*Cross posted* Experience with Sidebone?

Just looking for anyone who may have had or are currently riding a horse with sidebone?

Looking at purchasing a new mare (currently 6 y/o). Diagnosed with sidebone that required rest as a 4 year old and has been sound ever since (1 1/2 years). No other issues. Horse is meant to be a prospect for the 1.20m - 1.30m ring. Opinions? The vet that I’ve been dealing with (not home vet) isn’t convinced that it will be an issue.

I bought a horse with mild side bone, you could tell on the xrays his trim job was terrible. He was 6 when I got him and competing in the young jumpers. I have a great farrier and stay on top of his feet and he has had zero issues.

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Sidebone is rarely an issue, and I’d honestly be surprised if the issue requiring rest was the sidebone rather than one of the tendons/ligaments in the foot that the vet couldn’t image, therefore they defaulted to the sidebone as a culprit. Sidebones aren’t like splints where they pop and are sore until they get cold, unless they fracture.

However, if it was actually the sidebone causing an issue, I wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole.


My misunderstanding, she had popped a splint on her LH which required rest, unrelated to the sidebone. I was unphased by the splint though and read right through it. Just want to know people’s experiences with the sidebone and if it ever became an issue when jumping at a higher level.

I was going to say the same thing, I never heard of sidebone being an issue. Some horses have more than others. Take a look at how the feet are and if they are level. Is the sidebone even on both sides of the foot and both feet? More in one area might indicate an old issue.

I probably commented on your other thread, but I have one with a honking giant sidebone you can feel above the coronet band on one side. She is barely 16h but schooled 1.40m and did junior hunters and big eq successfully for many years.

Last year at 21 she was a touch ouchy on that foot, vet thought it might be the sidebone. Blocked and x-rayed, it ended up being a touch of coffin joint arthritis that was completely remedied by injections.

I’ll probably get excoriated for saying this, but worst case if the sidebone does cause an issue down the road, you can always nerve that side of the foot.


I’ve never seen a horse have issues with it. An acquaintance had a nine year old 1.20m packer with big giant ones that he developed as a yearling and he had zero issues with them.

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Little update on the situation. Clarified with owner, she supposedly tripped one morning on the lunge and came up lame. Sidebone was what they found as a result. She was on stall rest/small paddock rest for 2-3 months afterwards. Vet confirmed that the tissue has ossified and she has been sound since. Would this change anyone’s opinion? I have a hunch that the lameness may have been caused by something else but the sidebone was what was found.

That doesn’t make sense… sidebone by definition is already ossified. It starts deep in the foot at the bottom of the lateral cartilages, so tripping wouldn’t have done anything to trigger it. It also doesn’t cause pain while forming, or typically at all, unless it fractures. I think you aren’t getting the whole story or the owner misunderstands something.

I’d bet money the sidebone was an incidental finding and the horse actually injured a tendon in the foot, but because you can’t image the ddft/lateral collateral/etc in the hoof without doing an MRI, they chalked it up to the sidebone. 3 months off and voila, horse is sound again because the soft tissue had time to heal.


Makes a bit more sense to me as well. That being said, would you walk if this was the case?

What has the horse been doing in the time since the injury?

She’s been in full work for over a year, ridden 5-6 days a week and jumping 1.0m courses. I will obviously re-X-ray and vet before we make any calls, just looking for some past experiences/honest opinions.

Would depend entirely on the vet findings and price tbh.

Re-X-ray likely wouldn’t find anything; only ultrasound or MRI would if it was in fact soft tissue as seems likely. I’d probably take the risk for the right price, given that the horse has been in work for a year.

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I have a horse who has sidebone in both fronts. It was on the x-rays when I purchased him as a 4 year old. Most likely it developed from unbalanced trimming in his younger years; I understand that’s very common. My trainer, my vet, nor myself were concerned. My understanding is that sidebone is very rarely the cause of lameness, just as others are saying here.

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I found out the hard way that sidebone can be a problem, but when it happened, all the vet reports said things like "this rarely causes lameness but in this case . . . " Awesome, always fun to be the “special” case! The horse had fairly significant sidebone in both front feet, PPE vet wasn’t concerned, and we bought the horse. But within a year the horse fractured the sidebone in one front in such a way that it bruised the coffin bone and caused a lot of inflammation. Horse was a bad patient and we lost a year. But the good news is the horse successfully rehabbed and is competing at higher levels than before the injury with no maintenance, just a simple shoeing change that was easy for our home farrier to adopt. So because I’ve been unlucky, I will think harder about sidebone next time if it is significant, but we consulted some very well-regarded vets, and all said it is rare for it to be an issue like in my case.

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@AmmyHunter that’s reassuring, thanks for your feedback!

I definitely have questions for my vet(s) in this case, PPE is booked for May 17th! Not sure if I should be concerned about the potential soft tissue injury in the foot if she has been rehabbed and has been back to work for over a year. Potential for relapse?

One of the best pieces of advice I received from my vet–request full vet history & copies of previous x-rays before PPE (Schedule PPE, but get copies & have your vet review prior to the apt.) If owner/trainer refuses to release those records, it’s a red flag and walk away.

I received the vet records/x-rays right after we did a PPE on a horse, and based on those records, I never should have gone through with the PPE. There were significant findings that would have made the horse unsuitable for the desired job long term. Sadly an expensive lesson. If there is a potential old soft tissue injury, request the vet records. A good seller/agent should have nothing to hide and disclose to a serious buyer.