Something isn't right?

Joined
24 April 2013
Messages
270
I really can't work my gelding out. I've had him over 4 years, backed him myself and done everything with him. Hes only a little 14.2 chunky cob just turned 9, never been lame, sick or sorry.

He had full body x-rays 2016 as he has a old boney lump on his leg I wanted x-rayed before I done any bigger hunter trials (Started doing 90cm+ hunter trials and some ODE's) and the vet ended up x-raying pretty much his entire body for my piece of mind (she was a friend)

He felt 'off' about 6 weeks ago mainly when I was schooling him his canter he was struggling holding a canter and would refuse any contact when cantering as well as almost suddenly lazy to ride. I trotted him up he looked slightly 'off' but nothing significant. A couple of friends, one works with horses, done a flexion test on his hocks and fetlocks. Hocks absolutely fine, right fetlock fine but left fetlock he trotted a couple of strides 1/10th lame. Gave him a couple of weeks off any work, just field rest. For piece of mind I then got the vet out who done flexion tests, watched him trot up, felt all down his back (fine) lunged him and he said hes completely sound.

I started bringing him back into work a couple of weeks ago now, mainly just hacking with a odd 5 minutes schooling. He seems happier but still laid back to ride (use to be very wizzy and off the leg) he wants to nap more and the canter he grunts and instantly comes really above the contact and out of a outline trying to canter very slowly. If I drop the reins he rushes around. He looks sound when being ridden.. I just can't work it out.

Hes not insured anymore as stupid me cancelled it as I've never needed it, and only have savings to use. His teeth weren't done long ago and saddle only checked a couple of months ago that hes had 4 years and was made to fit him.

Any ideas? Vet said no idea what they'd x-ray and to nerve block it would be expensive as they'd have to go through everything.
 
Joined
12 May 2008
Messages
226
I would try to find a trainer/rider you really respect, to ride him a few times and objectively assess him for you. Perhaps even put him into a trainer's yard for a couple of weeks? It might cost you £250 a week or so, but in comparison to veterinary work ups, it's probably money well spent!

It's so hard when you have only one horse to stand back and be objective. Virtually impossible in fact.

As well as giving you a training assessment, they should be able to give you a thorough opinion of his soundness and general demeanour, his bitting, saddle fit - the works.

Really good luck :)
 

Fanatical

Active Member
Joined
27 March 2009
Messages
1,362
Purely because it's something I have experience of, with the symptoms of losing the canter and the horse not wanting to go forward, I'd be inclined to start with hind suspensories. One of mine had these symptoms and was diagnosed with PSD. It was very subtle with mine and most of the time I just described him as 'not quite right'. Vets call it a 'lack of performance' as opposed to a lameness.
 

milliepops

Probably skiving
Joined
26 July 2008
Messages
11,457
I would try to find a trainer/rider you really respect, to ride him a few times and objectively assess him for you. Perhaps even put him into a trainer's yard for a couple of weeks? It might cost you £250 a week or so, but in comparison to veterinary work ups, it's probably money well spent!

It's so hard when you have only one horse to stand back and be objective. Virtually impossible in fact.
but it's precisely because it's her horse that she's noticed something has changed.
It's very easy to overlook physical problems if you are presented a horse as a potential training issue. This is exactly one of those situations where the owner who knows the horse best, is likely to be the sole person that can see or feel the problem.

Also a couple of weeks at £250 a pop would go a long way towards starting a workup at an equine clinic.

Like fanatical I have experience of these kinds of feelings being related to suspensories, which are often hand in hand with spavins and SI issues. As you've had clear hock x rays it sounds spavins are unlikely which would save some imaging costs but I'd def be looking for a good equine vet with an interest in lameness.
 

AandK

Active Member
Joined
24 July 2007
Messages
2,791
Location
West Sussex
I would have an ACPAT physio give the horse a look over to check it is not muscle related. If it isn't, then I would book him in for a full work up. Something has changed, and just because he is sound according to vet, does not mean there is nothing bothering him.
 

Fiona

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 July 2001
Messages
8,548
Location
N. Ireland
I would have an ACPAT physio give the horse a look over to check it is not muscle related. If it isn't, then I would book him in for a full work up. Something has changed, and just because he is sound according to vet, does not mean there is nothing bothering him.
My equine physio picked up my TB mare's SI issues quite easily on a first visit.... and can obviously also sort any minor muscle issues too....

