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Over at the knee
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Patchwork Pony
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 Posted: Mon May 1st, 2017 05:13 pm
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Greetings from Ontario Canada. I have recently purchased a lovely, kind 10 year old thoroughbred who is over at the knee. Vet evaluation was that it wouldn't be a problem and I had checked Dr. Bennett's conformation books before I purchased him. He will only be used for pleasure riding but he is somewhat unstable on that leg. He did trip with me riding him at a walk and went down on both knees. As he was struggling to get up and I was going down, he hit me in the face and left me with a black eye and a sore backside. Can I strengthen and stabilize that leg by straighten his way of going through groundwork and massage? I am working through 'Mannering' training, lunging and some of XXXXXs massage techniques for release. Am I on the right track? Is there something else I should be doing?

To give you an idea of his sweet nature, as I am lying on the ground, checking if I can feel pain everywhere, I got a gentle nudge on my helmet. I opened my eyes to be greeted by his big soft eyes checking me out. He didn't leave me and even stood still so I could use the stirrup to help me get up.
Love this horse. <3

Patchwork Pony
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 Posted: Tue May 2nd, 2017 01:52 am
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No he wasn't raced at all. Has suffered from neglect more than anything else until last owner acquired him.She traced his history and spoke to the original breeder. He was orphaned at birth. Was supposed to be a sport horse but because of his legs was never jumped. He does exhibit the symptoms you described though.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue May 2nd, 2017 07:14 pm
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Patch -- the horse itself is telling you what its limitations are going to be. "Over at the knee" is not a congenital deformation or a conformation problem, but the result of chronic strain on the reciprocating apparatus of the forelimbs, which eventuates in permanent injury, i.e. the stretching or tearing of the check ligaments.

There is no therapy known that will result in significant improvement, and you certainly cannot "strengthen" the torn tissues. Their normal functioning has been destroyed forever.

If your horse exhibits trembling of the forelimbs after riding, you should take note of when this occurs during the ride. Most horses with this injury can go between fifteen minutes and one half-hour, on the flat, at a moderate rate, before there is danger of their falling to their knees. You're lucky the horse didn't kill you when it went down the first time. Your experience should have taught you that this horse is not really rideable, not really safe to ride, and it will never be safe to ride.

A lot of women get their "mommy instincts" all het up because they think they're doing good by "rescuing" a horse. All of this is mere mental fuddlement, often fostered by horse-rescue places which exist as tax writeoffs or as the last gasp of functionality for a stable operation that has fallen badly in the red. When you bring a horse onto your property, the one and only accurate descriptor of what you have done is that you have PURCHASED the animal. Whether you got it for a cheap price is irrelevant. Somebody with little or no ethics foisted this animal off on you, and now you have a problem, because it is not ethical to sell it on without disclosing that it is not safe to ride and will never be safe to ride. You're lucky that it didn't break your neck or crack your skull when it went down with you; the next person might not be so lucky.

Your realistic options at this point are either to have the animal killed, or else plan on parking it out in a back pasture as a babysitter or "uncle" to young horses or as a companion for a horse that you own that IS safe to ride. Sorry that this news is pretty severe, but I want to encourage you to think in more realistic terms. -- Dr. Deb



Patchwork Pony
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 Posted: Tue May 2nd, 2017 11:08 pm
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Thank you for your realistic evaluation. I came away from the fall feeling exactly what you expressed. Unfortunately the veterinarian, massage therapist, chiropractor and farrier who have treated him didn’t pick up on the seriousness of the problem. My veterinarian is coming this week for annual shots so I will discuss further diagnosis with him. I have a return contract so if this is indeed the problem, I will negotiate for a refund and see if she just wants to retire him here.
I agree with you about rescue. I don’t see the kindness in keeping an animal that has only pain to face in its future.

I do appreciate your advice and will follow through on it.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue May 2nd, 2017 11:45 pm
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Oh, the pain will be entirely yours, Patch. Broken/stretched check ligaments are not at all painful to the horse. It does hurt him a little when he falls to his knees, but not nearly as much as having him fall down with you will hurt you.

You may have difficulty getting your money back, unless the vet will back you up by stating firmly that the horse's propensity to fall down unexpectedly makes him dangerous to ride. -- Dr. Deb

Patchwork Pony
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 Posted: Wed May 3rd, 2017 01:04 am
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If he isn't suffering then we will just let him be happy. It costs us very little to keep him at our place and this way he won't be in a situation where anyone will get hurt.

Darling Lil
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 Posted: Sun Jun 11th, 2017 04:41 pm
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Its great that you can retire him. He won't fall while leading him and hurt anyone that way right? My neighbor has a horse badly over at the knee. She doesn't ride him.


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