Lead Swap?

Hi - I’m brand new to this forum-so I hope I’m doing this right?

We own a large show pony - he’s 19, but very fit. He gets his hocks and stifles injected and is also on Adequan. Sounds like a lot as I write this but we are under great supervision of our vet and trainer, so though our pony is older, he seems to truly love his job of being a 3’ Hunter.

4 months ago he began swapping his hind lead. Our rider, trainer and vet all seem to be stumped. The lead swap is inconsistent no matter where we show or what direction, though it does seem worse when he’s not very warmed up.

We put him on Banamine for a few days, the swaps stopped.
And then came back once the Banamine was done. We know something is uncomfortable to him but can’t figure it out!!

Is this just a case of old age? Does anyone think Legend would help? Especially right before a show?

This pony is truly part of our family, and we don’t think he’s ready to go out to pasture… yet.

Any thoughts?

Well, you know that he’s hurting. What did the vet do before they became stumped?

Have you or your vet looked into SI area at all? I might consider that and having a chiropractor take a look.

Is he swapping on flat or just at the base of fences/ when jumping?

Is he shod? If not, try shoes. Jet did that when i pulled his shoes and he was still a little ouchy a couple of weeks later. Had to eventually put front shoes on.
. Make sure his feet are balanced. Too high inside or outside on back hooves can cause SI pain.

Does he do it in a different saddle? Sometimes trees warp, or saddles need more flocking.

I wouldnt rule out lyme disease if you are in an area that has ticks.

Classic symptom of soreness behind. Has he had any x rays within the last year or so?

Might be time for him to start stepping down from 3’ as he nears 20. Just because he’s willing doesnt necessarily mean he’s “ happy” and he could be pretty uncomfortable and still soldier on without limping…and if both hocks ( for example) hurt, he’s not going to appear lame.

You need to have your vet do a lameness exam including x rays and ultra sound. Pony is trying to tell you something, best listen and figure it out now before he starts yelling at you by not wanting to go forward or stopping at the jumps.

1 Like

Maybe it’s time for him to teach a little kid the ropes at a lower level. He can still show, but it seems like his time in the 3’ is coming to an end. Sounds like he is a great pony and gave a lot, time to put your feelings aside and look at what he’s telling you. Now you get to give back to him by easing him into a lighter workload.
Obviously have your vet out to do a full work up, but don’t get caught in the hamster wheel of diagnoses and treatment just to keep them going. Sometimes just because you can eek out another year at a certain level doesn’t mean its the kindest choice. I suspect he would be just as “happy” showing cross rails or 2", and a lot more comfortable. Heck, even walk/trot if he’s a reliable sort.

1 Like

Cervical arthritis can cause this type of symptom. A quick neuro exam by your vet would be a good idea

Agree with checking out the SI area for his own comfort but not to piece him back together to continue doing the 3’… it’s time to step him down. He doesn’t need to go out to pasture, but let him be a 2’ or xrail pony at least.

Mommy and Daddy have left the building.