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Mare shifting back feet side to side?

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  • Mare shifting back feet side to side?

    I've seen my mare doing something strange for about the past month, I thought I'd ask COTH about it!

    Every night I bring Miss Maresie into a stall to eat her dinner. She lives outside 24/7 otherwise. I bring her into the box stall, deeply bedded with shavings, and she digs into her beet pulp. As she eats, she shifts her weight between her back legs. Picks up one back foot an inch or two, sets it down. Picks up the other back foot and inch or two, sets it down. Rinse, repeat.

    She doesn't seem in pain, and if I ask her to pick up a foot while she's doing this she does so willingly. She doesn't do it when she's eating her hay, but she also doesn't stand in one place while eating hay like she does while eating beet pulp. It doesn't seem to be an excitement thing, she likes her food but doesn't go crazy over it.

    Suggestions? If it helps, she's a 15 year old QH.
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

  • #2
    It might just be her thing, like some horses raise a front leg even if they never progress to pawing.

    It would be interesting to bring her in as usual, but with the shavings all pulled away from where she stands. It is possible the deepness of the bedding, which causes her toes to point down, makes her a bit uncomfortable. Given she doesn't do that while eating hay makes that unlikely, but still, it would be a good and easy experiment.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by JB View Post
      It might just be her thing, like some horses raise a front leg even if they never progress to pawing.

      It would be interesting to bring her in as usual, but with the shavings all pulled away from where she stands. It is possible the deepness of the bedding, which causes her toes to point down, makes her a bit uncomfortable. Given she doesn't do that while eating hay makes that unlikely, but still, it would be a good and easy experiment.
      Hmmm, interesting idea. She doesn't do this while eating from her nibblenet outside, which includes her standing still for an extended period of time, on hard packed dirt.

      I'm going to try that tonight!
      Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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      • #4
        You don't give her age, physical condition or any other history.

        Of course, when you do someone will decide it's ulcers, or some equally far out thing.
        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
          You don't give her age, physical condition or any other history.

          Of course, when you do someone will decide it's ulcers, or some equally far out thing.
          Her age is in the original post.

          Physical condition is just average, not super fit but also not a big tubby whale. History is she's lived outside her whole life, ridden lightly, not any real big lameness issues minus a shoulder injury a few years back. None of that would really seem relevant to the hind end.
          Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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          • #6
            my horse did the same thing - he had a number of thing wrong with him, including bad hocks.

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            • #7
              My mare did that when she injured her SI joint. She was sound in hand and wandering around the pasture it wasn't noticeable but when asked to stand she would shift her weight. My sports medicine vet injected her SI joint and within 3 days the shifting stopped for good.

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              • #8
                I had a horse that did a similar thing. This horse. barefoot all around for years had Cushings, which was being -we thought, managed. But I watched, as out in pasture first one hind foot was raised. , then the other.

                Suddenly the light dawned. Where most horses show laminitis in the front feet, this horse had gone laminitic in both hind feet. The front feet never showed a problem. We revised our management and things settled down, but as you all know Cushings is a slope of varying degrees of slipperiness.
                Taking it day by day!

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