Why does my horse drag its back feet?

Horses drag their hind feet for many reasons, but the main influences are the rider, the horse's conformation or shoeing problems. Horses can have a high or low limb carriage – this is the flight path the limb takes as it progresses through the stride.
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What causes hind end weakness in horses?

One common cause of hind limb weakness, or paresis, is Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis. EPM is caused by Sarcocystis neurona, a microscopic protozoa, that migrates randomly through the spinal cord and brain. It can affect any limb and the signs may vary; muscle atrophy is a common finding in horses with EPM.
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Why do horses limp on back legs?

Dislocations, fractures, or ligament strains in your horse's pelvis could also be to blame for hind leg lameness. The injuries can happen to any horse, although performance horses have a higher risk. Spinal Cord Damage. If your horse wobbles when walking, spinal cord damage could be the culprit.
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Why do horses hold their back feet up?

A horse standing with his back humped up and stomach muscles tense is exhibiting signs of severe body pain (injured back or ribs, chest pain or peritonitis, or serious gut pain). He will be reluctant to move, since any movement hurts. He needs immediate medical attention.
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How can I strengthen my horses hind legs?

Riding over ground poles or raised poles: This encourages your horse to actively lift its legs and engage muscles of the hind quarters for better ground clearance and range of motion. Hills: The most challenging hind quarter strengthening is walking or trotting up hills.
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Q&A - Horses Who Drag Their Hind Feet



What are the symptoms of wobblers in horses?

Horses with wobblers syndrome will trip often and be stiff and uncoordinated when they move. They may appear to lurch as they canter, have difficulty halting smoothly and collide the hind with the front feet. Walking up and down hills may be difficult. The hind end will appear to be more involved than the forequarters.
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How do I know if my horse has stifle problems?

Signs and Symptoms of Stifle Lameness
  1. Dragging the toe.
  2. Canter resistance.
  3. Very rough canter.
  4. Difficulty backing up.
  5. Shortened stride.
  6. Issues going up and down hills.
  7. Drifting to one side over fences.
  8. Problems transitioning from trot to canter and vice versa.
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How do you tell if a horse trusts you?

Signs Your Horse Trusts You
  1. Sign #1: Your Horse is Relaxed Around You. ...
  2. Sign #2: Your Horse Follows Your Instructions. ...
  3. Sign #3: Your Horse Comes to You. ...
  4. Sign #4: Your Horse Respects You. ...
  5. Sign #5: Your Horse Allows You to Touch Them. ...
  6. Sign #6: Your Horse Gives You Lovies. ...
  7. Be A Good Leader. ...
  8. Put in the Groundwork.
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What does a horse pawing the ground mean?

Your horse may paw at the ground for several reasons, including boredom, frustration, playfulness or pain. However, pawing at the ground is also a common sign of colic. If this behaviour is out of character for your horse, call your veterinarian immediately.
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How do you get a stubborn horse to pick up his feet?

RIGHT: Pinch or twist your horse's chestnut just enough to make him notice and lift his foot in response. Once he does pick up his foot, immediately release the pressure and begin rubbing his leg again, so he relaxes and puts his foot on the ground.
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What are the signs of laminitis in horses?

What are the clinical signs of equine laminitis?
  • Lameness* affecting most commonly at least two limbs. ...
  • The horse leans back onto its heels to take the weight off the painful toe area.
  • The lameness is worse when the horse walks on hard ground or turns.
  • Shifting weight between feet when resting.
  • Increased digital pulses.
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Should you exercise a lame horse?

“If you notice that your horse is limping or its leg is swollen the first thing you want to do is stop exercising them. If you are knowledgeable you can also apply a pressure wrap around the leg,” advises Carter.
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What is the best anti-inflammatory for horses?

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the most commonly used drug for pain management in horses. Examples include bute (e.g. Equipalazone), flunixin (e.g. Equinixin or Finadyne) and meloxicam (e.g. Metacam). These medications relieve pain and help in the reduction of inflammation and fever.
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How do I strengthen my horses stifles?

Specific exercises

Another common recommendation is to include hill work, if possible. Going up and down hills regularly is especially beneficial for strengthening stifles. If hills aren't accessible in your area, you can also use cavaletti or raised poles to encourage your horse to lift and strengthen the stifles.
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What does it mean when a horse nudges you with his nose?

Horses can nudge you with their nose for a variety of reasons. The key reasons are likely to be: pushing you out of the way, encouraging you to give them treats, rudeness, itching, and affection. Sometimes it just genuinely means they want to play.
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How does a horse show affection to humans?

Horses will often show affection to humans as they would to other horses. Horses show their affection through grooming, nuzzling, rubbing, resting their heads on you, and even licking. Learning their body language will help you understand when they are showing affection.
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Do horses understand kisses?

#5 – Kisses

Just like giving hugs, horses can give kisses too. Again, there's no need to feel uncomfortable when your equine friend starts kissing, licking, or breathing on you. These are all often signs of affection and they could mean that you have mastered the heart of your horse.
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Where should you not touch a horse?

As tempting as it is, don't pet the horse's head. Continue to face his shoulder from the side, petting the neck. Most horses enjoy a scratch on the neck just behind the ear or on the withers at the highest point of the shoulder. Discontinue petting if the horse backs away or shows disinterest.
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Where do horses like to be petted?

4- Many horses like to be rubbed on the neck, shoulder, hip, or on the chest. Some horses enjoy having their heads and ears rubbed. Horses often groom each other on the whither, so this would be a good place to try too. 6- If your horse does not want to be pet or moves away, do not be upset.
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How do you know if a horse doesn't like you?

Like people, some horses have the patience of a saint, while others, not so much. When a trained horse becomes frustrated with the rider, the signs may be as subtle as a shake of his head or tensing/hollowing of his body, or as blatant as swishing the tail, kicking out or flat out refusing to do what the rider asks.
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How do you fix a stifle problem in horses?

“Rest, anti-inflammatory medications and maybe stem cells if we can locate and access the damaged area,” says Frisbie. “These are all things we can try, and if we've caught it early and the injury isn't too severe, they might work, and the horse doesn't look back.”
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How much does it cost to get stifles injected?

Costs vary. Depending on where you live and how many sites require injection, you'll pay anywhere from less than $300 to more than $700 to have both hocks done.
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Can a horse recover from stifle injury?

Kaycee Monnens. In the past, an injury to the stifle joint of a horse may have certainly ended his or her career or usefulness. Now, with the ever-evolving science of veterinary medicine, afflictions to the joint have a much higher chance of being treated or even healed.
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What age do horses get wobblers?

The onset of clinical signs is typically between six months to three years, although mature horses may also become affected.
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