Stringhalt or shivers – how to tell?

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  • DunVegasMoney Original Poster DunVegasMoney
    Topics Started: 2Replies Posted: 0

    I’m not sure if I’m in the right place, but does anyone know the difference between stringhalt and shivers? (and any other condition that makes the hind legs do weird things?) I think my horse has one of these but I don’t know which one. Thanks!

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    Yes, in stringhalt, the abnormally high picking up of the hind will be followed very quickly by the hoof slamming back down to the ground. It has the appearance of being an involuntary plopping back down, almost as if the limb is on a rubber band. Shivers has varying degrees of severity (I had a horse in the past with it and have one now also) but usually once the hind leg is picked up, it will either stay up and stationary, with the horse unable to relax the muscle and lower it no matter how hard the human tries, or there will actually be some quivering ‘shivering’ in which there is a tremor seen in the haunch muscle. Both of these can be triggered by backing up, but can occur any time the horse is asked to pick up its hind hoof. As shivers is one of the things that responds pretty well to dietary support, keep in mind the horse needs a low/lower starch and sugar diet and higher fat than the average commercial feed. One article I found about it online actually mentions two particular brands of feed but I do not know if it is OK to list those here.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    I forgot to add, in shivers the horse eventually has some relaxation of the haunch muscle but it it usually necessary to warn the farrier that the horse will pick its foot way up, and not to try to force the animal to lower it. I at one time was using an otherwise wonderful barefoot trimmer in the area, who just could not get it through her head that this was not a behavioral problem. She kept thinking the solution was shanking and backing, which of course does not work!

    analise analise
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 10

    Yeah, I can’t talk about how to tell which, but definitely a low starch/high fat diet can help. You might search for Dr. Beth Valentine and EPSM for more info on what kinds of diets can help since stringhalt/shivers is a symptom of EPSM.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 4

    When a horse has Shivers, the hind quarter muscles will actually “Shiver” or tremble slightly when backing the horse up. Some horses do better with a higher protein diet as well as not having the starches. This horse will have less control of the hind leg when picking it up for a hoof clean out or for a farrier. They often bring it to the side and tremble slightly. They often become reluctant to pick up the hind hoof. This can be avoided by quickly drawing the hoof that is raised out behind the horse and use a lot of patience.

    "No hour is wasted that is spent in the saddle." -Winston Churchill

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

    Consult your vet. Whatever it may be, there is little you can do without a firm diagnosis. Different issues generally require different treatment options.

    It is never the horse's fault

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