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Horse fell down while picking feet in cross ties...

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  • Horse fell down while picking feet in cross ties...

    Hi all,

    I have never had this happen and I don't want to overanalyze it.. but...

    Ok.. so I have a 'new' horse.. by new, I mean he is 5 years old and I just got him in December. He works 5 days/week.. walk, trot, canter.. dressage.. training level stuff.. he's been fine. I hadn't been picking his feet up often.. but had before without issue.

    So, last week Tuesday.. he turns up 3 legged lame at a walk (left fore). I get the vet out.. and by the time he gets there, the boy is MUCH better.. as in a low grade 1 at a trot.. and not noticeable at a walk. He hoof tested, checked all ligaments, pulse, flexed him at fetlock and at knee.. no reaction.. no difference. Says it is so slight, he can't block it. Put on anti-inflammatory for a few days.. no pasture.. just paddock turnout.. and see how he is next week. If still there, he'll come back.

    So, he got the week off.. previcox for 5 days.. and he looked totally fine at walk, trot, canter on a lunge line both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was his last previcox. I go this morning.. and figure I'll ride today.. get him in cross ties, pick up his right front to clean it.. and he leans on me.. he meets my elbow.. and I put the foot down. Let's try again.. without the leaning. I pick it up.. no leaning.. and feel no shift in weight.. all of a sudden.. he falls down!! On his left side (not towards me). The cross ties are tied up with baling twine.. so won't hold much.. I stood there.. like.. you're kidding me, right?! So, he got up.. looking a little embarrassed... and I'm not sure what to think...
    I should add... he had no saddle on.. was totally 'naked'...

    I finish tacking him up in his stall.. get on. Totally sound at a walk. Start to trot.. and he's off still on the front left. Back to walk.. try again.. better... repeat this several times.. after three attempts, it is barely perceptible.. but still not quite right.. so, decide to call it..

    Did not give him previcox.. but decided to let him go out in his pasture as long as he isn't silly. Thinking the increased movement might be good if this is some sort of muscle injury. I should add, he passed his pre-purchase exam.. X-rays are good... flexions were perfect... and he has been perfect.. until last Tuesday.

    After the ride, I put him back in the cross ties.. and picked up the right front several times, held it, picked the hoof.. no repeat performance.

    Not quite sure what to think?? I think he leaned on that cross tie.. and only being up with twine, it gave quickly.. and he was caught off guard and went down quick. Isolated incident?

    Any thoughts anyone? I realize something is going on in the left front.. but gosh, if it were so bad he couldn't stand on it for 20 seconds, he wouldn't be sound at a walk...

    Horses.. sigh....

  • #2
    It may be you just "surprised" him, and not related to his recent lameness at all. I've seen a number of young horses whose brains don't talk reliably to their feet yet, and matters of balance adjustment take them a couple of moments and some shifting to figure out.

    Watch out with "Seniors," too--my farrier "surprised" one by picking up a front foot while he was still bending over eating; he fell down and gave her a good scare. I told her their check-ligament "stay" apparatus isn't always high-functioning past 25, so make sure you have their attention on YOU first.

    Comment


    • #3
      This happened with a horse with NO issues just a few weeks ago. Here.

      I believe he lifted the opposite front foot to stomp a fly but I had the other foot in the air!!!

      Just a brain fart.
      “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
      ? Albert Einstein

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Hopefully just an 'odd event'. The look on his face must have matched mine.. total 'how the heck did that happen?'. Maybe the 'lesson' there was just...'thou shall not lean on cross ties.. or humans'. One can hope!

        Comment


        • #5
          I vote for odd, just one of those awkward moments, type incident. However, two things: (1) he probably now needs an adjustment from falling. LOL! (2) with intermittent offness I can't help but wonder what's going on. Have you checked feet for heat, digital pulse? Has his farrier work changed? Is the footting too hard/too deep? While I would be frantic about the fall I would be attentive to any and all symptoms he displays. Hope everything works out and it's just one of those blips in horse ownership. Let us know.
          Susan B.
          http://canterberrymeadows.com/

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            I had the vet out... he checked for heat, digital pulse, felt all the ligaments all up/down his leg.. did flexions. His farrier work has not changed. The footing in the arena is not completely even.. but it is pretty good. It can get deep in the corners.. but when it is, we simply stay out of the corners. This is really the first lameness he has had... it was just odd that he was suddenly 'better' when the vet was there... of course..

