View Full Version : Confused...

17-04-07, 11:25 AM
I was riding my horse today and when i troted him he would occasionaly go down a little bit with his back legs (or one of them) just slightly (not fall right down or anything) but a little bit. He is a naturaly lazy horse (ever since born) and often drags his legs and walks really slow because he can't be bothered to go. I walked him over trotting poles and he cleared them easily, then i lunged him and he was fine...etc.

He was moving fine too, was just wondering if this is anything serious??

The vet came to check on him and said he is ok, i told him about like him dragging legs...etc sometimes and he felt down his back, that was fine, then down his rump and he went down a bit there too- but the vet wasn't worried about it, just said that he needs to gain muscle/fat up there and that i have to not ride him for 2 weeks (which i did) and feed him lot's...etc (which i did and do also).

Has anyone else had these experiences? He isn't bad to saddle up, and stands when i get on him...doesn't show any other symptoms of back pain or anything...etc.

What could this be? Could it be that he is just lazy and doesn't pick up his feet properly?

17-04-07, 11:39 AM
I was thinking it could be maybe that i need to warm him up more? Like by lunging? As he was moving well after i had lunged him for a while, and then i did Join up and he moved even better. :)

17-04-07, 11:59 AM
Could be stifle lock - google it - mild cases occasionally they will slip and it feels like their back legs go down a little. Hillwork helps.

17-04-07, 12:25 PM
sometimes my horse does that, especially on roads when his shoes have worn blunt. Usually it's just them beign lazy, though some people say it can be caused from saddle pressure causing numbness along thier back.

17-04-07, 12:48 PM
hmmm ok, thank you so much for your help... he does drag one of his legs when going down hill too...

but i noticed that the more i lunged him at a walk the more better he became... so i think i might lunge him for 10 minutes or so before i ride him to see if that helps.

I hope it's not bad though... :(

17-04-07, 12:56 PM
stifle lock actualy makes sense... like he overreaches a lot (especialy with one leg) and stretches it too far, and going down hill he drags one leg too, and this could possibly be the hind leg that is causing stifle lock?

17-04-07, 02:37 PM
He could - like the vet said be lacking in muscel. How often do you ride him?
Try getting a massager out, they will be able to help you / him heaps.

18-04-07, 01:21 AM
Well i only ride him once a week, will ride him more next year when i finished school.

He was at an agistment place 1 week ago for about 7 months where i just couldn't feed him everyday- so he only got fed once a week. Which made him loose condition. Now i moved him to an agistment place 2-3 mins from my house where i now feed him everyday and he has a hay bale too. He is starting to gain fat and muscle just from his feed. :)

18-04-07, 01:41 AM
I am so sick and tired of this... there is always something wrong with my horse. :(

I don't want it to me stifle lock or anything bad... :( :( I really don't have money at the moment to get the vet out again (i got him out 2 weeks ago)... :( :(

18-04-07, 03:26 AM
Yes, the vet did say that he was lacking in muscle/fat as he felt down his back right down to his trail bone and when he went down a long the rump to the tail bone he slightly went down due to lack of fat/muscle up there. So the vet gave him a steroid injection thing, and told me to give him rest and feed feed feed him. Which i have, and i can see that he is slightly gaining fat over his bones on his rump and spine. :)

I might ring the vet just to ask him and talk to him about it.

I reeeeeally hope it's not stifle lock *prayers* maybe i will just lunge him before i ride for about 20 mins because that seemed to make him looser and better/not stiff moving then when i hoped on him... what do you think?

18-04-07, 03:37 AM
alwayzhorsie i have sent you a pm


Suzie Q
18-04-07, 03:39 AM
I too hope it is not stifle lock.

It is more likely just to do with him lacking condition and because he is a horse not a pony, not being ridden with contact.

As of yet he has not learnt that his hindquarters are his engine. He is most likely pulling himself along with his front legs, instead of pushing forward with his hindlegs.

I say again what I did in my post in your other thread. That feeding him up is fine and dandy, until the day he changes and becomes a 'horse' and is not the lazy friendly horse you know nowadays. Which is only because he is underweight, and doesn't have the energy to be a horse.

So do not be surprised if magically when you have finished giving him a rest and feeding him up, that suddenly he is not lazy, not stumbling with his back legs, and not the nice friendly horse that you remember.

Then you will have a whole different type of problems. I am not talking about days, but probably months.

But chin up, it is all a learning curve. Remember you should be enjoying the path and not just the destination. You are probably being bombarded with more information than most people who do not have availability to the net.

I know you are sick of us saying it, but the answer is lessons, lessons, lessons.

You said you were sick of lessons, but that to me just says that you need a better instructor.

18-04-07, 03:51 AM
"As of yet he has not learnt that his hindquarters are his engine. He is most likely pulling himself along with his front legs, instead of pushing forward with his hindlegs."

That's how he walks like. Like it's hard to explain, but it's like he doesn't use his hindquarters, and his walk is always slow- like he uses his front legs more then his back legs which makes him walk kind of wierd...not wierd, but like different...hard to explain...

As i have now moved him to a much better agistment area where i can do flat work in an arena and lunging in a round yard i am getting an instructor out a.s.a.p. :)

I am now focusing on flat work, lessons..etc. ;)

I reeeally hope he doesn't have anything wrong with him. But i will get an instructor out and hopefuly she can help me!

18-04-07, 05:50 AM
does sound like a stifle problem..a horse of mine had the same thing..the vet told me to lunge the horse in deep sand to help strengthen the ligaments and muscles did a fantastic job..working up hill will also help..

18-04-07, 06:38 AM
I think maybe it is just a lazy/lack of education thing. I have ridden lots of horses that do what I think you are explaining. All of a sudden it feels like one back leg gone out from under him. i wouldn't panic to quickly about the possiblity it is a locking stifle.

