Horseproblems Australia
Post Office Box Victor Harbor
SA. 5211
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horseproblems@horseproblems.com.au

 

 

STIFLE PROBLEMS IN THE HORSE

by
 John O'Leary
Horseman
www.horseproblems.com.au

© 2000

 


 

My Thanks to various people on Youtube. Please understand you are being used as a very important educational opportunity to help the 10's of thousands of silent suffering Horses out there. You know......"the naughty Horses"

 

 

 

    June, 2008. This Mare wins with 74%, ridden by the young Lass who has MS. The Stifles were being affected by the teaching of the Coach, crookedness which caused the 'Bridle Lameness" and a slight incorrect angle of the rear near side hoof.

*****************

I would dearly love a $ for every horse that I have to assess due to stifle problems. The simple Veterinary description for this is something like the momentary locking of the patella or knee bone as it crosses back and forth over the joint. This gives horses some discomfort although Veterinary opinion says that there is little or no pain associated with it. I find that a little hard to accept.

This problem can come in varying severity and this can dictate what actions a horse will take in an attempt to rectify the problem. Some just try to work through it with out much affect upon the riders and others actually buck riders off, although in my experience, rarely are they trying to dislodge them. Moreover, they are kicking from the rear end in an attempt to free the locked patella. Some causes:

  • A bone chip due to an old knock, fall or other injury.
     

  • A lack of muscle development in the rear end of the horse.

Horses can have the problem in one or both of the hind legs.

CAUSES OF MUSCLE DEGENERATION

  • Stallions working through the breeding season

  • A general lack of exercise in horses, usually stabled.

  • A general lack of correct exercise in horses. ( correctly ridden from behind and round )

  • Not enough work given when horses are ridden.

  • Diet? Poor Feeding in their formative Years and not getting the right Feed.

SYMPTOMS

  • Dis-uniting at the canter.

  • A refusal to go straight.

  • Crooked on one rein

  • Not wanting to take a certain lead.

  • Changing back onto the preferred lead all the time.

  • Briefly dragging a back leg.

  • Locking up the back leg totally

  • Kicking up in the rear end whilst being ridden.

  • Bucking people off.

  • A marked resistance to being backed up

  • A dislike of walking down steep inclines

  • Bouncing on back legs at canter

  • Causing a rider to be on the incorrect diagonal.

  • Traveling with the Rump in the Air.

  • carrying the quarters in or out in both directions

  • Behind the Leg

  • Trouble with Flying Changes training, including bouncing in the air to get free one side.

  • Stiff to one side and a lack of 'suppleness and bend' one side.

  • Offering correct changes on one side and late on the other OR

  • Changing sides to please the Rider and being correct on the normally bad side but late on the good side.

  • Not wanting to retain a 'head set'

  • Not wanting to 'COLLECT'

  • Throwing the head in the air for relief.....and

  • The more collection demanded, the more distressed the Horse gets, including snapping back legs like with 'stringhalt'

LOOK AT THE DIET WITH STIFLE AND OTHER PROBLEMS

 

JUMPING SYMPTOMS

  • Bouncing along on the back legs like a Kangaroo

  • Traveling 'bum high'

  • Rear end action just too good for normal Show Jumper

  • Swishing the tail violently on landing

  • Bouncing on landing, ears back

  • Traveling normally between jumps.

CAUSES

  • Broken in too young
     

  • Paddock injury. Kicked or fallen down.
     

  • Conformation fault. Straight and upright angles on back legs.
     

  • Incorrect farrier work. Wrong angles.
     

  • Racing Industry.
     

  • Poor feeding of young stock
     

  • OCD, especially in Warm Blood Horses in Australia

 

 

Email me for the free 145 Page E-Book.

 

 

23/9/11

'LISTEN TO YOUR HORSES'

7 HOURS AND FEATURING 27 HORSES CRYING OUT FOR HELP. An in depth look at what not to buy and why, what Horses are pre-disposed to unsoundness and why.

If you ever consider Buying a Performance Horse, watch this Production and it may save you Thousands!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

TESTS

  • Video the horse being worked and watch it on TV and in slow motion if suspect movement is noticed.

