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Discuss Uneven shoulders? Can anyone tell me what's going on here? at the Horse Health forum - Horse Forums.

Originally Posted by ottbryder You're right on about him grazing with his left leg forward! ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by ottbryder View Post
    You're right on about him grazing with his left leg forward! That's how I usually find him. I'll be sure to talk to my farrier about that, see what he wants to do about correcting that.
    IMNTBCHO, if he tells you he can correct that stance, he's a legend in his own mind. And, I'd bet a dollar against a donut hole that the same hoof conformations that are present in front, to some degree, manifest in the contra-lateral hind. And, if you don't address the hind end issues(if any), you're never going to really help the front.
    Are there any particular riding exercises you would suggest to help this problem?
    At the rising trot, always post the right diagonal.
    I'll also look into the x-rays. How urgent is it that I get them done soon? And do you know about how much they would run? I only ask because money's a little tight, a lot of expenses have come up with college starting up again soon. I'll find the money if I need to right away, but it'll be much easier if it can wait a couple months.
    Well, considering you've gotten along OK for the last five years, and based on the written and photographic record you presented, waiting a few more months shouldn't be a problem. What is a problem, at least for me, is that your farrier doesn't seem to have a better grasp of the situation/issue and an appropriate protocol to manage it.

    Also, IME, the shoulder 'problem' is the result of the hoof problem, not the other way 'round.
    - I honestly can't say that I've ever noticed the saddle slip to one side or the other. Not sure how relevant it is, but your question made me think of it. I have noticed that the saddle pad usually slips to the right an inch or so in the back. Never the left.
    Part and parcel of the overarching problem. You are fortunate to have a horse with 'high' withers'. They help hold the saddle in place.

    Out of couriosity, are you stirrup leathers the same length or has one become more stretched than the other?
    He favors his left lead strongly. There was actually a month or so when he wouldn't take his right at all. Since then he'll take it when I ask, but reluctantly. He also seems to carry himself better on his left lead.
    Part and parcel of Hi-Lo Syndrome.
    My farrier also suggested to me, after I asked him about improving Jury's hooves, to feed him 2-3 alfalfa cubes a day. He told me that doing so would help the hoof grow more between trims and also grow stronger. Have you heard of this or know if it works? And do you think it's even relevant to the problems we're having?
    No, no and nope.
    Last edited by RickB.; 07-12-2009 at 01:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBandRio View Post

    I'd bet also this horse spends most of his time grazing with the LF forward and the RF back. That becomes a viscous circle - forward foot grows toe and crushes heel, making it even more comfy to have it more forward. Back foot wears off toe and grows too much heel, making it more comfy to have it further back. All the standing on the LF develops the left shoulder and atrophies the right shoulder.

    It will take a combination of good hoof care and correct riding to even things out as much as conformationally possible.

    Sorry to Hijack this thread- But I have noticed the same thing with Kiera. She grazes with the LF forward and from that she has more muscle on one side than the other. I know that mine is a totally different situation but I see some similiarities. I can see the difference in her shoulders exacly like this horse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RickB. View Post
    IMNTBCHO, if he tells you he can correct that stance, he's a legend in his own mind.
    LOLOL. I'll caveat this If the farrier will work on correcting each of those feet to the degree they can be corrected, then it's reasonable to think the horse *may* adopt a stance that is less dramatic than he probably has right now. I say this based on my own mare with this issue - overdeveloped left shoudler (really, it's an underdeveloped right shoulder), with the skewed grazing stance. The longer she goes between trims, the farther apart her legs get and the more unwilling she is to put the RF forward. If I keep on her, trimming the right heel and the left toe, the more her feet come together and she'll even put her RF forward. She'll never develop a preference for grazing RF forward, but at least I can minimize her preference by working to keep her feet better balanced.

