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Old 2nd Apr 2008, 05:18 PM
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BeachRiding BeachRiding is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 7,716
Stringhalt or shivers? I'm confused!

I had my farrier out today to trim Playboy's hooves,long story short he refused to pick up his right hind leg. After about five minutes of gentle coaxing he snatched it up quite high and his leg tremored/shook quite badly for a while and then it stopped. My farrier suspects shivers and is quite sure that is it. So I looked it up, sounds like it, but then somehow got sent to a site about stringhalt and all of the sudden things started making sense! I occasionally see PB when standing lift his hind leg up (R) rapidly flex it then kick down violently.

I'm am trying to get the vet out next week (about to call) but wanted to see what you think, as I am very unfamiliar with either of these diseases. Whatever it is does not affect his way of going, he is not lame, w/t/c/jumps fine.

Anything you can tell me about either of these would be great!Thanks in advance!
Old 2nd Apr 2008, 05:39 PM
xXSundanceBayXx xXSundanceBayXx is offline
xXx.The ex Noggin123.xXx
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Valencia, Spain
Posts: 2,878
shivers is related to stringhalt. stringhalt is when the horse moves one leg usually a hind leg is lifted significantly higher up than the othe legs. i think this then develops into shivers or the other way round not sure though. We had a pony that i used to ride had it and he was fine apart from the high leg movement still managed to jump over 1m10.
Old 2nd Apr 2008, 06:35 PM
Kate F. Kate F. is offline
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: near Vienna
Posts: 902
It sounds like it could be a very mild case of shivers. The two conditions are related, as I understand it, but stringhalt describes the symptoms when they happen in movement, and shivers when the horse is standing still. Shivers is also usually evident when the horse backs up - not necessarily every time, but frequently.

However, if this was a one-off incident, and he hasn't show the same symptoms before or since, it might have been something else completely - a "trapped nerve" for example - that we sometimes get too and often resolves itself very quickly. The fact he really didn't want to pick the foot up in the first place suggests something more pain related. My Bigsy has a mild case of shivers - but he picks his feet up fine - he just picks up really high and shakes it for a few second with the hind legs. He doesn't seem distressed by it at all - he doesn't really seem to know it's happening - or rather that it's anything unusual!

Your vet is the one to say what it is. Shivers/stringhalt can be serious - but there are also thousands of horses who have these conditions and continue
normal work without any problems - so it's very individual thing!
Old 2nd Apr 2008, 06:37 PM
ladywiththebaby ladywiththebaby is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Cambridge
Posts: 2,388
I can't really comment but I just wanted to say that I ride out with another horse who has stringhalt and it doesn't affect him at all and he's had it for about 10 years.
Old 2nd Apr 2008, 06:43 PM
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BeachRiding BeachRiding is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 7,716
Thanks Kate.F that's what I was looking for! Guess I will just have to wait and see what the vet says. Hopefully its nothing too serious. Still abit confused about it all!
Old 2nd Apr 2008, 07:14 PM
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Skyhuntress Skyhuntress is offline
Trying to escape reality
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 4,112
I did a lot of research on stringhalt and shivers, as I feared that Enrique might have stringhalt (turns out I'm wrong though, but I still changed his feeding plan to reflect as if it were a stringhalt)

Shivers and stringhalt are very, very similar. Stringhalt really affects movement however-but its not considered a there is no pain associated with it. It's almost like an involuntary twitch. It can happen at all 3 gaits, but most likely in the walk, then followed by the trot and only rarely seen in the canter. Some good "testers" for stringhalt is have him in a stall for a bit then watch him walk out-the first steps should be really awkward. Also, those with stringhalt have problems backing up. They become uncoordinated.

shivers and stringhalt are thought to be manifestations of EPSM.
what you CAN do - regardless of which one it is (if it is one of them) is start feeding him a good diet. Get a REALLY good vitamin A supplement (with selenium), and feed him something that is high in protein and fiber, but low in starch and sugars
Old 2nd Apr 2008, 07:41 PM
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augermoon augermoon is offline
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Gloucestershire
Posts: 760
There is life after shivers, so don't panic just yet. My boy has a moderate case in both hind legs and was very 'shivery' a few years ago. He's on the EPSM diet menioned above and it totally controls his condition to the point that you wouldn't know anything is wrong. He works at Elem level dressage and was competing regularly before I put him out on loan a few months ago. Its a condition that needs to be managed carefully and obviously varies from horse to horse it needn't necessarily mean problems.
Old 4th Apr 2008, 03:28 AM
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BeachRiding BeachRiding is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 7,716
Thanks everyone! Things are starting to make more sense! Having the vet out to see what comes of it. I am not too panicked as it doesn't seem to be affecting him badly whatever it is. I have already cut out alot of sugar in his diet as a precautionary.
Old 4th Apr 2008, 10:50 AM
redhead123 redhead123 is offline
Jet boy
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Not in London anymore! Moved to Milton Keynes near my boy!
Posts: 520
I bought mine knowing he had it! He can be very awkward lifting up his left hind and he shakes it a bit when I'm picking it up. Rein back can sometimes be tricky but he manages to walk backwards so easily when I bring his tea! As for being ridden he doesn't have any problems its just an exagerrated gait. I do some jumping with him and he's fab. Interseted to read anyone's thoughts on feeding regimes if they do indeed help it.


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