  • Ride the horse, work tight circles on both leads.

  • Reverse the horse.

  • Ride it down a steep hill.

  • Jump it.

  • Have it X-Rayed

  • Insist upon the horse engaging and carrying it's weight on the inside hind leg.

  • RIDE THE HORSE CORRECTLY

CONFORMATION

Conformation plays a huge part in determining whether a horse is prone to such problems. In a high percentage of cases that we meet, horses are conformed either 'bum high' , 'straight behind', too long in the barrel or a combination of them all. Here is one such horse.

 

 

VETERINARY ASSESSMENTS FOR PURCHASE

A little known fact is that Vets' rarely pick a stifle problem when doing an inspection for sale or purchase. This is because they rarely work them and never ride them. I have seen dozens of these cases.

If suspect, show you Vet the video and then request an X-Ray.

http://www.horseproblems.com.au/veterinary_assessments_online.htm

 

FARRIER

This causes locking patella, crookedness in horses and lameness.

 

 

TREATMENT

Treatment really should not be carried out until an X-Ray has been taken to eliminate joint damage or bone chips. Without this, all treatment is pointless.

  • Inject the stifle joint with the new Veterinary treatment (Veterinary Opinion received this week advised that this treatment only lasts about 6 weeks and is not a cure.)

  • Veterinary prescribed anti inflammatory drugs for a period with work.

  • Correct work, harder work in soft sand, build the horse up in muscle.

  • Surgery to cut the ligaments attached to the patella bone.

  • Injecting a localized area with quartizone

  • Properly prepare the Horse as an athlete by lunging in soft sand and with running reins on.

  • Ride the Horse correctly, all of the time. "Straight" "supple" 'Round" "Over the Back" "From behind" In other words, PROPER DRESSAGE!!!! If you don't know how, stop riding the Horse as you are compounding the problems and go have lessons.

THE SURGERY

These days, this is a highly contentious issue and most Vets' don't want to do it. I feel the main reason for this is that they read an American study some years back, which dealt with a survey carried out on a number of horses that had been operated on. It showed that a certain percentage developed arthritis of the joint later. A Vet in Victoria however, comments that he has done over 500 of these operations and thinks other Vet's are a bit over the top with their worries.

X-Ray is highly crucial however.

We have had dozens done over the years and I am yet to see one suffer any ill affects after. I have never seen a horse suffer any ill affect during 40 years of observation of known subjects to the op. On the other hand, I have seen almost a 100% success rate in fixing the problem. On those that have been slow in mending, the cause has normally been the soft attitude of the owner in not pushing the horse through the prescribed exercise routines after the operation.

So the next time you see a horse bucking its owner off, have it checked out before sending it off to a horse breaker and telling him (as I have been) to give the horse a good bashing.

Remember, they can't talk.

Quite frankly, it astounds me that people rarely look at conformation when buying a potential Dressage Horse. Clearly, horses with poor conformation are never going to cut it and you are wasting your years for nothing if you think they will. This is what you are looking for.

Uphill, ability to engage and to bend the hocks.

The bottom line is this. Buy poorly conformed horses and you are highly likely to inherit Veterinary Problems and to waste all of your money and the years of work. Even if they are sound, wait until you reach Advanced Dressage and up. You have no hope!!!

Now read this: CONFORMATION AND SOUNDNESS

I have updated this article because of the number of people enquiring about it of late and as usual, I can never get to finish any article properly due to running.

http://www.horseproblems.com.au/stifle_problems_in_horses.htm

Tonight, I want to talk about the fact that a fair proportion of afflicted Horses, are not unsound in the true sense of the word but unsound due to the every day Riding not being perhaps correct enough. Meaning that from a Dressage point of view, the Horse may not be:

  • "Round
  • Over the back
  • engaged
  • loose
  • Bent in the way of travel
  • Flexed in the way of travel
  • straight
  • supple
  • correctly flexed
  • or ridden via the "German Training Scale"

