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Discussion on Horse not happy downhill

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Tanya King
New Member
Username: Tking

Post Number: 2
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Tuesday, Nov 29, 2005 - 2:30 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

My 5yo Paint/Qhorse mare feels really awkward whenever I ask her to go downhill. She has been on a few 30km rides and come through them OK, they included some pretty big hills. However she feels as if she's taking short steps with her front legs and feels high in the back end. Almost like shes on tippy toes at the back. Slows right down, she's not a fast natural walker at the best of times. Goes well on the flat and uphill. Jumps OK. Paddles in front in canter, moreso the right leg. I have no idea why this happens, can someone help me? She seems happy enough in herself. Have had the chiropractor, he did the usual thing but even though I thought I noticed slight improvement at first couple of rides, then back to normal. She is a very good-looking, well-conformed horse to look at.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: Dro

Post Number: 14212
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Nov 29, 2005 - 7:13 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

If there are no clinical signs of lameness or incoordination I suspect she IS just awkward. Take it slow, try going down the hills several different ways, and give lots of practice and she will probably be fine.
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Ann Schrichte
Username: Annes

Post Number: 127
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Nov 29, 2005 - 11:11 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

One of my horses is a little awkward going downhill too and is not as confident as my other horses. He is 4 now (I got him at 2 years old) and I think with more experience he will continue to improve. He has no problem going uphill. He takes it slow and easy and because he is very laid back and non-spooky, I do not feel unsafe.
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Username: Sswiley

Post Number: 101
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Tuesday, Nov 29, 2005 - 5:36 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I am sure this is a long shot.
My gelding, now 11, was always hesitant going down hills, even when he was a very green young'un. Turns out he has EPSM. If your horse does not improve with practice you might want to look at the other symptoms; stiffness in the hind end, dragging feet, lack of umpf, more difficulty at the canter and of course difficulty going down hills. With a young horse, I think you need to give them time or all of them would look like ESPM horses.
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Username: Lilly

Post Number: 45
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Tuesday, Nov 29, 2005 - 8:31 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Your post makes me think of a dressage show that I was at. It was Dressage at Lexington in Lexington, VA. A few of the arenas were located at the top of a hill. I was a volunteer scribe at one of the top arenas and was able to watch the horses go up and down the hill throughout the day. It was amazing that some of these extremely talented dressage horses had no idea how to go down a hill. The judge I was working with said it was because they lived near the coast where there were no hills to deal with.
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