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Discussion on Stumbling horse

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Sarah Woodman
Member
Username: Megster

Post Number: 31
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, Jun 3, 2004 - 12:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I've never really given it much thought until a friend of mine commented that it can be one of the first signs of navicular. My horse stumbles fairly frequently. I've always thought it is a result of her being quite lazy as when she walks out nicely she doesn't tend to stumble. Also, she wears the toes out on her shoes very quickly due to having quite upright pasterns. Should I have cause for concern?
Sarah
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Terri Haynie
Member
Username: Terrilyn

Post Number: 156
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Thursday, Jun 3, 2004 - 12:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sarah--I also have a horse that stumbles a lot--a 14 yo TWH mare. This happens on trails quite frequently. After riding these little trips and stumbles for the last several years and never having had her fall flat on her face, I have stopped worrying about it and the prospect of her crashing to the ground. I think it depends on her state of mind, her trail companions, her level of excitement, and how tired she is...perhaps also the alignment of the moon in relation to Venus. Who knows? My point is, I started worrying about navicular, EPM, you name it....and she has continued to be a great trail horse that stumbles two or three times on each trail ride...and I've learned to live with it. I have my farrier roll her toes (she goes barefoot and has very healthy, well-shaped feet) and have had the vet watch her go...I've seen her ahtletic grace in the field with her two pasture buddies and airs above the ground with not one lame step in the 4 years I've had her. So I think her tripping was more my problem than hers. If you have other reasons besides the tripping to suspect something more serious, then have her checked by all means. I've basically decided that she is like me....tall, gangly, and not altogether coordinated! :-)
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Susan Bilsky
Member
Username: Suzeb

Post Number: 181
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Thursday, Jun 3, 2004 - 12:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sarah, What is the hoof confirmation like? It is possible that your gal is too long in the toe and underrun in the heels. The stumbling may mean that your farrier needs to move the breakover back on the toe. The wearing down of the toes would indicate that to me.
Also if she is landing toe first, she might have sore heels. This doesn't necessarily indicate Navicular. You could have a chat with your farrier and see if any changes could be made. Hope this helps.
Susan B.
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Alden Chamberlain
Member
Username: Alden

Post Number: 104
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, Jun 3, 2004 - 6:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I suppose there are many reasons for stumbling, but I found this story related by a trainer during a clinic really particularly interesting.

This trainer, at a different clinic than ours, had a lady and her horse in a clinic. The lady explained the horse was chronic stumbler and she had tried everything including ruling out health problems. Sure enough with in a few minutes riding in the arena the horse stumbled badly with the owner riding him. The trainer asked to ride the horse and explain he was going to aggressively push the horse forward every time he stumbled. The trainer mounts the horse and it stumbles right off at a walk. He really got after him, every time he stumbled and shortly he said the horse stopped stumbling. He rode for good period of time with out a stumble. Then he put the owner back on, sure enough the horse stumbled right off. But the owner was prepare then and drove the horse forward aggressively. He claimed that was the last stumble during the remained of the clinic. The trainer suspected that the horse had trained the owner to get off or quit working by stumbling and the owner confirmed she would quit riding after a stumble and never pushed the horse.

It is a second hand story, so who knows. But it stuck in my mind as an interesting look into the equine mind.

I do know my 5 yro MFT gelding will stumble and it is a lack of, or miss directed, attention to the trail; I can see it coming now if my mind isnít out wondering too!

Good day,
Alden
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 10563
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Jun 4, 2004 - 8:00 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

If the stumbling has not changed over time and the horse does not show signs of lameness I don't think you need worry about navicular. If you want to run an experiment to see if it is do to pain you can try a 2 week course of bute to see if the stumbling improves. Shortening the foot if possible and squaring the toe off will help.
DrO
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