Episode 16: Two quick tips for lameness

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We have a fairly short podcast for you on Horse Mysteries Solved.
It is “Two quick tips for lameness”.
One is a suggestion for knowing when to call the vet vs. when to call the bodyworker (super easy).
The other is how to tell which leg is lame or off or just funky.
I hope you’ll find it useful, at least to help your friends with their lame horse.
Oh, by the way, you’ll need a rock to put in your shoe. ;)


Links Mentioned:




Renee Tucker, DVM (00:01)
Hello, my friend. Great to be back with you. Hey, today I’m talking about two quick tips for lameness, kind of how to find out which leg is the lame or problem leg and what you should do first, such as call the body worker or call the vet. So tip number one is walk versus trot. It’s pretty straightforward.

Renee Tucker, DVM (00:26)
This is my experience as a bodyworker and equine veterinarian is that 80% of the time, if the horse is more obviously lame at a walk rather than at a trot, then you should probably start with the body worker. If the horse is more obviously lame or even off, even funky, then it’s probably best to call the vet. These are just a general rule, obviously not 100%. But as a vet and body worker, if someone calls me for a horse with a lameness, that’s one of the first questions I ask them. Okay, is it worse than a walk or worse than a trot?

Renee Tucker, DVM (01:10)
And if they say worse at a walk, they say, great, let’s make an appointment. And then if I say worse than a trot, then I have to call their veterinarian first just because I don’t carry x ray equipment, that kind of thing any longer. So hopefully that’s helpful. That gets you the right start. Now a little bit more on that is the second tip for lameness is called down on the sound.

Renee Tucker, DVM (01:36)
This is a little rhyming thing that you learn in vet school. That’s why I’d share with you. So down means when the head goes down towards the ground. So a head bob, if you will. So that’s what down is.

Renee Tucker, DVM (01:52)
And then sound is referring to correct it’s, correct it’s working right. It’s functioning well. It is sound, strong, good. It has nothing to do with a sound that the hoof makes on the ground. That’s a whole different thing.

Renee Tucker, DVM (02:10)
This little thing is the lame leg. You find that out because it’s not the sound one. The lame one is the one with the problem. I’m going to explain this in more detail. So let’s pretend you have a rock in your shoe or you can put one there if you really want to have a good effect on this.

Renee Tucker, DVM (02:32)
Okay, so you got a rock and let’s say it’s in your right shoe. So if you either do that right now or imagine it and pretend it’s a pretty big rock. Okay, so the lame or not working right foot is going to be the one with the rock in the shoe. In this case, the right one. So then if you picture yourself walking with this rock in your shoe and the right foot, what are you going to do?

Renee Tucker, DVM (03:03)
What you do is you don’t press a lot of weight on that rock because it hurts. Instead, you lean more weight on the left side and in fact, you will actually lean forward a little bit and drop your head down a little bit towards the ground. So when you step on that left foot, it really drags the eye over to the left because the weight’s over there, you lean that way and your head goes down. And so wow. The left is the one that’s usually blamed when actually that’s the correct or sound one because the head goes down on the sound.

Renee Tucker, DVM (03:51)
Okay, that’s probably so confusing, but let me try one more time. Okay. All right, so we’re watching a horse now, all right? And as we talked about earlier, we don’t want to watch a lame horse at a walk because it’s a four beat gate and it’s just really harder to pinpoint. And the cancer being a three beat gate, the same type of thing, unless the horse is only lame at a cancer.

Renee Tucker, DVM (04:16)
But that’s another story. This is your general lame or really off horse you want to watch at a trot because it is a two beat gate and it’s just easier to pick it out. Okay, so we’re watching a horse who’s lame. This can be your own horse or you can watch some lame horses on some videos to practice. Okay, so what you want to do first is don’t look at the legs.

Renee Tucker, DVM (04:43)
I know you think I’m crazy. I know. Okay, so don’t look at the legs. Even if you have to put a hand in front of your face and block your view, don’t look at the legs. Instead, what I want you to do is stare at the head.

Renee Tucker, DVM (04:58)
So the head of a lame horse should be bobbing up and down. Okay? And as we discussed, they are sound. When the head goes down on the sound, that’s what we say in vet school. Okay, so we’re watching this horse go around a shot, okay?

