how to tell if a horse is off? and in which leg...etc

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by LifeIsGrand, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. LifeIsGrand

    LifeIsGrand Senior Member+

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Messages:
    8,625
    Likes Received:
    4,844
    So let me start off by saying that I am pretty good at telling if there is something off with a horse- whether it is feeling it or seeing it.


    However, when it comes to pinpointing exactly which leg, I usually haven't got a clue. All I know is something doesn't look right or feel right. I just can't pinpoint exactly WHERE.

    For example, someone would go "she is off in her left hind"
    I'd be able to tell something off, but how on earth they figured it out it was their left hind is beyond me.:blushing:

    Explanations/comments/videos....halp? :help!:
     






  2. speedyscout

    speedyscout Senior Member+

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Messages:
    5,940
    Likes Received:
    365
    Well, it all depends on the horse. It's hard to really tell if something little is off if you haven't seen their movement a lot. For example, the grey mare I posted. You can tell she is off on her hind end just for the fact she looked uneasy and short strided...It wasn't overly noticeable, but it was there. The reason I could tell it was her right is because I've watched that video over and over (lol!) and I saw her in person. Just depends on the situation and horse. :)
     
  3. Patty Stiller

    Patty Stiller Senior Member+

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Messages:
    7,036
    Likes Received:
    8,814
    If lameness is in one front leg it is very easy for an experienced lameness practitioner to see even if they have never seen the horse before. There is usually a distinct upward head nod when the lame leg loads. Even in bi- lateral lameness, front end stuff is pretty easy for the experienced eye to see.
    Hind end stuff can be more subtle and is harder to see but still the experienced person can see it even in a horse they have only just met. For hind end lameness there are several things the practitioner looks for. Watching at a walk and trot from the side with horse going straight and in hand on a loose lead, is one leg moving shorter than the other?
    Watching the same way, is the foot fall of the two hind feet different? In other words is one hind foot landing heel first at a free walk,but the other toe first? Next thing to watch from the side is how much hock flexion and ground clearance under the foot as the leg moves forward, are the two limbs the same?
    Then we watch them from behind. Is the hip movement (hip drop) equal?
    Lastly if nothing shows up them on hard ground longed in circles. circles may reveal the subtle lame hind leg when a straight line does not, particularly hock and stifle lameness.
     
  4. LifeIsGrand

    LifeIsGrand Senior Member+

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Messages:
    8,625
    Likes Received:
    4,844
    Thank Patty! That really helped. I knew about the head nod thing. I understand everything you said and it makes things a lot more clearer. thanks again!
     






Share This Page