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Lame on one diagnonal?

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  • Lame on one diagnonal?

    Have any of y'all ever had, or heard of, a horse who is sound at the trot both ways when lunged, and sound when ridden to the left, posting trot, but when you switch diagonals, is slightly off even before you actually trot to the right?

    It has just dawned on me, I had just begun to suspect this was the case and was changing direction, when, for the second time, horse stepped on himself with his right front pulling the shoe off his left front. I asked the farrier about it, and he wondered, shoulder?

    Horse has had X-rays of foot and ankle, had some navicular changes and some ankle arthritic changes. Has has the left coffin joint injected, and Legend, and is on Previcox. Also sees a chiropractor regularly, which has greatly helped him. I did the whole very slow rehab, with stall confinement, then just walking, straight lines, adding trot, straight lines, and now am up to very large circles?

    I described this to one very experienced horse person who said she had seen something like this with uneven muscle development, particularly in horses ridden incorrectly sidesaddle. This horse is an OTTB who I have hunted and done very basic dressage and little jumps in the ring with, who became noticeably lame last May during a dressage lesson. He has always been very much better to the left, even though this was the worse joint on X-ray and the one that was injected. but always, when I think back, it was when I changed diagonals, before changing directions, that he became worse.

    I just wondered if anybody else has any experience or thoughts about this.

  • #2
    that's how my horse presented with ringbone years ago. it fused and she was fine until about a year ago when it started up again, this time on the other leg-arthritis of the fetlock. we've tried all the treatments you mentioned and she's now retired.
    My mare wonders about all this fuss about birth control when she's only seen a handful of testicles in her entire life. Living with an intact male of my species, I feel differently! WAYSIDE

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    • #3
      I've noticed mine feeling different on each diagonal before when they needed their hocks injected. :/

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      • #4
        My super lameness vet will have me change diagonals back and forth while watching a horse, if we happen to be looking at it under saddle. It hasn't been a factor with any of mine, as far as I know, but that tells me that he is watching for something. With mine, we've been dealing with issues mostly hind end or back related. Whether that influenced the request to change diagonals, I don't now. Guess I'm not much help!

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks for all your responses. I am becoming less optimistic that this horse will ever become sound again, was hoping the diagonal thing would have some cause that would be more treatable.

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          • #6
            I have one of those right now. I am lucky my vet will get on so he can feel rather than just see, because this horse would not limp on the lunge or from flexions. Through the process of riding and blocking we were able to find a very high hind suspensory tear.
            "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
            carolprudm

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            • #7
              IME, the percentage of horses that are automatically even both left and right through their bodies is right around 0%.

              You say basic dressage but that doesn't tell me what your skill level is. Considering the horse looks fine on the lunge my recommendation is to have someone work with this horse that is skilled in straightening a horse under saddle. In other words I'd treat it as a basic crookedness issue. If the underlying lameness had been properly addressed the work will be therapeutic.

              The best definition of lameness I've ever heard is "When I can no longer straighten my horse." Key words being "no longer". That said, post injury there will be some muscling that needs to be rebuilt.

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              • #8
                I've got one who feels very different on both diagonals, very comfy to the left, but - the best description I can come up with - hard to the right. bounces harder, harder to pick up the correct diagonal, I find myself getting defensively stiff when we go to the right. He has a history of shoulder injury, probably tangled with a barbed wire fence at some point, and has a scar that indicates a t-post was involved. He used to be very short on the RF, but slow, theraputic work has helped that a lot. I suspect the issue is in the rear at this point, from compensating for the shoulder for so long. He's also a wiggle worm and kind of a challenge to keep straight. Fools me a lot with that.

                Basically, what I'm getting at is that I agree with Kolsch; short of finding an obvious arthritic or soft tissue issue, consider soft tissue of the type that needs careful, theraputic work and straightness, and time; won't fix it overnight.
                "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                Spay and neuter. Please.

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                • #9
                  Every now and then Keebler will be a little stiffer and less fluid on one diagonal than the other, a leftover from his foot injury/surgery. It's not really visible from the ground, but you can feel it. He works out of it within a few minutes.
                  Click here before you buy.

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                  • #10
                    I've dealt with mrhoades scenario. This horse even looked even at sitting trot and not bad until you got to the one diagonal.
                    Taking it day by day!

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                    • #11
                      Yes, this horse goes completely chicken-pickin-corn lame when on the one diagonal. Completely sound on the other diagonal. Does not matter which way you are turning either.
                      "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
                      carolprudm

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                      • #12
                        If I missed this, sorry, but he is still the sound/lame if you switch diagonals on a straight line? I think the answer is yes, given his lameness on the right diagonal even before you start tracking right.

                        Does this happen with multiple riders? Multiple saddles?

