Check it Out!
Re: RC: Michigan-don't knock it til ya try it
In a message dated 2/17/00 6:04:09 PM Pacific Standard Time,
<< if her response...right hind...is correct, I was wrong. I thought it was
the right front. Couldn't it be the right front though? If a horse's head
is down on the left, it would be up on the right.... >>
Actually, Renee, from the verbal description, it could be either one. When
the "test question" does not give you the information that you could see on
your own observation, the best you can do is form a "rule out" list, and both
RF and RH would have to be on the list from the incomplete verbal
description. If it is the RH, the head will dip when the LF strikes at the
trot to compensate and shift weight forward. (Interesting concept--that
weight can be shifted from one end to the other in the dynamic
horse--especially since we were told by the very same tester that this
couldn't happen to compensate for terrain...hmmm...but the very act of
dipping the head is a way of shifting the weight to become more
comfortable...) If the pathology is in the RF, the head will also "appear"
to dip when the LF strikes, although in reality the horse is putting his head
UP when the sore RF strikes, so the "down" posture is relative. Again, the
horse is shifting weight to ease the painful limb.
Given the history, one would tend to think of a cramp--or actually a tie-up.
I had the lesson driven home to me at a ride one time, though, that one NEVER
assumes the obvious without confirming with a good exam. My ex-husband's
horse developed a very similar scenario at a ride--lame on a hind limb after
a rest and no warm up--and the ride vet just said "He's tied up--you're out!"
Well, the horse likely did not deserve to go on, but the problem was the
beginning of a plantar ligament injury--and the horse "warmed out" of it,
went sound (did not go on on the ride), and continued sound for 6 more weeks
with only one "off" incident before the thing finally got sore enough again
to diagnose accurately... I went on to complete the ride, and since the
horse was sound when I got back to camp, I couldn't find the problem. We
could have saved the horse 6 more weeks and further injury if the vet had
LOOKED at the horse when he was actually sore, instead of making the
assumption that the problem was the most likely thing that it "appeared" to
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