and then a worry about possible Cushing's. Horse is in midterms, big WB, owner took her barefoot when she bought her I think?

                        I don't really know what to suggest because it sounds like cascading issues, being long term lame in the foot can cause problems all over the body in compensation.

                        At this point I would be about ready for Dr. Green. Pull shoes and turn her out on a nice big field with some OTTB that will initiate running laps every day and leave for a year.

                        OP did you ever do the Cushing's test?

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by JB View Post

                          Can you post the xrays? Something more than just an abscess track has to be there if you're dealing with chronic underrun heels. Feet like that don't have good, let alone great, internal structural alignment. Likely too-thin soles too.
                          I spoke with the vet again this morning about the xrays... she mentioned very slight negative palmar angle which is why she suggested shoes. I'm not sure what that means - should have asked more questions but it made sense to me to put on shoes to lift the heel and bring the toes back slowly. Vet and farrier are working together and feet will be trimmed/shoes reset every 4 weeks for several cycles.

                          Last fall she had a hind end fluoroscope done. They found arthritic changes in the hocks, mostly the right hind (same foot that keeps abscessing every winter). Vet prescribed Previcox and MOVEMENT - he wanted her ridden lightly 5 days a week and said that her posture while standing around and cow-hocked conformation is part of the problem. I rode her walk trot and canter 30 - 45 minutes 4-5 times a week and we even entered a dressage schooling show. Scored 64 and 69 at training 1 & 2 so I thought we were doing well and I was super happy until she got another abscess. As soon as the abscess came she started to loose muscle really fast - like bony topline within 2-3 weeks when I couldn't ride. All that slow and steady work we put in went down the drain.

                          I rode her last night and her walk and trot felt amazing, a lot more push from behind with the shoes on. I'm hopeful that she will get better now with shoes and is maybe still just sensitive on the right hind where the abscess was dug out a few weeks ago.

                          I can't spend any more money for a few months on vets, other than emergencies of course. I've spent over $5000 since last fall in vet bills for her without any solid diagnosis. I'm sure people spend way more than that on their horses but I just don't have any more right now.

                          Please don't think of me as a bad horse owner because I'm tapped out, I'm trying my best.






                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                            I looked up OP's profile to make sure I was thinking of the right horse.

                            And yes, this horse has been on and off lame for several years, major abscesses and NQR on various footing, problems with canter transitions, problems with the SI, and then a worry about possible Cushing's. Horse is in midterms, big WB, owner took her barefoot when she bought her I think?

                            I don't really know what to suggest because it sounds like cascading issues, being long term lame in the foot can cause problems all over the body in compensation.

                            At this point I would be about ready for Dr. Green. Pull shoes and turn her out on a nice big field with some OTTB that will initiate running laps every day and leave for a year.

                            OP did you ever do the Cushing's test?
                            Hi Scribber! Cushings test came back negative again this past fall. She was barefoot when I bought her and I had her in shoes for a year. She got very badly contracted heels and thrush which is why I took shoes off and tried the barefoot thing.

                            Whatever is going on with her seems to get worse in the winter time, which is why I still feel she may have cushings/PPID that is not detectable yet.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Chestnut_Mare View Post

                              I spoke with the vet again this morning about the xrays... she mentioned very slight negative palmar angle which is why she suggested shoes. I'm not sure what that means - should have asked more questions
                              The plane of the coffin bone should be at 2-3* above ground-parallel. That allows for some sinking of the back of P3 when the foot is loaded, but without going below 0* (more or less). Once you get below 2* or so, you are placing inappropriate stresses on the entire leg - hoof, fetlocks, hocks, stifles, and then it hits the pelvis and SI and then it starts working forward, if the front end hasn't already compensated. You can "ruin" the whole body with a P3 that's too low. If it's negative, which means < 0*, then things are even worse. So "slightly" negative makes it sound like a minor thing, but it's really not. Now, if she really meant it's slightly "negative" as in maybe 1*, then that's better, though still causes whole-body issues if it's gone on long enough, which I suspect is the case here.

                              [quote]but it made sense to me to put on shoes to lift the heel and bring the toes back slowly. [/qutoe]
                              Heels up yes, put the breakover where it belongs asap, whether that's via the trim, or setting the shoe back. It's really important to correct the hoof-pastern alignment as quickly as you can.

                              Last fall she had a hind end fluoroscope done. They found arthritic changes in the hocks, mostly the right hind (same foot that keeps abscessing every winter). Vet prescribed Previcox and MOVEMENT - he wanted her ridden lightly 5 days a week and said that her posture while standing around and cow-hocked conformation is part of the problem. I rode her walk trot and canter 30 - 45 minutes 4-5 times a week and we even entered a dressage schooling show. Scored 64 and 69 at training 1 & 2 so I thought we were doing well and I was super happy until she got another abscess. As soon as the abscess came she started to loose muscle really fast - like bony topline within 2-3 weeks when I couldn't ride. All that slow and steady work we put in went down the drain.

                              I rode her last night and her walk and trot felt amazing, a lot more push from behind with the shoes on. I'm hopeful that she will get better now with shoes and is maybe still just sensitive on the right hind where the abscess was dug out a few weeks ago.
                              I hope the shoes have at least gotten the HPA in better alignment. Work her slowly, as if she's starting entirely from scratch. Lots of walking. Lots. NPAs don't happen overnight, so she's spent a long time using her body incorrectly, and it's going to take time to change all that.

                              I can't spend any more money for a few months on vets, other than emergencies of course. I've spent over $5000 since last fall in vet bills for her without any solid diagnosis. I'm sure people spend way more than that on their horses but I just don't have any more right now.

                              Please don't think of me as a bad horse owner because I'm tapped out, I'm trying my best.
                              No judgements here It's one thing to not have money for basic care, but once you get into things like this, most people have to set a limit, and it's not even about whether they HAVE the funds. $5k isn't pocket change. I hope this discovery of the NPA is it, because after reading many of the things that have gone on with her, may be the root of many of them.

                              The ACTH test isn't all that $$, but if she continues to improve over the Summer and into the Fall, then I would suggest the TRH Stim test in late Fall, as that may well pick up early PPID issues that the ACTH test won't.
                              ______________________________
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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