• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Flex Test

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Flex Test

    Please tell me when "your" vet does a flex test..1-5 scoring, which end of the scale is the better score????
    Gates Equestrian
    National Champion Dan Patch sire of USEF/USHJA winning ponies!
    [url]www.gateseqsmfponies.webs.com/

  • #2
    When my vets do flexions, the scale is 0 - 5, with 0 being no lameness present and 5 being the worst.


    Comment


    • #3
      As the breeder of young hunters I will not allow flex tests until after five years and I do not want a big strong man vet doing them at any time....flex tests can cause damage rather then indicate issues. It is a bad bad test....try it on yourself and see how it feels. I say Xray and would do that on a horse I was consdiering buying. Why hurt it before I even get it home? I am not opposed to a light flex but way too many come right onto the leg.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, OP asked about the scale. Phaxxton gave the correct answer. Zero is best, many will display about a 1 to 1.5 for a few steps. Any more and it is considered a positive worth looking into further.
        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Treasmare2 View Post
          As the breeder of young hunters I will not allow flex tests until after five years and I do not want a big strong man vet doing them at any time....flex tests can cause damage rather then indicate issues. It is a bad bad test....try it on yourself and see how it feels. I say Xray and would do that on a horse I was consdiering buying. Why hurt it before I even get it home? I am not opposed to a light flex but way too many come right onto the leg.
          This is a very interesting point of view....I like your thought on it...
          Gates Equestrian
          National Champion Dan Patch sire of USEF/USHJA winning ponies!
          [url]www.gateseqsmfponies.webs.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Treasmare2 View Post
            As the breeder of young hunters I will not allow flex tests until after five years
            The knee and fetlock growth plates are well-closed by then. Hocks are iffy.

            and I do not want a big strong man vet doing them at any time....
            why not, if he does them correctly? A 120lb woman vet doing one incorrectly can cause much more damage than a 6'4" 300lb male vet.

            flex tests can cause damage rather then indicate issues.
            The operatiave word is "can" cause damage.

            It is a bad bad test....
            Why? Done for the right reasons, and done correctly, it's a *very* valid diagnostic tool

            try it on yourself and see how it feels. I say Xray and would do that on a horse I was consdiering buying. Why hurt it before I even get it home? I am not opposed to a light flex but way too many come right onto the leg.
            A "light flex" doesn't do anything unless the horse is really lame.

            There's a point to flex tests. It's not just to see if you can make the horse lame, and how lame you can make him.

            The point is to try to localize which joint(s) is potentially a major player in an existing lamenss when you have some idea of whether it's the front or hind end, left or right leg.

            In and of themselves they don't mean anything. A very lame horse can be no more lame after a flexion, and one who is perfectly sound and doing his job well can be a Grade 4 lame for a dozen strides.

            But if there are hind end issues, it's nice to flex the fetlock and have the horse no worse for the wear, all but ruling out the fetlock as a source of the pain.

            To answer the OP - my vet does flex tests when there is already a lameness issue, for the reasons I discussed above.
            ______________________________
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

            Comment


            • #7
              Ok. Wow so me being the dumb bunny that i am, decided to try the flex thing on myself thinking "eh, it wont hurt, we're not built like horses" WRONG. ha my leg is still on fire and it's been like five minutes since i did it.

              Comment


              • #8
                If it still hurts, you did it either too long or too aggressively, or you really have something wrong

                It doesn't matter what you're built like - a flex test bends a joint to a degree of pressure to put strain on the joint itself, as well as related ligaments, muscles, and tendons.

                FWIW - a vet needs to have learned how to do them correctly, and be able to do them *consistently*. It's too difficult to gain a sense of validity of a horse trotting off 1-1.5 lame for a couple of strides if you do it too lightly on one horse and too hard on the next.
                ______________________________
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JB View Post
                  If it still hurts, you did it either too long or too aggressively, or you really have something wrong

                  It doesn't matter what you're built like - a flex test bends a joint to a degree of pressure to put strain on the joint itself, as well as related ligaments, muscles, and tendons.

