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Locking stifle joint

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K&H Miniatures

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I recently brought home 2 great miniatures stallions. They are wonderful. I had my farrier out today doing my other horses. I had her just look at my new boys. The lady I bought them from had just supposedly had them done. Anyway, my farrier was a little upset with the mess a "big horse" farrier had made of them. The ones is not that bad and has caused no long term damage. The other ones she thinks will be fine later on, but will take some time. By the farrier not doing it right they have caused him to develop locking stifle joints on both back legs. Ouch my poor little man. He is only 30 inches. So beautiful. At first she suggested the stifle surgery but he was moving a lot better just after one good trim. She suggested waiting and seeing what 2 or 3 more trims would do for him. She also suggested some good ole exercise. He is a little on the heavey side as well. I hope he improves. I was really planning on showing him next year in a color class, but if this problem can't be corrected I will not be able to, but he would still make some really awesome babies as his problem is not a breeding issue. Wish me luck and Dawn luck as well on being able to help him. I know he feels so much better already.

I would love to have some pointers on what I should or should not do in Duke's case or if anyone else has experienced this and had to have damage corrected that was done by a farrier not knowledgable with minis. I am lucky to have found Dawn. She is great and really cares for these horses. Thanks and Godbless. Let me know. Kristy
 

minie812

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Dawn will really help him along and is really good with the minis. She did a little work on my Scotty while he was in training at Rosa Roca with Pat Elder (who by the way is super duper great)
 

Joanne

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I am surprised that the previous farrier "caused" the locking stifles on your horse. I would like to know more about what she said was done wrong.

I have seen locking stifles occur on one leg, but not two. As a young horse, sometimes an increase in exercise, or a change in weight (you mentioned they were overweight) will resolve the problem. Young horses need exercise to develope correctly.In severe cases (which is typically apparent at birth) surgery is required to remedy the situation.

I hope you keep us posted on how they do and what worked.
 

minimule

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I have a yearling that had the same issue. Mine wasn't caused by a "big horse" farrier but by my regular farrier. He made the angles on her back feet different than he had before. She was in a growth spurt and started locking on 1 side. I had him trim her correctlly (
) the next time and it went away. Neither of her parents have the issue so the vet said it wasn't hereditary.
 

bluerogue

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I had a filly lock up repeatedly after a bad trim too. Got rid of that guy, got a new one, and bam, back to normal. The first guy not only cut her to short (ouch!), he also changed the angle of her feet (all four, not just her back ones), which resulted in a very unhappy weanling filly for several weeks while we waited for her feet to grow out to get her trimmed again. That same trimming trip also messed up my mare, and my colt. Neither of them locked up though, they were just very sore for a few days.

Needless to say, I did not use him again, especially after he almost blinded a TB mare during shoeing at the boarding facility while I was there. Actually, after that happened, I didn't allow him within 20 feet of any of my horses. I will never for the life of me understand why that mares owner didn't kick him off her property then and there (she owned the facility). And then to still use him to shoe her horses after it happened!!!!
 

CKC

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My horses stifles issues have been from conformation and from injuries. I know a good trimming can help or hurt an already existing bad stifle but I didn't know it caused it. I'll need to follow this post.

Kim
 

K&H Miniatures

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My horses stifles issues have been from conformation and from injuries. I know a good trimming can help or hurt an already existing bad stifle but I didn't know it caused it. I'll need to follow this post.

Kim
I have talked to the ones that have the parents to this horse and they are upset as these two boys neither one had problems when they were sold as yearlings. So, even though I am new with miniatures, it can happen I guess. He is moving better already after just one trim. I am hoping a couple more trims and he will be fine. I'll keep everyone posted. What is the best thing for me to do? Should I lounge him, walk him, or waht exercise should I do. He did not have a whole lot of exercise before. They were both on Strategy and alfalfa. Should I continue feeding them this or should I slowly switch them to what I feed mine? I feed a 14% pelleted feed mixed with omolene 200 on a 2:1 ratio and they are doing great. Thanks Kristy
 

JourneysEnd

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I don't think you can cause it to lock only aggravate an existing condition.