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by horsefaerie View Post
              This happened with a horse with NO issues just a few weeks ago. Here.

              I believe he lifted the opposite front foot to stomp a fly but I had the other foot in the air!!!

              Just a brain fart.
              Reminds me of a story I was once told about when two sisters had a lesson and they were grooming one horse at the same time...sister one goes to pick a hoof, sister two goes to pick a hoof...at the same time. Instructor says "I've got to see this!"
              If i smell like peppermint, I gave my horse treats.
              If I smell like shampoo, I gave my horse a bath.
              If I smell like manure, I tripped.

              Comment


              • #8
                We used to have a farrier team come to the show barn I worked at. One guy was the hoof guy. The other guy was the shoe guy. They would sometimes work on diagonal pairs simultaneously. Naturally, you can't do that alot because the horse will get leg weary, but a calm horse will not tip over.

                Can't do both fronts, or both rears at the same time though
                Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

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                • #9
                  Did he try to lean on the cross tie and the string snap?
                  The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                  Winston Churchill

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Frank B View Post
                    Did he try to lean on the cross tie and the string snap?
                    I'm pretty sure that's what happened...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, I guess I'm going to be the voice of dissention here. IME, otherwise healthy, young horses do NOT fall down in the cross ties when you're picking a foot. Horses are pretty hard wired to remain upright and crumpling all the way down onto his side was not just an "oops". The history you've described, culminating with the cross tie episode sounds like a neck issue to me. Possibly back, could even be left shoulder, but I'd put my money on the neck. Have you tried carrot stretches or manual manipulation of his head/neck to determine whether there's notable stiffness or pain? Does he back normally? Can he make tight turns in a smooth, coordinated manner? Is his head carriage the same as always? What does he do if you place your hand under his chin and raise his head above level?
                      "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen
                      http://www.etsy.com/shop/tailsofglory

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm with JackieBlue on this - is there a neuro-specialist in your area? or ask your regular vet how he'd check for neuro-deficiencies.

                        Recently a friend was trotting on her lease horse, horse just falls down & lays there for several minutes - she is SO lucky he fell on his face & not on her - she's freaking out & trainer is down playing the whole thing as "nothing to worry about"

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by JackieBlue View Post
                          Well, I guess I'm going to be the voice of dissention here. IME, otherwise healthy, young horses do NOT fall down in the cross ties when you're picking a foot. Horses are pretty hard wired to remain upright and crumpling all the way down onto his side was not just an "oops". The history you've described, culminating with the cross tie episode sounds like a neck issue to me. Possibly back, could even be left shoulder, but I'd put my money on the neck. Have you tried carrot stretches or manual manipulation of his head/neck to determine whether there's notable stiffness or pain? Does he back normally? Can he make tight turns in a smooth, coordinated manner? Is his head carriage the same as always? What does he do if you place your hand under his chin and raise his head above level?
                          Well, as I stated earlier.. he was lame on his left front for the past few days prior to this happening. I had the vet out who didn't find 'enough' to do any blocks or further workup. Since then, he has been getting better.. He is now sound at walk, trot, and canter.. and the farrier was out today and had the same foot 'up' and working on it for a while with no hint of discomfort or falling down. I do carrot stretches with him frequently.. and he can put his nose on his butt, both ways.. underneath.. and I can hold the carrot 'out and up'.. and he will stretch to the sky up and out.. His head carriage has not changed. The only thing I can notice right now is if I try to turn him tight going left on concrete, it's not quite right. So.. I'm sure something is still not 'right'.. but at this point, I'm not going to 'freak out'... am just going to keep close eye on it. He obviously did something to himself... as he had never done that prior. But I do believe it could also be something so simple as leaning into a cross tie that just 'gave' and he fell because of that. Not trailering to a university for a neurological exam or neck scan just yet...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My mare fell in crossties once, when she was youngish (4 or 5) right after I bought her. She's now 18, has never repeated the incident, and has never been lame (knock on wood). Sometimes I think it just happens.
                            Caitlin
                            *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
                            http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My horse went to the vet for a related issue recently, tripping too much under saddle... but only 1/10 rides. Anyway, he checked out fine but the vet asked if he ever seemed to fall asleep or fall down at strange times because he had recently seen a study that linked this behavior with dominant horses too busy bossing others around to get any sleep. They apparently become sleep deprived and do silly things. I didn't ask about the study, maybe you can google it.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by pattir7 View Post
                                Well, as I stated earlier.. he was lame on his left front for the past few days prior to this happening. I had the vet out who didn't find 'enough' to do any blocks or further workup. Since then, he has been getting better.. He is now sound at walk, trot, and canter.. and the farrier was out today and had the same foot 'up' and working on it for a while with no hint of discomfort or falling down. I do carrot stretches with him frequently.. and he can put his nose on his butt, both ways.. underneath.. and I can hold the carrot 'out and up'.. and he will stretch to the sky up and out.. His head carriage has not changed. The only thing I can notice right now is if I try to turn him tight going left on concrete, it's not quite right. So.. I'm sure something is still not 'right'.. but at this point, I'm not going to 'freak out'... am just going to keep close eye on it. He obviously did something to himself... as he had never done that prior. But I do believe it could also be something so simple as leaning into a cross tie that just 'gave' and he fell because of that. Not trailering to a university for a neurological exam or neck scan just yet...

