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Retiree acting strange- not wanting to hold up one leg for the farrier

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  • Retiree acting strange- not wanting to hold up one leg for the farrier

    Just looking for ideas on what to look at. My horse who has had the same farrier for 18 years was acting really weird today- when the farrier tried to pick up his RF he kept pulling away and inching his LF foot forward. To the extend that he would cross his LF over his RF when the farrier went to pick it up. Even when he was just standing there he would not keep his LF still and kept moving it around. From how he was acting I would have expected him to be dead lame - but he isn't we trotted him out and there was a minor head bob - like very minor - in one direct that looked to be RF and not LF - there was only a very short distance to got so we barely got started. So we put him in the round pen and he looked perfectly sound both directions- his usually huge moving OTTB self.

    When he walked he was placing his feet more in front of each other than usual. The farrier picked them up and stretched them a little to the side and at no point did he react.

    We can't find anything wrong with him other than he really didn't seem to want to have his RF worked on or stand still with his LF. It was just super uncharacteristic - especially that he was putting his LF on top of his RF to block us from getting it.

    I could call my vet- but there's not anything we can find "wrong" with him. I'm planning to just monitor him close.

    Any thoughts? If I wasn't worried it would be pretty funny that he was actually crossing one hoof over the other at the fetlock b/c he didn't want to pick it up. He has always been very opinionated... It's just not sitting right with me and I'm worried.
  • Original Poster

    #2
    okay- a little more info which may have had him weirded out to begin with- one of the other horses was put down in a field two over from him a half hour before the appointment. (He was 34 and laid down in a gorgeous green field on a beautiful sunny day and just couldn't get back up again.) I don't know if horses get out of sorts over such things.

    Comment


    • #3
      I doubt it's anything to do with the old fellow . . . horses have their own ways of holding "wakes" for a herd member but it wouldn't affect his way of moving. See how he goes for the next week, and if you see anything else you never saw before, get your vet out just to rule out anything neurological.

      Comment


      • #4
        I won't be much help but one of my horses went through a stage where he would walk with one front foot in front of the other. It looked like he was walking a tight rope. Vet couldn't figure out what caused this. After some time (can't remember how long) he was walking normally again.

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        • #5
          A client of mine has an older Arab that will not hold his front foot up nicely for picking when he needs a chiropractic adjustment. Once he's adjusted, he's fine. Could it be something simple like that?

          Comment


          • #6
            I've found that an unwillingness to hold a front foot up can point to discomfort in the diagonal hind limb.
            "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen
            http://www.etsy.com/shop/tailsofglory

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JackieBlue View Post
              I've found that an unwillingness to hold a front foot up can point to discomfort in the diagonal hind limb.
              It can also be from pain in the other foreleg, maybe from an incipient abscess.

              My farrier has several oldster clients (the horses, not the owners) who are old and stiff, which doesn't sound like your horse's issue, but anyway, she digs a little trench around the foot and just rasps from underneath enough to keep the hoof trimmed. She said they can get to a point where you just do the best you can.

              I was feeling sorry for my mare who had a broken pelvis (years ago) and is all wonky behind, because she was doing this same thing, sliding her hind leg forward and really resisting picking it up. This is a horse who will trot and gallop for fun. One day, she developed an abscess and held up that hind leg for a couple of days, hopping around on three feet. That's when I realized that the farrier was right when she said the mare could pick up that foot with no problem, and after that, I was more demanding of her and made her behave with picking up her feet. She is transformed. So the gist is that a little discomfort may have precipitated her bad behavior, but the real motivator was that she just didn't want to behave.
              "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina

              Comment


              • #8
                Most of the time when I find a horse who doesn't want to hold up one leg it's because the opposite leg/side has an issue - so it would mean they would have to stand on the "bad" leg/side while the good leg is held up which hurts.
                "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England

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                • #9
                  Yes. That is the case most of the time. I'm guessing the op knows that. I was throwing something out she may not have encountered/ thought of.
                  Last edited by JackieBlue; May. 17, 2013, 09:48 PM.
                  "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen
                  http://www.etsy.com/shop/tailsofglory

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Laminitis, brewing abscesses?
                    I love cats, I love every single cat....
                    So anyway I am a cat lover
                    And I love to run.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Shivers?
                      Riding is NOT meant as an inside sport, GET out of that arena!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Like others said I'd check the LF, especially since he kept moving it around. If he's moving it forward then I'd look closely at the toe. Can you feel any heat variations on it? I like to use one of those laser pointers with a temp readout. Sometimes you can find hoof problems with that method long before anything else shows up. Since it's been a couple of days any changes?

                        Hoping to hear that you've pinpointed the problem.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by sevensprings View Post
                          Like others said I'd check the LF, especially since he kept moving it around. If he's moving it forward then I'd look closely at the toe. Can you feel any heat variations on it? I like to use one of those laser pointers with a temp readout. Sometimes you can find hoof problems with that method long before anything else shows up. Since it's been a couple of days any changes?

                          Hoping to hear that you've pinpointed the problem.
                          Thanks! I don't know what to say - I'm relieved to say he seems perfectly fine now. I have no idea what was going on. He did have a small cut on his LH.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 4Martini View Post
                            Thanks! I don't know what to say - I'm relieved to say he seems perfectly fine now. I have no idea what was going on. He did have a small cut on his LH.
                            That's great news! It could have been an abscess that blew unceremoniously, or he was just having an off day, or... The important thing is he's better so no worries this time.

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