If the horse was a little straight in the hind a bad trim may cause them to go ahead and lock.

If a horse tends to lock you can trim to help keep them from locking quite as easy.

To my knowledge the only long term damage you have to worry about a farrier doing to conformation would involve improper trimming of foals and young horses up to when the knees set around 2 yrs.

They could cause an imbalance in the growth plates by not properly balancing the hoof. Although I've never seen this happen.

I do know of club footed horses that by corrective trimming at a young age don't "look" club footed but the conformational (?) problem is still there.
 

Fred

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I don't think you can cause it to lock only aggravate an existing condition.

If the horse was a little straight in the hind a bad trim may cause them to go ahead and lock.

If a horse tends to lock you can trim to help keep them from locking quite as easy.

To my knowledge the only long term damage you have to worry about a farrier doing to conformation would involve improper trimming of foals and young horses up to when the knees set around 2 yrs.

They could cause an imbalance in the growth plates by not properly balancing the hoof. Although I've never seen this happen.

I do know of club footed horses that by corrective trimming at a young age don't "look" club footed but the conformational (?) problem is still there.
JourneysEnd is right. The condition is usually existing due to conformation but may be so minor that with proper trimming you don't see it. Its when you get a bad trim it really is noticable. The other thing is minis growth plates close quicker than a full size horse. I had the table for the plate closures in minis and it is about half the time as a full size horse. Linda
 

JourneysEnd

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My horses stifles issues have been from conformation and from injuries. I know a good trimming can help or hurt an already existing bad stifle but I didn't know it caused it. I'll need to follow this post.

Kim
I have talked to the ones that have the parents to this horse and they are upset as these two boys neither one had problems when they were sold as yearlings. So, even though I am new with miniatures, it can happen I guess. He is moving better already after just one trim. I am hoping a couple more trims and he will be fine. I'll keep everyone posted. What is the best thing for me to do? Should I lounge him, walk him, or waht exercise should I do. He did not have a whole lot of exercise before. They were both on Strategy and alfalfa. Should I continue feeding them this or should I slowly switch them to what I feed mine? I feed a 14% pelleted feed mixed with omolene 200 on a 2:1 ratio and they are doing great. Thanks Kristy
Problem probably didn't show up as a yearling. If the horses in question haven't finished growing yet, the problem could go away as they grow. Exercise is good for locking stifles. Walk/trot on lounge line if they're old enough. Feed shouldn't be an issue.
 

disneyhorse

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Honestly, I am not sure that a farrier can "cause" locking stifle, and if they trimmed them THAT badly I am sure it would have been super-super-obvious to anyone looking at the horse (most likely something looking like a foundered toe).

I bet that it aggravated a hereditary conditon.

I have seen SOOOOO many minis get locking stifle (whatever the excuse, be it "wrong diet" or "injured/slipped somehow" or "bad farrier" or "stalled too much") and I haven't seen a similar correlation in big horses that would justify it. Otherwise all sorts of riding horse breeds would have it.

Every breed has an inbred hereditary fault lurking far and wide among them... Draft horses have EPSM, Peruvian Pasos have DSLD, and minis have locking stifles. Not ALL horses of the breed get it, but it is something to keep a sharp eye out for when selecting a breeding animal. Otherwise the condition will just perpetuate.

Minis derived from the American Shetland, and I hate to tell you but as I learn more about the Shetland, I find that locking stifle is where the minis got it from. Now the dwarfism thing, that is unique to the mini itself. But the locking stifle... it's hereditary. I stay faaaaaaaar away from locking stifle in breeding animals. I had one mini and one shetland that locked, and they did not hang around very long here.

Just my opinion.

Andrea
 
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choclat dreams

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I have a registered Welsh pony that locks on one side. He started locking after he was gelded and the vet pulled up that leg. I always thought that caused it , to some extent. but they say that horses without a lot of muscle in the rear will have a tendency to lock up. He can go for months and not lock up and then all of the sudden, he will have a problem for several days. He does seem to be growing out of it. I hope, I am breaking him to drive.
 

