The Weirdness

The Weirdness

Even though we had a fun weekend at the schooling show, something is nagging me in the back of my head – Simon is NQR.  Here’s the timeline:

Wednesday: Trainer jumps Simon 2’9″ – 3′ in training ride.  She says he is awesome.

Thursday: I ride Simon in a lesson. He starts off feeling a little weird every now and then in the hind, but not consistent. By the time I get the words out of my mouth for trainer to take a look at him while we’re warming up trotting, he’s feeling good and looking normal. We lesson.

Friday: I come out to right and Simon feels slightly worse than Thursday night. I ask a fellow rider, and she says he looks off in RH. I get off and put him on the lunge line to take a look. Two laps on the lunge line and he looks normal trotting. I get back on and he feels normal.  I trot two laps and call it a night, thinking he could use the night off.  Call trainer and we think his hocks are sore from the extra work load lately.  Give him a little bute and resolve to check him in the morning, because with hock fusing you’re supposed to keep them active even if they’re not 100% sound sometimes.

Saturday: I get out early to check and see if Simon is sound to go show.  I literally wake him up from laying down, take him directly to the ring, and put him on the lunge line.  He takes some stiff steps in the hind, but there’s not one specific foot or area and he did just get up.  Within a few laps he works out of it and looks good.  I decide to take him to the show and see how he looks/feels before I get on.

Don't be weird best friend.
Don’t be weird best friend.

At the show, he lunged 100% sound in the morning.  I get on to school, and he feels pretty good.  The only weirdness we had all day was at the end during the flat class.  He was trotting sound feeling good but when we turned a corner down the entire long side he felt really weird in the hind.  Best way I can describe it is that it felt like I had nothing to post to.  By the time I thought “okay I have to pull him up if this continues” he started trotting 100% normal again when we got to the corner.  I finished the class, but scratched the following class.

I got off at the ring and loosened the girth after the weirdness in the flat class.  We started to go back to the trailer, and he got about 10 steps before taking a giant pee.  We’re talking standing on tip toes, grunting, giant pee… and Simon hates to pee in front of other people or while worked, so there is no telling how long he held it.

I’m a bit stumped, but with everything going on with BT I really can only focus on one hurt animal at a time.  Based on all that, I don’t have a definitive answer but the plan is this:

  • Expedite plan to inject hocks
  • Give him a few days off
  • Having vet out this afternoon to take a look at him and see what the best plan is moving forward

I’ve never had a lameness or strangeness that was so off and on.  Hopefully my vet will come back to me with “looks sore in the hocks, time to inject” and not “you broke your horse’s back and should be fired as a horse owner.”  Meh.

Do any of y’all have similar stories of weirdness to share?

28 thoughts on “The Weirdness

  1. I think you’re probably right in thinking he just needs his hocks done. I don’t know if it’s actually cold in Texas right now but Mollie’s arthritis is definitely worse in the winter/colder months and she does the same thing as far as starting off stiff and working out of it. Sending good thoughts!

  2. He looked 100% when I saw him at the show… I think the really weird steps were b/c he had to pee. I’ve totally had a horse do that before. Still, it’s been a year since he was last injected so it’s definitely time to have the vet reassess. Fingers crossed for good news!

  3. What you are describing is pretty much my horse all the time. I’ve had her x-rayed which showed some minor arthritic changes but nothing to start panicking over. However she’s sometimes just… Off in the hind end. Our problems are more stifle related than hock related but as someone whose spent a small fortune chasing a mystery lameness that comes and goes, I will tell you this… Get someone like your trainer to ride the horse 2-3 days in a row. I’ve noticed as adult ammy mommies sometimes we can be a little too sensitive to our beloved mounts. I tend to freak out over things that might just be a bit of stiffness from coming out of the stall or some mild soreness that could have been from a horse show or a heavy jumping session. My trainer, however, does not do that and can detach herself enough to save me $$ in vet bills. However at the end of the 3 ride rule if my trainer thinks there is something NQR we go to the vet. Hope this is helpful!

  4. I’m still working through issues with Fiction! It really blows when you just can’t figure out what it is. So many possibilities!

  5. I had off and on again lamness. She was fine, then she was not, then i rested her and gave her bute then she was fine, then she was off. It was slight but nagging and unpredictable. It was frustrating as hell. Until one day she was been fine then wham really, really lame. Lame enough to have the vet down ASAP. Right hind suspensory 3 cementer tear, no swelling, no heat. Its extremely common for a hind suspensory issue to manifest in on and off again lameness. I don’t want to alarm you but you might want to talk to your vet about it and see what they say. I just heard from a friend at my last barn who’s horse has been dealing with off and on again lamenss for as long as ive known her. They did everything from injections, to corrective shoeing. Was it his hocks, his back, his attitude, and as it turns out pinched nerve in the hind due to chronic undiagnosed suspensory injury’s. Hes had surgery and is in rehab now. Suspensory injuries are really common and the on and off again lamness is characteristic of them in the hind. Really it could be anything with your pony (clearly i know very little of his history) but i would encourage you to talk to your vet about it and then maybe do an ultra sound even if its just to rule it out.

