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Short stride one foreleg in walk, even stride at trot?

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  • Short stride one foreleg in walk, even stride at trot?

    I was looking at some video footage last night and thought the horse looked like he was taking longer strides with his right front than with his left front. So I measured and I was right. It was there with passive contact, bending contact (both ways), and looped reins.

    But at the trot his stride lengths were even (I measured). The horse looked happy trotting, not like he was in pain.

    What could cause this?

  • #2
    I have a horse that does this. Lameness specialist says the walk is not a symmetrical gait.

    Comment


    • #3
      Walk not a symmetrical gait? Of course it is, in a sound, freely moving horse. Now, it's not "symmetrical" in the sense that the trot is, but over the course of 4 beats, the walk is symmectrical and each front/hind leg should move identically in relation to the other, same amount of tracking up with each hind, same amount of forward reach with each front.

      I think the issue is not the RF taking a longer stride, but the LF taking a shorter one. OR, it is even an issue of a hind leg not taking a full stride, either on the forward path or the extension of the phase.

      Have someone walk him on freshly grooms dirt/ring/something, walk behind him, watch his feet, and look at his foot pattern in the dirt.

      At the trot, it's harder to manipulate just one leg unless the lameness is pronounced enough, and often what easily happens is the whole body shortens to meet the demands of the weaker leg. That's why so many people never notice their horse is actually lame.
      ______________________________
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

      Comment


      • #4
        Did it make a difference which direction the horse was moving, and was the ground completely level? I have recently become aware that those two factors can affect stride length. Other things of course can be limb length or hoof length discrepancies, even minor differences, or muscle tightness on one side. I will be interested to read more on this, but there can be multiple factors to consider, IMO.

        Unless the arena is 'groomed' or dragged regularly, any surface that is used by many horses will become uneven. On the ground levelness issue, consider for example that in an arena, there is a 'track' or rut worn by many hooves. At each side of that rut or track, the ground will be higher, and not evenly so.
        Last edited by sdlbredfan; Mar. 2, 2013, 04:17 PM. Reason: clarity
        Jeanie
        RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.

        Comment


        • #5
          Please describe the conformation of all four hooves.
          Please describe the shoulder conformation when standing behind the horse looking forward along his top line. Make sure the horse is standing on flat, level ground with his cannon bones vertical/perpendicular to the ground.
          When under saddle, does the saddle slip to one side or the other? If so, which side?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by JB View Post
            Walk not a symmetrical gait? Of course it is, in a sound, freely moving horse. Now, it's not "symmetrical" in the sense that the trot is, but over the course of 4 beats, the walk is symmectrical and each front/hind leg should move identically in relation to the other, same amount of tracking up with each hind, same amount of forward reach with each front.

            I think the issue is not the RF taking a longer stride, but the LF taking a shorter one. OR, it is even an issue of a hind leg not taking a full stride, either on the forward path or the extension of the phase.

            Have someone walk him on freshly grooms dirt/ring/something, walk behind him, watch his feet, and look at his foot pattern in the dirt.

            At the trot, it's harder to manipulate just one leg unless the lameness is pronounced enough, and often what easily happens is the whole body shortens to meet the demands of the weaker leg. That's why so many people never notice their horse is actually lame.
            I had one of the top lameness specialist in the area tell me the walk was not a symmetrical gait. I know there is a study supporting this somewhere that some horses do not have a even gait in walk. I also had a horse like this that was considered 100% in trot by specialists.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              I reexamined the video in light of JB's comment about the hind legs. The hind legs are also striding at different lengths - the left hind is taking longer steps than the right. Direction of travel, straight line, curved line, along the wall, through the middle of the arena - all the same left front and right hind shorter strided than the right front and left hind.

              I looked at some video of the horse walking without rider or tack today. Stride lengths even front and hind.

              This makes me think that weight bearing or the saddle is causing or at minimum highlighting a pain somewhere.

              Comment


              • #8
                How is the walk not symmetrical in its own context? Each front leg moves like the other front leg, each hind leg moves like the other hind leg. Assuming a horse is perfectly sound and supple, how is it not symmetrical? If you can find the study that would be great.

                Red - my WB has a smaller overstride with his LH than the RH, but it's because the RH has a problem stretching back in the extended part of the stride, so keep that in mind when you're trying to figure out what's what LOL
                ______________________________
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Fharoah View Post
                  I had one of the top lameness specialist in the area tell me the walk was not a symmetrical gait.
                  Since, demonstrably, they got that wrong, it should lead one to question what else they are wrong about. And, that that statement came from 'one of the top lameness specialists in the area', should be of great concern to you and everyone else who uses, has used or will use said "specialist". ymmv

                  I know there is a study supporting this somewhere that some horses do not have a even gait in walk.
                  So what? Said horses are unsound. Since the unsoundness involves a limb or limbs, it is therefore classified as a lameness.