                                Wow. Where did I ever urge you to take the horse anywhere? I have a lot of experience with lamenesses of all sorts. Your story says neck to me. YOU asked what others thought. I took the time to share what I thought, based on many years of my own experience and many years of following around some of the best lameness vets in the country. I wish that when people only want to hear, "I'm sure he's fine, sweetie. My horse does that all the time," that they would phrase their OP differently. Now that I know that you've already decided that he just fell 'cause he was leaning on the cross ties ('cause horses do THAT all the time), I'm more than happy to let you carry on with your belief. It was MY error to think that you were looking for thoughts from those of us experienced with such things. I apologize and I will take my toys and go home. All the best to you and the clumsy horse!
                                "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen
                                http://www.etsy.com/shop/tailsofglory

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by JackieBlue View Post
                                  Wow. Where did I ever urge you to take the horse anywhere? I have a lot of experience with lamenesses of all sorts. Your story says neck to me. YOU asked what others thought. I took the time to share what I thought, based on many years of my own experience and many years of following around some of the best lameness vets in the country. I wish that when people only want to hear, "I'm sure he's fine, sweetie. My horse does that all the time," that they would phrase their OP differently. Now that I know that you've already decided that he just fell 'cause he was leaning on the cross ties ('cause horses do THAT all the time), I'm more than happy to let you carry on with your belief. It was MY error to think that you were looking for thoughts from those of us experienced with such things. I apologize and I will take my toys and go home. All the best to you and the clumsy horse!
                                  Good gawd JackieBlue... I am honestly never surprised at how over reactive and nasty horse people can be!! Geesh.. you took offense to me just stating I wasn't going to take him to a hospital cause he fell in cross ties ONCE. Was I trying to offend you? NO. Did you try to offend me in your above response, MOST CERTAINLY.

                                  Yes, I did want to hear from others.. if it has happened to them..and forgive me for being human but yes, no one wants to hear 'the worst'. I questioned what was going on. From the responses I got and researching it a bit myself, I have found that sometimes.. it DOES HAPPEN.. for whatever reason.. and then.. never again. So, yes, I am human.. in that I don't want to believe the worst due to ONE incident. You would have me assume it is wobblers or some serious neck problem based on WHAT? Are you a lameness vet or do you just play one on the internet? Cause my own real lameness vet isn't jumping to that conclusion wanting to scan his neck, do all sorts of testing just yet. I'm not going to go on a fishing expedition for one incident. If it happens again, I will start looking for answers. Call me conservative.. shame on me!

                                  Me and my 'clumsy' horse.. REALLY??? Was that really necessary for you to get so nasty?? Yes, please do 'take your toys and go home'. Because my response wasn't 'gee, JackieBlue, I think you're right.. going to get his neck scanned immediately', you're offended and then respond like this. Unreal. I was not trying to offend.. but you went WAY past offending, intentionally.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Well bless your heart, Pattir7. I didn't try to offend anyone in my last post. Let me say this again, I never said you should scan ANYTHING, immediately or otherwise. I never told you to take him ANYWHERE, hospital or otherwise. I took the time to share an opinion, which you had asked for and then YOU jumped down my throat. Your post above is the second one in which you've put words in my mouth and become strangely defensive and hostile toward me. I called the horse clumsy because that's what you've decided he is.
                                    Thank you for jumping all over me again. Posts like yours keep this board entertaining.
                                    "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen
                                    http://www.etsy.com/shop/tailsofglory

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      For the record.. why did you assume I had directed my 'I'm not taking him to a hospital' at you? It is you that assumed that.. cause I had not directed that at you.. or anyone. However, diagnosing a 'neck problem' is not a farm call... and if you have experience in lameness, you should know that.. so, that was what was behind my 'I'm not taking him to a hospital yet'... Did you say it verbatim? No. Did you suggest it, most definitely.

