View Full Version : Help needed, sorry long post.

18-10-06, 02:06 AM
Ok this is going to be long so beware.
I have a TB eventer here who i have had for nearly 18 months. I resently started to do more comps on him, i used to do about one a month i did 2 showjumping days in two weeks, jumping up too a metre and jumped about 3 jumps at 115cms. His front fetlocks seem to be giving him grief, he will stand at comps and between classes rest his front legs, the day after he is not lame but they are a bit puffy. I noticed after the last comp he just wasn't right, i had blood tests done on him but they showed up nothing. Now i'm thinking of expereimenting with magnetic boots in the paddock and stuff like that. Is there any herbs or etc that i can feed? Anything i can do? I love this horse, he will jump 140cms and never ever stop. He's that honest that he will even jump with his fetlocks giving him hell and he will not refuse he will try his heart out. Any advice would be good. Oh and he's only 9y.o .

18-10-06, 02:34 AM
What i would look into firstly is whether you are jumping him on hard ground, as that can cause puffy and jarred up legs (from the concussion on the ground).

What i would do:

Make sure that you are using good boots when jumping and flat for that matter, I use open tendon boots and have always found them to be good. Dont know about magnetic boots.

Make sure that his feet are in good condition and kept up to date with shoeing or trimming, dont let them get too long etc (whereby putting strain on tendons etc)...

I would ice his legs after the comp or inbetween classes if you have time.

There are anti inflammatory drugs such as bute that you could use if you are really concerned however many are swabbable.

You could also (if stabled) bandage him with epsom salts and penetrine, as it will help draw out any swelling and penetrine is good for ligaments and tendon issues.

* make sure that you keep a close eye on it, as with proper management it may not be a problem, but with careless managment you may end up with a broken down horse.

18-10-06, 02:46 AM
Thats what i'm worried about, i'd rather have a happy paddock/ trail ride horse that a lame broken down ex eventer. I am thinking of experimenting for awhile before giving up all hope. The ground here is rock hard and i think that contributes abit. I think he'd be fine as a showjumper but as i event i'm not sure how his legs will handle XC. I'm torn whether to sell him or not as i love him dearly but he's got potential for someone who doesn't want to compete him every weekend. I dunno. I always boot him up i will try the epsom salts thing also.

18-10-06, 02:56 AM
You had blood tests done yes? - what did the vet say in regards tot he actual joints etc?? The fact that he was resting his fronts worries me - did the vet recommmend nerve blocks to locate the problem area or xrays etc??

18-10-06, 03:00 AM
Hi LittleMiss,

You could also try using a cold poltice after each event. Put it on before you go home. Don't know if you know much about it, but it's like putting on clay. It's been a while since I've used it, but used to buy it from the feed store or other equestrian stores might have it. We used to use it on polo horses for their tendons. It draws the heat out. Leave it on over night and wash it off the next day.

Best of luck and hope you find a solution

Lisa an Gypsie
18-10-06, 03:03 AM
Magnetic boots are excellent for when they are paddocked/stabled to help with circulation and with pain issues. I use them for my big fella and they have helped to no end with his soreness issued due to a developing splint. I would give them a go, also another thing to try after an event and in the nights between is to use a product called Swelldown which helps remove swelling and is nice and cool on their legs, just make sure you hose it off the next morning.

Icing his legs can also work along with hosing them in between events and for 20 min after with cool water. A good walking warm up before working is also benificial and a good walking cool down are things which all help to keep em sound.

Pads under his shoes may also help with shock absoprbtion, also the pro sport type boots are excellent for absorbing shock etc. Might not be the fashion in the jump ring but if the help too keep him sound then who cares? Open front boots tend not to protect from shock absorbtion as they are designed to protect the back of the tendon from being caught by the hind feet on landing not to help the leg absorb shock.

Good shoeng/trimming is also essential and the toes must be neither too short or to long as either one can make the impact more severe....hope that helps a little



18-10-06, 03:07 AM
Agree with what Boo says with treatment options. Although i was under the impression that with nerve blocks the horse needs to be lame so you can accurately locate pain area when certain nerves are blocked, but i could very easily be wrong....

