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EmilyD
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My mare is sore on her right hind. It has been 3 weeks since I first noticed. Due to the fact that she was off all summer, and since Oct 5 2017,  I have  taken the rehab work very slowly, w/t, short rides, lots of observations, ground work, work-in-hand, etc, and getting alot of good help. Under saddle I was focusing on straight lines, large circles and stretching down into the bridle. She was feeling stronger and so I asked for the canter, and that was the day she went 'lame'. I live in Canada, the incident happened in January, and it is a possibility she slipped on the ice but I'm not quite sure I believe that. The lameness is presenting itself with a shorter step in the right hind (about 1 1/2" less than the LH). She is shod. The RH is weight bearing, she will roll and get up on both right and left side. I'm an English rider. She was making some progress about a week into the soreness and so one day, on a large lunge circle, I observed that in the downward transitions the problem appeared to be in the first step in the slower gait. Her leg was kind of buckling (or not strong enough) to support this one step. To be sure, I did a few downward transitions....but in the end that was probably a bad idea since she was realllly sore the next day, both with stepping under and stepping up with the RH. So since then, the lateral movemnet of stepping under has gotten much better but the lack of stepping up or tracking up is still very much noticeable. Thanks.

EmilyD
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She was off on her RF in the summer of 2017

Redmare
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EmilyD, I'm sure Dr. Deb will expound on this better than I can, but I would encourage you to look through the forum (there is actually a quite recent thread on this already) and find threads discussing stifle catching, as what you describe sounds exactly like a horse who is - and it could be for a number of reasons - catching their stifle, hence the "buckling" you noticed.

Last edited on Mon Feb 5th, 2018 06:26 pm by Redmare

DrDeb
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Dear Emily: I appreciate your effort to give me a full report of the problem with all the aspects that you believe are of importance. I understand that your mare is fully mature (at over 7 years of age) and went "lame" last year, i.e. in her sixth year. I also see that she's half-Saddlebred, but the other half is part Quarter Horse, part Draft horse. So, I expect she's a pretty big girl, right? How tall is she, and what does she weigh?

Also, I need to know: is this your first horse to own? And more importantly, is this the first time you've seriously tried to train a horse?

Have you previous experience with horse shows, and if so, of what type? What "style" do you ride? Your degree of experience and the type of saddle you are trying to use make a tremendous difference.

The reason that I say this is that, from your description, I suspect that the horse is not "sore" at all, or at least not sore in any limb or hoof. You've been working with our friend Yvonne Miller and although I haven't spoken to her concerning your case, I'd be willing to bet dollars to donuts that Yvonne has already told you the same thing, and that the reason you're writing to me is that you could hardly believe her.

You see, Emily: a horse does not "run" on its legs. It indeed does stand on its legs, but it is naive to think that its power of locomotion comes from its legs. Rather, its power to move comes first, and primarily, from the functioning of its back. What I suspect is going on with your horse is -- and again, I'm pretty sure this would be one reason Yvonne would have suggested that you write to me -- I suspect that your horse is in the habit of carrying itself crooked, and I think you probably don't know how to discover this by your own observations either on the ground or in the saddle.

The short-stepping with one hind limb that you have observed is a direct result of the habitual crooked carriage. It is a usual and normal "symptom" that many thousands of other horses also display, for the same reason: because it is far more common for a horse to short-step because it goes crooked than because it has a sore foot.

Likewise, just as Redmare has observed above, the "buckling" or collapsing in back that you describe are the classic sign of one of the horse's stifles catching as it moves. This too is extremely common and yes, you should go up and read my reply to another correspondent who has recently written in concerning that. But Emily, you need to understand also that crooked carriage and catching stifles are related: the one leads to the other, and the problem will continue to get worse over time unless you step in to fix it with the most powerful physical therapy known, which is, your ability to ride the mare with sufficient perception, sympathy, and skill.

The bottom line is that it will be entirely fruitless for you to go searching for some type of lesion in the affected limb, because the overwhelming likelihood is that there is no lesion. The problem is that the horse is moving at an angle to its line of travel, which forces it to use its body in an asymmetrical way, which makes it look "off". It's merely an assumption on your part that the reason for the "offness" is a pre-existing soreness; but what I am telling you is that there is no lesion and no soreness.

Now, the other thing you must understand is that the cause of this is your own doing, or we might say, your lack of knowledge of how to perceive the crookedness and therefore an understandable lack of motivation to do anything about it (why would anyone do anything about something they didn't even understand is there?). So, it will be of the greatest importance for you to write back here for instruction as to HOW TO PERCEIVE -- exactly what to look for.