                                      Whatever. You say it's me being hostile, I think you're the one being hostile.. I mean, really.. read your post.. 'All the best to you and the clumsy horse!'. What does that sound like to you? And what makes you think I've decided he is clumsy? Because I think he leaned on the cross tie and it broke.. and he fell.. doesn't mean I think he was clumsy. YOU were the one to call him clumsy. For what it's worth, I was leaning into his shoulder when he fell... and when he fell, I almost fell too.. cause something *I* was leaning on, wasn't there anymore. Perhaps *I* am clumsy too, eh? I guess that's never happened to you, eh? Forgive me for wanting to believe a simple explanation.. over.. 'it's a problem in his neck'.

                                      Really.. read your post...

                                      "I wish that when people only want to hear, "I'm sure he's fine, sweetie. My horse does that all the time," that they would phrase their OP differently."

                                      Just how should people phrase their posts? Don't answer that.

                                      ..."Well bless your heart, Pattir7"

                                      Sweetie? Bless your heart? How is that NOT offensive? Please.. if you don't understand how that is offensive, I can't and won't explain it to you...

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Are you serious, OP?


                                        Originally posted by pattir7 View Post
                                        For the record.. why did you assume I had directed my 'I'm not taking him to a hospital' at you?

                                        Uh, because you quoted my post.


                                        It is you that assumed that.. cause I had not directed that at you.. or anyone. However, diagnosing a 'neck problem' is not a farm call... and if you have experience in lameness, you should know that.. so, that was what was behind my 'I'm not taking him to a hospital yet'... Did you say it verbatim? No. Did you suggest it, most definitely.


                                        Well, this may surprise you, but neck problems are diagnosed at home OFTEN. I didn't suggest anything that I didn't say. I'm pretty direct.



                                        Whatever. You say it's me being hostile, I think you're the one being hostile.. I mean, really.. read your post.. 'All the best to you and the clumsy horse!'. What does that sound like to you?

                                        'Sounds like I wished you and your clumsy horse all the best. I have NO idea why THAT offended you. Really. I don't usually take offense when someone wishes me well.



                                        And what makes you think I've decided he is clumsy? Because I think he leaned on the cross tie and it broke.. and he fell.. doesn't mean I think he was clumsy.

                                        You have decided that he was leaning on the cross ties, had a "brain fart" and fell as a result. But you don't think that's clumsy?? Sure sounds clumsy to me. And why on earth is "clumsy" such an insult to you? Most young horses ARE pretty clumsy.



                                        YOU were the one to call him clumsy. For what it's worth, I was leaning into his shoulder when he fell... and when he fell, I almost fell too.. cause something *I* was leaning on, wasn't there anymore. Perhaps *I* am clumsy too, eh?


                                        I dunno. Maybe you are. If you are clumsy, I don't think that makes you any less of a person....


                                        I guess that's never happened to you, eh? Forgive me for wanting to believe a simple explanation.. over.. 'it's a problem in his neck'.

                                        Which is why I said that a lot of drama could've been avoided if you'd stated initially what it was you wanted to hear. If you ask for opinions and then go all ape$#it when someone with a lot of experience hands you an opinion, that's just a little odd and off-putting.



                                        Really.. read your post...

                                        "I wish that when people only want to hear, "I'm sure he's fine, sweetie. My horse does that all the time," that they would phrase their OP differently."

                                        Just how should people phrase their posts? Don't answer that.

                                        Like I said above. Don't phrase it as "what could be going on?" Or at least include a disclaimer: "If you say something I don't want to hear, I'll stick my fingers in my ears and yell 'LALALA I can't hear you!!" Choosing to ignore opinions that don't jive with yours is more advisable than soliciting opinions and then verbally flogging those who burst your little bubble.



                                        ..."Well bless your heart, Pattir7"

                                        Sweetie? Bless your heart? How is that NOT offensive? Please.. if you don't understand how that is offensive, I can't and won't explain it to you...

                                        Well, I agree that can be taken as "offensive" if you read sarcasm into it. And yes, There was plenty of sarcasm in it. Which I think you earned. Sweetie.
                                        "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen
                                        http://www.etsy.com/shop/tailsofglory

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