New mare with stiffness

This topic contains 13 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Cheval Noir Cheval Noir 1 year, 5 months ago.

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  • ohsco2007 Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 4

    I purchased a 14 year old appendix quarter horse mare about 6 weeks ago. Overall, she’s a pretty mover with a good disposition. We have noticed some stiffness in her hind end and some reluctance to move forward over the last week or two. She doesn’t buck or kick and doesn’t swap leads, but is at times unwilling to transition to a canter (in the last week) when she at first had nice transitions. When I go to pick out her hind feet, she will pull her leg forward under her belly and doesn’t particularly like for me to extend it out behind her. She will not get angry or pull it from me but is resisting the movement. At times she will pin her ears when asked to move forward at a trot or into a canter. She is still fine with performing lead changes when asked and doesn’t swap behind when cantering. She is worked 3-4 days a week for 45 minutes. We do lots of circles and changes of direction, stretches and transitions within the gaits as well as between them. When asked to walk, trot, or canter over poles, she get anxious and worried and at times refuses them. She lives outside and only comes in to eat. She’s not obviously lame. We had a massage therapist out and she was very tense throughout her hips. They mentioned injecting her SI. We have a vet appointment scheduled. She’s currently on a joint supplement, but it isn’t one of the better brands. Which do you feel works best?

    Does anyone have any opinions on injecting hocks and SI joints? This will definitely be discussed with the vet as well, but just looking for opinions also. I’ve debated adequan as well, as I’ve always had a good response in dogs and horses with this.

    Thank you in advance.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    What was her exercise regimen before you bought her? Perhaps she isn’t really fit yet for what you do, assuming she wasn’t getting much exercise? Some horses (both of my mares in particular) think poles on the ground are snakes or some other evil thing. You could try just leading her over them, spaced fairly far apart. Most horses pull their hind legs forward when we lift them, and some are more willing than others to extend. That might be related or not. If I were you, I would work her for a shorter time to see if it helps. Since she is turned out, I doubt it is stiffness from not being able to move around at will.

    It is never the horse's fault

    DressageRider5 DressageRider5
    Topics Started: 6Replies Posted: 14

    My mare has a sore SI as well. Discovered her saddle didn’t fit and that’s what caused her soreness. This article helped me diagnose her issue: https://www.horsejournals.com/horse-care/illness-injury/prevention/equine-symptomatic-lameness

    May not be the exact same situation, but its very informative. Sorry if I was no help.

    ohsco2007 Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 4

    Sorry for the delay.

    Her exercise regimen was similar to what it is now as far as time. One difference was that she was ridden primarily as a western horse and we’ve added in some hunters. So she’s being asked to go forward more which is when the stiffness was noticed.

    She leads over poles, walks over them, but when you get to the trot under saddle she tends to want to rush. Though this has been noted to be much improved after massage and some joint supplements.

    After a couple massage sessions with some essential oils, she’s much more willing to move forward and much more cadenced in her canter. She’s also much more willing to canter off. She has a lot more energy and is much much happier. She is showing symptoms of ulcers, so we are going to treat as such. That could contribute to some of her issues and attitude at times.

    Thank you for your help! Sorry for the delay in response.

    Lucky Ducky
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 4

    I have an 29 year old appendix gelding. I bought him when he was 14 at that time he wasn’t stiff but bout when he was 16 he did start showing symptoms of being arthritic. He does have navicular (which is common in TB’s, QH’s & Warmbloods but since your mare is acting up with the back feet doubt that’s the cause) and I was dealing with lameness issues for the first 9 months I had him until we found out why. Once it was taken care of he was worked 5 days a week for 30-60 minutes and rarely showed any lameness just a bit stiff in the back until he worked out of it after the first few minutes of warm up. As a side note I my horse made the transition from western to English as well. Is it possible you may be asking her to make the transition to quickly? since the styles are different her body may just be reacting to the being asked to move in a different way.

