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horsemed, Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 315
Experience:  Equine veterinarian with 8 years experience working at referral hospitals throughout the country
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My horse is 18 years. After saddling him, and putting one of

Customer Question

My horse is 18 years. After saddling him, and putting one of my grandchildren on, He started limping favoring one of the rear legs. I can't detect any heat or swelling. When I bought him, I was told that when ridden hard, he would sometimes limp. It has only happened one other time. We didn't do anything other than go in a circle. He wanted more hay. I was wondering would a horse fake an injury to get out of being ridden? I worked with him for a few minutes and the limping stopped.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He did this twice before. Once when we just started riding again with a child on his back. We waited for a few minutes then tried again and he seemed fine. Yesterday, just seemed to be telling me he didn't want to work. I don't know how t o explain it, but I have had other horses. He is very smart and a quick learner. After I took off my grandson, I worked with him a few minutes, it seemed like he decided he wasn't going to get out of it so he quit limping then was fine. He tossed his head a few times then when I put them back on, he seemed fine didn't limp. It has been several months since we have ridden him because of bad weather. Could he just have been having a rough day or been hungry so he was acting up hoping to get his own way? or could he have needed more of a warm up?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He did limp one other time. When he got his hoofs trimmed, he seemed to favor one foot for a bit, but was fine the next day.
Expert:  horsemed replied 2 years ago.
Hello there. It is definitely possible that Roan is faking injury based on your description. However, the only way to tell would be to eliminate a definitive lameness. Sometimes arthritis will manifest as soreness that a horse can work out of. I would have high suspicion of this based on his age. I would recommend a vet visit to do a general exam and watch him go. Some flexion tests would help determine if there is any lameness localized to a particular joint. There are also some interventions you can try yourself. You could purchase a good quality joint supplement such as Cosequin ASU and see if this helps. You can also try keeping him turned out the majority of the time to prevent stiffness from standing in the stall. If this doesn't work I would definitely recommend the vet visit so you don't unknowingly push him too hard when there is a medical issue. If the vet finds nothing wrong, then you have confirmed your theory about his behavior!
Expert:  horsemed replied 2 years ago.
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