Renee Tucker, DVM (05:16)
Two beat. And you just watch the head. And as you watch the head go down, start saying it out loud. Say down. Down.

Renee Tucker, DVM (05:28)
OK. Until you have this nice rhythm that’s matching the horse’s head going down, down, down. Remember, you’re only looking at the head. Then stop looking at the head, but keep saying it out loud. So you’re still saying down, down.

Renee Tucker, DVM (05:50)
And now you’re watching the legs and you match up down with what leg is hitting the ground on the down. So you’re saying down, down. Then you look at the legs and let’s just say that the source also has a rock in its right front shoe. So he or she is putting more weight and leaning a little bit and dropping the head when the left front hits the ground. When the left front hits the ground, the head goes down.

Renee Tucker, DVM (06:27)
And that’s the down on the sound. Sound meaning not lame. Okay, so we watch the head and then as we watch it, we just start saying out loud when the head goes down, down, down. Then you switch to watching the legs match it up down. We see the left front is hitting the ground right.

Renee Tucker, DVM (06:52)
As we say down. Perfect. Then we got down on the sound is the left, which means the right front is the lame one. Okay, I hope that made a little bit of sense. I also have an article about that on the website if you do better reading that.

Renee Tucker, DVM (07:11)
Let’s see. So I would say this is a vet and I don’t mean to insult anybody, okay, seriously. But when probably 80% of people call and they say, hey, my horse is lame, I think it’s the right front probably 80% of the time. I could go buy this, you’ll be the other one. And that’s not an insult.

Renee Tucker, DVM (07:33)
It’s just that the sound leg is the one the horse is putting all the weight on. Okay, so it looks like a lot more is going on over there. It may be that the muscles are even sort of touched, might even be a little bit looking enlarged because the horse is overusing the sound leg and not putting as much weight on the lame leg. All right, I hope that made sense. You could let me know.

Renee Tucker, DVM (08:01)
Okay, so our two quick tips for laymas are the walk versus trot and then down on the sound. Now, we do have as an option, I have a fairly new prerequisite course for CBT University, which is called What Does My Horse Want? Now, this is a short, easy class just to teach how to get energetic. Yes and no questions. What the heck is that?

Renee Tucker, DVM (08:30)
Okay. All right. So this is not animal communication. This is instead working with the energy field of ourselves and the horse. And just like any energy or electricity, like, say, a battery, energy has got a positive and a negative.

Renee Tucker, DVM (08:48)
That’s just how energy works, pluses and minuses. So what we can do is learn to use those plus and minus positive negative since they’re complete opposites as yes and nos. So positive energy is going to be a yes and a negative is going to be a no. So if you’re interested in that, we have that course and you can learn to do that. And just because you take the course doesn’t mean you are automatically enrolled in the rest of it.

Renee Tucker, DVM (09:15)
It can be all by itself, so you can see if you like it. The reason I even mention it, though, is if you have a lame horse and you’re like, yes, it was at a trot, so I knew it’s probably in the leg. And then I did the on the sound thing and I found out which leg it is and now I don’t know what to do. So with this technique of asking, you want to learn this when it’s not well, I guess serious because our emotions can cloud this a little bit. So you’d like to learn it when frankly, it doesn’t matter when it’s not so important because we don’t want any emotional clouding.

Renee Tucker, DVM (09:55)
But so let’s say you already knew this, then you could go up to your horse and say, all right, is this lameness in the leg? Yes or no? You can ask questions like, is it best for me to call a vet today? Is it best for me to call the chiropractor today? Of course.

Renee Tucker, DVM (10:15)
Is it best for me to join TBT University and learn this myself? You can do things like, is the primary cause of the horse’s lameness today in the foot? Is the primary cause of the slainness any someplace around the shoulder? Yes or no, right? You’re like, no way.

Renee Tucker, DVM (10:36)
It’s like magic. Well, it sort of is, but, you know, the whole world is kind of going a little bit quantum energy now. And we’re learning all kinds of things that we can accomplish with energy work. And it’s getting more acceptable. Not only that, more exciting.

Renee Tucker, DVM (10:52)
We can do a whole lot more at the quantum level then we can do do strictly on our regular physical level that we’re used to. So it’s a bit different. But if you give that a check out and I think that’s it. So give that a try and let me know if you have any questions. I’ll talk to you guys later.

Renee Tucker, DVM (11:12)
Okay, bye.

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