If you recognise 4 or more of these typical symptoms, then your horse could have a chronic back injury.
1. Inability to work smoothly around a bend or circle on one side.
2. Resisting the transition, throwing the head up, and ‘dipping’ in the back when asked to canter or work with hind limb impulsion.
3. Dipping the back when ridden in a ‘collected’ gait, with lack of lateral flexion.
4. Discomfort and leg ‘trembling’ when the affected hind limb is lifted up for hoof trimming or cleaning.
5. Bucking when asked to work up a hill, on canter transition or refusing to jump.
6. Dragging the toe of the hind limb of the affected side when walking, with a short hind limb stride length.
7. Failure to develop topline croup muscles, with short hind limb stride movement.
8. Avoiding engagement of hindquarters when working, often resisting collection to improve hind limb impulsion.
9. Intermittent lameness and shortened stride in the diagonal front limb.
10. Swishing the tail when under saddle, particularly during warm-up exercises.
11. Working with one hind leg swinging in under the hindquarters, especially when turning.
Jack and I are fortunate to have met Ruth. Using only her
fingers, she felt along his back and associated muscles and
found the root cause of his long standing pain.
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