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Exercises to strengthn stifles?


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#1 goldentoes

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 09:21 AM

The pony I ride occasionally has problems with his stifles... at first I was very concerned he had gone dead lame, but with further investigation it doesn't seem *that* serious (and sometimes it's the left... sometimes the right... and sometimes he's perfectly sound).

When I rode Abby she had weak stifles and went seriously lame, but the vet told me to keep her in work to strengthen it.

This is the same sort of situation, only not nearly as bad as Abby's (she had been laid up for 6 months on stall rest), but I was wondering if anyone had ideas for strengthening or stretching stifles beyond just riding... we do trail rides with some hills, lunging, and jumping.

ETA: if it does get any worse or doesn't go away I will call the vet in, no worries about that. Keep in mind it's not my horse so I have to do what the owner wants in those regards anyway. This is *just* about what I can do, on my own. [Smile]

[ 06-26-2003, 09:22 AM: Message edited by: goldentoes ]

#2 Milo

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 09:48 AM

I had a TB with weak stifles. The only thing that kept him from being off was daily riding. Hand walking over cavelleti might help. Sorry, don't have any further suggestions.

#3 luv them paints

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 11:24 AM

I have a 6yr paint gelding with a pulled stifle muscle.He has been "off" since the end of Jan.My vet told him he pulled it because his stifle muscles were weak. I was told to have him walk downhill and trot uphill(on lead line). Also to put him in the round pen and walk him for 2-3 minutes then trot him for 2-3 minutes doing this in both directions,working up to longer times(up to 20 minutes of trotting in both directions).My vet told me to stay off his back til he was stronger because it would prolong his recovery time. Good luck! [Smile]

#4 Montysmom

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 12:26 PM

Unfortunately, I've had some experience dealing with weak stiffles too. The previous suggestions were all good. I was told by my vet:
- trot uphill, walk downhill in a straingt line not on an angle. Make sure the hill isn't Mount Everest!!
- avoid all lunging! Big strain on stifles with circles.
- raised poles at the walk then eventually trot after some improvement shown at walk. Poles should only be a couple inches off the ground to start.
- 2point trotting in straight lines to stay off their back but really gets the drive from behind going.
- road work .. a lot of forward walking and some trot as horse inproves.

Good Luck!

#5 Pamela

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 12:39 PM

Light to Moderate Hill work will help. Results should show in 1 to 3 months, depending on the animal. Start slow and increase only when you start see small improvements. The pony I bought has this very same issue, only due to the fact he is so young. It's very common in young horses. If the your pony is older, you may need a vet exam before anymore riding.

"Treatment for this condition, called upward fixation of the patella, varies, from exercise-often working up and down gentle slopes or lunging in the sand-to injections along the patella, to surgery."
http://www.horses-and-horse-information.co...0197stifl.shtml

http://www.equinescienceupdate.co.uk/patlig.htm

http://www.horsecity.com/stories/031803/as...iffles_ML.shtml

#6 Pamela

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 12:41 PM

Yes walking controlled "straight" down hill is very important. A horse/pony with this problem would much prefer to trot down the hill or walk much like a noodle with back legs everywhere, thus leave the leg out to the sides or in back of him. You want the horse to work under himself. [Big Grin] Very good point!!! Thank you!!!!

quote:
Originally posted by Montysmom:
- trot uphill, walk downhill in a straingt line not on an angle. Make sure the hill isn't Mount Everest!!



#7 N.GA PEACH

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 01:14 PM

i have a horse that had stifle problems and the hill work has helped. i worked her tail off up and down hills and trotted straight lines for about 3 months and she is looking so much better.
i think the hill work has done wonders for my horse. [Smile]

#8 goldentoes

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 02:19 PM

thanks guys [Smile]

And Pamela, thanks for the links...

He's 9, so not "young" but then again I've definitely seen worse stifle problems go away. If I don't see an improvement in a few weeks I'll call the vet [Smile]

#9 cowgirl4160

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 02:52 PM

I have a horse with that too. the vet said that ridding his butt off will help. he also said that back b4 they knew this was all that needed to be done they did surgery. do any of ya'll know around about price for that? thanks

i'm new here so .......howdy [Smile]

#10 barrelracer111

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 03:03 PM

I have a great lameness specialist and his wife trains upper level dressage horses. He told me to strengthen stifles to do what he calls 'rubber band' exercises. What you do is start trotting the horse. Gradually extend the trot. After a few extended strides, quickly bring the horse to a collected trot. Hold the collection as long as confortable for the horse. Then gradually extend again. Do in as straight of a line as possible. Gradually build the extend trot time and the collection time. Start at 10 minutes and built the time up. Make sure to go both ways (if in an arena) or on both diagnols.

