Hind leg problems

Carla Davis <lmdavis@...>

Interesting posts about hind leg stance and/or lameness. Here's my

My 21 yr. old FEI dressage horse is Cushingoid. He is in the very early
stages and with the use of Cyproheptadine his symptoms have disappeared for
the most part. I ride him daily (6-7 days per wk.) and he is schooling some
of the Grand Prix movements. I have competed twice this spring on him at
Intermediare I and he does fairly well for an old timer.

I have had him for 19 years and dressage has been our forte for all of that
time. He has never had any significant lameness in his life time nor any
major injuries.

However, I have been concerned for some time now (several months) because he
has a tendency to stock up in his left hind leg. It usually isn't very much
and goes down in the first 10 minutes of walk warm-up. I see this as a
signal that something is up but there isn't a true "lameness". Also, when he
works I find that his right hind quarters seem to sweat much more than his
left which I interpret as the right working harder than the left. I have
tried to make sure that I am working him evenly and sometimes even harder on
the left side and still find the right to have more sweat than the left.
Several of the movements that require more weight bearing on one leg than
the other are more difficult on the left side and marks in the dressage
tests reflect this.

The other thing I have observed is that while he stands with the left hind
hoof flat on the ground, he appears to avoid putting full weight on it. The
hoof also tends to grow longer in the toe than the other hind (which was not
the case in his younger days).

When reviewing my video tapes of the tests I have ridden, there are moments
where the left hind appears to have a moment of discomfort for one stride
then recover. Again, I can see it on tape but none of the judges have
commented on lameness nor have any of my colleagues commented on it.

My gut feeling (now that's scientific!) is that it is somehow related to the
Cushings and yet I have no idea how or why. It is interesting to see that
others are noting similar things.

Thanks to everyone for sharing experiences and knowledge. Keep the
information coming!
Carla Davis