Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Hind Limb, Short-Strided on One or Both Limbs

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

    A short front phase of the stride of a hind limb is seen commonly in horses with a variety of hind limb lameness conditions. It may be noticeable at the walk and the trot. This pattern may result from problems affecting the upper or lower limb, and can often be seen in horses with neurologic problems.

    Generally, conditions causing hind limb lameness are difficult to identify. For this reason, do not guess or assume where the problem arises based on this observation alone. Horses that are “short” behind should be evaluated by a vet because they might have serious, performance-limiting conditions.

    WHAT TO DO

    Have someone walk your horse straight away while you stand to the side. Assess your horse at the walk and the trot, paying particular attention to how differently the two hind limbs track up. You can also evaluate this by examining the symmetry of the horse’s hoof prints in soil.

    Assess the affected hind limb looking for swelling, heat or digital pulse, then rest the horse in a small enclosure until assessed by your vet. Share your findings and concerns with your vet.

    WHAT YOUR VET DOES

    Your vet approaches this observation as a lameness until proven otherwise. Evaluation usually starts with a physical exam and a lameness exam before proceeding with other tests.

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

    Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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