Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Leah Mystery Lameness Videos

Here are some examples of Leah going to the right and left. (When her head bobs goes down, she is looking at green "food".)


Did I ever mention that I'm a minimalist?

After talking with Rebecca & watching Leah with her, I decided to start with some basics before proceeding. I called my farrier and he came out this weekend and did a hoof test. There was some pain in her backs--but it wasn't much. There was maybe a little in her front right, but again, it would be very little. He wants to put a good trim on her and shoes all around, so he asked me to soak her feet and soften them up for a few days. When he comes back, he wants to test again and see if he can detect anymore pain or possible bruising.

He watched her move out and he brought up all four legs and didn't detect any pain or resistance in the hip or shoulders. By watching her, he couldn't see a specific area of pain--it seemed more all around discomfort--but not super perceptible.

For now, he wants her to lose about 100 more pounds, continue to stretch and move in ways that are comfortable for her, and get some new shoes on all four feet, and then we'll reassess and decide if we need to go a step further.

I have her separated from the rest of the herd so that I can control her diet.  She's on strictly grass--30 minute feedings.  I pull her out for massage and light exercise.  My farrier joked, even if she had a broken leg, she'd still benefit from stretching, bending and massage!

This whole thing is baffling because she does not have any obvious signs of lameness.  In the pasture, at liberty, she runs, trots, and bucks around like she feels just fine.

I'll post another video after we get her reshod.

In the meantime, Cowboy has been pulled out of retirement, and he's in soft shape.  I'm doing massage and TTouch with him and trying to get him reconditioned.  Used to be, I'd pull him out of the pasture anytime and he'd be in pretty good shape, but old age has definitely changed his body--as it has mine.  Still, he is so fun to work with and ride!!  I wish I had another exactly like him at age 8--or just turn back the clock and have him as an 8 year old again.

The shadow of Cowboy and me on our morning ride.  We warmed up in the arena and went for a little trail ride around the house.

My favorite view.

Rebecca and I have also been working with Cowgirl (lots of horses needing time around here). Leah was watching us from the trailer.  (She can also benefit from standing tied!  In fact, she has been standing tied in a flooded stall for 2-3 hours per day.  EXCELLENT training.  She does some of her trailer antics, but settles and calms herself nicely.  Again, another thing she can do despite any "lameness.")

Leah is standing more solid on her fronts than she was a couple weeks ago. I'm really starting to think whatever happened is resolving itself.  Remembering back, it all began on those first trail rides before I had her fronts shod.  She was also extremely overweight at that time.  Time will tell. 

And, by the way, I'm 8 days away from my 100 Day Challenge!!  Woot! Woot!  There have been lots of fun times, confusing times, scary times, and sad times, but mostly there has been lots of HORSE time.


  1. After watching the videos, I'm more inclined to think it's in her back/loin area than in her feet. I don't hear or see much in the way of unevenness in her gait but I do see a hollow back and high head. It will be interesting to know the results of her chiro appointment. Of course, getting a horse really travelling well can be like peeling the layers of an onion; you get one thing corrected and another shows up that was masked by the previous issue.

    1. Ha! How true! She had her chiro appointment. The vet wouldn't do any work on her because she said there is a lameness there that needs corrected before she can do any adjustment. So, she does test for slight pain in her backs and a little in her front right hoof, too. We're hoping diet and new shoes all around will help.

    2. I would give her at least one more chiro appointment maybe 2, a month apart. My guy is so good, he does more than just chiro, he is an equine sports therapist. My horses love him.

  2. Yay! 8 days away. What do mean by her standing in a flooded stall? Is is wet from rain or melting snow? If my horses stand in water or mud for even a few hours, they get thrush and abscesses. The sand I brought in last year held up to the rain runoff, so they've only had to stand on wet ground this monsoon season when the rain comes in sideways, but that dries up fast. I'm just thinking that if she has to stand in mud in your environment, it's possible she's getting little abscesses, which might explain the slight tenderness with the hoof testers. A friend of mine had been going through a series of vet and farrier appointments to determine the cause of her horse's lameness, and the lameness seemed to move around between hooves depending on the time of day. Everyone kept changing the diagnosis, so she spent a lot of time treating for the wrong issues. By the time they x-rayed for laminities, pus was coming out the soles of all four feet. The good news is that she took a self-imposed crash course on treating extreme cases of navicular laminitis, and she has managed to bring her horse back from the brink. Hopefully, in the case of Leah, diet and new shoes will fix it, but if you see it getting worse and jumping around to different hooves, get x-rays, even if you already did, to see if there is any change in the coffin bones.

    1. Oh my!! That is awful!!! How lame was her horse? Was there heat in her hooves? Was she overweight like Leah?

      Leah looks fine at the walk and just standing around. She doesn't rock back and she moves a lot--on her own.

      I purposely flooded the stall and tied her there to soften her hooves. They're like rocks and he needs to get a good trim on them. They're probably ready now.

      Yes, if she gets worse, she'll be right off to the vet. As of now, she seems better than before.

    2. The lameness was a slight limp switching around among all four hooves. Each time she got a vet, farrier or friend out to look at it, no one could pinpoint which hoof was the cause. Eventually, the horse was down the majority of the time. He was only slightly overweight, but she had just bought him, so his diet changed. We didn't feel any heat in the hooves. I even tested for sensitivity and he only reacted when I touched his knee. It was tough to diagnose until x-rays were taken. She was originally treating him for abscesses, then for suspensory something or rather, and she was soaking his feet and legs in a tub of ice several times a day. That softened his hooves, and the bones started pushing through the soles, so she may have complicated matter by treating for the wrong diagnoses.

    3. Interesting--I know all about wrong diagnosis with Cowboy when he broke his P3. I had the vet(s) out over and over and over--taking xrays every time--making special plates for his foot, cutting into his hoof for an "abscess". Turned out, the first xray they took the first day they came showed very clearly a break in the P3. For 3 months he was misdiagnosed and mistreated. It was awful. He should be dead now, but by the grace of God, he is not.

  3. I too think that the issue appears to be in her back/loin area. But a full lameness exam might help. She could be stiff in her shoulder to compensate for being sore behind.

  4. I've never been good at diagnosing lameness, so I'm not much help. I figure the vets went to school and studied lameness I'll leave it to them. I do hope you get to the bottom of it soon and can treat her and resume your riding.

    Congratulations on your c 100 day challenge. I'm very proud of you! I didn't even make a few days there were just too many other things going on. I meant to do it, then again, they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions and all that.


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