#11 Wild Oaks Farm

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 03:03 PM

Gentle hill work, ground poles...those have probably already been suggested, but it's what I was told to do with a horse with weak stifles. Hope your pony gets better!

#12 goldentoes

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 04:11 PM

wow, this is an old thread. LOL

Doesn't much matter now, I haven't ridden at that farm in about two years!

#13 ej

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 04:30 PM

I have a 22 year old Appy gelding that had problems with his stifles since I bought him when he was five. I did all that was recommended with the exercise and I eventually had to have his(both)cut. He is still doing great and doesnt have the problems he did when he was younger. You might want to look into having them cut.
This is what was wrong with my horse-
Patellar luxation-is a congenital conditin in which the patella(kneecap) becomes dislocated. Typically, the patella luxates laterally or to the outside of the limb, and is not often seen in horses. Horses are usually comfortable, but are unable to fix the stifle in extension. They stand with a characteristic crouched posture in the affected hind limb. Treatment involves cutting the tissues that pull the patella to the outside and tightening up the tissues on the inside in order to hold the patella in a mormal position. This also doesnt allow for the horse to "lock" his kneecap so he can stand sleeping. My horse has to lay down all the time now to sleep.

#14 cowgirl4160

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 04:32 PM

goldentoes -
I was asking for my gelding. i'm new and this problem with my horse just came up so i was searching to find info and i found this and just asked some questions. [Big Grin]

[ 11-07-2005, 03:36 PM: Message edited by: cowgirl4160 ]

#15 cowgirl4160

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 04:34 PM

Julie- ej
how much (if you don't mind me asking) did that procedure cost?
Brandi

[ 11-07-2005, 03:35 PM: Message edited by: cowgirl4160 ]

#16 BRN4CASH

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 05:46 PM

If you have access to a slight incline.With you on the ground back your horse up the hill. He will not like it at first but it will work. Had a gelding with a messed up back end including stifles this helped make his backend alot stronger. [Wink]

#17 barrelracer111

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 09:47 PM

quote:
Originally posted by cowgirl4160:
Julie- ej
how much (if you don't mind me asking) did that procedure cost?
Brandi

We had a mare clipped. It was awhile ago, but it didn't cost much. A vet sedates them and then blocks the stifle area. A small incesion is made and the tendon is clipped. It is then sewn closed. It takes maybe 3 stiches to close the incesion. When My vet did our mare, he told me it was such a simple process that even I could do it. [Big Grin]

#18 goldentoes

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 09:21 AM

The pony I ride occasionally has problems with his stifles... at first I was very concerned he had gone dead lame, but with further investigation it doesn't seem *that* serious (and sometimes it's the left... sometimes the right... and sometimes he's perfectly sound).

When I rode Abby she had weak stifles and went seriously lame, but the vet told me to keep her in work to strengthen it.

This is the same sort of situation, only not nearly as bad as Abby's (she had been laid up for 6 months on stall rest), but I was wondering if anyone had ideas for strengthening or stretching stifles beyond just riding... we do trail rides with some hills, lunging, and jumping.

ETA: if it does get any worse or doesn't go away I will call the vet in, no worries about that. Keep in mind it's not my horse so I have to do what the owner wants in those regards anyway. This is *just* about what I can do, on my own. [Smile]

[ 06-26-2003, 09:22 AM: Message edited by: goldentoes ]

#19 Milo

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 09:48 AM

I had a TB with weak stifles. The only thing that kept him from being off was daily riding. Hand walking over cavelleti might help. Sorry, don't have any further suggestions.