    I am not a big fan of hock injections. I have done both feed through joint supplements (Glucosamine with MSM) and IM injections with my horse. I much prefer feed through since I dont need to worry bout nicking a vein but the IM injections are supposed to be a stronger dose.

    If I were you I would try the feed through or IM and use the hock injections as a last resort.

    dmaequestrian dmaequestrian
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 10

    If you are exercising her too much for her to handle, that could be the problem. try equine massage, if it is her muscles, then that will help her loosen up. If it is her bones, it might be the early stages of arthritis. The best thing to do would be to talk to your vet and try the IceVibe hock and front boots to see if that made any difference. i once had a horse in my barn with arthritis in his joints and they helped when being use regularly.

    ohsco2007 Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 4

    Thank you. We have been doing massage and it has seemed to helplay. We’ve also added in glucosamine supplements. We’ve also started treatment for ulcers so hopefully with all this she will be happier. She’s never completely displeased with work but I would like for her to be comfortable as possible

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    You mentioned that you have used and continue to use equine message, but you don’t mention whether you had her checked by an equine chiropractor. She may be out of correct alignment somewhere in her rear, which was not a problem when she was ridden western as western horses are typically bred and trained to take small steps, while a good english horse is bred & trained to take much longer strides. The problem may have been there, but went unnoticed because the alignment issue was either not affecting her western gaits, or affecting them in such a minor degree when she was ridden western, that the misalignment was not caught.

    ohsco2007 Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 4

    We have not had a chiropractor out yet. As the problem has improved with supplementation, a more structured routine and a different warm up program, changes in her shoeing, and massage, the plan is to schedule a chiropractor once finances allow.

    I definitely understand how it could have gone unnoticed as a primarily western horse.

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    I agree, horse chiropractors are not inexpensive, & I was initially very skeptical, but I am now a convert. Since you had not mentioned this as a possible solution, I was not sure if you realized such a thing as a horse chiropractor even existed.

    Cheval Noir Cheval Noir
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 10

    This will probably fall on “deaf ears” but I will offer my suggestion anyway.

    I have a few of aging horses, and not so aging horses, that have a variety of problems. I have an ex-eventer that I acquired because he had mystery lameness that was undiagnosed si problem. The si problem was later identified and injected but since he’s not in persistent work I quit injecting him. Another is very lame most of the time because of poor shoeing in the past that left one of his feet somewhat twisted, has also foundered and recovered. He’s been on glucosamine/ chondroitin / devils claw/ yucca, for years and still walked around stiff-legged. Both of these horses almost instantly — within weeks — responded to daily doses of turmeric. The lame one actually can be seen cantering about the field sometimes when before he would only stiff-leggedly amble about. The one with the si problem hasn’t needed a chiro again.

    Further reading revealed that turmeric is also an anti inflammatory as well as good for diarrhea. I have a mare that has been producing cow flops since she was a baby. She’s now 6. I tried everything so I decided to try turmeric on her, too. She also had a swollen hock that, although she wasn’t lame, had been there for months and hadn’t responded to Surpass or anything else. After 3 weeks on turmeric the swelling was gone. And her loose manure improved.

    A boarder’s mare is on it, too, because her problem resembled the description of the OP’s mare. And it helped her too. Helped my horse that I was told has ‘kissing spine’ which the chiro said was a non-existent condition, he only needed bending and stretching exercises. Not something I have time to do and he has also responded miraculously to turmeric.

    Currently 8 of my 10 horses are on it for one thing or another because the stuff is cheap and magic. YMMV

    Here is a website with great info on it. http://www.turmericlife.com.au/

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 253

    Very interesting reading. Thanks for posting the website address.

    ohsco2007 Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 4

    Thank you! This looks like something we definitely should try!

    Cheval Noir Cheval Noir
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 10

    And to lend more credence to turmeric as a useful supplement: http://gettyequinenutrition.biz/Library/ConsiderCurcuminforJointInflammation.htm

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