Now, having said that and before I go on, I must say that there are two styles of Riding. Pleasure/Western loopy rein style and that can be carried out all of the time or only for certain paces. To save time then, go read this:

http://www.horseproblems.com.au/Help....I%20can't%20let%20the%20reins%20go.htm

 

RIDER INDUCED SYMPTOMS

If a Horse is prone to such afflictions, you can be almost sure that incorrect Riding will bring the condition on or compound it if already evident. That is of course only if the Horse is ridden mostly "with a contact"

Now, it matters not to me how you ride. "On the Bit" or "Western/pleasure" It is how we do it that is the point about all of this. I am very thankful then to have received these two videos today and I believe that they are good examples of Ladies that have been taught or elected to ride basically "English/Pony Club" style but in both videos, the style of the Riding can only compound so called Veterinary symptoms or cause problems over time.

 

REHABILITATION

Rehab and recovery for your horse can be a long tough process. A horse cannot express or show its feelings the same way a person can. At Morningside Recovery, a person's recovery can be speedy when the patient is engaged and ready for the rehab process.

Veterinary Surgeons often prescribe sustained lunging in soft sand of affected Horses in the hope that the longitudinal muscles of the Horse and in particular the driving muscles will be built up and support the Patella area or others, thus fixing the symptoms. That is true and I can attest to the fact that this procedure does work but only if:

  • The Owner puts in the hard yards and is vigilant about the efforts.
  • That the Horse is worked in preferably 'Running Reins" or similar.
  • That EVERY TIME the Horse is ridden so called "On the Bit" that it is not "Above the Bit" and that it passes the tests outlined above.

Then, rehabilitation will take place in virtually all cases where no primary cause such as Bone Chips, incorrect shoeing or trimming angles and so on.

My thanks to the lovely Ladies here and I do hope they see this as being educational to the masses, the vast majority who ride like us middle aged and slightly fitness challenged Folk out there. Just like me :)

 

 

 

 

I have updated this article because of the number of people enquiring about it of late and as usual, I can never get to finish any article properly due to running.

http://www.horseproblems.com.au/stifle_problems_in_horses.htm

Tonight, I want to talk about the fact that a fair proportion of afflicted Horses, are not unsound in the true sense of the word but unsound due to the every day Riding not being perhaps correct enough. Meaning that from a Dressage point of view, the Horse may not be:

  • "Round
  • Over the back
  • engaged
  • loose
  • Bent in the way of travel
  • Flexed in the way of travel
  • straight
  • supple
  • correctly flexed
  • or ridden via the "German Training Scale"

Now, having said that and before I go on, I must say that there are two styles of Riding. Pleasure/Western loopy rein style and that can be carried out all of the time or only for certain paces. To save time then, go read this:

http://www.horseproblems.com.au/Help....I%20can't%20let%20the%20reins%20go.htm

RIDER INDUCED SYMPTOMS

If a Horse is prone to such afflictions, you can be almost sure that incorrect Riding will bring the condition on or compound it if already evident. That is of course only if the Horse is ridden mostly "with a contact"

Now, it matters not to me how you ride. "On the Bit" or "Western/pleasure" It is how we do it that is the point about all of this. I am very thankful then to have received these two videos today and I believe that they are good examples of Ladies that have been taught or elected to ride basically "English/Pony Club" style but in both videos, the style of the Riding can only compound so called Veterinary symptoms or cause problems over time.

REHABILITATION

Veterinary Surgeons often prescribe sustained lunging in soft sand of affected Horses in the hope that the longitudinal muscles of the Horse and in particular the driving muscles will be built up and support the Patella area or others, thus fixing the symptoms. That is true and I can attest to the fact that this procedure does work but only if:

  • The Owner puts in the hard yards and is vigilant about the efforts.
  • That the Horse is worked in preferably 'Running Reins" or similar.
  • That EVERY TIME the Horse is ridden so called "On the Bit" that it is not "Above the Bit" and that it passes the tests outlined above.

Then, rehabilitation will take place in virtually all cases where no primary cause such as Bone Chips, incorrect shoeing or trimming angles and so on.

