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horse snaps up back feet and holds up when being picked out

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  • horse snaps up back feet and holds up when being picked out

    What does this mean? Stiffness? Pre-stringhalt? Reflex? My horse does this to a greater or lesser degree. He is not usually stiff when he moves. I am thinking that when the temperatures drop it is a bit more pronounced. In case I am not clear, this happens when I pick up his back feet to clean them out. He will hold his foot up for a bit, as if having a cramp. I usually massage his gaskin and will just hold it there till he relaxes. I don't think he is in pain when this happens, maybe discomfort though.

  • #2
    A mare I leased that had stifle issues did this. With consistent riding (4+ days a week) it would go away. It was worse in the winter even if I was riding a lot. It seemed like her leg got "stuck". If I rubbed it she'd drop it hesitantly, if I didn't rub it she'd sort of hop and unstick it herself. I'll be interested to see what other people have to say as well. I don't lease the mare anymore, but it freaked me out.

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    • #3
      Stifle??

      How old is he? My 25yo does this but he was diagnosed last year with a calcified bone chip and torn lateral patellar. He's so that we don't even try to pick that hind leg anymore and the farrier doesn't even trim.
      "A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority." Rick Warren

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      • #4
        I've had several horses with EPSM who did this. Their hamstrings spasm when you ask them to pick their hind legs up. They also did it sometimes when just standing on concrete or very hard ground, and it's always worse when they aren't getting much exercise. Some of them also had trouble moving their hind legs normally when they were backing up.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by FullCourtFarm View Post
          I've had several horses with EPSM who did this. Their hamstrings spasm when you ask them to pick their hind legs up. They also did it sometimes when just standing on concrete or very hard ground, and it's always worse when they aren't getting much exercise. Some of them also had trouble moving their hind legs normally when they were backing up.
          This... My quarter horse has PSSM, and this was one of the first signs. I would get it checked out.

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          • #6
            I trim a saddlebred who does this. He's 25'ish or so and has done it his entire life. He springs his legs up to his belly - tight - and won't release it. He is a serious PITA to trim because he never relaxes the leg. Never lets it loose, or lets it hang. Just pulls it up as tight as he can and then keeps "bouncing" it for lack of a better term. He's never been diagnosed with anything, and never had any other issues related to it.

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            • #7
              I had the same issue with my QH who has arthritic hocks, you would think that holding that high would be an issue but.... At any rate, I had a chiropractor show me something that works.

              I would pick up the foot, gently pat/tap the front of the fetlock with the palm of your hand until he relaxed, put it down, get him to drop his head below his withers, and then rub the center of his forehead. repeat as often as necessary until he would pick it up slow and lower.

              The lowering of the head releases back tension by getting them to stretch, and the rubbing of the forehead is a pleasure center, so they are now associating your action with something pleasurable vs something apprehensive.

              In my horse's case, it was due to some unpleasant associations with past farriers who were less than patient.
              There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MunchkinsMom View Post
                I had the same issue with my QH who has arthritic hocks, you would think that holding that high would be an issue but.... At any rate, I had a chiropractor show me something that works.

                I would pick up the foot, gently pat/tap the front of the fetlock with the palm of your hand until he relaxed, put it down, get him to drop his head below his withers, and then rub the center of his forehead. repeat as often as necessary until he would pick it up slow and lower.

                The lowering of the head releases back tension by getting them to stretch, and the rubbing of the forehead is a pleasure center, so they are now associating your action with something pleasurable vs something apprehensive.

                In my horse's case, it was due to some unpleasant associations with past farriers who were less than patient.
                Verrryyy interesting! Mine also has arthritis in his hocks, AND has had poor prior farrier experiences. My question though, how the he$$ are you at both ends at the same time!?!?!?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 2boys View Post
                  Verrryyy interesting! Mine also has arthritis in his hocks, AND has had poor prior farrier experiences. My question though, how the he$$ are you at both ends at the same time!?!?!?
                  LOL - you're not of course. But you can get to the head in under 3 seconds, which is plenty of time for the horse to associate the displeasure of the back feet with the new pleasure of the poll release rub routine.

                  I did the same thing to get him over a case if "ticklish withers". He was very reactive in his wither area due to a poor fitting saddle at one point in his life, and any stimulation of that area would cause him to shiver his skin and swish his tail. Vet/chiro ruled out existing pain, said it was a "memory" of the past painful incident(s). Same routine used, rub the withers, get the shiver, drop the head, rub the forehead. That one only took one grooming session to resolve and it has not come back. And that was almost 10 years ago.
                  There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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                  • #10
                    generally it's arthritic hocks.
                    "ronnie was the gifted one, victor was the brilliant intellect, and i [GM], well, i am the plodder."

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                    • #11
                      I'm going the third/fourth/etc the arthritic hocks.

                      Not the end of the world : ) Perhaps a general joint supplement might be helpful.

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Gosh, but when he moves as in free longeing he has amazing hock action-
                        but on the other hand he has been slower in pushing himself up after rolling,
                        so guess I have to suss it out further,
                        thanks!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by In_ View Post
                          I'm going the third/fourth/etc the arthritic hocks.

                          Not the end of the world : ) Perhaps a general joint supplement might be helpful.


                          Ditto. My mare does this as well and has bone spavin in her RH along with the left one having changes but not as bad. Best way to maintain her is with injections x2/yr, Adequan, and I have her on liquid MSM. If I notice her doing it a bit and she seems a little sore in the back, Robaxin for a week really helps. While she is on the robaxin, I have been able to pick up the hinds and do stretches and massage to get her to realize it doesnt hurt any longer.
                          ~~~~~~~~~

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

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                          • #14
                            Bone spavin.
                            ... _. ._ .._. .._

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                            • #15
                              We do about 300 horses every 5 weeks shoeing, and have had horses do this who are known to have arthritic hocks, bad stifles, EPSM, stringhalt, and shivers, as well as horses in whom all the above have been eliminated and turn out to just be d**kheads. So you'd probably have to have a vet tell you which!

                              Jennifer
                              Third Charm Event Team

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by ThirdCharm View Post
                                We do about 300 horses every 5 weeks shoeing, and have had horses do this who are known to have arthritic hocks, bad stifles, EPSM, stringhalt, and shivers, as well as horses in whom all the above have been eliminated and turn out to just be d**kheads. So you'd probably have to have a vet tell you which!

                                Jennifer
                                Good post!

                                My experiences have been due to bad or stiff hocks.
                                DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

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                                • #17
                                  Yes. My horse that has shivers did this, but a few months on a high-oil and lower carb diet recommended by my vet virtually eliminated this symptom.
                                  --o0o--

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                                  • #18
                                    My mare does this as time goes on, and it's certainly more pronounced in the winter. I just patiently wait for her to lower her leg, then pick the foot.

                                    If I pick her feet AFTER letting her wander around and jog a bit, she's much looser.
                                    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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                                    • #19
                                      my big horse does this....

                                      It is involuntary. I give him xylazine IV just before the farrier works on his back feet and he is great...no pulling and elevating his back legs.

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                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Well, I think it is the cold-just got back from the ranch, played in the arena a bit to warm him up, then massage, and legs lifted no prob. I will def. keep an eye on it though!

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