Kicking out

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by NBChoice, May 22, 2017.

  1. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

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    This goes against my better judgement to post this here, but I am sort of at a loss so need advice/help.

    Sublime had that hoof issue a couple weeks ago that stopped us from competing at a show. My farrier was at the show, so he looked at him and said to give him a few more days off and he should be better.
    So I gave him another week off and decided to give it a go again yesterday. He has no heat in his hoof, no bounding pulse, no soreness when I poke and prod at his hoof/leg. He was fine at the walk and trot. Didn't feel off, no head bob, he didn't look ouchy or seem cranky at all. I kept the ride very short since he hadn't worked at all for a while. When I cantered him it was a different story. He has always had a rather uncomfortable canter to sit, but yesterday was so uncomfortable that I couldn't get in the rhythm and I felt like I was working really really hard to sit his canter.
    He was really strong and then all of a sudden he kicked out behind him mid canter. That's weird for him.
    Over the last year or so he has occasionally swapped leads or gotten "bunched up" behind where I can feel him tuck his butt/tail under him and he gets really short, choppy strides. This sometimes follows with a lead switch, sometimes I can work him out of it. Generally that would only happen in the corners when I took him into a corner way too deep. If I cut my corners a bit and kept him from getting too close to the wall, then he usually wouldn't have this issue. So I just figured he would get too close to the corners and feel trapped and lose his rhythm. Problem solved. Right?

    Well now I'm wondering if that was actually an issue that I was unknowingly ignoring and just chalking it up to rider error. It still very well could be rider error, but I'm wondering if it has something to do with pain?? He has never kicked out behind him during the canter, so I'm at that point where I'm wondering if I haven't been listening to my horse and he finally got to the point where he protested enough to make me listen. That makes me sad because I don't want Sublime to hurt or be uncomfortable, but I don't know if that's the problem or if it is in protest to how I'm riding him.

    Another added tidbit of information- Sublime has an area on his back that has practically no muscle or fat on top of his spine. So you can very easily feel his spine. I have had two vets look at it before and neither have said he has any pain there when they looked at him. Just in case I pad him up pretty heavily with thick gel pads. This has always been an area of concern for me, but now more so than ever.

    So my question to you folks is what would your first step be? I'm calling our lameness vet today to set up an appointment to get his eyes and hands on Sublime of course. But until then?
     
  2. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    I would just get the vet appt scheduled as soon as possible, and be thinking further diagnostics are needed. It would be ideal if the farrier could be there, with the vet, at the same time. I wouldn't ride or longe or long line between now and the appointment.

    It's always difficult when you've got a couple things in mind - a recent, more acutely developing problem, and an ongoing problem. Especially when you are not sure what is causing either problem.

    Until the vet appointment, I would PROBABLY assume I was looking at two different problems, unless the hoof pain had come along very gradually, right in concert with the canter problem, and from your description that isn't how it happened.

    A canter roughening up and being improved by not going into the corners is actually quite common in saddle seat riding, and is usually a rider/training issue. The horse 'loses its lead' or 'loses its rhythm' in the corners when he is asked to go more deeply into the corners.

    A couple notes - for one - the horse could have an abscess, and still not show any visible signs of it like heat, pulse changes or - anything. Some abscesses won't even respond to the farrier probing or using hoof testers. Too, he could have a 'bad nail' if shod. That is, a nail is misdirected and is in or putting pressure on, soft tissue inside the food - a bad nail can also create an abscess. As can other conditions and injuries. Another possibility is a fracture inside the foot, often the wings of the pedal bone.

    My old horse had what appeared to be an abscess of this type. No response to hoof testers, no abnormal pulse, no warmth...I believe it often happens that way. Another horse of mine had a gigantic 'lytic lesion' on xray that was from an abscess very deep in the hoof, that probably showed no external signs.
     
  3. LeenieBean

    LeenieBean Senior Member

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    my first thought was also an abscess... but probably because I'm dealing with one now and losing the canter and acting up was the first sign I had of it. She had been a little "off" and seemed stiff in the 2 weeks prior, but could not for the life of her pick up one lead and on the lunge prior to riding she protested quite a bit about going in one direction. She's quite one sided but can always pick it up once balanced, and never protests on the lunge unless something is sore. A couple of days later she came up limping lame in the hind and resting a hoof. I've been poulticing it and have had a small blow out on the coronet band but I'm pretty sure there's still more in there to be pulled out. She was trimmed Saturday and did not protest to any pressure on the hoof and has not had heat or heavy pulse the entire time.
     
  4. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

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    I haven't read the responses yet because I'm on a time crunch before work... but I just long lined him and he did w/t/c perfectly both ways. Maybe it is me. :cry:
     
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  5. LoveTrail

    LoveTrail Senior Member

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    Actually it could be that atrophy in his back. You sitting on him makes it too hard for him to work on his hind end due to the lack of muscle. Even neck issues can do it too, its all part of the whole spine. And where it atrophied may not be where his pain is. A good vet can know that.
     
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  6. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    I would think it's most likely one or more of three things:
    He was fresh.
    He has something else going on, such as an abcess brewing.
    Or he's simply out of shape from the rest and found it difficult to transition to the canter.
     
  7. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

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    I spoke with my trainer before working him today and she asked if maybe he was just fresh. That's why I went ahead and long lined him to see how he'd do.
    I hope it is nothing more and I'm just making mountains out of mole hills.
     
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  8. CJ

    CJ Senior Member

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    If hoof & leg check out, keep going higher imo. Check shoulder, hips, stifle and spine. When BOs other Arab started lashing out, ultimately they found a shoulder issue, that made cantering, and esp jumping (landing) really painful. Shed lash out on that lead, and full blown buck after a jump, to the left, was her left shoulder. She got electro-stim muscle therapy and sidelined for the better part of the year, but came back 100%. Even noticeable muscle atrophy is gone.
     
  9. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

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    Okay I rode him today and he was great. He fell out of the canter once, but it was my fault because he wasn't rounded at all. So I collected my thoughts and did it the right way and he did wonderfully. No switching leads, no falling out, no kicking. His canter was only mildly uncomfortable like it used to be, not overly uncomfortable like it was during our last ride. Maybe I was overthinking things too much and maybe he was a bit stiff and fresh that day. Thanks guys for the calm responses. They always make me feel like I'm overreacting, and usually I am, but it makes me step back and look at the big picture and reassess the issue.
     
  10. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

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    *Sigh* I have an update.
    Took him to my lesson yesterday so that my trainer could look at his movement and tell me what she thinks.
    His trot was great in the sense that his motion up front was awesome and he had no head bob... but it was almost like he didn't want to use his hocks a lot. So then we cantered and his first direction canter was really good. Back to his mildly uncomfortable canter. No swapping or stopping either (yay!). But when we went second direction (right lead) it was like he didn't want to pick up the lead. He took a few steps and then went back into the trot. And when I cued him again he noticeably put his ears back, swished his tail and very reluctantly took the lead. We stopped after just a few steps because it was obvious something was bothering him. Coincidentally her farrier was there, and he works alongside my farrier a lot of the time at shows, so we asked if he could look at his right front (the one that had the bruise). Sublime didn't react to anything there and didn't give any indication of pain in that right front.
    Soooo trainer and I looked at his hind legs and we noticed he has some fluid build up around his hocks. Trainer suggested I get the vet out to talk about hock injections. She says she thinks that will make him more comfortable.
    I know nothing about hock injections as I've never had to have a horse injected. Sublime currently gets Legend shots about twice a year, but I know those are different.
    I asked my trainer a little about them, but I was short on time, and of course I'll ask the vet about them...
    but can you guys give me some info?
     
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