My thanks to the lovely Ladies here and I do hope they see this as being educational to the masses, the vast majority who ride like us middle aged and slightly fitness challenged Folk out there. Just like me :)

 

Stifle Lock – Checking the Hind Hoof Angles 8/1/08 by

FREECALL 1800 112 227
FREE FAX 1800 112 228
Website: www.kohnke kohnkesown.com
sown.email: adminjkp@bigpond.com
Postal Address: PO Box 3234, Rouse Hill, NSW, 2155

Occasionally, a young horse in training will develop stifle lock in one hindlimb. Locking of the patella (kneecap) of the

stifle joint (also called upward fixation of the patella) is most common in miniatures, ponies and some bloodlines of

Standardbreds, although it can develop in rapidly growing 2 year old Thoroughbreds in race training.

It is thought to be caused by a poor conformation with straight stifles and weak quadriceps muscle tone, as it is more likely

in horses that lose fitness during a spell and return to training. Once the horse regains strength over the hindquarters, the risk is

reduced. ‘Stifle lock’ does not occur in horses working at speed.

New research has indicated the importance of ensuring that the hind hooves are not allowed to develop a ‘long in the toe’

or ‘low in the heel’ shape. If a horse starts to virtually ‘lean back on the heels’, the mechanical changes will straighten the

hocks and stifles, increasing the risk of the patella locking. Regular trimming can address these issues to ensure optimum hoof

angles. However, there is a tendency over time for many horses to develop long toes and low heels, even when trimmed or

shod regularly to maintain the ideal 48-52 degree front hoof wall to sole angle. In fact, many trainers observe that stifle lock is

less apparent for the 10-14 days following a trim, but begins to recur as the hind hooves grow out. A simple check to determine the optimum toe length and heel height can be carried out on a regular basis.

The front angle of the hoof wall on the hind limbs should be more upright than the corresponding slope of the front hooves, with a shorter toe and higher heels.

A long toe, low heel hoof shape increases the risk of stifle lock because the stifle joint is angled back in a more relaxed position when the horse is standing, allowing the patella to be ‘loose’ within the stifle joint.

This conformation also transfers more weight loading to the lower back and may perpetuate a ‘sore back’ due to chronic sacro-iliac sprain.

HANDY HINT

Intermittant Stifle ‘Locking’ or ‘Clicking’

Occasionally, a young horse will develop a ‘locking stifle’ after it has been standing and attempts to walk off. Stifle locking can be related to strain injury to stifle ligaments, selenium and other trace-mineral deficiencies in a rapidly growing young horse, as well as an increased risk due to inherited weakness in the stifle structure. However, long toe and low heel conformation in the hind hooves can account for up to 80% of the cases due to altered mechanical angles of stifle joint alignment. Simply trimming and squaring off the toes and either raising the heel with temporary wedges (or growing more heel over time) in the hind limbs often corrects the problem within 1-2 days.

HANDY HINT

To restore the hind toes to the optimum angle, trim the toes back and square off the front taking care not to expose the white line when rasping as infection can enter the laminar area. This will change the mechanical relationships and help reduce the risk of patella locking by achieving the optimum hoof angle

The slope of the coronary band can be checked by placing the end of a piece of string (eg length of baling twine) on the coronary band on the back of the heel, and then running it parallel to the slope of the coronary band to determine where it intersects on the front limb

10 Cutting the Medial Patella Ligament

In chronic cases of ‘stifle lock’ which a thought to be inherited in certain bloodlines due to malformation in the height of the inside ‘condyle’ border of the femur, straight stifle conformation or severe injury, the medial patella ligament can be surgically severed in a simple operation. Historically, it was considered that arthritic changes in the stifle joint after the medial patella ligament fesmotomy could develop as a horse aged. However a recent survey on 1000’s of horses has found that there is no long term risk of stifle joint instability or arthritis.

Many horses are trained to lift the hind limbs when their heels are touched.  Simply stand about 3 metres to each side of the standing horse and extend an ‘imaginary’ line of sight parallel to the coronary band hairline along to intersect on the front limb, as illustrated in the above diagram.