Fiona
 
Joined
24 April 2013
Messages
270
What is he like being touched around the girth area? Could also perhaps be ulcers?
Not girthy at all, no reaction to girth, hand, pressure, calm as you like. I clipped him out and didn't' react whatsoever to pressure all over him. Previous mare had bad ulcers, kissing spine, arthritis in hocks and she gave so many ulcer symptoms but he doesn't give any at all.

Thanks all, i'll contact someone in my area. He was seen not long ago and he had a slightly sore side to his back but that was it. Does anyone recommend one in Bristol area?
 
Joined
24 April 2013
Messages
270
Purely because it's something I have experience of, with the symptoms of losing the canter and the horse not wanting to go forward, I'd be inclined to start with hind suspensories. One of mine had these symptoms and was diagnosed with PSD. It was very subtle with mine and most of the time I just described him as 'not quite right'. Vets call it a 'lack of performance' as opposed to a lameness.
I also thought this.. and I had a lesson with a one off instructor (top chap) on my other horse who looked at my cob and said bet its his suspensory as he has the right confirmation for suspensory issues. Vet told me I was being silly. Thank you i'll look into it.
 
Joined
24 April 2013
Messages
270
He's not tied up has he? Autumn grass flush seems to have caught a few out. Blood test would show if muscle enzymes are normal.
Don't think so.. we did move yards 3 months ago but he doesn't show any symptoms, not tense etc. He was sweaty last week when worked but he was fluffy so clipped him out and not sweated since.

To add, I tried a very strong 2 day bute trial and it didn't make much of a difference but he did feel happier to work.
 

milliepops

Probably skiving
Joined
26 July 2008
Messages
11,457
Early ringbone, sidebone?
esp with the positive flexion at the fetlock. Also a possibility. I tend to go straight to a vet if a horse isn't right, physios/chiros etc can be very skilled but shouldn't treat a lame horse and aren't really supposed to diagnose conditions... Often people think it's the cheaper option but you can end up just throwing more money at it than you needed to. Not saying that's def the case with you OP but just something to beware of.
 
Joined
24 April 2013
Messages
270
He was only 1/10th lame approx 5/6 weeks ago for a couple of strides, but when the vet visited 2 weeks ago and flexed that fetlock twice both after lunging and and after lunging on a surface he was completely sound..

Thanks Milliepops, will give my vet a call but they always want to come look again, another £100 then sent him to the clinic and they said you need to be happy to spend a good £500 plus.
 
Joined
15 March 2016
Messages
430
Don't know if they are actually any good but maybe those thermal imaging things could help.
However, my only experience of hind suspensory issues presented with not wanting to go forward and coming way above the bit if I insisted. I'd maybe treat it as if it's that until something more obvious presents itself
 
Joined
24 April 2013
Messages
270
Just a thought, that it might give you somewhere to target (on the basis that vets and low grade lameness can be tricky) both langford and B+W have an equinosis lameness locator gadget.
I did ask, to use the machine you're looking at £200 call out, £350 to use the machine (possibly £300 can't remember exactly) and all it does is say which leg it could be. I'm certain its his hind left if any.

Thanks Roxylola - how can I treat it as if its that? Lunge him long and low? I started using a band on his back end and 2 reins so he pushed from behind but in canter again he struggled.
 

ester

Not slacking-multitasking
Joined
31 December 2008
Messages
43,838
Location
Cambridge
Yes I've seen it in action a few times and it would seem better than heading off on a wild goose chase not really knowing if there is or isn't a lameness issue to me. If you are certain it is left hind I'd be tempted to block it (to cover the suspensories at least) and see whether it seems mild because it's actually bilateral.
 

milliepops

Probably skiving
Joined
26 July 2008
Messages
11,457
Yes I've seen it in action a few times and it would seem better than heading off on a wild goose chase not really knowing if there is or isn't a lameness issue to me. If you are certain it is left hind I'd be tempted to block it (to cover the suspensories at least) and see whether it seems mild because it's actually bilateral.
good call. Any chance you can go to them OP to save having loads of call outs? I've just taken mine into the clinic to do a workup, we don't have good enough facilities at home.
 

ester

Not slacking-multitasking
Joined
31 December 2008
Messages
43,838
Location
Cambridge
true, I've always taken frank if needing to do more than a quick trot up as seemed more efficient that way.

Re. suspensories, surgery is probably the most common these days though I imagine they might have more options if money is tighter just less proven. They do usually generate compensatory issues elsewhere too (SI joint particularly seems to come up).
 

