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'Lameness' help?

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  • 'Lameness' help?

    Hi, I'm new here, obviously. I was recommended to come here by another forum for help for my horse's mystery lameness (:

    Bit of background about me if you're interested. I'm Tor, live in England, ridden for about 12 years, owned horses for 6. Current horses are Adam:
    http://i42.tinypic.com/23szmo9.jpg
    http://i44.tinypic.com/2cn8qo0.jpg
    Who I've had for 5ish years. Second pony who I did a ton of PC stuff on. Just a happy hacker now, with a bit of playing around. He's a connemara, 14.2, 18 years old.
    Flynn:
    http://i40.tinypic.com/33u31ts.jpg
    http://i36.tinypic.com/1zyj9l1.jpg
    http://i33.tinypic.com/2elvx4n.jpg
    Who I've had for 2 and a half years, got from Ireland sight unseen, 4 years old. He's 7 now. Irish gelding, 16hh, proper sweetie. I was doing eventing, a bit of showjumping, and some hunting before this lameness, and was hoping to do some BE this year.

    Onto the point of the thread, haha.

    Just before Christmas, we had the vet out, because he wasn't tracking up properly on his left hind, and got worse. After a fair bit of investigation (bone scan and x-rays) he had a steroidal injection in his stifle, and after the prescribed weeks of just walking afterwards, when we next schooled him in front of the vet, he was 90% better on his hind, but was now seeming to hop on his front right.

    This hopping I'm assuming is a consequence of helping his left hind. He's always been clumsy and uncoordinated, and it looks as if he's just struggling to work his legs out.

    So my instructor rode him a couple of weeks ago. Obviously she's a much better and stronger rider, and although he was trying at times to hop on his front right, because she was holding him and making him work, he wasn't able. So again, it seems to be more of a muscular weakness/being uncoordinated, because he's not actually lame. He was totally sound lunged shortly on a 10m circle on concrete.

    So whenever I ride him now he's been working very effectively and round, and in an outline. Schooling him there has been a denfinate improvement. However. On the left rein, he's still trying to hop a lot. If I go onto the wrong diagonal, I can control and prevent it. Again, he's fine on the right rein. So on just one diagonal, he's still trying to hop.

    I'm just wondering if anyone has come across this or knows how to help? I'm not a trainer or anything, the vet is pretty unsure (and will push more investigation, which we don't really want to do since he's only a backyard bred mutt, not some expensive horse, and he doesn't like going through it all), and instructor for various reasons isn't much help right now. We will be speaking to both of them as soon as possible, but instructor keeps changing the goalposts, and I'm just really trying to get as many second opinions as possible.

  • #2
    My first stop would be to both a chiropractor, and someone who is good at body work - massage therapy, myofascial release therapy, etc
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

    Comment


    • #3
      Piss, forgot to mention we did have a chiro out, as the first thing we did. Would be an idea though to have her out again though.. it's been a while. thanks (:

      I've also been looking into massage pads for regular use - the equilibrium one in particular. It's a fair bit of money though (although much cheaper than others), so have people had good experiences with them? I was thinking that loosening up his back would help somewhat surely.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by white&red View Post
        Hi, I'm new here, obviously. I was recommended to come here by another forum for help for my horse's mystery lameness (:

        Bit of background about me if you're interested. I'm Tor, live in England, ridden for about 12 years, owned horses for 6. Current horses are Adam:
        http://i42.tinypic.com/23szmo9.jpg
        http://i44.tinypic.com/2cn8qo0.jpg
        Who I've had for 5ish years. Second pony who I did a ton of PC stuff on. Just a happy hacker now, with a bit of playing around. He's a connemara, 14.2, 18 years old.
        Flynn:
        http://i40.tinypic.com/33u31ts.jpg
        http://i36.tinypic.com/1zyj9l1.jpg
        http://i33.tinypic.com/2elvx4n.jpg
        Who I've had for 2 and a half years, got from Ireland sight unseen, 4 years old. He's 7 now. Irish gelding, 16hh, proper sweetie. I was doing eventing, a bit of showjumping, and some hunting before this lameness, and was hoping to do some BE this year.

        Onto the point of the thread, haha.

