Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Hindquarters Seem to Fall Away or Collapse while Ridden

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.
  • If the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) suggest the horse is otherwise normal.
  • If this has happened more than once and you do not know why.

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.
  • If the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) suggest the horse is otherwise normal.

Occasionally, a horse seems to collapse or fall away under saddle while being ridden. This can result from a variety of problems including lameness, neurologic problems, and poor conditioning.

This problem is more common in young horses that are not accustomed to carrying the weight of a rider. A common diagnosis accounting for this observation is intermittent locking of the stifle. This too can relate to lack of muscle tone and conditioning.

WHAT TO DO

Given the nature of this problem and its potential for injury (to you and your horse), you should contact your vet immediately. They can help determine the cause of this observation. Some conditions can be treated. Changes in management and training may improve the signs.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

For a horse that has a history of having fallen down, vets try to determine the cause and also whether a horse has sustained additional injuries from the fall. Predicting whether a horse will fall again is hard to do, even with careful veterinary evaluation and diagnostic work.

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

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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