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Stringhalt?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by michickenwrangler, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

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    Today we went out riding and an older woman who boards her horses at the barn for the winter told my boyfriend that he could ride her old grade gaited horse mare whenever he wants to this winter. She's 19 yrs old, over 15hh (not sure of exact size). Boyfriend is 5'10", not sure of his weight but he's on the slender side, not overweight at all. The older woman can't get out in the cold (which is why she boards for the winter) and just wants the horse to be ridden once a week or so to give her something to do.

    The trainer at the barn said that the mare has stringhalt and is OK for light riding. I could see how her gait was kinda "hitchy" and "snappy." DBF rode her for about 20 minutes in the arena and yard at a walk then led his daughter around on her for a few minutes after. She went willingly and didn't seem to be in any pain. Trainer said that the woman that owns her rode her all summer.

    Anyone know exactly what stringhalt is? I know it has something to do with the back legs/joints/muscles. I just realized today that this is something I don't have any experience/knowledge with/of.

    Thanks
     
  2. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've never heard of the term "stringhalt"....[​IMG]

    Did Google or Yahoo! return any info?
     
  3. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    From what I know, it seems to be a sort of involuntary movement in the hindlimbs, where the joints will over flex. It can be due to lesions on neural tissue (among other things).

    Really, it depends how severe the overflexion is. If it's just a jerk here and there, he should be fine riding her. Sometimes the overflexion can cause secondary issues, but as long as you monitor her for lameness and discomfort, I really don't see a really why it would bother her. Sounds like this horse is not bad at all though. In some severe cases the horse's leg will snap all the way up to the belly and THAT could certainly cause some issues.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
  4. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    I've heard of stringhalt in my olden days but almost non existant today. Not sure why.

    From what I know, its a weakeness. Does it create pain for the horse? Probably not. Some trial rides will be able to settle matters. But if she is a gaited horse, maybe it is normal for her breed to have some "snap" to their feet.
     
  5. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    It is a deterioration of the long nerves in the legs and then the wasting of the muscles. They say it is from a disease and can be recovered from, but both horses I have seen with it had it for as long as I remember..... Different things can aggravate it, cold, becoming upset, etc... and there are different degrees of it from barely noticed, to looking like the hoof is attached to the belly by a bungee cord.
     
  6. Jamie_Dog_Trainer

    Jamie_Dog_Trainer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    Washington State
    I've heard it has been linked to eating pasture heavy with dandilions.
     
  7. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    Quote:I did read somewhere that it has been linked to sweat pea poisoning. If they can get it from dandelions, I'm in trouble! We've got them EVERYWHERE!
     
  8. Jamie_Dog_Trainer

    Jamie_Dog_Trainer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    Washington State
    Quote:I did read somewhere that it has been linked to sweat pea poisoning. If they can get it from dandelions, I'm in trouble! We've got them EVERYWHERE!

    I read this in my British-published book I got in the early '80's. I guess it has to be so heavily overrun with dandilions that is just about all the horse eats.
     
  9. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

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    Quote:Again, it didn't seem to cause any major issues for her. Boyfriend certainly won't be taking her on any endurance rides. He wants to get a horse of his own and I told him he needs to keep riding as much as he can to gain experience. So this is a win-win situation for the two of them. The older woman has someone to work her horse for her over the winter and he has a horse to ride to get practice on. He just wants a horse to trail ride on. He doesn't want to compete at endurance/ctr like I do, but just wants a horse he can tag along on conditioning rides with and pleasure ride on his own and with his daughter.

    I rode her a little bit before he got on and she didn't feel lame or off to me at all. So ... we'll keep an eye on her and see how she does.

    Thanks for the info everyone.
     
  10. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    Gaited horses are famous for locking stifles. Sorta like luxating patellas in dogs. Of course with a horse this age, arthritis might complicate the issue and the mare might benefit from cosequin supplement. Locking stifles can effect a horse in varying degrees. Some get an occasional hitch in their gait and some can stagger. Proper fitting tack can help a horse with this condition. Gentle conditioning can do wonders keeping a horse with this problem sound for riding.
     

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