                  FWIW - a vet needs to have learned how to do them correctly, and be able to do them *consistently*. It's too difficult to gain a sense of validity of a horse trotting off 1-1.5 lame for a couple of strides if you do it too lightly on one horse and too hard on the next.
                  Agreed on all counts.


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Aerial I hope you are feeling better.....guess you may not be too sound eh?

                    JB I agree with much of what you say but the value gained from a flex test is fairly minimal and not indicitive of a whole lot really. I have come to find them worrisome because we had a vet here who really torked the joints (this is not proper use of the test I) so around here, and many other places, when you know improperly done ones can happen (alot I think) why expose the horse? If the horse gets hurt and the buyer walks who gets left to deal with the issue then?
                    Had a friend with a two year old that was flexed by a small female vet and horse was sore for some time afterwards, and failed the flexion of course. Buyer walked and horse was sore for awhile. Horse sold several months later and had an amazing career as a top hunter way into his teens. Only soundness issues were directly after the flexion. Given these incidents I did some study on the validity of flexion tests and in Europe they rarely do them and never on young stock because the issues it can create. The Europeans are certainly way ahead of us in terms of young stock management so for me I will stick with the no flex rule.

                    As a buyer I see why you might want to have the test done but how do you know if you have a vet that is skilled and won't do it the wrong way? As a seller why would you submit your young horse to possible injury? Generally the vet doing it is not someone of your choice or someone you know about. I wonder if that is why it took someone else I know so long to find a sound young horse to buy? I do not believe that 8 young horses in a row can all be cripples. I am more likely to think the flexion test or they way it was done was the issue.

                    I know these tests have been pretty standard for years but seems to be more of North American thing. I have never had them done when I buy....I Xray any joints I have questions about. If I am paying alot of $$$$ I just xray all major joints that a horse needs to do the job I want it to do. Often what is most useful to me is collecting a good history on the horse and checking out its resume if it has one. Perhaps asking sellers for references on a horse would be a better thing.

                    In a nut shell I think the value of what we gain from a flex test is out weighed by the problems a badly done one can create. I will still stand by my belief that young horses ought not to be exposed to them.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Treasmare2 View Post
                      JB I agree with much of what you say but the value gained from a flex test is fairly minimal and not indicitive of a whole lot really.
                      It depends on the situation. In my case, the recent flex tests all but ruled out a suspensory and fetlock issue. The lameness worsened with the hock flexion, but unfortunately that also flexes the stifle - more or less depending on how the leg is held. It was a very helpful diagnostic in this scenari.

                      I have come to find them worrisome because we had a vet here who really torked the joints (this is not proper use of the test I) so around here, and many other places, when you know improperly done ones can happen (alot I think) why expose the horse?
                      IV injections can be done incorrectly and cause problems - doesn't mean IV injections aren't worthwile

                      If the horse gets hurt and the buyer walks who gets left to deal with the issue then?
                      It sounds like you're talking about flex tests as part of a PPE. Not something *I* would allow on a horse I was selling because 1) it wouldn't be my vet whom I trust to correctly do the test, and 2) as I mentioned before, in and of themselvers they are just about useless.

                      Had a friend with a two year old that was flexed by a small female vet and horse was sore for some time afterwards, and failed the flexion of course. Buyer walked and horse was sore for awhile. Horse sold several months later and had an amazing career as a top hunter way into his teens. Only soundness issues were directly after the flexion.
                      A 2yo shouldn't have been flexed, and a flexion test shouldn't have been done as part of a routine PPE. That's not a problem with the test itself, it was a problem with the administration.