#20 luv them paints

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 11:24 AM

I have a 6yr paint gelding with a pulled stifle muscle.He has been "off" since the end of Jan.My vet told him he pulled it because his stifle muscles were weak. I was told to have him walk downhill and trot uphill(on lead line). Also to put him in the round pen and walk him for 2-3 minutes then trot him for 2-3 minutes doing this in both directions,working up to longer times(up to 20 minutes of trotting in both directions).My vet told me to stay off his back til he was stronger because it would prolong his recovery time. Good luck! [Smile]

#21 Montysmom

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 12:26 PM

Unfortunately, I've had some experience dealing with weak stiffles too. The previous suggestions were all good. I was told by my vet:
- trot uphill, walk downhill in a straingt line not on an angle. Make sure the hill isn't Mount Everest!!
- avoid all lunging! Big strain on stifles with circles.
- raised poles at the walk then eventually trot after some improvement shown at walk. Poles should only be a couple inches off the ground to start.
- 2point trotting in straight lines to stay off their back but really gets the drive from behind going.
- road work .. a lot of forward walking and some trot as horse inproves.

Good Luck!

#22 Pamela

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 12:39 PM

Light to Moderate Hill work will help. Results should show in 1 to 3 months, depending on the animal. Start slow and increase only when you start see small improvements. The pony I bought has this very same issue, only due to the fact he is so young. It's very common in young horses. If the your pony is older, you may need a vet exam before anymore riding.

"Treatment for this condition, called upward fixation of the patella, varies, from exercise-often working up and down gentle slopes or lunging in the sand-to injections along the patella, to surgery."
http://www.horses-and-horse-information.co...0197stifl.shtml

http://www.equinescienceupdate.co.uk/patlig.htm

http://www.horsecity.com/stories/031803/as...iffles_ML.shtml

#23 Pamela

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 12:41 PM

Yes walking controlled "straight" down hill is very important. A horse/pony with this problem would much prefer to trot down the hill or walk much like a noodle with back legs everywhere, thus leave the leg out to the sides or in back of him. You want the horse to work under himself. [Big Grin] Very good point!!! Thank you!!!!

quote:
Originally posted by Montysmom:
- trot uphill, walk downhill in a straingt line not on an angle. Make sure the hill isn't Mount Everest!!



#24 N.GA PEACH

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 01:14 PM

i have a horse that had stifle problems and the hill work has helped. i worked her tail off up and down hills and trotted straight lines for about 3 months and she is looking so much better.
i think the hill work has done wonders for my horse. [Smile]

#25 goldentoes

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Posted 26 June 2003 - 02:19 PM

thanks guys [Smile]

And Pamela, thanks for the links...

He's 9, so not "young" but then again I've definitely seen worse stifle problems go away. If I don't see an improvement in a few weeks I'll call the vet [Smile]

#26 cowgirl4160

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 02:52 PM

I have a horse with that too. the vet said that ridding his butt off will help. he also said that back b4 they knew this was all that needed to be done they did surgery. do any of ya'll know around about price for that? thanks

i'm new here so .......howdy [Smile]

#27 barrelracer111

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 03:03 PM

I have a great lameness specialist and his wife trains upper level dressage horses. He told me to strengthen stifles to do what he calls 'rubber band' exercises. What you do is start trotting the horse. Gradually extend the trot. After a few extended strides, quickly bring the horse to a collected trot. Hold the collection as long as confortable for the horse. Then gradually extend again. Do in as straight of a line as possible. Gradually build the extend trot time and the collection time. Start at 10 minutes and built the time up. Make sure to go both ways (if in an arena) or on both diagnols.

#28 Wild Oaks Farm

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 03:03 PM

Gentle hill work, ground poles...those have probably already been suggested, but it's what I was told to do with a horse with weak stifles. Hope your pony gets better!

#29 goldentoes

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 04:11 PM

wow, this is an old thread. LOL

Doesn't much matter now, I haven't ridden at that farm in about two years!

#30 ej

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 04:30 PM

I have a 22 year old Appy gelding that had problems with his stifles since I bought him when he was five. I did all that was recommended with the exercise and I eventually had to have his(both)cut. He is still doing great and doesnt have the problems he did when he was younger. You might want to look into having them cut.
This is what was wrong with my horse-
Patellar luxation-is a congenital conditin in which the patella(kneecap) becomes dislocated. Typically, the patella luxates laterally or to the outside of the limb, and is not often seen in horses. Horses are usually comfortable, but are unable to fix the stifle in extension. They stand with a characteristic crouched posture in the affected hind limb. Treatment involves cutting the tissues that pull the patella to the outside and tightening up the tissues on the inside in order to hold the patella in a mormal position. This also doesnt allow for the horse to "lock" his kneecap so he can stand sleeping. My horse has to lay down all the time now to sleep.