Horse Guides – Ask the Expert
my horse rolo is 7 yr old and he has a locking stifle but its very mild and we only jump very small but when he lands it fells as if he is s...
my horse rolo is 7 yr old and he has a locking stifle but its very mild and we only jump very small but when he lands it fells as if he is stiffening is there anything think i can do
You say that your horse feels as if he is ‘stiffening’ when he lands after a jump however I would be concerned that your horse may be experiencing pain/discomfort on landing which maybe coming from an underlying lameness or even back pain which makes him feel as if he stiffens. I therefore feel that an experienced person and preferably a vet or vet-physio should watch your horse when ridden/jumped as they will be able to see what is happening when you are feeling this problem. You could even get someone to video you so that you can see as well.
The first thing to do is to make sure your horse does not have a mild lameness and secondly to make sure that his mild stifle problem is in fact the cause of the problems you feel as it may something different such as compensatory back pain. If the problem is because of the stifle then there are things that you can do to try to help this problem. Locking stifle usually occur because of certain conformation and a weakness in part of the quadriceps muscle. It would therefore probably be advisable that he start a progressive fitness and strengthening programme for his hind leg muscles, especially the quadriceps muscles. A chartered veterinary physiotherapist could help you to develop some specific strengthening exercises for you to do with your horse, including some ridden and non-ridden (perhaps in-hand or lunge) work. This may include pole work, limb movement exercises, hills, and possibly lateral work depending on his training. There are also electrical muscle stimulators which make muscles work using an electrical current and a physiotherapist could advise you about this. These could be used alongside an exercise programme.
All answers and advices given in this section should only be taken as mere indications. To get a diagnosis always consult a professional on the specific area. Any health related issue should be treated by a veterinarian. Check out our Directory to find out one near you.
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