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more turnout making horse lame?

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  • more turnout making horse lame?

    My mare has a known sticky stifle. Ive talked about it on other posts. A combination of switching to dressage, deeper footing, joint supplements, and turnout on a hill has made such a giant different; I have not felt stifle lameness in over 6 months...kinda forgot it was there but now its rearing its evil head.

    I just moved her to a new farm. She went from 1.5 acre field with one other horse on a decent hill to about 30 acres, 9 active horses, and a combination of large flat area and a giant hill/side of mountain. Its been 10 days. She was chased, kicked, etc getting used to being out in the herd but those things have settled down. She has friends now and seems comfortable out there.

    She's pretty stifle lame now tho. She feels very uncomfortable to ride at the trot, throwing me completely to the left, and seems to rest her right hind in a forward position when at rest. The one day I tried the trot, she was very lame starting out. It wasnt an issue of the stifle catching; it was more just general stifle lameness from the get-go but the thing is that she is still very willing to go forward and I cant tell if that forwardness is from her pony can-do attitude or that she actually feels ok to work out of it. She was in great shape before i moved her and I gave her about 3 days to just settle and hang out before I tried to ride her. Since discovering how sore she was, I have spent the past few days either only hacking out around the farm at a walk or hand walking her. She must leave the herd daily or else she gets very herd bound. When I turn her out, she doesnt hesitate to gallop back to the herd, throwing in bucks.

    Im thinking thats its just the transition from a small field with one buddy to the large field and she is probably getting double the exercise and will just need a transition period where I need to take it easy with her until she legs up. Im just worried because, for so long, the stifle issue hasnt been an issue and now its pretty bad.

    I had a vet apt yesterday for her teeth and planned to run this all by him but he had a calving emergency and had to re-schedule until next week so in the meantime, what do you think?

    Also, can a hill be too steep for stifles? Its not like straight up but probably about 45 degrees and maybe a 4th of a mile up, with a flat area at the top. The horses have zigzag paths and dont usually take a dirrect route up or down. Its pretty impressive though and a great workout for me when I have to catch her. Im sure it hurts going down but I hope that if she wasnt feeling good, she wouldnt run break neck down it but who knows in the heat of the moment.

    Thanks for your thoughts!
    Last edited by ActNatural; Nov. 13, 2012, 03:24 PM. Reason: more info

  • #2
    No way to know until the vet evaluates her -- turnout alone should not cause a problem, so it's either a question of the transition, as you said, or something got tweaked in the first few days of adjustment, which is entirely possible...
    The big man -- my lost prince

    The little brother, now my main man

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    • #3
      Before reading your post, just going off your title, I said to myself 'I bet its stifle...'

      My arthritic stifle gelding would be incredibly sore when transitioning to dramatically different turnout situations. When I moved him from 8hrs per day on a small lot to 24/7 on 20 acres, it took his body several weeks to adjust.

      For him, it was just soreness from dramatic change in activity.

      And I will say, for my guy, the barn door swings both ways. He will be equally ouchy if his activity is suddenly diminished, like stall time due to bad weather, etc.
      Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

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      • #4
        Even though she was in much better riding shape, all that extra room PLUS being chased and kicked (and maybe kicked on her stifle) could easily make her sore.

        My first 2 thoughts would be either do a bute test and not change anything else, or keep on with your walks, either under saddle or in hand, for 1-2 weeks, no bute, and see if she improves.

        I agree with buck in the swinging door - my UFP horse will get worse both if his activity suddenly increase or DEcreases, until he adjust to the new normal, which can take a couple of week sometimes.
        ______________________________
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks everyone! I guess any horse going from 1.5 acres with a lazy quarter horse mare as a companion to 30 acres plus 9 active horses combined with getting used to the herd dynamitic would probably have soreness issues regardless of the stifle. Some of those kicks connected. She would get close to a certain horse, get chased off, kicked at, but then turn around and come back for more. I HATE to watch that and just turned around and went home with the barn manager saying she would keep an eye on it. But she is fine now and has friends

          I walked trails for about 20 minutes last night and then tested the trot just to see and she was sound as far as I could tell! So, ill probably keep going easy through the rest of the week and weekend and return to normal work next week as long as she stays good to go and have the vet check her out next week regardless.

          Thanks!

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          • #6
            Yay, that sounds great! It's entirely possible it's not even the size of her new turnout, or increased exercise, but a sudden and hard spin that could have tweaked her stifle or something else.
            ______________________________
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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            • #7
              I have a arab gelding that had stifle surgery to remove a bone chip. Since then (about 8 yrs ago) the vets all said he should be out as much as possible. He is a retired show horse so he does go out but weather dictates when and how much. I have noticed that when he goes out he is off when I start riding and then works out of it, sometimes he is just off and doesn't work out of it so we quit riding. When he is in for a day or longer he rides great no problems, cold or hot weather, I have found he is much better when he stays in then when he goes out. Go figure.

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              • #8
                Can you post a pic of her conformation and hind feet? My stifle boy never truly resolved until I figured out his problem is a lateral instability, not a longitudinal one. There will be clues in photos.
                "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                ---
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
                  My stifle boy never truly resolved until I figured out his problem is a lateral instability, not a longitudinal one. There will be clues in photos.
                  Of course it is

                  http://www.equinestudies.org/lessons..._2008_pdf1.pdf

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LMH View Post
                    This is the horse who we think fractured his pelvis as a two year old. He comes by his assymetry honestly LOL but oddly enough is incredibly even and easy to straighten.. One of the easiest to ride correctly horses I have ever had.
                    Cool article, why arent people taught this stuff every day? Nice explanations.
                    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                    ---
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      For some reason I thought you would have known of Woody already!

                      Yes it is great information...

                      Three others (not related to this but worth mentioning)

                      http://www.equinestudies.org/true_co..._2008_pdf1.pdf

                      http://www.equinestudies.org/ring_re...s_2008_pdf.pdf

                      http://www.equinestudies.org/ranger_..._2008_pdf1.pdf

                      All should be required reading.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LMH View Post
                        For some reason I thought you would have known of Woody already!

                        Yes it is great information...

                        Three others (not related to this but worth mentioning)

                        http://www.equinestudies.org/true_co..._2008_pdf1.pdf

                        http://www.equinestudies.org/ring_re...s_2008_pdf.pdf

                        http://www.equinestudies.org/ranger_..._2008_pdf1.pdf

                        All should be required reading.
                        No but you can bet it will be saving me a lot of time explaining things to people in the future! Thanks
                        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                        ---
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Quite welcome!

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