Horse health check: 11) The legs

Horse health check: 11) The legs

Every owner should know their horse’s legs. Every day before and after you ride you should palpate the legs from top to toe, to find any changes from previous examinations. Old injuries are unlikely to cause any issues, but if you know they are there, it can save you investigating the incorrect source of lameness, should your horse suddenly go lame one day. If you know that bump has been there for the past five years, it probably isn’t that that is the source of the trouble!

Feel your horse’s legs for lumps, bumps, heat and swelling. If you find a new bump that you haven’t noticed before, then call your vet. Similarly if you feel heat call the vet. Swelling is more tricky, as it can be entirely normal for some horse’s legs to fill after standing in a stable all night. This is particularly the case in older horses. However, if you know that your horse’s legs never usually swell overnight, or if the swelling doesn’t decrease after some time in the paddock or a bit of exercise, or if you can feel any associated heat, or your horse has a temperature, this suggests a more sinister issue and your vet should be called as a priority.

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Horse health check: 11) The legs