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Is My Short Strided Horse Lame?

15 August 2011 No Comment

Is My Short Strided Horse Lame?
Dr. Jennifer MacLeay is an author and lecturer who is currently based in Fort Collins, Colorado. Dr. MacLeay was born and grew up in Northern New Jersey. Her interest in horses began early and she participated in hunt seat equitation and eventing for many years. Dr. MacLeay has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New Hampshire and received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Ohio State University.
More about Dr. MacLeay

Question
Hi Dr. MacLeay, I have a six-year-old AQHA mare and I have to file her heels between trimming otherwise she limps in the front. My farrier says she is a high-heeled horse that is her problem. Do you think shoeing would shoeing correct this? Also she has a nice walk and trot but her lope is short strided and hard for her. It is a real effort for her to lope. What should a person do on this?
Thanks Mitch Cline, WI.

Answer
Hi Mitch, Any time a horse owner tells me that their horse is short strided I am concerned. Certainly, some horses naturally have a shorter stride than other horses. But, a horse with lameness will also guard himself or herself by shortening their stride. Therefore, I would recommend having your veterinarian come out and see your horse. You could coincide their visit with a day you’ll have your farrier there and the two can discuss how best to manage your horse’s problem. That way you won’t have to play go-between with your vet and farrier, they can communicate directly with each other while looking at your horse and how she travels.

Best,
Jennifer MacLeay, DVM, Ph.D.
Diplomate ACVIM

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