    At the rising trot, always post the right diagonal.
    Gack, I'm gonna have to disagree with you here IME, the sides need to be worked pretty evenly, but the rider has to work extra hard to straighten the horse on the right side. The left shoulder will want to dive in going left, and bulge out going right. Simply straightening the horse, and requesting he stay straight, every stride if you have to, will lessen the work the left shoulder is doing (ie working normally, and not overtime) and increase the work the right shoulder is doing (ie working normally, and not slacking off)0

    Also, IME, the shoulder 'problem' is the result of the hoof problem, not the other way 'round.
    ayup. It seems to be a rare case where a shoulder injury/issue has caused the horse to weight his feet unevenly.


    Quote Originally Posted by kierababy View Post
    Sorry to Hijack this thread- But I have noticed the same thing with Kiera. She grazes with the LF forward and from that she has more muscle on one side than the other. I know that mine is a totally different situation but I see some similiarities. I can see the difference in her shoulders exacly like this horse.
    Since she is not rideable, you will never be able to even her out. Your farrier does need to correct the balance as much as he is able, every time, and not just go "well, that RF wants to be up, so I'll leave the heel alone".
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBandRio View Post
    Since she is not rideable, you will never be able to even her out. Your farrier does need to correct the balance as much as he is able, every time, and not just go "well, that RF wants to be up, so I'll leave the heel alone".
    Yup It was just something I noticed. I do think I am going to start taking her on little trail rides as the vet okayed it. Nothing long or too strenous just at a walk. She seems happier when being ridden. The balance does need to be corrected. I have noticed though that she doesnt really graze that way anymore and it often switched back and forth between the 2 legs.

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    uneven shoulders

    Rick is right. You will find that if you stand the horse up on a flat surface and square it up real good that one hip will be dropped. I believe that this is were the front problems come from, therefore it has to be corrected from the rear by putting a 1/4" leather pad under the low side. Shoe the club or high heel side as always, but the low heel needs to have the toe squared on the on the shoe "not the foot itself" and set back under the toe to allow for easyier brake over,than give the horse plenty of support on the heels.You will find that in TIME that the shoulders will even out some and the horse will almost right away ride more even ,be able to take his leads better and be balnced.

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    my friend had the exact same thing, only more severe. we took him to the vet clinic, vet checked on lunge line, and x rayed the back....his conclusion, poor fitting saddle.
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    the reason one shoulder is bigger than the ther is that the ridght shoulder is lacking the proper amount of work. All horses have it it they aren't worked how they need to be. I don't know how much u work his right side, but since that is the weaker side, that side of him needs to be worked wice as hard as his left side. All horses are born with it. and as human we can correct it by working the weakest side twice (or more) as much as their strong side. Once the balance has been achieved you still have to work harder on the weak side, but you can almost make both sides even with work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBandRio View Post
    Gack, I'm gonna have to disagree with you here IME, the sides need to be worked pretty evenly, but the rider has to work extra hard to straighten the horse on the right side.
    The reason I suggested rising on the right all the time is because that is the limb with less range of motion/arc of hoof flight. By rising with that limb coming forward, you ease the work load a bit and also give some impulsion to that side.

    It is also imperative that the saddle be set so that it is not on top of the withers. the leading edge of the saddle should be in the 'hollow' just behind the back edge of the withers. Often, this drops the front of the saddle down into an uncomfortable, incorrect position, so in that case, a riser pad(s) are necessary. Especially with a horse with tall withers, as is the case here.

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    Has anyone had a chiropracter look at the horse. I have seen this quite a few times and the horse is usually out somewhere and that shoulder is 1. knotted up or 2. over developed from compesation

    Now I have also heard (haven't done much studing yet) that you can create a club type foot from the horse taking shorter strides as a compensation

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    I agree with a lot of the advice given so far, just wanted to add that my horse is the same way. Except instead of a "bulge" on the left side, his right side is just really low. Sort of the same thing, though. Well anyway - I've been working with my farrier with it for a long time now, and I also use a half pad with inserted shims on the low side as well. My farrier said it's really (to some extent anyway) a pretty common thing, it's just very helpful if you can catch it and work on ways to correct/work with it.
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