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Horse doesn't rest back feet often

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  • Horse doesn't rest back feet often

    I was hesitant to post for fear I'd get flamed for being a bad caretaker, but I'd like some opinions/suggestions.

    We have a 22 year old halter type QH who I hardly ever see rest his back feet. He doesn't do any type of "founder stance" but stands square. He does rest them, but not as often as normal. His feet have been x-rayed within the last 90 days and the x-rays were clean. We've owned him less than a year, and this is how he's always been. He shows no sign of lameness, his hooves show no sign of heat. He did have a bout of mild laminitis last year when he got out onto a manicured lawn, but has been pasture kept his whole life, and he did this prior to that incident. The pasture is currently dormant, although I know that can be deceptive. I have not had the pasture tested.

    So to me this seems like he must have chronically sore feet, but I'm new to horse keeping and there's tons I just don't know (yet).

    I've got an appt. with the vet but wanted opinions in the meantime.

  • #2
    Flamed for being a bad caretaker?

    You now have me in a panic because I don't know what is "normal" in terms of % of each foot rested for each of my horses!!

    My opinion? If the x-rays are clean, and he doesn't seem to be stiff/sore anywhere, and it's how he's "always been"...then I think you're in the clear and it's indeed just how he is.

    Comment


    • #3
      What is "normal" for cocking a hind leg? I haven't a clue LOL!

      Of my 4, they vary hugely in how much a hind leg is rested.
      ______________________________
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Ok, yes sorry, that does sound silly!! Thanks for the perspective.

        I just find it odd to see him standing square when the others are kicked back. He doesn't shift weight or stumble, so I go back and forth between you're just a freak and there's nothing wrong with you and there must be a reason he won't rest his back feet. I just hardly ever see him rest them and it strikes me as kinda weird.

        I just want to make sure I'm not missing something. I would hate to think he may be hurting and I just don't have the smarts to catch it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Does he look like he's loading up his front? Does he lift each one as asked so you can pick the hooves?

          If he's loading up the front, I'd say both hinds hurt equally. But if he's square, moves normally, lifts all 4 hooves with ease to be picked, I'd say he's healthy and you are lucky!

          Comment


          • #6
            Is it possible he's had previous surgery for upward fixation of the patella?
            "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

            ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have owned horses for 26 years, I do not think I would ever notice that a horse was not cocking a hind hoof! I would take note if the horse was always resting a leg, or seeming uncomfortable on its feet – but concern that they are not resting a hoof? No way.

              You sound like a very conscientious horse owner. Personally I wouldn’t be calling a vet out for this.
              APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Not sure what you mean by "loading", but he readily picks up all four. You just touch the leg you want and up it goes.

                He has on occasion pulled back away from the farrier. I couldn't tell you which foot he does it with, and he doesn't do that every time. The farrier said it wasn't unusual for horses who have had laminitis to get fussy about their feet.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  I have no idea of his past medical history. He was a successful show horse 100 years ago, the sold as a family pet. When we got him he was just in pasture and had not been ridden or messed with for 3 years.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    "Loading" would be when he tries to transfer more weight, in this case to the front, to ease the rear.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Appsolute View Post
                      I have owned horses for 26 years, I do not think I would ever notice that a horse was not cocking a hind hoof! I would take note if the horse was always resting a leg, or seeming uncomfortable on its feet – but concern that they are not resting a hoof? No way.

                      You sound like a very conscientious horse owner. Personally I wouldn’t be calling a vet out for this.
                      oh, thanks. I was sure someone would post "that's a sign of (insert horrible medical condition) and you should have had this seen about months ago!"

                      He's also getting shots and teeth checked, so he's not getting out of a vet visit, I just thought I might need to address this issue (or apparent non-issue ) with the vet as well.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by stryder View Post
                        "Loading" would be when he tries to transfer more weight, in this case to the front, to ease the rear.
                        I don't think he does that, but I'm not sure if that would be something my untrained eye would see. I will ask the vet about that.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          According to my vet, horses rest a hind foot because something in the leg hurts so they shift their weight off of it.

                          I was so impressed that I finally got a horse that could relax and "rest" and sure enough...arthritis (age related). The horse before him NEVER rested a foot...and I mean NEVER that I saw!

                          So, take it as a good sign.
                          Ride like you mean it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Could also be that it's a learned behavior (being a halter horse that has been taught to stand square) that is ingrained in him so it has become the norm for him.
                            My 2 that have more of a square build (Mustangs) usually stand "with a leg in each corner" out in the field.
                            "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ezduzit View Post
                              According to my vet, horses rest a hind foot because something in the leg hurts so they shift their weight off of it.
                              Not true - horses rest a leg all the time when they cat nap, and it has nothing to do with any discomfort
                              ______________________________
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Ghazzu View Post
                                Is it possible he's had previous surgery for upward fixation of the patella?
                                Yep--my first thought as well. Ghazzu, is there anyway to tell if you don't have the history of the horse?

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                                  Yep--my first thought as well. Ghazzu, is there anyway to tell if you don't have the history of the horse?
                                  I came across this before when I first noticed his behavior and was doing some research, and if I remember correctly you can tell b/c it leaves an indention in the stifle. But honestly I didn't see much of a difference between him and the other horse I was comparing him to. I was under the impression that the surgery was kinda an outdated procedure, but I think he's the correct age that it is a possibility.

                                  Comment

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