                  I also had a horse like this that was considered 100% in trot by specialists.
                  By definition, in each instance, the horse(s) is/are lame.
                  "Lameness refers to any number of conditions where the animal fails to travel in a regular and sound manner on all four feet. "

                  Methinks you need a better educated, better informed, better versed group of specialists.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I still want to know what is meant by "symmetrical". If that definition also pertains to the canter, which is not symmetrical, then yes, I will buy that. But, the canter cannot be symmetrical in any sense of the word because of the leg pattern. The walk IS symmetrical over the course of all 4 legs moving. It's just not symmetrical when compared to the trot or the pace.
                    ______________________________
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I will try and locate that study. I know one of the top world renowned former head of the university and highly regarded surgeon/specialist that would also support my statement.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I will not argue. I simply used to own a mare with an asymmetrical walk. I took to the top specialists and they told me the horse was sound. They told me the walk was not a symmetrical gait. This horse walked uneven even on four grams of bute and was always 100% through trot no matter what. So I am not arguing was only passing on what I had been told by highly regarded surgeons/lameness specialists.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Fharoah View Post
                          So I am not arguing was only passing on what I had been told by highly regarded surgeons/lameness specialists.
                          Wasn't it Forrest Gump who observed "Stupid is as stupid does"?

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            A quick bareback test showed it's bearing the rider's weight that's causing the short stride in this case.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Don't you love it when you have more info but you're still not sure what to make it of? LOL

                              I feel your pain. I'll be watching this thread with interest
                              ______________________________
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I have a horse like that.

                                He had contracted tendons as a foal, worse in the RF. Now, nine years later,he still seems to have a shorter anterior stride with that leg. But at the trot he appears even. He has won hack classes at AA shows, but I often wonder if he would actually pass a prepurchase exam. I do not want to sell him so it is a moot point.

                                If you sit in the airport and watch humanity walk by, you will notice no two of us walk alike. We demand so much more perfection of our horses!!! (o:
                                "Over the Hill?? What Hill, Where?? I don't remember any hill!!!" Favorite Tee Shirt

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Claudius View Post
                                  He had contracted tendons as a foal, worse in the RF.
                                  Actually he did not. What he had was muscle contraction of the musculo-tendinous unit. Remember, tendons don't contract beyond their resting length.

                                  Now, nine years later,he still seems to have a shorter anterior stride with that leg. But at the trot he appears even. He has won hack classes at AA shows, but I often wonder if he would actually pass a prepurchase exam.
                                  Though you are not the OP, please respond to the questions I posed in post #5? If you don't want to so do, please let me know so I don't waste any more of my time. Thanks.
                                  Last edited by Rick Burten; Mar. 4, 2013, 01:15 AM.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Further video examination shows the short stride developing gradually over the last month. The short front step started before the hind long step. (And I felt a little OCD holding my bit of paper with pencil marks on it up to the screen to check )

                                    I feel that it's a pain response given the horse's behaviour during the short bareback test. And even though the horse looked comfortable enough at trot, I can see from the older videos that the trot has changed as well - less forward than it used to be.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Rick, you asked me those questions. Claudius is sharing experience of a different horse with a short step.

                                      Does the horse have a low, under or overdeveloped shoulder as compared to the other? I didn't look, but the saddle does not have a tendency to slip to either side.

                                      Given the information that the horse is even strided without a rider, is the hoof conformation question still relevant? If so, how? What would I be looking for?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by RedHorses View Post
                                        Rick, you asked me those questions. Claudius is sharing experience of a different horse with a short step.
                                        I know, and I don't want to sidetrack your thread. However, Claudius presented a case that I felt needs further examination lest there be misunderstandings and misinformation potentially left unchallenged.

                                        Does the horse have a low, under or overdeveloped shoulder as compared to the other? I didn't look, but the saddle does not have a tendency to slip to either side.
                                        Glad the saddle doesn't slip. Is he perchance high withered?

                                        Given the information that the horse is even strided without a rider, is the hoof conformation question still relevant?
                                        For me, yes.
                                        If so, how?
                                        Well, more information [usually] leads to more accurate replies. Hoof shape may be an indicator of problems that may be occurring at that level or above.
                                        What would I be looking for?
                                        Abnormalities. Asymmetry at the coronary band(eg: posterior or distal displacement, if so, where?); long toe/low heels; high heels- dished toe; hoof shape ie; round, spade shaped, narrow; sole--flat, concave; is the frog wide and 'plump' or narrow and 'mealy'? Is there any indication of the presence of thrush and if so, which foot/feet? Are there any lumps above the coronary band in the area of the quarters? If so, which hooves and which side(eg: medial/lateral/both)? Does the wall from the quarters rearward at the ground edge, lie outside of, straight down from, or inside of a plumb line dropped from the coronary band? That should get you started.

                                        Comment

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