        Just before Christmas, we had the vet out, because he wasn't tracking up properly on his left hind, and got worse. After a fair bit of investigation (bone scan and x-rays) he had a steroidal injection in his stifle, and after the prescribed weeks of just walking afterwards, when we next schooled him in front of the vet, he was 90% better on his hind, but was now seeming to hop on his front right.

        This hopping I'm assuming is a consequence of helping his left hind. He's always been clumsy and uncoordinated, and it looks as if he's just struggling to work his legs out.

        So my instructor rode him a couple of weeks ago. Obviously she's a much better and stronger rider, and although he was trying at times to hop on his front right, because she was holding him and making him work, he wasn't able. So again, it seems to be more of a muscular weakness/being uncoordinated, because he's not actually lame. He was totally sound lunged shortly on a 10m circle on concrete.

        So whenever I ride him now he's been working very effectively and round, and in an outline. Schooling him there has been a denfinate improvement. However. On the left rein, he's still trying to hop a lot. If I go onto the wrong diagonal, I can control and prevent it. Again, he's fine on the right rein. So on just one diagonal, he's still trying to hop.

        I'm just wondering if anyone has come across this or knows how to help? I'm not a trainer or anything, the vet is pretty unsure (and will push more investigation, which we don't really want to do since he's only a backyard bred mutt, not some expensive horse, and he doesn't like going through it all), and instructor for various reasons isn't much help right now. We will be speaking to both of them as soon as possible, but instructor keeps changing the goalposts, and I'm just really trying to get as many second opinions as possible.
        Have you had him checked for EPM?

        Comment


        • #5
          The problem with a "massage pad" is that you're assuming the issue is directly in the back area.

          The whole hopping issue makes me strongly feel it's in the hind end, and not necessarily on the originally injured side
          ______________________________
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

          Comment


          • #6
            mhm, good point.

            When we had the bone scan done early on this year, heat was found in the sacro iliac and in the stifle. We've treated the stifle, and that just consequentially made him hop on his front. We haven't looked into his sacro iliac. I'm pretty hesistant about looking into it just because it's so ridiculously tricky to treat/access. But could something going on in the sacro iliac cause hopping? The only reason we didn't look into it first was because that he's not hopping all the time, mainly round corners.

            He's also totally fine out hacking - it's only when he's actually schooling intensely that he hops. Which leads me to believe it's more of a inconsistancy/weakness rather than an actual structural issue? I could be totally wrong, I'm no vet, haha.

            Comment


            • #7
              My guy recently (again LOL), about 6 weeks ago, did "something" to his hind end. Most likely very high and probably deep. Enough to cause some soreness on the surface muscles - loin area, high butt area - but not a "omg that hurts" soreness, at least at that level. Definitely more sore on the left side.

              However, while his walk was fine, the minute I asked him to make a transition to the trot, he hopped up front. Whatever happened was so sore that he could not properly bring his hind end under to not literally pull himself into the trot. Additionally, for quite a few strides he felt like he was almost cantering in place up front, while not quite trotting behind. 'twas ugly This did not happen on the lunge though, only weight-bearing.

              So, that's why I suggested it may be in the hind end, perhaps deeper than you can see/feel on the surface.

              It has just taken rest, with relaxed walking followed by "on the bit" walking followed by very very light trotting, to bring him through this.
              ______________________________
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

              Comment


              • #8
                And you are ignoring the sacro iliac issue why?
                For YEARS people told me my horse had stifle issues. Weak stifles, loose stifles. Maybe he did. But he also had a stress fracture of the ilium only revealed on the bone scan. 6 months of pasture rest with hills and he is 100% better then he has been in YEARS....
                Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Penthilisea View Post
                  And you are ignoring the sacro iliac issue why?
                  I believe she said because it's difficult to get any, or any accurate diagnosis.

                  For YEARS people told me my horse had stifle issues. Weak stifles, loose stifles. Maybe he did. But he also had a stress fracture of the ilium only revealed on the bone scan. 6 months of pasture rest with hills and he is 100% better then he has been in YEARS....
                  I do agree it's worth looking into, as best as it can be looked into. You don't know what you might find until you look.
                  ______________________________
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Penthilisea View Post
                    And you are ignoring the sacro iliac issue why?
                    For YEARS people told me my horse had stifle issues. Weak stifles, loose stifles. Maybe he did. But he also had a stress fracture of the ilium only revealed on the bone scan. 6 months of pasture rest with hills and he is 100% better then he has been in YEARS....