                      Given these incidents I did some study on the validity of flexion tests and in Europe they rarely do them and never on young stock because the issues it can create. The Europeans are certainly way ahead of us in terms of young stock management so for me I will stick with the no flex rule.
                      BIG difference between "no flex tests on young stock whose growth plates are not closed" and "no flex tests period". They are VERY useful in *helping* localize a lameness area. Just watching a horse limp along doesn't necessarily tell you it's the knee. But if you flex his fetlock and his status doesn't change, but you then flex his knee and he can't even walk, then you're down to xraying the knee, instead of guessing "hmmm, fetlock, knee, shoulder, where do I start?"

                      As a buyer I see why you might want to have the test done but how do you know if you have a vet that is skilled and won't do it the wrong way?
                      I know my vet is skilled enough to trust her, but *I* wouldn't have a flex done as a PPE. If the horse jogged lame during the PPE, I wouldn't go further. The owner would have to take it upon herself to try to find out why the horse is lame - not me.

                      As a seller why would you submit your young horse to possible injury?
                      Again, young horse - never flex. If a buyer wanted to flex my young horse, I'd say "you buy the horse first and if flexing him makes him lame, when he's not now, not my problem." If that wasn't acceptable, then we'd be done.

                      Generally the vet doing it is not someone of your choice or someone you know about. I wonder if that is why it took someone else I know so long to find a sound young horse to buy? I do not believe that 8 young horses in a row can all be cripples. I am more likely to think the flexion test or they way it was done was the issue.
                      Whose vet was your friend using? It sure as heck shouldn't be the owner's. If she was looking out of the area and couldn't use her vet, and wouldn't (rightly so) use the owner's vet, then you're right, she has no idea how competent the vet is. The answer is easy - no flex tests in a PPE. Why do it, when perfectly sound horses, of whatever age and workload, can flex "lame"? It tells you nothing other than your manipulation of that joint made that horse lame that day.

                      I know these tests have been pretty standard for years but seems to be more of North American thing. I have never had them done when I buy....I Xray any joints I have questions about. If I am paying alot of $$$$ I just xray all major joints that a horse needs to do the job I want it to do. Often what is most useful to me is collecting a good history on the horse and checking out its resume if it has one. Perhaps asking sellers for references on a horse would be a better thing.

                      In a nut shell I think the value of what we gain from a flex test is out weighed by the problems a badly done one can create. I will still stand by my belief that young horses ought not to be exposed to them.
                      Again, it depends on why you're flexing the horse. It's FAR best left as a diagnostic tool when you already know there is a problem, you just can't localize it.
                      ______________________________
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes to disgnostic JB....that is when you know there is an issue and you want to narrow the focus to an area and it would be with a vet you know and trust. Yes you are also right, I was thinking more in terms of a pre purchase situation. That is when it is scary and some of the control is removed from your hands. It seems standard here to do the flexion on sound horses in a PPE...disturbing. I would certainly step in and say "not on my horse" but then the buyer may think something is being hidden....difficult situation. But it is up to us to protect our horses while they are our's.

                        I fully agree with the diagnostic use of flexion. I had failed to consider the issue from that perspective. I believe we are on the same page Now about poor Aerial......

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Can somebody explain a) what a flex test is (as in how its performed) and b) how that can cause damage to the horse? It's obviously not what I thought it was if its this controversial! TIA
                          Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. Explore. Dream. Discover.
                          ~Mark Twain

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Treasmare2 View Post
                            I believe we are on the same page
                            I think we are!

                            Now about poor Aerial......
                            Seriously!

                            Originally posted by Abbeyroad1791 View Post
                            Can somebody explain a) what a flex test is (as in how its performed) and b) how that can cause damage to the horse? It's obviously not what I thought it was if its this controversial! TIA
                            In a nutshell, the vet flexes a particular joint - we'll say the fetlock - for a given length of time (usually less for smaller joints ie fetlocks, usually longer for bigger joints ie hocks, but 60 seconds more or less, sometimes 30, somtimes 90), and as the vet puts the leg down, the handler immediately jogs (not walks) the horse off.

                            It's not unexpected at all for the horse to take a couple of off strides, but then he should be back to normal.

