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Signs of SI pain??

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  • Signs of SI pain??

    My horse is very long backed and has recently started doing some things that aren’t like him. I’m wondering if it’s SI pain, what are common symptoms of this?

    Hes doing the following:
    avoiding contact - which is actually very unusual for him, he’s typically easy to keep together.
    He wants to stretch his nose down rather than use his hind end. I typically would never be able to get him to stretch like this when I’ve wanted him to!

    Circling is hard at the canter, he’s resisting turning and sometimes wants to break - I can make him keep going but I can tell it’s hard. He wants to throw his head up through the turns and again avoid contact

    Vet comes this weekend, but just curious if these are typical signs of SI pain? Or possibly something else?
    He knows when you're happy, He knows when you're comfortable, He knows when you're confident, And he ALWAYS knows when you have carrots

  • #2
    Could be SI, or back, or stifles, or probably some other things. Those symptoms can definitely come from a sore SI, but aren't necessarily the most common ones. The classic SI symptom is "bunny-hopping" behind at the canter - where the hind legs don't separate very much. Swapping leads behind is also a very common one.

    Please update us when the vet comes.


    • #3
      Hocks too, those are classic symptoms for age and mileage related arthritic changes with the hocks, horse does not want to rock back on those joints....the lubricatiing “ pillow” within the joint is drying out. That’s what hock injections do along with relieving inflammation.

      Dont assume anything until your vet does some diagnostics, including some X-rays.
      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by findeight View Post
        Hocks too, those are classic symptoms for age and mileage related arthritic changes with the hocks, horse does not want to rock back on those joints....the lubricatiing “ pillow” within the joint is drying out. That’s what hock injections do along with relieving inflammation.

        Dont assume anything until your vet does some diagnostics, including some X-rays.
        Thanks, horse had hocks done 4 months ago, so I hope that’s not the case. I am interested to see what’s causing this though... this new way of going came on relatively quickly
        He knows when you're happy, He knows when you're comfortable, He knows when you're confident, And he ALWAYS knows when you have carrots


        • #5
          Yes, the stretching the neck down instead of use the hind end is a sign. Also, horse preferring trot over canter. The sensation that the hind end is slipping out behind you, the feeling he's suddenly stuck back there or he feels like he stepped in a hole. Swapping behind and stumbling are other ones.
          "Do what you can't do"


          • #6
            This is an article by a vet who studied SI disease. The horse should exhibit at least 3 of these signs (according to his research) to indicate SI issues. .


            • #7
              I think with SI pain you typically have lameness some where else in the hindend that is causing the SI pain or the SI pain is causing more pain.

              A lot of times sore stifles can cause sore hocks.

              My horse has a suspensory ligament injury that may have been caused or may have caused his sore SI. My vet was shocked how sore he was in the SI after months and months of rest.

              My horse doesn't bunny hop or swap leads. He would be inconsistent each ride about picking up the right or wrong lead. He'd even pick it up wrong sometimes on a circle. Other rides he'd get it perfect every time.

              He is VERY sore during and after a farrier visit. This was the big thing for me that indicated SI.

              His right pelvis is dropped. It's very crooked and was easy to see. He had muscle atrophy as well on the right side.

              He'd move crooked... with his right haunches always right and his left shoulder braced, resistant and pushing left

              The right side is the sore side. He dragged his right hoof and wore the toe off.

              He just didn't feel great to me. He looked sound. My trainers thought I was being dramatic. I could feel his hind end give out beneath me. Some days he wouldn't move out regardless of kicks and whips. I think he was protecting himself

              It could also be that your horse got to rearing or being otherwise silly and aggravated it. I think that kind of thing is common. You could try resting him and icing his SI!


              • #8
                Originally posted by slp2 View Post
                This is an article by a vet who studied SI disease. The horse should exhibit at least 3 of these signs (according to his research) to indicate SI issues. .
                Thank you for posting that!


                • #9
                  My horse was diagnosed with SI disease in 2017 via rectal ultrasound. The article referenced above is what my vet sent home with me. So, great article. My horse didn't like to pick up the left lead. Was difficult to get him to bend through rib cage off of my left foot. He would kick out in the canter departs and would go around like a peanut roller if I allowed (vet said this was to relieve the pain). He felt like he had a loss of power from the hind-end and didn't want to connect to the bit. He also would fall out behind and drop his hip. He also displayed muscle atrophy (core and hind limbs) by the time we got to the vet that diagnosed properly. We discovered that he is missing a vertebra. This lead to arthritis in the hips. Which then lead to him loading his left hind leg more. He ended up with a high strain on the left hind suspensory as well. We have since injected the SI 2-3 times and have done shockwave on his suspensory. We have been able to return to the show ring and maintain him with acupuncture, chiropractic care, and injections. If he sits, he gets stiff, so the important thing with my guy is to keep him working. The Equiband system really helps! Good luck with your horse.


                  • #10
                    For us it was a reluctance to step forward with the outside hind in canter and swapping leads behind.