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Slight Lameness at WALK only??

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  • Slight Lameness at WALK only??

    I have a quarter horse that is showing a slight lameness at the walk only. I gave him about 3 weeks off and rode him today. Again, slight bobbing at the walk, but nothing at the trot or canter.

    I first noticed this after turning him out in my arena, which I normally NEVER do. I needed to get him out for a few hours and my paddocks were too muddy. So when I went back out to bring him in, I noticed that EVERY jump standard was knocked over. And he also dumped out the "box" full of jump cups that were placed next to a jump standard. The jump cups were strewn about. I am kicking myself for turning him out in the arena. Live and learn. But anyway, what's done is done.

    I don't know if the it's a coincidence that I noticed him off after the turnout incident or not. Does anyone have any idea about a walk-only lameness? Maybe a shoulder?
    Last edited by ParadoxFarm; Nov. 25, 2011, 08:21 PM. Reason: type
    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
    ¯ Oscar Wilde

  • #2
    I have seen animals at the vet school who routinely jump 3+ foot courses at home but seem "off" at the walk. Turns out they had some neurological deficits. The internist felt that the horse was better able to compensate at the faster gaits.
    Not saying that's what it is--just saying that walk-only lameness is certainly possible.
    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique


    • #3
      A friend and I had gone to look at horse a year ago or so who we had seen go in the video. Beautiful mover, great jump. Video was, maybe, two months old at the time?

      Get there and watch the horse walk into the arena to move around loose and had a very obvious hitch. Totally sound trot and canter.

      Looked him over and found some fill and thickness (not terribly obvious), and a small scar around the tendon just above his LH ankle. Asked about it and got some sort of cockamamie story about having never noticed that before.

      Shared the story/situation with vet. Her best guess was that it was an old injury to the tendon that healed very tight. Walk didn't provide enough of an opportunity to real step down and into the ankle, but trot and canter did.

      Who knows.

      Good luck figuring it out, though!


      • Original Poster

        Thanks. Calling the vet today. Keeping fingers crossed.
        “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
        ¯ Oscar Wilde


        • #5
          Unfortunately, an awful lot of them get too preoccupied with the trot and canter to react to low grade pain just about anywhere on their bodies. It's not always soft tissue that works it's way out when they warm up.

          I think you are lucky that you know exactly when this started and that it is likely an injury and not a chronic, degenerative condition.

          I'd be prepared to ask the vet to block and, if it were me? I would not just shrug it off with bute and more rest. Block to isolate then take some rads, do an ultrasound, find out what's wrong. A simple strain and a suspensory require totally different rehab schduals and there is risk of complicating an injury with an undiagnosed suspensory or even a small fracture if you guess wrong on when they can go back to work.

          Heck I had one slightly off at the walk, occaisionally standing funny but no other signs or symptoms so I rode it lightly-turned out to be a DDFT, much to my chagrin. Don't go there.

          Good luck and let us know.
          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.