2008

I do have to say, "I told you so" to the World wide Veterinary Community because I have always disagreed with their original study that said that the stifle operation causes arthritis 20 years ago and are now vindicated. They have just found otherwise

Hi HP,
Just reading your article and thought I might be able to bring some new light onto the subject. And considering that it is such a big problem.
Our vet in Qld, Nathan Anthony, offers a procedure which has a great success in treating locking patella ligaments without cutting the ligaments. And it would seem that it’s not yet well known of yet.
The horse goes under and has 10 or 12 small cuts made to the ligament fibres. This creates inflammation to the ligament, which is very desirable, and during the healing process causes the ligament to tighten.
This procedure has been practised for about 5 years overseas with standard bred horses, and with our vet in Australia for about 2. In the 2 years Nathan has had a 98% success rate. There has been absolutely no adverse affect as with cutting the whole ligament which can cause scarring when it reattaches, which it can over time.
Our horse has only recently been treated, cost was $ 1000 and we’re very hopeful of another good result.
I thought this info might interest you. If not, no harm done.
Kathleen

HORSES THROUGH MY HANDS OF LATE


 

18th June, 2008

CONFORMATION and the BREAKER

You probably think we are making them up by now :)

The last two of my 'Breakers' have been

 

   

Note here the angle of the cannon bone in the photo versus that one on the Drawing.

Now, I am not suggesting that this young Horse is unsound or that he will be unsound but I am saying that as of today, he commenced kicking up during the canter transition and it is only the 4th Canter Day. Consequently, the Horse was sent home slightly ahead of time.

We often get the Breaker having problems like this and a warning to all Trainers out there. If you persevere with the Canter aid, be ready for the Horse to get Mental Problems about it, go sour or even start bucking.

The responsibility here lies with the Owners', not the Trainer. They Bred or purchased the Horse and it is their responsibility to go home and put in the hard yards to build the young Horse up with lot's of trotting and walking and then bring it back to the Pro if they so desire, for the Canter work. Their call as to how fastidious they go about supporting the young Horse and whether they put in the 'Hard Yards' that I was talking about last night. As I said, we meet many Breakers who start locking up temporarily, during the canter work almost exclusively but perhaps on trot walk transitions we can feel it ever so minor. We can always feel it however. The Horse I sent home last Sunday locked up in front of the Owner which was good.

It all gets down to conformation however. Mechanical Engineering pure and simple. The two red lines on the photo shows you immediately, that from an Engineering point of view, a weight bearing point of view that the Horse in the pic will have far more force and stress put on it's hicks and above than the Horse in the Drawing.

Now having talked about the same type of angles this week, what about the angle where the legs are out the back and that red line would be running down the centre or front of the rear legs? Then I would much rather have the type we have been featuring (providing they x-rayed and tested sound) for Dressage.

DRESSAGE RIDE BUYING THE HACKING HORSE

We see a lot of X Hacks and in terms of muscle development and are therefore ill prepared for a Dressage Career. This is because so many of them are simply ridden reverse 'German Training Scale, jammed up, pulled in, double bridles and side reins. The muscle Development builds incorrectly and begins to produce a stilted and choppy trot with the Horses lacking looseness. Mrs HP can feel all of these things of course as she can feel when they first start to "Let Go". Often, we find subtle unsoundness enduced by the style of training.  So the Hack is not the way to go for the serious Dressage Rider in our opinion.

 

VETERINARY SURGEONS RESPONSIBILITIES VERSUS NEGLIGENCE

Now don't get me wrong, Vet's should be encouraged, they do a wonderful job and they shouldn't be sued because it impacts upon us all via fees and charges which are always passed onto the Customers. Us. However, having listened to many of them who still think that the old saying, "Caveat Emptor" is the main game, I know that a lot of them just don't get it. I write this in the knowledge that there are plenty of Vets who read this Site but nevertheless, they have to lift their game in certain areas.

