Monday 4 July 2011

When is a hoof problem not a hoof problem?

Answer: when its a hoof problem which is causing a problem somewhere else in the body...

As I'm sure you all know by now, the rehab horses who come here do so because they have front limb lameness - either in one limb or bilaterally.
What you may not know is that (so far) every single rehab horse who has come here also had at least one - usually more than one - "other" problems which weren't in the hoof.

Sometimes these were identified by the vet, sometimes by a physio or bodyworker, sometimes by the owner.

Here, in no particular order, is a list of those "other" problems - and at the end of this post is the one thing they all had in common (although honestly, I think you can guess the answer straight away!).
  • hind limb suspensory damage
  • shoulder pain
  • restricted neck flexion
  • hamstring/gluteal muscle weakness (one sided or bilateral)
  • "ridden" or "behavioural" problems: napping, rearing, refusing to go forwards, rushing, working hollow, bolting
  • recurrent check ligament damage 
  • back pain, often worse on one side
  • stiffness/unwillingness to work on one rein
In each case, these problems improved dramatically or resolved completely as soon as the horse had a pair of well balanced front limbs, with hooves which were landing, loading and functioning correctly.  

Makes you think, doesn't it?  We all pay lip service to the fact that hoof "malfunction" can affect the whole body, but sometimes hoof problems can actually affect other parts of the body more seriously than the hoof itself, and lameness may be minor but other issues much more severe.

PS: I've updated the list of previous blog posts on the "key posts" page so stuff from the last couple of months should mostly be on there now, even the celery ;-)

1 comment:

Mars Mell-o said...

love your your blog pixies..the view are soothing in the eye :)