  6. Buddy will sometimes be NQR in his hind end. He tends to drag his toes, especially the LH. But with him it means he’s out in his hips and needs to see the chiro.

  7. Guinness was the KING of NQR Land for the longest time. It SUCKS! I won’t claim to know what’s wrong, but I do know that arthritis often presents with this sort of off and on NQR-ness. It’s hard to say exactly what the issue is. If he works out of it, I wouldn’t be too worried. The best thing for an arthritic or sore horse is to keep moving. Maybe instead of days off, just do some light hacks around the property? Or walk and take time to work on your equitation and just enjoy being outside with your buddy. Low stress for both of you, and it keep him moving.

    I’d agree with JenJ, too. It’s probably time to have him reassessed by a vet. Especially if you’re still noticing issues.

  8. My advice is always give them a week off if the lameness is slight before jumping on the vet or injections. He could be muscle sore, just needing a holiday. Hope he feels better soon.

  9. I hate vague NQR weirdness! Every once in a while, one of my two will feel a little…off? or something for no real reason. It’s annoying, especially when there’s nothing noticeable going on.

    Then again, mine are 17 and 19, so they’re probably just stiff with old age!

  10. Hampton sometimes does this. Although I suspect his problem area is up in the hip, or SI joint. One day he will feel super and the next he will be just ever so slightly hitchy. Often gets better as he warms up. This on and offness pretty much goes away when he is in consistent work. If not, the chiro usually helps him. And sometimes it is because he hind feet are unbalanced and he needs a trim. Hoping Simon gets sorted out!

  11. Maybe he just needs a cracking from the chiro? Hopefully you get it figured out. I hate the NQR–just be lame, or don’t be!

  12. If it’s been a year since you’ve injected the fusing hock, then it is likely time to inject again. The vet route is definitely the right one, LMK how it goes.

  13. Weirdness? Oh yes. There was weirdness. Don had a spot where it looked like he had an old injury to that left shoulder (which I always assumed would be a limiting factor in how far he could go) that would get stiff every once in awhile. Don was not one to suffer in silence if he thought something was wrong either. Once at a show he hit a jump with his hoof hard enough to leave white paint on his hoof. He felt off in the next class, I stopped and left the class, trotted him out on concrete – dead lame. Untacked him, hosed his legs and hoof for like five minutes, tied him back up and then out of curiosity unties him again and jogged him out again. Not an off step at all. Perfectly sound.

    When I took him to the Amarillo area for college his feet got sore from the ground being hard and I eventually made the decision to put shoes on him… Jogged a little off before shoeing, perfectly sound right after.

    Another time he had somehow barely skinned the inside of one of his front legs and you would have thought he was dying. CANNOT USE THIS LEG MOM. It’s broken.

    His little lame/stiff moments were pretty far apart and always had a cause though.

  14. Can SO relate to weird lameness! Ivan went through a period of several months where he would occasionally be NQR- a ‘hitch’ in his groin/stifle area. This being paired with abnormal peeing- as in, every 45 minutes- before, during, and after my ride. Then he’d go back to being fine without weird urination. Had the vet out, they never did figure it out. Horses are strange creatures sometimes!

  15. As I read this I pretty much started thinking, its time for hock injections again. It’s been about a year? little over a year? that’s pretty good, they probably wearing off.

  16. Henry has his hocks done a few months ago… when riding him (before injections) it felt weird. Trainer and shoer said he looks fine from the ground… I continue to feel that he’s weird.

    Trainer rides him one day and agree’s that he feels weird, but yet from the ground he looks 100% sound.

    Have the chiro out and he says that his body is good but thinks that his hocks need to be done, trainer and him talk and that is the game plan.

    Have vet out, he does hocks- Henry takes about a week and a half to feel better but it’s def made a difference!

    It made me feel good to know that I felt something and that I was right!

    Here’s to the vet helping you out!

  17. I think I agree with giving him a bit of a vacation then having your trainer put a couple of back to back rides on him. As its happening at the start of your ride and gets better I would think its a touch of arthritis, but I’m not a vet

  18. I am no expert on hock issues, but if he was injected a year ago and just worked at a more challenging height, I would think that sounds like a good possibility, especially since he works out of it.

    Just in case you might also want to check his sheath. A substantial bean can be very uncomfortable and wouldn’t that be a nice, simple solution?

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