CASE ONE

You would have read the story about the Dressage Horse and the 2.5 year saga last week. Went well known and accomplished Vet's here in SA with suspect rear end problems and so the Vet X-Rayed the front Fetlocks, suspecting ring bone and in fact proclaimed that the Horse had it. 3 years later, X-Rays reveal no ring bone but the Horse is still not traveling correctly through it's rear end and can't be competed. Imho, the Vet was pompous, believing in his own importance a little too much and badly erred in judgment. A reasonable Legal Case could have been brought against him for 'Negligence"

CASE TWO

The $17,000  Warm Blood purchase for Dressage. The Owner tells the Vet that she wants X-Rays. He quotes her $900 for 12 x-Rays but suggests that she may save money by only x-raying the Knees and Fetlocks. She listens to the advice of her expert but was quite prepared to pay whatever it took to protect herself. So she buys it and shortly afterwards the Horse is lame, it comes to us. We take one look at it and see it's conformation is more like a Hippo than a Horse. It's rear end is that of a cripple! Mrs. HP rides it, it won't travel straight. She can feel unsoundness.

Now I thought Dressage Horses are supposed to carry their weight on the hind legs???? Be 'Off the forehand" and "sit for piaffe, passage, canter pirouette etc" So imho, that Vet, if sued, would be in real trouble for 'Negligence. (Adelaide Hills Vet.) I will tell you why. It is the responsibility of a Vet imho, to advise a client if the Horse is "suitable for the purpose" for the Sport as indicated. Therefore, Dressage was stipulated and the Rider a good one likely to go far. The Horse stands in front of the Vet and looks like a HIPPO. Is the Vet Blind??? It is one thing to get lost and be front leg mad but take a look. The bloody Horse is a cripple. Why would you not X-Ray the Stifles and Hocks?????? Not only that. The Horse was born 4 inches higher in the rump than the whither. Hardly a Dressage Horse. Why would the Vet just not say, "Walk away my Dear, this is not a Dressage Horse. So the question that springs to the mind of the 'Investigator" is, "Incompetent or Mates with the Seller" Sorry but that is what incompetence causes. The Buyer is the Victim here, NOT THE VET!!!

CONFORMATION

I am reminded daily, how the lack of controls on Breeding in this Country compared to Europe, impact upon Horse Owners in so many ways.

Basically, I can't remember when I saw a properly conformed Horse! Meaning, that basically every Horse that comes through my hands, are not up to the mark.

We can leave out Thoroughbreds here as there are no controls there. They will Breed put a Ferret over a Rabbit if they think it can run but what about the Breeds of Horses that are supervised and supported by the relevant 'Breed Societies' and their registration systems. Classification Days and so on? You would think that those Breeds would be churning out well proportioned Horses, wouldn't you? Afraid not. Unlike Europe, the controls are not there and the ol Human fragilities shine through, thus diminishing quality where the Friends of the Classifier gets 'Brownie Points" or they just can't see it.

Take the Warmblood Horses for instance. If ever there was a Breed where you would think Controls would be stringent, it would be with these Horses who are Bred to perform at the elite level of the Sport of Dressage and are purchased with the expectation that every Buyer is going to get to the Olympics. I am afraid not. I rarely see a properly conformed German Warmblood Horse come through here. In fact, the majority are so poorly conformed that they have Veterinary issues of one type or another. Why do I notice these things? What do I care. My job is only break them in.

Well, true but I keep riding Horses, most of whom have rear end problems from the ever so subtle to the serious. Many re-education jobs and the reasons are invariably due to conformation but of the pristine 'Breakers', MOST have poor conformation and MOST have varying degrees of rear end deterioration. Most caused by being 'too straight behind", 'Too upright" and not having the correct angle through the Gaskin, hocks, hips etc. It is a crying shame, it is simply not fair on Horses and most are not equipped to achieve the Dreams of the Rider. You know what that then means for the Horse into the future, don't you? Once more, another serious Horse Welfare issue that is never highlighted or even thought about by those that run our Industries. They could do so much if they got their act together :(

CONFORMATION AND SOUNDNESS IN HORSES
by John R Kohnke BVSc RDA

http://www.kohnkesown.com/

 

Have a look at this!!!!!!! THEN GO CHECK YOUR HORSE.