K&H Miniatures

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Honestly, I am not sure that a farrier can "cause" locking stifle, and if they trimmed them THAT badly I am sure it would have been super-super-obvious to anyone looking at the horse (most likely something looking like a foundered toe).

I bet that it aggravated a hereditary conditon.

I have seen SOOOOO many minis get locking stifle (whatever the excuse, be it "wrong diet" or "injured/slipped somehow" or "bad farrier" or "stalled too much") and I haven't seen a similar correlation in big horses that would justify it. Otherwise all sorts of riding horse breeds would have it.

Every breed has an inbred hereditary fault lurking far and wide among them... Draft horses have EPSM, Peruvian Pasos have DSLD, and minis have locking stifles. Not ALL horses of the breed get it, but it is something to keep a sharp eye out for when selecting a breeding animal. Otherwise the condition will just perpetuate.

Minis derived from the American Shetland, and I hate to tell you but as I learn more about the Shetland, I find that locking stifle is where the minis got it from. Now the dwarfism thing, that is unique to the mini itself. But the locking stifle... it's hereditary. I stay faaaaaaaar away from locking stifle in breeding animals. I had one mini and one shetland that locked, and they did not hang around very long here.

Just my opinion.

Andrea
I know that in his case it is not a hereditary condition. Both of these horses set of parents and down through their long list of well known bloodlines have not had problems with locking stifles. Camelot Country Minis of Van Alstyne Texas bred these horses and are very reputable breeders. They would not continue to breed an animal that has had this problem. They would just not do that. These two have the same sire. He is a top ten stallion. They have buckeroo, rowdy, gold melody boy, roan ranger, kokomos and many other top bloodlines. You can see their sire and dam at www.camelotcountryminis.com

These horse are 4 years old. Their stifle joint locking has to do with the previous farrier and not enough exercise. Duke was moving much better after just one trim. He should be fine, and hopefully can avoid surgery. I know a doctor can mess our feet up and throw our whole walking off and cause us many problems that we did not have before. So, I could see where a farrier could really mess up a growing horse. On Camelots page their sire is Dream. Duke's dam is "Lucky Ledanes Scarlet Princess" and Ricky's dam is a 21 year old mare "Double HS Little Bit Fanci" They have never had any problems before, so in this case it is my belief that yes a farrier has messed them up but more than likely not beyond repair. I will keep those interest posted on the progress Dawn is able to make with them. Thanks. Keep the opinions coming. Kristy
 

Michelle@wescofarms

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My opinion here, but I've never heard of locking stifle being caused by a farrier - not to say it can't be just never heard that. I think, a bad trim can exaggerate a condition that may not be evident but I don't know that it could cause this unless it was already present. If bad trims caused this then the horses with the elf slipper feet (basically untrimmed for years) and wild horses should have an abundance of stifle issues.

I do know though that minis if there is even a slight problem with their legs/hooves at birth or early on with incorrect trimming or no trimming their legs can go really go off. In the same respect consistent good trims can correct slight problems, but not correct 'in the bone' genetic issues. This is of course up until the growth plates close.

I would agree with Andrea on locking stifle in minis. I think it is much more prevelent than people admit or should say are willing to acknowledge. Interesting Andrea about that coming down from Shetlands. I've never researched that as a possibility.

Unscientic, observation only - I know of one stallion (do not and never did own so can't give out his name!) that sired a number of sons (3 that I knew of and saw personally) that had one or both back legs with mild to severe stifle problems. Surprisingly I never saw this in any daughters - I saw upwards of 14-15 of his offspring and many of his grand-get. Was this chance, sex linked, two recessives ???

I've also seen mini lines that grow quickly the first year that seem to have stifle problems at about 10-15 months briefly and then never again. I've always attributed that to their growth plates, etc. Am I wrong? Don't know!!