                    Simply because it's such a difficult area to treat, and I don't really agree with sticking needles so far into him, thanks. He's not a massive competition horse, he's just some backyard bred mutt, so again, I don't really want to put him through the stress, risk making him needle shy, and blow a load of money just for investigation.

                    I'm not just going 'LAWLDON'TWANTTOTREATIT', I do actually have reasons We're not ignoring it, I still have it in the back of my mind, but the vets were syaing it's unlikely to be a scaro iliac issue because he's not consistantly hopping.

                    Also as my trainer said - we can have countless bone scans and x-rays done, and they will undoubtedly find maaaaany things that are wrong with him - but whether that actually solves our issue is very slim. He's got awful conformation, and they will definately find things, but it's just whether we find the right issue, and it's a lot of stress to go through.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by white&red View Post
                      mhm, good point.

                      When we had the bone scan done early on this year, heat was found in the sacro iliac and in the stifle. We've treated the stifle, and that just consequentially made him hop on his front. We haven't looked into his sacro iliac. I'm pretty hesistant about looking into it just because it's so ridiculously tricky to treat/access. But could something going on in the sacro iliac cause hopping? The only reason we didn't look into it first was because that he's not hopping all the time, mainly round corners.

                      He's also totally fine out hacking - it's only when he's actually schooling intensely that he hops. Which leads me to believe it's more of a inconsistancy/weakness rather than an actual structural issue? I could be totally wrong, I'm no vet, haha.
                      My first thought on reading your OP was "SI." The symptoms you describe mirror The Little Bay Mare to a T. This is going to be tough, maybe impossible to work through, I'll warn you up front. SI issues are tough. Some horses never come back to their former level of work. Many come back to some level of work, however, and there is a LOT you can do for them, depending on what exactly the injury/problem is. The "inconsistent" hopping is actually very typical of SI arthritis or a strain, per some of the top lameness vets in this country.

                      I'll briefly outline what we've done with some measure of success. First step was a period of rest. Not total rest, turnout rest. My horses get 24/7 turnout, and my vet supported continuing this for TLBM. She also got a short course of robaxin to break the pain/inflammation cycle. When I brought her back to work it was in the long lines, not under saddle. Lots of walking (I dropped 6 lbs, yay!). Lots of hills (such as can be found here in the land of flatness). Under saddle, too, the most-prescribed therapy is brisk walks up and down hills. Forward and loose are the keys. I tried to push to proper schooling too soon over the winter and caused a big setback. With TLBM, time off from her slow, careful conditioning also seems to cause setbacks. I also massage her regularly, and have my mentor check my work periodically, and perform acupressure weekly. We have NOT injected the SI joint, but that may be a step that will help.

                      My mare is doing much better, but there are still days when I intend to have a ride and she is just clearly not OK. So we do something else -- a massage, a gentle ground-driving session, or maybe just a good grooming, depending on what she tells me she is OK with.

                      Because your description so closely mirrors TLBM's symptoms, I lean heavily toward saying an SI issue exists. Sore stifles are often a result of a root problem in the SI or pelvis. The good news is, much of the therapy is tincture of time and neither expensive nor invasive. To avoid expensive diagnostics, you might consider giving him a period of rest with turnout, then starting the hill work (cavalletti, too) at walk without a rider, then with a rider, taking a nice long time about it, and see if he improves after 6 months or so. It won't hurt and might help.
                      Equinox Equine Massage

                      In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
                      -Albert Camus

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I agree with the bodywork but would also consider issues like EPSM - he could be prone to something like this.

                        Having said this, all horses are side dominant. What you are experiencing to one side could simply mean that he's resisting using his weaker side properly. This can only be overcome with consistent training (making the weaker side stronger) and bodywork as needed.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Not sure where the idea of sticking needles in came up... I suggested pasture rest and hill work, both should not involve any increase in your current horse budget. I wish you luck in resolving your horses issues.
                          Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

                          Comment

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