CONFORMATION VERSUS RIDDEN EXPECTATIONS

I have been vividly reminded of late about the relationship to the conformation of the Horse to the desires, plans and aims of the Owner. Once again, due to the lack of education within the Industry to conformation and the lack of controls as outlines above, you get THE VAST MAJORITY of Horse Buyers who NEVER give conformation a thought. They look at the head of the Horse, the colour, temperament and so on but NEVER conformation.

So they buy the lovely sweet Filly and they want to do Dressage. The Filly has front legs 6 inches shorter than the back legs and the Horse was 'born on the forehand' The Judges however, have a different set of requirements. They want to see 'hind end engagement and 'off the forehand' Well guess what Folks. The little Filly has ZERO chance of doing any of it and gets flogged around for years while the Owner wastes their budding career, waste's valuable years of their life and in some cases blames their frustration for the lack of performance of the combination, on the Horse. Never themselves...and you know what that can and does mean in so many cases. Rips in the teeth and so on. I see it every day, I see it every time I am at the Dressage and you know what? " No one in authority ever tells them so because this is the age of "Political Correctness" and covering one's ass. You know what that means for the poor Horse, don't you???

CONFORMATION ACCENTUATED BY RIDER

I have been vividly reminded once again by a real life example this week where we have another Hack Horse here with problems. Yes, rear end Problems. Now apart from the appalling conformation of the Horse, the Rider has markedly accentuated the problems for the Horse and built incorrect muscle tone on top of Poorly conformed rear end, just the opposite of what the Horse should have had. Instead of the "German Training Scale" to do everything possible to equip the Horse to do the work when it was clearly born not to, the Hacky Double Bridle, the Carrot up the ass and the locked elbows have worked wonders in building incorrect muscle tone over the loins and hips of the Horse basically sealing the Deal. So they sell the Horse of course. Let someone else deal with it and go stuff another one. Yet again, the lack of Education in this Industry. You can forget Olympic Medals in Dressage for this Country. The Grass Roots gets no teaching

MOUTHING THE CONFORMATION  CHALLENGED HORSE

Not a problem. I can Mouth these as good as any of the others BUT.........guess what happens when an Amateur Owner later attempts to collect the Horse and go ride 'English" Yep, forget it. The Mouth is out the gate inside two days because there is not an Amateur out there that would have the skills to achieve this task AND keep the integrity of the Mouth of the young Horse. Doesn't happen. Such Horses simply bore right down into the hands of the rider and ask them to carry their head. As I said, the Mouth is gone inside two days with any lightness gone. Something to be remembered by any young Horse Trainer out there. Do they keep their mouth shut and just take the money or do they try and explain the difficulties to the Owner who will probably get peeved with you? Well, if you care about Horses over people, you know what to do.

OBSERVATIONS.

This lovely little Pony travels perfectly, in rhythm and with no resistance at all when trotting. No negative Body language, tail hanging loosely, ears pricked and doing the job quite happily.

The moment it canters, the clinical signs of rear end problems show and the Horse starts to bounce around on the back end.

In most of the cases on Youtube, one can hear onlookers laughing as they think, as is normal in the Horse Industry, that the Horse is just being 'Naughty'

Unfortunately for most Horses, they are crying out for help.

>

 

OBSERVATIONS

Great Horse and lovely Rider. This Horse locks up in the off side patella at

the moment of kick up (not bucking) and is so shocked at the result of the

almost falling off that it is apologetic and most sorry. The face of the Horse shows it all. Straight back to business afterwards and with no signs of sourness or planning to get the Rider again.

 

OBSERVATIONS

Once again, lovely temperament, tail hanging loosely with complete acceptance of the ridden work and at 16.5 seconds precisely, the Horse experiences temporarily locking of the patella which triggers the buck jump Show. Once again, not a naughty Horse, a Horse calling out for attention. Not the bum high traveling stance.

 

My appols to the Rider but I found myself almost clapping when the Horse finally did the deed. :) Once again, lovely honest Horse, stiff back legged action, traveling rump high and traveling quite happily and normally with tail hanging which progressively deteriorated the more jumps it was put at.

