The statement ‘No foot, no horse‘ is an accurate account of the fact that sport horses depend to a large extent on the condition of their limbs, ranging from the leg itself to the hoof.
Due to the strain they are subjected to and the impacts they sustain, jumping horses are the most prone to lesions. Next on the list would be racehorses, largely for the same reasons, although with the added fact that they start their sporting careers too early, before they are fully developed.
What are the most typical lesions jumping horses suffer?
The scale may be difficult to determine, but in practice it is mostly lameness caused mainly by osteoarthritis and ringbone.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease resulting from excessive use and wear of the joint. As with humans, it becomes more pronounced with age. Occasionally, although rare, it also occurs in young horses. This is mainly the consequence of hereditary factors or inadequate feeding and care, such as foals that are reared in the stall or poorly fed.
Ringbone is a locomotor pathology that affects horses’ bones and, depending on its location, can interfere with the sporting ability of the animal. There are cases in which it is very large and unsightly, but not detrimental to the joint. Ringbone appears when fluid leaks out of the joints and cannot flow back in, creating a hard cystic tumour. Radiological tests are used to determine the severity of ringbone.
Osteoarthritis and ringbone are the most common pathologies, but jumping horses may also develop other conditions such as tendonitis, arthritis, etc.
The hoof is the outermost horny layer of the foot, and serves to protect very delicate parts, such as bones, nerves, etc. The hoof also acts as a shock absorber that dampens impacts with the ground.
How can lesions in jumping horses be prevented?
Prevention is always better than cure.
-Horses should be trained on appropriate ground, preferably too hard rather than too soft.
-Joints should be protected with bandages or pads so as to dampen impacts and prevent any direct blows
-Horses should warm up properly, so as not to force joints while still cold.
The aforementioned tips can be complemented with Excel supplements, which are natural, do not include any doping substance, and promote horses’ well-being. The basic supplements in this case would be OliflexandExcel Hoof Support.