18-10-06, 04:38 AM
I had this same problem with an arab mare of mine. Except in the rear joints. Had all joints x-rayed, not a scrap of arthritis and perfect joints. Had blood tests, flexion tests, every test under the sun. Tried icing, watering, boots, you name it, all of that and nothing worked. I took her back to the vet who said try her on some Cosequin. It's a powder that is supposed to increase blood flow to the joints etc. Was a bit hesitant at first ($185 a jar but lasts about 120 days. Put her on it and within a week no swelling at all. Best thing i ever did and haven't looked back since. Might be worth a try. It is expensive but it lasts ages and i was at the point that i was going to retire this mare because nothing else worked. Saved her from doddering round in the paddock when otherwise she was perfectly OK. You can get it from vet and pet direct.

http://www.vetnpetdirect.com.au just search for cosequin, it's the 700g jar, not the dogs one! You start on two scoops day and night for a week, then take it back to one day and night and then back to one a day if your horse will maintain on that does, if not then go back to one morning and night.

Good Luck, hope your horse gets better like mine did!

18-10-06, 04:43 AM
Wow i forgot a lot of things. Ive heard good things about cosequin.

Ive used cartrophin injections with one horse in the past. Expencive, but worked. He only needed an injection every few months. It basically helped my horses joints. Recommend it to anyone.

18-10-06, 04:49 AM
Or Pentosan. Similiar thing.
I'd be avoiding hard ground too, esp. this summer. I just suggested to a showie friend this morning that, if I was her, I wouldn't be doing any shows after Christmas as all the grounds will be like concrete. Might be a good summer for everyone to work on their dressage in the arena and go for nice slow hacks :D

18-10-06, 05:45 AM
Hi LM,

What do you know of the horses history? Being a 9yo TB and you've owned him for around 18 months, so he was around 7yo when you purchased him??

Was he eventing then, had he raced? How long off the track?

Perhaps unfortunately it is purely just early onset of arthritis type of issue as he was raced alot or jumped alot?

The Cosequin that others have mentioned is supposed to be brilliant but as I understand it, it's expensive.

or you could try Glucosamine........

18-10-06, 05:50 AM
With tendons, there may have been a minor injury/stress from racing which appeared to be gone/healed, but which flares up with work. It is not uncommon in OTTBs and I have found it myself with tendonitis...it doesn't cause me problems, but a certain action may set it off again for a few days. Tendons take a looon time to heal completely. As in a couple of years paddock rest. Any work they get during the healing process will lengthen it. If you wanted to confirm it, you can get the tendon scanned I think. Or there are those heat detecting machines which may help.

There are horses which just "fill up" and it's just them. But I would be careful about assuming this given the resting. There may have been a previous condition that causes it...I had a horse who got lymphangitis in his hinds and after that, his fetlocks would always fill up a bit after work.

Things that you can feed him that would help....glucosamine, shark cartilage, MSM, slippery elm. And as suggested, an Amoricaine/Swelldown poultice after work is a good idea.


"I came here for a party and what do I get? Nothing. Not even Ice cream."

18-10-06, 05:58 AM
You should always bandage with epsom salts if you jump or ride on hard ground. Once you get in the habit, it's really quick and easy.

My vet reckons that hosing with cold water is the best, as it draws the heat out and takes it away. Obviously, with restrictions you probably don't want to hose your horse for 30 mins day and night, but if you can, stand him in buckets with some ice to keep the water cool.

In south africa we had a cream called Iceman, which I believe is like rapigel(?) Anywho, the point of the gel is to take the heat out. Hose in the morning, dry the legs off and put the gel on for paddock time. Ideally, you want to redo this at lunch.

A friend's horse had similar symptoms, and ended up having a cartilage deficiency in his knees. Monthly injections and he competed every weekend in C/B grade classes for several years, and didn't go lame. Was very expensive though.

18-10-06, 06:31 AM
Hard ground is the biggest contributor to front end lameness in jumping horses. The amount of pressure landing on a horses front feet after a 110cm fence apparently, according to physics of flight, is approximately 4 tonnes! The effects of this is seen in jarred up fetlocks, pastern chips, pedal osteoitis, sesamoid injuries etc etc etc. I manage my jumpers by giving them a pentosan injection once a month to increase vicousity of joint fluid and improve joint cartilage. Ice front legs 20 minutes after jumping. And most importantly avoid hard ground. A bit hard when you're trying to event. Sydney Showjumping Club has just spent thousands on top dressing and improving the surfaces in all their arenas as riders started to vote with their feet and refuse to start their horses on hard ground. If your horse is toe pointing it suggests joint soreness and continuing to ride him on hard ground will result in a shortened career. Try suggesting that your jump club and local shows do something to improve the going which will benefit all horses in the area as well as yours. Good Luck