As the process of jumping and in particular, landing continued, the Horse was in more and more discomfort and so the warnings became more and more exaggerated.

This continued until in the end, the Horse did what it had to do and did the right thing. I do hope it didn't end in the fate of so many Horses out there who are misdiagnosed and a lot ending with their Death. :(

 

BUYING HORSES  IN WORK

and of course we now come to the inevitable sale of the unsound Horse with the ever so smick move of telling the Buyer that the Horse has been out of work for a Month or so.

I have TWO $15,000 one's of these this week!!!! Both stuffed, both Owner's conned, sucked in but entirely their fault for being so gullible. "Lambs to the Slaughter" I call them.

Why do you think people often sell Horses on the basis of "not been in work for a while"?  Hellloooooooo, they probably "bucked the ass off or are UNSOUND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. So what similarities did these two Buyers have?

  • They both purchased $15,000 Horses not in work.

  • They both believed the Seller.

  • Both Sellers would have known that the Horses were unsound

  • Neither Buyer looked for help only  after a period of 3 Months of "working the Horse through it" Silly Girls. That only gives Sellers an out in the Courts.

  • Neither Buyer looked at conformation.

How can it be that in this day and age, with the Consumer warnings, the daily News, the horror stories from Friends?  After 6 years of me highlighting such cases almost daily????? So frustrating I feel the pain for the Owners and the Horses :(

LETTER


Hi John,

I have been reading the letters from the lass with the horse with sticky stifles and possible sacro probs.
What I have to say may not apply to her as her horse's probs sound complex, but it frustrates me every time I see someone ask about stifles and nobody tells them what I have told you before------LOOK AT THE DIET----- among other things.
I have sold my mare with occasionally locking stifles to a person who believes me when I tell her it can be controlled through diet and she is prepared to be as careful as I have been, (well she is a lovely mare).
Last week, as we were waiting for transport to be arranged, the mare who was still at my place had a terrible 'attack' of stifle lock, the worst I have seen for a year or so, as a result of finding out she could reach the rich grass under the fence. The severity of the problem seems to be related to the season as she was on grass all winter with no probs. This time both stifles locked when she was asked to go forwards and back up. Terrible. Fortunately it only happens for the first step or two forward and then she is fine. That was on Thurs. Today today my mare was transported to her new owner and her stifles are back to normal. For the last few days I have had her in a grass free paddock and fed her last year's grass hay. (Note here: stables and yards are unsuitable for theses horses as they must be able to move freely and exercise).

.Now, I have been told it might have something to do with too much protein in the diet, and we do have heaps of clover here so this is one possible factor in the stifle locking episodes. The other day however, I had a chat to my vet and I got him thinking. He came up with another theory. The thing is, aparently grasses have oestrogens in them. Now, one treatment for locking stifles is sex hormone injections - Stilboestrol. This aparently makes the pelvis tilt in such a way that the tendons in the stifle are tensioned and the locking stops. My vet proposed that perhaps the oestrogens in the grass have an opposite effect- hence the grass causing the stifle ligaments to loosten and be susceptible to locking? I'll keep on his back to find out more. In the meantime people, PLEASE, experiment with the DIET, and don't wait for your vet to tell you about it- they don't know. It may not work for all horses but at least TRY IT. PLEASE.
I haven't yet found any literature showing the relationship between diet and locking stifles but the oestrogen theory and my experience show me that diet is well worth considering. I have no idea if there is any difference in the protein or oestrogen content of grass and hay or fresh hay and old hay but I would start with year old grass hay and experiment from there. Also the horses must not be confined to a small area and must have the room and the encouragement to keep moving. Spreading out the hay will make them move around as they eat and they should have some exercise every day even if it's just a walk. Good luck.

Regards,
Vivienne

 

You may now like to read these:

SACROILIAC PROBLEMS AND BEHAVIOUR.

  Dr. JOHN KOHNKE IMPORTANT HINTS

 VETERINARY & THE X RACE HORSE

  CONFORMATION AND SOUNDNESS

 

Regards

John O'Leary
Horseman

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