Arthritis and Jumping.

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by Lileon Bierman, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. Lileon Bierman

    Lileon Bierman Full Member

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    Hello everyone,
    My 16 year old Thoroughbred gelding, had an injury many years ago, before I bought him. His right front leg was the one affected by the injury and as such, the knee became arthritic. He is a great jumper and I have jumped with him numerous times, over both low and high obstacles (gradual build up) and he seems to show no pain, heat or lameness in this leg before, during or afterwards (I always make point of it to check).

    I can count on one hand, how many times he has shown lameness, but I know the causes for all those times and he recovered fully. One thing I should mention though is, when he's standing absolutely still, it is evident that he doesn't put any weight on that leg. This you can see by his body and the form at which the hoof on that leg grows. Also he has more difficulty cantering on one lead than the other. My farrier tells me, this could be due to the arthritic knee.

    Regardless of whether or not he's showing pain, am I doing him more harm jumping him, knowing he has arthritis? Or should he be fine?

    Cheers. :D
     
  2. Garfield70

    Garfield70 Senior Member

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    How was the arthritis diagnosed? Because usually the horse is off, you take an x-ray photo and then this turns out to be the reason.

    He puts weight on the leg when worked, but not when standing? Somehow I can not believe that....

    Honestly, you just DO NOT jump horses with previous injuries that never fully healed but left arthritic changes unless qualified vet looks at the x rays, looks at the horse and gives his okay to do so.

    Please ask your qualified vet, not us.
     
  3. ginster

    ginster Senior Member

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    Can you post a picture of his stance when he is resting?
    I find it hard to believe that he would not be lame if he isn´t putting any weight on that leg when he is not working...
    If he is arthritic don´t jump him. The front legs bear an incredible amount of weight when landing..
     
  4. PyroTekNik333

    PyroTekNik333 Senior Member

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    Arthritis ='s no jumping.

    Light flatwork to keep the joint mobile.
    Discuss treatment options with your vet.
     
  5. Lileon Bierman

    Lileon Bierman Full Member

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    I honestly have no idea how the arthritis was diagnosed. I bought this horse, only knowing what the young lady had told me about him. I also never followed up on her for further information, which I now know was a silly idea. She had mentioned to my mother that he had, had a previous injury, but that it didn't affect his performance in terms of regular ground and saddle work. My farrier confirmed that regular ground and saddle work would not affect his leg. After my farrier saw my horse's knee, he made me aware that his leg was arthritic. Ever since then I have been extremely aware of his leg and not over-working it. So if jumping is a no-go zone, then I'll stop.

    The fact that he doesn't put weight on the leg when resting was also made aware to me by my farrier. So I'm not sure if that is true or just my farrier's opinion. However, when you look from afar it will look like he is standing perfectly square, but if you examine him closely you'll see him slightly stood to one side, as if he favours that leg. I will try and get a photo of this up so that you all can have a look. However, I think a vet-check is the next thing in line for my lad.
     
  6. Lileon Bierman

    Lileon Bierman Full Member

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    I will try and get a photo up as soon as I can. I know it sounds a bit strange that he favours that leg only when standing, but it was made aware to me by my farrier. Whether this is true or not is debatable. As for now I will discontinue jumping until I have had the vet look at him and the go-ahead has been given.
     
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  7. Lileon Bierman

    Lileon Bierman Full Member

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    I have just made the decision that I shall stop jumping him, until I have had the vet look at him and the go-ahead has been given.
     
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  8. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    Most decent farriers I've run across are pretty astute. Good luck-!!
     
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  9. AmyK

    AmyK Senior Member

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    Definitely get X-rays. It's nothing to mess with. My old gelding was put down eventually due to the increasing arthritis in his knee making it difficult to keep him pasture sound.

    ETA- if both vet and farrier are amenable, they can meet together during the exam or speak on the phone and based on X-rays and exam come up with a shoeing plan to help keep your horse sound. Good luck!
     
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  10. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    It hurts him all the time and worse after jumping.
    Horses are stoic creatures, they don't want predators to know they arenot fit to run away. Limping draws the attention of predators. The horse puts his weight on the other three legs to take weight off of the painful leg.

    This horse should be retired to light riding. Lots of trotting is helpful zo arthritis. Concussion of jumping only exacerbates the issue.

    Ask an arthritic human if jumping hurts their joints. There will be a “yes it would“ answer.
     
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