18-10-06, 11:12 AM
You can feed straight glucosamine but as it doesn't have the compound structure (or so i have been advised) it doesnt'work as effciently or as well as the cosequin, hence why it is more expensive, however i'd rather use a little of an expensive thing and get great results rather than a lot of a cheap thing and not get the results. They're right about maybe being an old racing injury and some arthrtis, cosequin works with arthritis but also prevents it from getting worse. If you can i'd really look at getting either x-rays of joints or ultrasounds to diagnose the problems. You coudl save yourself a lot of money on treatments that aren't going to work because you don't know what the problem is. Yes vets are expensive but so is either A) losing a good horse or b) spending a lot of money on treatments for various things that won't work because they're not designed to fix your problems.

As for MSM i've heard good and bad about it, some say it works in relieveing pain and swelling for arthiritis but a few have said it does nothing for on/off swelling etc.

Let us know how you go!

18-10-06, 12:12 PM
No he wasn't eventing when i got him, he was standing in the paddock. From what i remeber he had about 20 starts. I don't think it's arthritis i think he had been galloped on hard ground with the other people. I will try most of the above and see what happens. Thank you very much for your replies.

18-10-06, 04:48 PM
Talk to your vet about pentosan and I'd prob Xray him if he were my horse to see what was going on in there.
When you have found out what the problem is, talk to your farrier, corrective shoeing may be able to take some of the strain off certain areas, depending on whats causing it.
If you do keep him, major management!!! wrapping, swell down, pentosan, good warm ups and cool downs, not jumping on ANY hard ground.
He might not stop at jumps now, but if he gets really sore there is a good chance he will start stopping at jumps.
Maybe its his way of saying he wants to do less jumping and more trails!!
Good luck

18-10-06, 11:46 PM
Hi I have a 2 star eventer that is 15 years old and although he has no leg issues at all I am very very careful how much I jump him whether training or competition. I have entered him for showjumping events and if the ground is too hard I have pull him out.

When my daughter competes in NSW we choose the venues that are not hard as concrete, such as SIEC, Camden, or Oberon.

I believe that prevention is better and much cheaper than cure.

This horse sounds lovely, I would keep him and purchase another that will enable you to compete each week, while giving this horse a rest.
If you want to sell him send me an email, I would be very interested.


19-10-06, 12:12 AM
Well i'm off today to look at another horse to event on. Currently i'm competing on my 1st X andy who i have had for 8 years. I guess the finantual side is also a worry as we have 12 horses here and i just can't afford to have xrays and etc done. He's out the paddock at the moment doing nothing i'll pull his shoes off when i get home and start playing around with him. He's a lovely horse and i'm wondering to sell him to a trail riding or arc home as he can compete over little stuff but it's just when jumping high every week it gets him.

19-10-06, 01:45 AM
Don't write a talented horse off LittleMiss. Xrays, pentosan/cartrophen and the whole gamut of icing, poulticing etc... is part and parcel of managing joints. He may be better off with a competitive home where he receives the proper management than going to a trail rider/adult rider with less knowledge who'll just continue to bang up those legs but not manage them. In the long run, the cost of a few xrays to know exactly what you're dealing with, whether to keep him or sell him, will pay off.
If you can't afford to xray him now, can you tip him out over summer and do them at a later date?

19-10-06, 02:05 AM
He's tipped out now and yes i could do them after summer. I am wondering if it's just the ground thats doing it as he never pulled up sore after doing the few events he did with earlier this year, but then again we only did one every few months. He doesn't go lame at events or afterwards but his front fetlocks puff up alittle and you can see he's not happy. I guess it will be a case of trail and error of what works.

19-10-06, 02:13 AM
I'm in the outer east of melb, so we have very little top soil. A month or so ago I had some mud; now I have concrete with a layer of dust!!!
It's amazing how quickly the ground can harden up, and once you start jumping decent heights the impact on those fronts can be really severe.
Regardless of the problem I'm sure his legs will appreciate the rest.
I had xrays of a few joints done recently for an injury and I'm going to have the rest done when the horse is back in work. She's only a young mare but I intend to do a lot with her and it was a good feeling to see exactly what was going on in her joints. It will give me something to measure against in the future if she goes unsound.
Good luck with him; he sounds like a good horse.