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Horse doesn't want hind feet picked up

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  • Horse doesn't want hind feet picked up

    Anyone ever have a horse that didn't want to pick up hind legs to get feet picked? Doesn't seem to be a behavioral issue. Seems like she's had a NQR issue with her hind end for a couple years, but hasn't done a whole lot under saddle. She's out of shape and seems to possibly step a little short on one leg when she first comes out of the stall. Nothing terribly noticeable. Doesn't seem to like picking up either back leg, but pretty much refuses to budge one of them.


    I have a chiro coming on Friday. She was looked at by a vet this summer, but I don't think anything diagnostic was done at that time.

    Does PSSM ever present this way?

  • #2
    Not sure about PSSM.

    Have you tried a bute trial? Do 2 grams (assuming 1000#+ horse) and wait a few hours then try to pick up feet. If it's a pain issue that may give you an indication if the horse is more willing with bute on board.

    My trail horse was like that when he first tore his suspensory in July 2011. But it resolved as he healed.


    • #3
      My older mare who is neurological has problems with one hind. She is very kind, so picks it up, but constantly tries to put it down by tipping the toe down. We manage by making it quick when picking that foot and being fair about how we handle her hind end. Breaks may be required if it's more than a simple swipe swipe pick job. We dose her with banamine for trims (played around with previcox, but 12 cc banamine IV prior to a trim seems to do a better job.)

      I'd have a vet back out. Perhaps not your usual guy, but someone who is excellent at diagnostics.
      Last edited by Simkie; Nov. 29, 2012, 01:37 AM.


      • Original Poster

        I think a bute trial would be a great place to start.

        From what I've heard she's happy to jump around and pushes off even from behind....

        I've only had her for a day and haven't had my own vet look at her yet. Just wondering where to start.

        I was hoping maybe it was a chiro thing, but she sure doesn't seem sore anywhere.

        She's very polite about it. Just doesn't want to pick it up and if you keep asking, she'll offer her other hind foot instead.


        • #5
          Hocks and stifles would be first on my list. Ditto a bute trial.

          Is this one you bought or just one that came into the barn?


          • Original Poster

            It's one I have on trial. She seems incredible...so I'm willing to deal with some maintenance if needed. I don't really do much anyways. Just want to pop over some small fences in lessons once or twice a week and plod around the arena and trail ride the rest of the time.

            She's only 8 and has had a couple months training off and on over the last couple years. Probably only 6 or 7 months total. Didn't get started under saddle till she was 5 or 6 and is still pretty green.

            Will try bute tomorrow and see what that reveals.

            Hopefully the chiropractor might get some insight into her issue when he looks at her this week. On to the vet next week.


            • #7
              When my horse started objecting to having his hind legs picked, it was the first sign of a mild laminitic episode. But if it's mostly one leg, you're probably right to check her joints instead. Good luck!


              • #8
                My Mare was barefoot behind. She would not pick up her hind feet. The vet came out, turns out she was very sore. No noticable lameness. Shoes were put back on. She was fine after that, but her recall was accute enough that it took her a very long time to pick up her hooves when asked.


                • #9
                  We had one like that who seemed to be sore in the hocks, but later went on to test positive for EPM. He was treated and it went away.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by imnotclever View Post
                    Anyone ever have a horse that didn't want to pick up hind legs to get feet picked? . . .
                    I run into this problem often. It usually indicates an undiagnosed medical problem. The last one I ran into that wouldn't lift his right hind had a hair line fracture in his left hind pastern. Owner wouldn't have known about it if I hadn't requested a vet exam.


                    • #11
                      My guy had epm also. He didn't fight me but he sure wouldn't help me pick them up or hold them at all. He has bigggg heavy feet also lol.
                      Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                      • Original Poster

                        Thank you so much for all the comments. I really appreciate the input. As suspected, it seems like it could be everything and anything. Here's to hoping that we're able to find the source sooner than later. I'm sure my pocketbook would appreciate avoiding the wild goose chase.

                        It sounds like it's something that has been there for at least a couple years. Very slight NQR that nobody has been able to link to anything specifically. No real digging has been done to figure it out though either.


                        • #13
                          In my experience, it has been hocks, stifles, or backs. But it really could be almost anything!
                          Last edited by salymandar; Nov. 29, 2012, 11:21 AM. Reason: Looks like we posted at the same time


                          • Original Poster

                            This is one of those things where I don't want to do too many things at the same time, so if I see improvement I'll know what helped.

                            My chiropractor was really able to help pinpoint some sources of discomfort in my now retired horse. Made it easier to figure out what to xray first at least.


                            • #15
                              Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


                              • #16
                                Yes, have seen this with two horses. Both had EPSM. When their diet was changed, the symptoms went away.
                                www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                                "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                                Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube


                                • #17
                                  One of the reasons why I got such a good deal on my old heart horse was he would “not pick up his hind feet”. He would tilt on his toes so you could kinda pick them, but that was it.

                                  After some chiropractic, and retraining – he would pick them up. For him, it was more of an SI issue.

                                  FYI- this horse went on to do prelim level eventing, and never had any lasting hind end issues.
                                  APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Appsolute - that's what this mare does too.

                                    She was seen by the chiropractor today and ohhhh boy what a difference! She was very out of alignment in her lower back, really out in the right stifle and her left too. Whole pelvis was out. Seemed to have been out for quite awhile because they were difficult adjustments, not the type that just popped back in.

                                    Next up is addressing her feet, but fingers crossed that it may not be too serious.... Famous last words, right?

                                    She looked soooo much better afterwards and was actually allowing the leg, that she usually refused to budge, to be picked up.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by imnotclever View Post
                                      Appsolute - that's what this mare does too.

                                      She was seen by the chiropractor today and ohhhh boy what a difference! She was very out of alignment in her lower back, really out in the right stifle and her left too. Whole pelvis was out. Seemed to have been out for quite awhile because they were difficult adjustments, not the type that just popped back in.

                                      Next up is addressing her feet, but fingers crossed that it may not be too serious.... Famous last words, right?

                                      She looked soooo much better afterwards and was actually allowing the leg, that she usually refused to budge, to be picked up.
                                      AWWWWWWW. Good job.
                                      Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.