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Re: [RC] trailer loading issue, banging hind shins - Don Huston

Hello Tara,

You might consider having a vet check his eyes and other things.
He might have developed a medical problem causing weakness like discussed in the following 2 posts.

Subject: Re: [RC]    Stumbling horse EPSM? Looong
To: Ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

I suppose once one's discovered a rare disorder in one's own horse, it's easy to then see it cropping up everywhere--especially now that it's turning out not to be such a rare thing after all!

I went through a bunch of saddles, had the equine dentist out, gave James-the-Wonder-Farrier ulcers, tried a chiropractor, and had 3 different vets out all in an effort to figure out why Bruiser had begun to stumble, yank shoes from missteps, and generally seem increasingly uncomfortable moving out.  Turns out he had EPSM which is terrifically easy to treat through a simple diet change.  Basically you get rid of all the grain (though Bruiser wasn't on a lot anyway) and give them lots of oil and free access to pasture--little to no confinement if possible--and consistent exercise.  You might try the recommended diet/exercise changes to see if things improve.  Though it takes 6 weeks to get a consistent improvement, we were lucky enough to see results almost overnight.

Basically his haunches had become so weak that he was using his front end, no longer overreaching from the hind.  Now and then he would stumble almost to the ground.  It really was odd and hard to detect exactly what was going on.  He pulled shoes so I thought it was his feet.  On one of the vets recommendations, we trimmed them shorter and shorter until the farrier refused to go any further.  His back was hollowing as a result of the weakened hind, so the saddles ALL bridged; this made me think the saddles were the problem for months.  When nothing else seemed to work, I resorted to a chiropractor--I know lots of you swear by them but for me it was like resorting to Voodoo--I was desperate--the chiro/vet said right away though that, though he was "adjusted" (I never know what that means exactly), he thought my riding regimen might be the real problem (too much too quickly), or his previous history as a dressage horse (too much forced collection). 
However, since I hadn't really overridden him and since his dressage work was fabulously well done by a conscientious, careful teen who'd fallen in love with him, neither suggestion proved helpful.  (I must say, though it didn't solve the core problem, Bruiser really enjoyed the chiropractor's work).

Finally I stumbled across Dr. Beth Valentine's web-site (OSU) and learned about EPSM.  Turned out to the be the problem.  Our very good local vet looked really surprised and pleased:  "Of course--that makes sense--I should have thought of that."   I went from horror:  "Oh no, a metabolic disorder--that sounds serious", to "Thank God, a metabolic disorder that can be easily addressed--in some cases."  We brought him back slowly and carefully, had several setbacks because Yours Truly tried to move his recovery along too quickly, but he's doing great now.  In his case he'd become really fat and actually lost 100 lbs once he started consuming 2 cups of oil/day.  Now he's working pretty hard in the dressage ring again, and taking his young teenager and her father on long trail rides.

Good luck!  I hope your horse's issue turns out to be as easily remedied!
Mary K.  Mary Krauss <lazykfarm@xxxxxxxxxxx>

To: skyranch@xxxxxxxx, Ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [RC]   RC-stumbling horse

Having had a horse diagnosed with EPM-- and henceforth studying lots of health issues related---- I would first check for physicaL  issues.Shoeimg maybe could cause  some tripping, long feet, but to go down as much as you say seems to be another problem....you could  show some pictures to be critiqued if you think it could be that. Saddle or rider balance , maybe , but seems not like What is often telltale is ---NO Pain------
    Then  you look for Neurological issues---  EPM, West Nile, EAstern and Western encephalitis,Lyme disease......
      My horse was fine, then suddenly  dropped a hip in a circle and had some stumbling issues --literally overnight..... No pain , didn't seem bothered  by it..... just didn't know where his feet were.
  Hopefully, it's something simple --- but going down , means he isn't picking his feet up--- Is he not seeing where they are or feeling the ground?
   University of Davis,has a website with a neurological test. Things like walking them in a small circle, do they cross their feet over normal, Backing them up is often , telltale--- one vet  says he can spot West Nile , cause when you back them up, them just sit down----(now I know that is simplified,but ....)   backing the horse up a  small hill etc. ------
  Some of the neurological diseases have illness , fever etc. first, often very sick....but EPM doesn't do that, cause it is a parasite invasion.......
    Also a recent thing just came out that a Vitamin E deficency  can cause neuro type symptoms in horses on a hay diet----W/Out grass...... availability......
;Rjide  "L gin" <ladurgin@xxxxxxx>

Good luck.....because it's always nice to have a little ;-)
Don Huston

At 05:52 PM 7/16/2008 Wednesday, you wrote:
Hi all,
I have had this gelding for about 10 years now and he is starting to have
loading issues. He has always loaded real well up until recently.
It is not a training issue. He is concerned about banging his hind shins
on the back of the trailer.Which he seems to do more often and worse now
that he has developed anxiety towards this!
Anyways, I have a step up trailer (no ramp) He is fine getting his fronts
in and then he has anxiety about the hind. He has slipped a couple of
times when loading because he tries to jump in with the hind.  Has anyone
else had a problem with this? What did u do about it? My trailer has the
rubber bumper on the back end.  I am thinking of having a ramp added.
Those of u who have had a ramp added- about how much am I looking at
spending for this? To make this endurance related, my horse absolutely
does not want to load at all anymore, so I can't make it to the rides!!Or
even train for that matter! I have even tried to move the truck and
trailer to a spot that would make it easier for loading him but he is now
totally hesitant to even want to load now.  Thanks all-
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Don Huston
donhuston @ cox .net
SanDiego, Calif

[RC] trailer loading issue, banging hind shins, Tara M Sheppard