Once we take care of that and your responses tell me that you have learned well, then we go on to teach you how to cause the animal to carry itself, and you, straight.

Now, what would help me a tremendous amount is to have you post ANY photo at all of yourself riding this horse. A conformation photo of the horse would also help, i.e. taken from the side without tack except halter or bridle. Just one of each type of photo, please, and you select the best you've got. The riding photo will tell me about your tack and whether it fits, and the conformation photo will tell me the size and weight of the horse and any telltale problems with the muscular development you have caused it to have.

Looking forward to our further dialogue on this. Cheers -- Dr. Deb

EmilyD
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hi Dr.Deb

I have a YouTube channel 'horsetube100' and there are lots of videos of me riding. I think it's the best place to see anything that I do cause there's a bunch of stuff on the channel.
Rosie is a big girl, about 16.1 or 16.2

I've worked with many horses along the way, I've put years on some and months on others. I've done work with colts, but not as extensively as this mare Rosie. Since I was young I have always ridden the 'bad' horses. My education has allowed me to change my views, work more complex problems, uncover more 'layers of the onion'. Rosie is the first colt I bought and started. I've been working with Yvonne for a while, and she told me to get in touch with you, and so that's how I ended up on the forum.

Yvonne has only been my farrier since October, ( groundwork coach since 2009/2010). She told me a year ago that my horse was going to go lame. I wasn't at the place where I could really put all the pieces together (riding, groundwork, feet, straightness, etc), but I'm slowly gaining awareness.. It took me until October, when I brought my horse to her to examine the lameness further that she basically told me that she was going to be my farrier from now on. I since have come to realize she's actually soooooooooo much more amazing than I had ever given her credit for.

So it's been a journey for sure, of finding the right people and being able to let go of others. I have been to see Josh, learn from him as well, Linda at Reverance stables, auditing G.M.clinics... Last fall I built a 'woody', re-read a lot of your work, vols 7 & 8 of. The inner horseman, the ring of muscles, the woody article( to name a few), Kinship with all life. I've developed a start for the understanding straightness on the ground, having a feel and an eye for it, etc. (I could go on forever)

I've recently spent a bunch of time with Yvonne and she told me on Saturday I need to ask you how to ride my horse sound. I've been doing tons of groundwork since she has been 'off' and really noticing exactly where deficiencies as a rider are, and learning to be more aware of when and where to be more effective.

I would also like to know your opinion on putting her out to pasture for a while...like a few years, while still working with her once a week, doing groundwork, working on straightness, trail riding ( anythingI didn't mention as well), while getting her feet done on an 8 week schedule. The mare is really amazing and lots of people want her to succeed.

thanks

EmilyD
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I ride in a jumping saddle and a dressage saddle.

I'm not familiar with any of the tests you do for sore backs but people say the horse has a strong back, good saddle fit, she doesn't flinch when under pressure,
( by fingers running down the sides of her spine).
Rosie weighs give or take 1150 lbs ( last I checked was about 1050 last year).
I also have been reading the articles on stifles, from the forum. lots of good info and thanks for that.
The reason I ask about the years out to pasture, is because I don't believe I understand enough about the situation to be able to help in a shorter time frame and I don't know enough to be able to make the call to work her, how much, etc. What about the healing process, if there is one. I have had multiple sports injuries that have taken a few years to sort out.

Last edited on Tue Feb 13th, 2018 11:35 am by DrDeb

DrDeb
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Emily, I see your many videos on YouTube. However, I don't know which horse I'm supposed to look at. Please tell me specifically which video to view, so as not to waste my time looking at the wrong one(s).

And yes, Yvonne is amazing, and you're very lucky to have her helping you.

Let me know about the video. Thanks -- Dr. Deb

DrDeb
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Emily -- I got all your many still photos, which -- did you realize this? -- just to open them all will take over half an hour of my time. And here you have asked me to spend many more hours watching your videotapes. I don't have that kind of time, dear. Now, please: DO AS YOU WERE TOLD and:

1) Send me ONE conformation photo of the horse (I do not need to see all of what Yvonne is doing with the pads and shoes and so forth)

2) Send me ONE STILL photo of you riding the horse

3) Tell me which ONE videotape to watch (you're getting that "extra" because I probably don't really need it).

You have come here for assistance, and I'm glad to provide it. However, you will have to listen and obey before I can do that. Thanks for the courtesy -- Dr. Deb




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