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Slightly off on lunge, perfectly sound under saddle -- has anyone ever seen this?

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  • Slightly off on lunge, perfectly sound under saddle -- has anyone ever seen this?

    My vet has me riding my mare lightly W/T until we go to the clinic for further diagnostics next week (See Post: Bone scintigraphy for hard-to-define hind end lameness).
    So horse is sound on straight lines and to the right, looks somewhat off LH trotting to the left on the lunge, yet is perfectly sound & happy when ridden any direction at walk and trot. My vet said it's "weird". Ya.
    Has anyone ever encountered this? What sort of issues would manifest this way? Loose stifle?
    "Reite dein Pferd vorwrts und richte es gerade. Gustav Steinbrecht

  • #2
    Slight, hard-to-pinpoint lameness that's worse going one direction on a circle makes me think of a suspensory tear.


    • #3
      My experience with this situation turned out to be a mild neurological deficit which eventually, over several years, developed into a locking patella.

      When undergoing flexions at CSU, vets' comment was "we could not make this horse lame."

      No ultimate diagnosis (long, LONG story), horse has improved and back at work with emphasis on exercises to strengthen hq and usual neuro treatment (vit e, etc).

      I'm sure there are many other possibilities but the patella is one of them.

      While not lame, this horse pushes unevenly from behind and exhibits lateral walk especially under saddle.
      Ring the bells that still can ring
      Forget your perfect offering
      There is a crack in everything
      That's how the light gets in.


      • #4
        My older mare has wonky stifles ("cysts" that are degenerative rough spots in the joints). When the stifles are bothering her, she is lame on circles (ie lunging) usually in one direction or the other, not both. But she works soundly on straight lines (ie hacking) if conditioned up carefully. She can hack miles soundly, walk trot and canter, if built up very gradually and kept in the right kind of work. We've injected her stifles occasionally to help if needed. (One year we injected twice, another year not at all, for example). She's nearing 20 and the problem first manifested when she was 15.


        • #5
          Yep, suspensory is one possibility, stifle another, hock yet another, could even be in the foot somewhere.

          I'm curious though why your vet wants you to continue to ride?
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


          • #6
            I had something like that years ago...a collateral ligament injury on the front caused the hind to look off in that diagonal pair. He was much lamer in a circle on the lunge in one direction, sound the other direction and only slightly off in a straight line. It was awful to diagnose but finally a savvy vet and the bone scan did the trick.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Aquila View Post
              Slight, hard-to-pinpoint lameness that's worse going one direction on a circle makes me think of a suspensory tear.
              That would be my guess, too. Or strain...

              And, I wouldn't be riding the horse until I knew what was wrong. If it is a suspensory, riding is the absolutely wrong thing to do.


              • #8
                At the risk of sounding like a broken record...

                Yes, I've seen it before. It was caused by...well...basically a strain and resulting imbalance in the body. Fixed by bodywork and/or acupuncture (and in one case shockwave therapy on the back).
                Flying F Sport Horses
                Horses in the NW


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by PNWjumper View Post
                  At the risk of sounding like a broken record...

                  Yes, I've seen it before. It was caused by...well...basically a strain and resulting imbalance in the body. Fixed by bodywork and/or acupuncture (and in one case shockwave therapy on the back).
                  I am so hoping that this is what it is.
                  I had the massage therapist out twice already, chiro is scheduled for next week, but I want to make sure I know what I'm dealing with first. One of the vets in my clinic also does accupuncture. I'd be more than happy to employ all of the above if I can get my little mare back on track that way.
                  "Reite dein Pferd vorwrts und richte es gerade. Gustav Steinbrecht


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by Go Fish View Post
                    That would be my guess, too. Or strain...

                    And, I wouldn't be riding the horse until I knew what was wrong. If it is a suspensory, riding is the absolutely wrong thing to do.
                    I asked my vet about that and he was positive that it was not the suspensory. He did tell me to get off the minute she were to show any discomfort under saddle, so I've only ridden with eyes on the ground. We're off to see Dr. Peterson tomorrow.
                    "Reite dein Pferd vorwrts und richte es gerade. Gustav Steinbrecht


                    • #11

                      I have a youngster that looks fine under saddle (8 on his gaits in dressage) but he is just slightly short on the outside hind when that leg is on the outside of the circle. Not lame, but it looks to me like he is slightly landing on the toe and unloading a little quick. The avg person can't see it but my vet did.

                      He had a bad abscess pop in that hoof in the spring. Also that hoof is a tiny bit "sheared" and every shoeing the farrier takes a bit more off the outside of that hoof wall.

                      My vet thinks it might be a subclinical problem and we're trying a legend injection to see how that helps.