Subtle signs of lameness in horses

Sometimes lameness in horses isn't easy to see. Here are a few of the less-obvious indications of unsoundness.
A woman watching a horse be jogged for lameness.
A head-bobbing horse is easy to spot, but many lamenesses are far more subtle.

A full lameness exam can help pinpoint subtle signs of unsoundness in horses. A horse who is head-bobbing unsound is easy to spot, but more subtle signs of equine lameness can elude detection. Failing to notice when a horse is only slightly “off” can lead to a worsening of an injury or delay in treatment that makes a problem more difficult to resolve. Consult your veterinarian if you see any of the following signs

  • A hind leg that doesn’t reach as far forward as the other with each stride
  • Overall shorter strides or reluctance to “move out” when asked
  • One hoof that consistently cuts deeper into footing than the opposite foot
  • Resistance to picking up a particular lead
  • Refusing or running out at fences
  • A change in movement or demeanor when you post on a particular diagonal
  • More or less flexion in the joint in one limb
  • A “pecking” movement of the front legs, as if the horse is trying to tiptoe
  • Asymmetrical hips or shoulders
  • A significant change in gait when moving from soft to firm footing and back again
  • Resistance to traveling from on type of footing to another

Don’t miss out! With the free weekly EQUUS newsletter, you’ll get the latest horse health information delivered right to your in basket! If you’re not already receiving the EQUUS newsletter, click here to sign up. It’s *free*!

CATEGORIES

TAGS

SHARE THIS STORY

Related Posts

COVER EQ_EXTRA-VOL88
Do right by your retired horse
COVER EQ_EXTRA-VOL87
Tame your horse’s anxiety
COVER EQ_EXTRA-VOL86 Winter Care_fnl_Page_1
Get ready for winter!
COVER EQUUS Key 14 Equestrian Vacations_fnl_Page_1
Equestrian vacations

NEWSLETTER

"*" indicates required fields

Name*
Country*

Additional Offers

Additional Offers
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.