AandK

Active Member
Joined
24 July 2007
Messages
2,791
Location
West Sussex
esp with the positive flexion at the fetlock. Also a possibility. I tend to go straight to a vet if a horse isn't right, physios/chiros etc can be very skilled but shouldn't treat a lame horse and aren't really supposed to diagnose conditions... Often people think it's the cheaper option but you can end up just throwing more money at it than you needed to. Not saying that's def the case with you OP but just something to beware of.
I only suggested physio as OP advised her vet had seen the horse since the friend did the flexions and said it was sound.
 
Joined
15 March 2016
Messages
430
Suspensory is box rest with regular cold hosing until any lameness heat etc is gone, then start with walking on a firm surface - no soft ground at all. I did weeks in walk, then bits of trot etc. We were canteringon good going before I even walked in an arena.
Once I had to start using the arena I kept him long and low, mainly in walk and just backed off at any sign of discomfort
 
Joined
24 April 2013
Messages
270
Suspensory is box rest with regular cold hosing until any lameness heat etc is gone, then start with walking on a firm surface - no soft ground at all. I did weeks in walk, then bits of trot etc. We were canteringon good going before I even walked in an arena.
Once I had to start using the arena I kept him long and low, mainly in walk and just backed off at any sign of discomfort
Thanks Roxylola, problem is he doesn't do well stabled even for a 12 hour period. Stable looks like its had a washing machine effect going on and he gets very stressed, box walking etc so was worried if I box rested him it could make it worse. Thank you all i'll look into it
 
Joined
5 October 2008
Messages
381
Location
Somerset.
I would try to find a trainer/rider you really respect, to ride him a few times and objectively assess him for you. Perhaps even put him into a trainer's yard for a couple of weeks? It might cost you £250 a week or so, but in comparison to veterinary work ups, it's probably money well spent!

It's so hard when you have only one horse to stand back and be objective. Virtually impossible in fact.

As well as giving you a training assessment, they should be able to give you a thorough opinion of his soundness and general demeanour, his bitting, saddle fit - the works.

Really good luck :)

I think this is an objective way of assessing him. Even if you don’t send him away, getting someone very experienced to ride him to give their opinion, has got to be a good thing.

If I’m concerned I always get my trainer to pop on - after all that’s their job.

Of course continue with investigations but do this alongside a professional trainers opinion. You never know whether some issues are ‘learnt behaviours’ between the pair of you. At least with a different rider, you may be able to rule that out.

😉 good luck
 
Joined
24 April 2013
Messages
270
I think this is an objective way of assessing him. Even if you don’t send him away, getting someone very experienced to ride him to give their opinion, has got to be a good thing.

If I’m concerned I always get my trainer to pop on - after all that’s their job.

Of course continue with investigations but do this alongside a professional trainers opinion. You never know whether some issues are ‘learnt behaviours’ between the pair of you. At least with a different rider, you may be able to rule that out.

😉 good luck
Thank you. We do have a lesson with a great dressage rider Saturday.. I booked it months ago. She is very experienced and I did debate taking my other horse but considering taking my cob just to see what she says. If she says lame, i'll get off and end it there, but it could be like you said, hes learnt his behaviour and something that only work will help with which part of me does think it could be. Its only 10 minutes in the trailer to the lesson so could be worth taking him.

Last night friends looked at him without his rug and said he looks physically well, nice neck and topline isn't bad considering he had some time off.

I've just received a email from the vets who x-rayed him previously and they are trying their best to find the x-ray copies over. One set of x-rays was taken mid 2016 of hind legs and another lot only 12 months ago (mid 2017) of his back and hind legs down to above fetlocks (all was clear) which would be nice to receive and keep for my records if required.
He does have a permanent 2" boney lump just above his hock on his hind left leg, it doesn't even show on x-rays as anything so vet said its just a boney lump thats formed from a old injury. He was used as a stallion and then gelded at 5, had a tough life to start with and came from where most coloured cobs come from (i'm sure you can guess) but he is a special boy, more light weight and heavily marked. Most loving affectionate horse I've ever owned.

Thanks all,
 

nikkimariet

Active Member
Joined
18 December 2010
Messages
4,688
Location
N/A
Could be anything from ulcers to SI or hock issue?

I've just spent thousands doing a full work up outside of insurance. It was worth it for my own sanity but yes the cost did make the eyes water.
 
Joined
24 April 2013
Messages
270
Could be anything from ulcers to SI or hock issue?

I've just spent thousands doing a full work up outside of insurance. It was worth it for my own sanity but yes the cost did make the eyes water.
Could be.. doubt ulcers as had a mare with ulcers and he shows not really many symptoms. I now have received his hock and back x-rays from 2016 to 2017, is there any vet or experienced members on here who would mind taking a look that would know anything about them?
 
Top