Then I have a mare here that last year started getting that hitch in her left hind at the age of 5! Never a problem before so ??? I know as she was born and raised here and I've seen her almost every day since birth. I also have way more close relatives than not - none with stifle problems. So do I put this down to inheritable stifle problems? Injury? Selenium deficiency? Again don't know.

There just isn't enough good research and information on this whole condition.

Best of luck with your guys Kristy - hopefully good care will correct them both for you.
 

Fred

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At the risk of being barbequed for this. I have noticed a LOT of minis that I have been told have great conformation in the rear actually don't. I am VERY aware of hind end conformation as my main focus is driving and performance. What I have seen out there is not what I would call good conformation, just maybe ok. Because I am a farrier I am WELL aware of how the conformation of the horse can affect his way of going [locking stifles, etc]. I also have very good friends that keep me humble and aren't afraid to tell me how my horses REALLY look so I don't get barn blind. Linda
 

Boinky

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neither parent has to show signs of it. I have a bilateral locking pony. He is a ASPR (mother Hackney sire shetland). Neither parent to anyones knowlege had it nor relatives. This pony came from a well known farm that has produced many champions from this bloodline. I was told he locked up once or twice as a foal but never showed it again. I do not blame the breeders they DID tell me about his baby locking but i hadn't even had him home very long and it started to lock up. I suspect he was still locking up rarely at their farm they just never saw him do it. I still have him but I would never breed him. I would NOT say it's not genetic only because parents didn't have it. Sorry but A.) some breeders lie B.) genetics doesnt' always play by what we consider the rules and can skip generations ect. Problems can show up in cousins, aunts and uncles that have branched off that line.

They may never produce another locker but that gene is still there lurking and it seems the horses that seem to have locking stiffles will throw it more redily from what i can see.

I ABSOLUTELY WOULD NOT breed your colt. I would flush it right from my gene pool. I wouldn't even consider it. There are so many other quality studs out there that do not have the problem nor the "questions" surrounding it. Until it's proven to be something other than inherited i will not even consider breeding to one that has had known lockings! Why even take the chance of spreading that gene wider into the gene pool??

My boy can go a long time without lockign then lock up horribly for days, weeks or even months. I have noticed that trimming his feet DOES aggrivate it. wheni pick up his back feet if he struggles it will "pop" it and then he'll lock for a few days after. I would say your horse's feet have only aggrivated a condition that was already there and may not have been serious or barely showing.
 

Vertical Limit

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At the risk of being barbequed for this. I have noticed a LOT of minis that I have been told have great conformation in the rear actually don't. I am VERY aware of hind end conformation as my main focus is driving and performance.
Well, put me up on the grill too because there is no way a farrier can be the cause of locking stifles. Again, they may aggravate it but it's certainly not the cause. Just because someone tells you that a horse has great rear end conformations doesn't mean that it does. I have seen it two ways.........the people are clueless about proper conformation or they are telling a little white fib. (I vote for clueless myself) I am also very aware of hind end conformation as it IS the main focus of any performance horse. It all starts with impulsion from the rear end and moves forward. I have seen such an over abundance of rear legs that are so post legged (straight) or camped out behind it s wonder they can move at all because they certainly cannot get up underneath themselves to do their jobs correctly. If minis were blown up into larger riding horses we would have a lot of people with no teeth from being jarred right out of the saddle. The problem is extremely widespread with minis......yes even National Champions. I have seen some pretty horrific rear ends on some so called big winners.
 

JourneysEnd

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It sounds like you've chosen to believe the farrier did it and that's fine if it makes you feel better.

For the rest of the forum reading this thread, you can take a deep breath.

The farrier cannot change your horse's conformation, just tweak it some.

We can't make crooked legs straight, we can make them as straight as they can be for that horse.

We can help and adjust and sometimes even mess up. Anything a farrier does can be undone (although sometimes it takes time to fix it )

What God does, you're pretty much stuck with.


Don't want anybody having to worry every time their horse's feet are trimmed.


And BTW, I'm seeing a lot more stifle problems in the past couple years. Anybody else feel like the problem's increasing ?
 

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