Unwilling to keep the right canter lead suddenly

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by Ziast, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. Ziast

    Ziast Senior Member

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    This is a new development. Jules is unwilling to hold his right canter lead for more than a stride. He will pick it up when asked then immediately drop out back into the trot. This is both in walk-canter and trot-canter. If I really push him to keep going, he will keep the canter and if I two-point or half seat the canter he's more willing. He's more willing on the lunge line, but still has moments where he tries to drop. Left rein canter is the same as always. No issues with his right rein canter before last week. He's also starting rooting more on that rein.

    I'm inclined to think something is bothering him, vs a training issue. Three rides in a row now he's done this, vs before he's always carried the canter. While conservation of energy is his favourite law, he doesn't quit or pull stunts to get out of work. He's willing to please and work.

    To me, he looks and feels fine, which puzzles me even more. I'm not good at seeing subtle lameness though, escpecially hind end.

    No apparent swelling in any legs. The upper front of his right hock was quite warm yesterday. I don't know if that was there the last few days, I don't usually feel that high. It's where the muscles end but there doesn't appear to be any swelling though. The rest of his legs felt cold, expected with the weather right now. After I got off I cold hosed both hind legs and they were closer to the same temp then.

    He does have hock arthritis/fusing and bone spurs on the lower front joint in both hocks. He gets monthly Pentosan, most recent dose was Saturday but no improvement in this cantering before vs after (if only it was so simple). Maybe he needs IA injections now? He's had joint injections once before as a 4yr old.

    I concidered he was footsore, but doesn't line up. He was trimmed last Thurs. Rode Mon/Tues and he was fine, Wed he wasn't. He can be footsore on packed/hard footing and arena needs to be dragged, but you'd think it would show up in the trot.

    It has been wet and cold for the last few weeks. Could he have slipped in the mud?

    Something else? Back? Stifles? He does occasionally 'step in a hole', but I've attributed that to strength as it's been happening less and less. I wouldn't think it's back since it's unilateral, but who knows.

    I'll get the vet out, but I'd like to have a plan or an idea of what might be wrong. It's hard when I can't see anything, but his behavior says something is off. Timing sucks because the vet was out last week for teeth!

    Videos. Anything beyond the first two strides of canter is either a purposeful transition or us losing balance. The main thing to focus on is the transitions themselves.
    Friday(before Pentosan, not that it made much of a difference). This was after I had already done a bunch of trot work and left rein canter, so was plenty warmed up:

    Sunday video. Did ~20min long rein walk before. (skip to 5:40 for the start of rt canter. Before that is walk/trot and lt canter)(Camera didn't focus unfortunately...):

    Location of the heat:
    20180930_124224_LI.jpg
     
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  2. Lopinslow

    Lopinslow Senior Member

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    I would start with chiro.
     
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  3. Circle C

    Circle C Senior Member

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    Happened to my colt.... got a series of massage sessions on him by a good, certified EMT and, voila! Back to normal! Every horse is different, but I would start with massage first... at least 2 or 3 sessions (1 a week) and then Chiro if you need it, then 1-2 more massage sessions. I saw a bigger difference after those massage sessions than I EVER have after a Chiro session (and yes, I have a good, licensed chiro :) )
     
  4. Ziast

    Ziast Senior Member

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    There's an Osteopath that will be at the barn this week I think. Either that or next week. He's due to be looked at again, his last appointment was early August. If its a vet issue, I don't want waste time with an osteopath, but vica vera, the cost of the osteopath is the same as the farm call fee.
     
  5. Rhythm 'n Blues

    Rhythm 'n Blues Senior Member

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    My guess is pelvis of SI issue. The RH isn't moving at is should or as the LH is. The longer you rode in trot the more obvious it became, but I saw it right away in the walk.
     
  6. ginster

    ginster Senior Member

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    He looks ever so slightly off to me. Have you checked if he is sensitive anywhere on his back? Saddle fit is okay?
     
  7. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    Chiro. He looks stiff in the sacral/SI area to me. His back end isn’t swinging the way it should.
     
  8. Ziast

    Ziast Senior Member

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    Ok, seems a consensus of bodywork is in order. It's not terribly surprising to hear it's pelvis/SI/Sacral. He is not too strong through there.
    Don't have a date yet for the Osteo, but they are wanting pictures of him. Maybe I'll contact my MT and see if she drives this far. He hasn't seen her in years.
    If that doesn't resolve it, I'll get the vet out.
    @Rhythm 'n Blues I had to laugh, you say it was getting worse the longer we trotted, I always thought he felt better later into the ride.:cautious:

    Looks like the clinic later this month is out!
     
  9. Ziast

    Ziast Senior Member

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    Saddle isn't professionally fitted, but recently reflocked and I think it fits pretty decent. He's a simple guy to fit. I ran my fingers down his back the other day after a ride and didn't get a reaction.
     
  10. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    I agree with R&B but also, his hocks are obviously quite arthritic and his hind pasterns being more upright, are poor shock absorbers.
    I would not inject. I would do Adequan IM and sweat his hocks before and after you ride with neoprene hock boots to keep heat in and stimulate blood to flow through them.
     
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