Easiest way to tell - from the ground, stand him still and ask him to turn. A horse with a locking stifle will generally lock up when you do that. You will also more than likely see him doing it walking around in the paddock.

I have had a couple of horses with locking stifles - it is not the end of the world - most horses with this condition (if caught early enough) will not show any signs of it when they are fit.

18-04-07, 07:03 AM
Also with stifle lock you would probably see it in canter (especially trot into canter transitions). Most horses would show it in one direction more than the other.

No way to really tell without a full vet check, the rest is just speculation!

When you get an instructor, ask them about how to keep impulsion and get your horse tracking up. They will be able to give you heaps of help, which will sort it out if it is not a vet problem.

In the meantime, if lunging helps that is good, otherwise anything to keep him interested and attentive will be good - lots of changes of pace/direction etc. Trot poles, little games, parelli work if you are that way inclined.

18-04-07, 09:16 AM
Also- just wondering is it dangerous? Like could it lock and then never un-luck if you understand what i mean?

Also if you don't do anything about a horse having stifle lock and you just keep riding does it get worse and worse and could it damage the horse?

I have never ever seen him doing it in the paddock. He walks fine..etc.

"Easiest way to tell - from the ground, stand him still and ask him to turn. A horse with a locking stifle will generally lock up when you do that. You will also more than likely see him doing it walking around in the paddock."

When i rode him that day i turned him around cones and stuff whilst i was on him and stuff and tight circles (well not too tight) and he was fine, next time i will try it on the ground.

He is VERY lazy- i can NEVER get any forward movement into him except for when HE wants to go (for example his friend is in front of him, then he will want to go so much more to catch up)...etc. When i get an instructor out i will be hoping to fix this, as well as leg aids...etc, as he completley ignores them (being a race horse and all)...etc.

I don't think he has done it from a trot to canter.

I also go over trotting poles a lot, and he is fine with them. Sometimes touches them a bit, but really good otherwise. He is good at jumping too. Though i don't do a lot of it.

Also when he does it again whilst i ride him in the manage what should i do? Continue to ride or hop straight off?

Thank you so much for your help.

18-04-07, 09:46 AM
If a horse has stifle lock and you continue riding you CAN do damage. however, as someone said above, correct exercise will actually help the problem, not hurt it. Active hill work and work in deep sand are often recommended to strengthen the ligaments which hold the stifle joint in place and keep it moving correctly through the groove in the bone.

It is generally not happening all the time, you will feel the horse "lock up" and sometimes they will buck or kick out (easliy confused with bucking) to unlock.

Most likely these problems are a result of not enough forward and not enough impulsion in your flatwork. You know your problem when he overreaches? you actually WANT him to be overlapping his front footprints with his back ones in a walk and trot, only in a coordinated way! Your instructor will be able to explain this better in person, but you will be able to feel the difference when he is forward, off the forehand and tracking up.

18-04-07, 11:02 AM
Stifle lock does not show up in the canter, it shows up most from halt to walk, and no it will not do damage to work them with stifle lock (though I do not think the horse in question has stifle lock) in fact the best cure for stifle lock is to keep working them, to me its sounds like lack of work and lack of muscular tone and balance, getting correct shoeing will help, regular work will help, a course of pentosan will help, stop working him will not. He sounds unfit and that will often cause a horse to lose its backend, we had a horse here that that had been left for a year without consistant work, probably a touch of arthritis did not help but he used to lose his backend, he now is on pentosan and when he was in full work it disappeared.

18-04-07, 11:20 AM
Ok, thanks again. Sounds like an instructor will help a lot. :)

"It is generally not happening all the time, you will feel the horse "lock up" and sometimes they will buck or kick out (easliy confused with bucking) to unlock."

It doesn't actualy feel like that... it feels like he just goes down, like he slipped on ice or something... hard to explain. :P

Hmm, it is hard to regularly ride him, but i can do it next year and from then on. Just this year i have year 12.

Thanks so much again for your help!

18-04-07, 12:25 PM
It could also be a sacro illiac problem. the sacroilliac region is about where your boy was sore when the vet felt down his back towards his tail at the top of his rump. My mare had the same thing happening to her but much more severe to the point where it was dangerous and her bum would fall out from underneath her.
I got a very good muscle man out and he did some chiro work on her an also injected the region with muscle stimulants. She had very severe muscle damage on top of her rump and it showed through very poor rump muscles that just would not build up no matter how much you worked her.
She is 100% fine now and shows absolutely no sign of pain or the falling out from underneath you like she use to. She has beautifully bum now too. It took about two months for her to be fully recovered.

19-04-07, 03:04 AM
oh dear :(

19-04-07, 06:25 AM

don't stress. If your vet said he's just weak in the hindquarter and needs building up - then you're vet is the expert and most likely right.

So just follow your vet advice.

Don't stress about what it could be, follow your vets advice.

you said he jumps fine, but he's a little lazy. That's ok, you only ride him once a week at the moment. in summer you'll be able to ride him every day after school and get him fitter.

So - just get his weight up, and get his fitness up, get lessons and listen to the people who can SEE your horse. Don't worry about the people on the internet, they can't see you and they cannot see your horse, so they're doing the wild guesses.

Stop stressing and just feed him and ride him.

19-04-07, 09:47 AM
Thanks LisaL. :)

Yes, the vet said to stock him up with feed everyday, which i am now :) as he lost condition especialy in the hindquarters.

So now he is getting fed everyday really good feed, hay and more hay. :)

Then i will ride on every Saturday, lunging Fridays (most fridays) and same with saturdays. Next year i can lunge him everyday and ride like 4 times a week or whatever. :)

Thank you heaps. :)