                        If you 2-pt, is he sound both directions? If so, does he become lame with a small enough circle? What about sitting trot?
                        ______________________________
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                        • #13
                          I'm sure most side saddle people would defend their saddles vehemently. So, instead, I'm going to throw saddle seat riding under the bus... [sarcasm]

                          I have seen this in Saddlebreds. They get what a dressage person would call "rein lame". But it does not show in the front, it will show in the hind end. We call it "hitchy". It develops from posting one diagonal more than the other, and because no one cares which diagonal you're on, unless you are an equitation rider, it is often allowed to continue. One hind quarter will become more developed than the other. You can post with that hind leg, but not against it. I have even known horses who would pop their rider back over to get comfortable again.

                          I fight it myself. My horse is square and sound, but I habitually put more weight in my left seat bone. My right leg tends to suck up and swing forward from the knee. This makes it diffcult for me to post my left diagonal because I am sitting on the other hind leg. And my imbalance throws my horse off. If I really work on myself and my position and get centered, we're just fine.
                          ::I do not understand your specific kind of crazy, but I do admire your total commitment to it::

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by JB View Post
                            If I missed this, sorry, but he is still the sound/lame if you switch diagonals on a straight line? I think the answer is yes, given his lameness on the right diagonal even before you start tracking right.
                            Does this happen with multiple riders? Multiple saddles?
                            If you 2-pt, is he sound both directions? If so, does he become lame with a small enough circle? What about sitting trot?
                            I'm embarrassed to admit I just had the "light bulb moment" about the possible connection of the diagnonals and his lameness the last time I rode him, so I don't yet have the answers to all your questions. They are good questions. I'll get back to you. Yes, he goes lame when I switch diagonals in a straight line. I had just begun experimenting when he tripped and ripped off his front shoe.

                            I've been the only one to ride him since his lameness, and have tried both my County Profit and the dressage saddle, and it doesn't seem to make a difference to him, but I've been riding him in the dressage saddle most often. I sit his trot only briefly, as I thought it would be more comfortable for him to post. I do two-point some, but it's not as comfortable for me in the dressage saddle, so I am unsure about changes of direction. It is also more difficult for me to feel his possible lameness when I two-point, I'll have to get someone to watch me.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Houndhill View Post
                              I had just begun experimenting when he tripped and ripped off his front shoe.
                              This, to me, indicates you have an issue in the hind end that is highlighted by posting. Wether it is an actual lameness in your horse, or a rider/strength imbalance (rein lame). Your experimenting could have caused him to over stride (hitch) with the hind leg and grab that shoe, causing him to stumble.

                              Just an internet opinion from an armchair "observer".
                              ::I do not understand your specific kind of crazy, but I do admire your total commitment to it::

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by SmartAlex View Post
                                This, to me, indicates you have an issue in the hind end that is highlighted by posting. Wether it is an actual lameness in your horse, or a rider/strength imbalance (rein lame). Your experimenting could have caused him to over stride (hitch) with the hind leg and grab that shoe, causing him to stumble.
                                Just an internet opinion from an armchair "observer".
                                Sorry, should have been more clear. I can see why you might think that, it is often the case, but this horse stumbled in front, almost crossing his legs, and stepped on his front left shoe with his right front foot. I clearly felt him do this, it is the second time he has done it under saddle in the past couple of months.. He does not wear shoes in the rear. He has had a neurological evaluation and was normal. We were in our ring, which is grass, and he could have stepped on some unevenness in the footing, but it was when we were changing either direction or diagonal, I don't remember which. I immediately got off and picked up the shoe. Fortunately he did not tear up his foot, it came off cleanly, and he had just been done the previous week. The farrier has moved his break-over point back because of the coffin joint issue, and his toes are appropriately short. The vet has looked at the shoeing and says it is great for his specific issues. This is a very experienced terrific farrier and he replaced the shoe the next day.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Houndhill View Post
                                  this horse stumbled in front, almost crossing his legs, and stepped on his front left shoe with his right front foot. I clearly felt him do this, it is the second time he has done it under saddle in the past couple of months
                                  Wow... that takes talent!
                                  ::I do not understand your specific kind of crazy, but I do admire your total commitment to it::

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by SmartAlex View Post
                                    Wow... that takes talent!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Didn't read the other replies, but yes, very possible for a horse to be lame on one diagonal and not the other. The "diagonal" is truly just which hind foot you are putting more weight on -- posting "with the outside front," generally thought of as the correct diagonal, means that you are posting with the inside hind as well.

                                      I sometimes purposely post on the "off" diagonal for a horse that is lacking in straightness on a circle...similar effect to the counter-canter, and other exercises (note: similar. not same. similar).

                                      That all is to say, whichever diagonal produces the lameness, pinpoints a set of legs -- one of the diagonal pair, depending on how the lameness presents.

                                      Clear as mud?

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