8 y/o mare won't pick up left hind leg? *cross posted*

Long story short, 2012 Hanoverian mare is reluctant to pick up her hind feet for farrier, vets and now me. Mostly so on her left hind. When you go to pickup her left hind she’ll either pick it up momentarily, slam it down and then rest the right hind (she was doing the same on the other hind too, but her right has gotten better). Or she’ll put all her weight on her left hind and wont even attempt to pick it up. I suspect she doesn’t want to load her weight on her right hind. I suspect its a pain issue as she’s fine for the other 3 feet (or at least the fronts) but it can’t be that bad since she’s sound under saddle?

She just came home from being in full training at A-show barn. While there she became difficult for farrier and was sedated for being shod. In October she had her hocks and stifles injected for the first time (in an attempt to help any discomfort). She was on Legend and Adequan but has not had any since October. In December she had her SI injected by a vet experienced in lamenesses. That vet saw inflammation in her stifles but noted her soreness/response mostly to SI region. I think she is moving better u/s since all those injections. But she still doesn’t have clean changes most of the time (these have always been a battle). If you are lunging her and she takes off, she’ll bunny hop behind (canter with hind legs together). Her last shoeing we could get shoe nailed on her left hind (even under sedation) so she’s been barefoot behind last 6 weeks. Farrier was able to briefly trim right hind today while she was in her stall eating/distracted. Mare lives in a stall, is turned out daily and ridden 3x a week. She has not jumped in last two months but was jumping regularly 3’ and under while in training. She is a big mare and can be heavy in her mouth while jumping. Also has been difficult to collect her canter but it’s greatly improved since training. She had clean x-rays as a 2 y/o and I have x-rays from 18mos ago with beginning arthritis in her hocks and some changes in her stifles (mostly right stifles).

Anyone have experience with similar issue or any ideas? I can have vet come out and do new x-rays to see any changes since last 18mos but kind of out treatment options? I’m up for animal communicator (not sure I believe that stuff) or body work/chiropractor.

Look up shivers and stringhalt. Fingers crossed it isn’t those. Good luck.

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Dont use soundness under saddle as an indication of no pain. I think she is in pain and certainly the last thing she is doing is jumping. Sounds like she cannot load her hind end, given the heaviness in the hand when riding and lack of collect.

I would invest in a solid diagnostic work up even if it means hauling to vet school or someplace with advanced imaging. Lumbar /sacral issues you likely need radiographs. It sounds like you are getting a lot of treatments without a really solid diagnostic. SHe is only 8/9 you need knowledge and a long term plan

not all pain in mares is bone and joint, dont overlook the possible ovarian cyst.

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Agree with hoopoe. You need some serious vet work here, especially if this is relatively ‘new’. You might also, and I strongly encourage, a good hard look at her shoeing/trimming. I would have radiographs taken and make sure her angles are correct. That alone can lead to enough pain she won’t tolerate her hinds being worked on.
You may have to haul her to a vet clinic and have her worked on by a specialist while being sedated by the vet, until this can be worked thru.
I say this, because my OTTB mare was the same way - left hind. She’d barely allow you to pick it up, and heaven help us all if the farrier even tried to nail it. I had films done and really pressed the vet issue, finding she had negative plantar angles. I then had to find a farrier who would 1) understand and fix the issue and 2) work quietly with my mare and 3) work with my vet including meeting at the clinic for films, etc.

It may well be all her issues are up higher, but don’t overlook that they can start at the bottom.

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My boarder’s horse had shivers and it was extremely hard to pick up his right front. Had to take him to the vet to have an abscess in that foot treated and they couldn’t get his foot off the ground. Luckily the abscess was near the edge and they had to treat it with him standing on it. Actually, they had to resection a portion of the hoof to get it to drain properly. They managed to pick it up to wrap and boot up but it took a very long time.

My mare did this about a year ago and it turned out to be that something was out of whack in her SI joint I went down the diagnostics route–even took her to Cornell for super-duper diagnositics. EVERYTHING was clean (amazingly so for a mare of her size and age and career). The only way to really look at the SI joint is via a bone scan and I did not do that, because we had ruled out everything else and the treatment woud have been the same…rest, bute, and chiropractic work (with the possibility of injections at some point if needed).

For her, it was the chiro that did the trick…and almost immediately. It has not recurred, so we have not done any injections. She is on equioxx for maintenance.

I’m going to talk to my vet (who does both eastern/western medicine) and try a chiro. I also have another friend with MagnaWave so I may give that a shot too.

She doesn’t display any of those symptoms (quivering, difficulty backing up, leg held up). I suspect she doesn’t want to put all her weight on her right hind (so something going on right hind).

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Shes only been barefoot behind last 6 weeks. She was being shod every 5 weeks while in training (2 hours away so different farrier than who we use at home). I think I should have her hooves all x-rayed to make sure nothing going on in there.

My farrier is up for anything. We opted to keep her barefoot so that it’d be easier to work on her hinds and less pain/stress for her. He was able to trim her right hind this week quickly by just resting her toe on his foot. Couldn’t do anything to her left hind though.