Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Stumbling, Seems Uncoordinated Under Saddle

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

  • If you feel the problem is severe or has come on suddenly.

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

  • If you consider this a chronic and relatively mild problem that is not changing rapidly.

Stumbling or tripping under saddle is a fairly common complaint.

It is commonly associated with lameness, but can arise from a wide variety of other causes, including everything from neurologic and visual deficits to discomfort from poor fitting tack, to hoof-related problems. Generally, horses whose conformation causes the flight of the hooves to be near to the ground tend to trip more.

Apparent incoordination under saddle can also relate to a horse’s lack of maturity, ability, training, fitness or experience at a given discipline. The rider’s balance and cues are also an important factor.

WHAT TO DO

Assess your horse’s general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), especially looking for lameness, and swellings of the limbs. Assess your saddle fit as well as possible. Watch your horse carefully without a rider up, looking for signs of poor coordination. Have them step over poles and walk up and down an incline to see if they seem to move appropriately. Take videos of them under saddle, and stepping over poles to share with your vet. Share your findings and concerns with your vet.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

Your vet performs physical exam, lameness exam and neurologic exam to rule out physical conditions that are causing the lack of coordination. Depending on the cause determined, the solution may also require input from the farrier or trainer.

Helpful Terms & Topics in HSVGWritten, Reviewed or Shared by Experts in Equine Health

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

CONTACT US

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Sending