The Skinny on Simon’s Lameness

The Skinny on Simon’s Lameness

If Captain Hindsight were here, he’d say that I should have called a different vet out after my horse was still lame at 30 days stall rest. The initial diagnosis I got of a soft tissue strain wasn’t necessarily wrong, but it’s a bit more complicated than that.

The short story of yesterday’s vet visit was my horse’s right hock is a nightmare and it’s not fully fused. He scored a 1/2 (out of 3) on both hind legs for flextions in the hock/stifle area. His hocks hurt him, the RH doubly so.

The arthritis is not news to us, but he’s worse than before because he’s been sitting in his stall. So while the soft tissue healed, his hocks got ouchier from not moving around. So he looked lamer, which made me keep him in his stall… Bad cycle.


A lot of X-rays confirmed what the vet thought through the flextions. We took 4 views of both hocks and 4 views of his fetlock (she felt some weirdness that could have been ringbone but it was just his weird bone structure) – so although I have lots of info now I’m a but terrified of my bill 🙂


What do you do with a 7 y/o arthritic horse with a nasty hock? You get that bad boy fused ASAP. We injected both his hocks today, and because hocks fuse faster/better when the horse is moving and working – I get to start lunging him and turning him out Thursday! Can I get a what what?!?!


I am feeling thrilled. Now, there are no guarantees with horses and lameness as we all know but we are pretty much looking at three different scenarios:

Best Case
He is back to 80% or better after his injections. He gets back in full work, and maybe 6 months from now he starts to slip and we get more injections. We keep injecting until the hock fully fuses. No big deal.

Still OK
The injections help, but not for very long. In a month or two he’s showing signs of lameness again. Then we take him to the clinic and inject alcohol into the hock which basically kills the nerves and makes that mofo fuse. We put him back in work after his fancy hospital stay.

Worst Case
He is still lame after injections. That means something else is still going on, so we get vet back out to block and diagnose soft tissue issue.

I vote for scenario one or two… But either way I am feeling a lot better. Simon’s quality of life is going to improve so much this week, and mine will too!

27 thoughts on “The Skinny on Simon’s Lameness

  1. Poor ouchie Simon! I’m so glad you got a second opinion and some rads. I’ve got my fingers crossed for number 1!

    YAY! You get to lunge your pony!

  2. Fingers crossed for scenario 1! It’s such a relieving feeling to know they can go back out and enjoy themselves again. So great this vet was able to help.

  3. Well I’m glad to hear that you know more! Hopefully everything will work out. All that’s important is that he starts to feel better!

  4. WOOHOO! I bet Simon is going to be uber happy to get lunged and turned out. I’m glad he is finally on the road to recovery!

  5. Keeping everything crossed for outcome #1!
    Always better to have info and options, glad to hear you are feeling more positive also!
    *big hug*

  6. Sounds like some good news! I remember riding a lesson horse with fused hocks a while back. I had never heard of such a thing before but this guy was totally sound and my instructor said it was just the fusing that was super painful but once it was done he was great. I hope the same is true for your guy.

  7. it feels so much better to have answers and a plan doesn’t it? I like how you mapped out the scenarios. It’s what I do as well.

    Fingers crossed about the recovery and the vet bill!

  8. I love it when the diagnosis is to get the horse moving. My last mare started to get ouchy in front, but riding her through it always made her feel better. She was still competing in endurance at age 20! If she stood for more than a day, she just got more and more sore. I never felt bad riding a “lame” horse as I knew that moving her was the best way to get her feeling good. Go, Simon!

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