|Virginia over 12 year old TWH ridden in snaffle
tom thumb and western endurance by beginner rider.
Question: My TWH canters in the front but trots in the back. I have been told this is being disunited. He is flat shod all around and is on cosequin. The reshoeing has helped his going immensely but he can't stay in a walker walk or run for very long. We suspect arthritis but we are unsure without x-rays and no prior knowledge of the horse.
From Panelist Nancy
What is happening is that your horse is half running walk and half cantering.
It is a fairly common fault if a horse has not been held in a good running
walk and pushed a little too fast so that he gets in the habit of half
cantering and half rw. It is not really being disunited. A
disunited canter is a canter with the leading leg in front being different
from the leading
From Panelist Erica
You might want to look into a Chiropractor to give you an evaluation of your horse. One of my horses used to trot all the time, once I had him adjusted by the Chiropractor he was gaiting all over the place like he had never trotted a day in his life.
I will assume that you have had a soundness examination done with this horse. If it is indeed arthritis you can look into MSM and Chondroitin supplements. There are also some injectable drugs that will help, I would definitely consult your vet more though for any definite ideas.
From Panelist Liz
Hi Anne, I think you would be wise to get the x-rays done first to rule
out any unsoundness first. I may also have the horses back and hips
checked for be out of alignment too. If all comes back fine then this would
be a matter of conditioning and
Lots of flat walking and if the horse will do a straight trot
I would work this some to the build up the back muscles. Then I would work
on the running walk till the horse is strong enough to hold it for 3, 5
minute intervals on a hour ride. Also during your flat walking ask
Give this a try and good luck. I hope it is a simple answer and not one of permanent physical problem
From Panelist Stella
It sounds as if you did not have a prepurchase exam done when you bought
the horse so recently. I think it may be advisable for you to call a veterinarian
out, and do such tests as hock flexion, and similar in forelegs, where
each leg may be held up for a couple minutes, then the horse asked to go
off in an intermediate gait. This generally helps pinpoint which
Generally speaking, horses with some arthritis may start off stiff and reluctant to perform various gaits, but improve with gradual work over a session, and with regular work. Regular light work with a well-planned conservative increase over time helps them reach a good level of performance.
If the shoeing helped, perhaps the problem is there, and usually corrective work takes more than one session with the farrier. However there are other things, such as a previous laminitis, fracture of the pedal bone,navicular disturbance, etc. that may be releived from good shoeing too, not just incorrect angles. Not only for the sake of the horse's comfort, but to prevent any unsuspected condition to worsen to the point of being too late to do much about, makes it a far better choice to invest in having a veterinarian come to check the horse out thoroughly asap. Its also always easier, less expensive and with more positive results to pinpoint and treat a condition as early as possible.
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