View Full Version : slipping stifles *pics added*
12th November 2009, 12:09 AM
Since i've owned Magic i've always noticed that in walk one of his back legs gives occasionally, usually at the start of a hack, happens maybe a max of 3 times then doesn't happen again that day, also i've only noticed it a few times in the school, maybe 2 or 3 times over 3 years. Doesn't seem to bother him and it has never happened in trot or canter. I've seen him do it when i've walked him to the field, it's just as if his leg locks slightly and causes it to give and then he's fine the step after. Has anyone ever had a horse that this happens to? I've just watched a video on youtube of a dutch warmblood who does it in trot twice in the video, you can see it by searching for slipping stifle and it should be the 2nd video on the page.
I've noticed it happens less when i give him equine america glucosamine. It was happening on almost every hack at one point until i started feeding this. I'm a bit concerned though as the small amount of info i could find said that horses with slipping stifles shouldn't be ridden on circles or lunged.
I've found these two photos to show a normal step and one to show what happens with his back leg. When i'm on him it feels just like it's given way, as you can see it doesn't seem to bother him.
12th November 2009, 12:09 PM
My daughter's pony has it. Sometimes it doesn't happen for days, sometimes 10x a day for no apparant reason. We were told to give him regular gentle exercise which is easy as he's a lead rein pony. We were told no tight cicles as it puts more pressure on the stifle.
Sometimes they grow out of it, as it is common in some youngsters, but as he is 9 he will have it for life.
Prognosis is variable, you can have them operated on in some cases. They are more likely to develop arthritis when they are older too.
12th November 2009, 12:18 PM
Sharks cartilage is apparently very good for helping the tendons - like Helena said, it can sometimes result in an op - but the main advise dished out by vets these days is to build up the back end.
Not sure if there are any hills around you, but a 6-8 week plan of hill walking to strengthen up his back end would most likely help quite a lot. The op used to cut the ligaments in the stifle but these days its usually favourable [and cheaper] to build them up first and see if it helps at all. My old cob had a delay in his patella which was greatly improved with hill work. We didnt have many hills around us, but luckily a few old filled in ditches sufficed as well as a risen track. Some days it was worse than others, but being on cortaflex really helped him.
It depends on the individual horse but usually they can still be ridden. As above, it just depends how severe the slip, how often it is and if he has any after effects when it happens. I'd probably speak to your vet about it and see what they think, if it happens a lot it may be worth looking into for both your safety when ridden
12th November 2009, 12:36 PM
When I bought Gemma, aged 6, her stifles would slip when taking her from her stable in the morning. A short walk around was all that was needed and then she'd be fine. She was, at this point undeveloped - she had a big fat belly, and a skinny neck and bum (not a good look!).
Once she'd been in light work for a while and built up the muscle in her back end the problem stopped. We had loads of hills round us, so it made it easy to muscle her up as they couldn't be avoided!
12th November 2009, 01:18 PM
Thank you for your replies. It never seems to bother him after it's happened. He's 7 and a half now so i doubt he'll grow out of it. While i was riding him today i was wondering if his stifles are the reason he couldn't canter until recently, it wasn't until just over a year ago that he'd willingly break into canter on a hack unless following another horse and he'd have to do it or get left behind. Now he finds it easy on a hack and easier than he did in the school although still sometimes struggles in there. I think when i did nothing but lunge him for a month helped to build up his back end a bit more so now he willingly canters on the lunge and seems to find it easy now.
I don't actually remember the last time it happened while i was riding him so hopefully it will continue to not cause him any trouble.
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