Lameness in horses is something that is relatively easy to spot and can end up becoming quite a serious issue if it is not looked after properly. You can usually tell if your horse is lame, by watching its gait. A lame horse will usually develop a limp, which is often recognisable by the bobbing of its head whilst it walks.
One way in which you can examine your horse to see if it is lame or not is to walk it on a lunge line. Often, a horse will appear lame when it first steps out of the stable, however, after a few laps of the yard, many horses will be absolutely fine.
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If you do discover that your horse appears to be lame then there are a number of things that you will want to do. As mentioned previously, lameness in horses can become quite a serious issue, so make sure that you read this article closely and, if you are unsure whether your horse is in pain or not, then you should always contact a vet.
Taking care of a lame horse
Here are a few pieces of information and advice that might help you, when it comes to dealing with your lame horse. Follow these steps and you can make the animal as comfortable as possible.
Firstly, you should clean out your horse’s hooves with a hoof pick. There are sometimes stones trapped within the horse’s hooves, which can cause lameness. If this is the case then this can be easily rectified, without having to call a vet, by simply removing the stones with a hoof pick.
If you are concerned that your horse’s lameness may be more serious than a simple stone in its hoof, then you should keep the animal in a stall until it can be examined.
You should never ride a lame horse and simply hope that everything will work itself out. In fact, if your horse is lame, then you should avoid letting it out into the paddock as it could cause itself further damage.
Do not apply heat or ice to the leg until after the vet has examined the horse. It will make diagnosis more difficult and could affect treatment. There is an exception to this however; if there is significant swelling of the leg then ask the vet and they might suggest applying ice until they arrive.
Listen carefully to the advice your vet offers you. With the right care, you can often end up with lameness clearing up after a matter of hours or days. However, if you ignore your vet or administer incorrect care, then your horse’s condition could worsen.
If you have any other pieces of advice for fellow horse owners, on how to care for a lame horse, then don’t hesitate to comment below this page. You might just end up helping a fellow enthusiast out of a tricky situation.