                            It can cause damage because you are fully flexing a joint under pressure. For example, if you squat down so your toes are on the ground, heels up, butt sitting on your heels, knees bent, that is a "flex test" on your knees (and to some degree your toes). Your knee is fully flexed, and it's under pressure. If you have a knee problem, if you were to get up and immediately jog off, you'll likely be lame.

                            But at the same time, I'm pretty darn sound and fit, but at my age, if I did the above and tried to run off, my left knee would be gimpy for several strides. So my "flex test" doesn't prove anything other than it makes my otherwise-sound knee hurt LOL

                            A knee can only flex so far before the calf hits the hamstring. But other joints, like our ankle, or the horse's fetlock, there is more room for the joint to flex beyond what is healthy. Excessive pressure can damage ligaments (connect bone to bone) or tendons (muscle to bone), and can actually damage the joint capsule. In the case of young horses, if the growth plates are still growing, meaning they are still cartilagenous and not fully calcified, a flexion done there can damage that growing surface, leading to permanent damage.
                            ______________________________
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks so much JB- really helpful.

                              One more question pertaining to your last post. You said it's pretty normal for a horse to take a few off steps immediately after being flexed. Does that count as lameness on the 0-5 scale, or is that overlooked? Basically what I'm trying to ask is, when does the actual judging begin? Are those wobbly steps excused and written off as normal stiffness after the flexing or do those "count"?
                              Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. Explore. Dream. Discover.
                              ~Mark Twain

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Well, the first few steps are not just ignored, and each leg should be taken into account. For example, if you're flexing the hind leg because of a lameness issue, you want to flex the "good" leg first to get some baseline. If he trots off with 0 off steps on the good leg, but a grade 1.5 for 3 strides on the presumed bad leg, you might take that more seriously than if he trotted off a 1.5 for 3 strides on both legs.

                                So, it depends
                                ______________________________
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I agree with the person that said to try it on yourself. It doesn't feel so great and I don't recover very quickly!

                                  I had not seen the issue discussed in young horses vs. older ones. That is interesting. We have been at several sale barns and they just don't seem to be that indicative of future issues in a PPE. I can see it more as a diagnostic tool. Our jumper was 12 or 13 when we purchased him and he flexed a "4" out of "5" on all 4 legs. (I guess all matching results is good.) He had never had any maintenance. Of course, then the PPE vet xrayed him to death. Long story short - we bought him, he was always sound, did well for us, and was a saint! We would have foregone the horse that taught our daughter the most if we had paid attention to that. We did put him on a good maintenance schedule of legend and adequan, but we believe that is impt. in all horses.

                                  This is an interesting discussion.............

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I tried it-I'm sound! Definitely could see how that could be painful/unpleasant for an older horse that DOES have changes in their joints. Someone said before that they wouldn't allow it done on their younger horses- could those few second, or lets call it a minute, really stress the joint that much to cause real damage? I would think as long as you arn't repeating the test multiple times daily it shouldn't harm the horse too much, aside from a few minutes of discomfort.
                                    Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. Explore. Dream. Discover.
                                    ~Mark Twain

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I wouldn't pass flexions on any of my joints but I plan to keep riding, biking, running, swimming, hiking, and playing a variety of sports for the next 20+ years. There are just some body parts that need a little extra warming up and stretching, and I don't go all out like I did 20 years ago.
                                      Man plans. God laughs.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Abbeyroad1791 View Post
                                        Someone said before that they wouldn't allow it done on their younger horses- could those few second, or lets call it a minute, really stress the joint that much to cause real damage? I would think as long as you arn't repeating the test multiple times daily it shouldn't harm the horse too much, aside from a few minutes of discomfort.
                                        Do it strongly enough, or forcefully enough, and yes, you can permanently damage the joint's growth plate.

                                        Would you allow someone to cram a 2yo child's joints together?
                                        ______________________________
                                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X