Help Splints

Anja

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Ok today I found a splint on my pony he isnt lame and he is ok to ride and he still enjoys jumping but would he be still be able to jump? he is 14 years old a ratbag but loves to jump and hoon around we also dont know how long he has had the splin would a pair of splint boots help? I might start putting cold water on it please help as he is the best pony that I get to ride thanks Anja
 

ponyvet

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Oct 15, 2001
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At his age he's probably had it a long time. The splint bones in a young horse are fixed to the cannon bone by a ligament. At around the age of 7 the ligament becomes ossified and the splint is fixed as part of the cannon bone. Splints are produced by excess strain on the leg when the ligament is still fibrous (so before the age of 7 ish) and there is a reaction which causes the bony growth between the splint bone and the cannon bone to become lumpy. This is when the horse becomes lame with a splint.

Your pony will not be lame and won't be in any discomfort so don't worry about it.

It is possible for horses of any age to fracture the splint bone and in some cases if the bone is left to heal by itself there may be a bony lump which forms there too. But this is not a problem either (though not likely in your case - unless he did this before you got him). Sometimes the whole splint bone needs to be removed after a fracture.

Also, by the way, the bottom of the splint bone should feel knobly and is called the button, so this may be what you feel. Sometimes it's huge in some horses.
 

KarlR

New Member
The question is really when he did it. Check for heat - if it's cold then it was probably long ago - if hotter then more recently.

The advice I've always had is to rest splints (or only light work) for a little while after they are first created and then to reintroduce work gradually.

Long term (or if it's an old injury) you can do what you want, including jumping.

The only thing is that if they are large or near the joint they can cause some stiffness in one side, but this shouldn't be serious.
 

Wally

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Apr 16, 2000
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Don't worry about splints, if he is lame get advice, if not don't worry.

I rode an endurance horse who had splints, more than one. He still kept winning gold medals, they are not a problem.
 

ponyvet

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I think lovely Karl that you missed my point! ;)

At 14 this pony is too old to have developed a splint recently, he must have had it for at least 7 years, in which case he's been mooching along perfectly well with it, until anja noticed!

So, he should be treated as normal. Splint boots would be a waste of money (I think they are anyway - as the damage has already been done before you notice them!) since they are only protecting an old scar from ?????? nothing!!

In a younger horse they can cause problems, in which case my advice would be totally different. Otherwise forget it! It's not a problem and won't be! Owners of show horses worry terribly about splints as they are marked against by judges, but for jumping - no problem.

Nice to know you worry though anja! hope we've set your mind to rest now!
 

KarlR

New Member
I always wondered what splint boots were for - I always assumed that it was just a name like tendon boots. I can't imagine that splint boots could do much to help an existing splint. How odd people are.:rolleyes:

My horse has a substantial splint in his front right. It certainly doesn't bother him and he can jump nicely!

I understand that he got it when he was about 3-4 during backing which I presume is fairly normal. (He's 7 now - at least for a few more days!!).
 

Anja

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Ok I thi9nk he will be ok to jump as I also think its quite old he does limp or hobble when you lead/ride him Its not hot so (( Im reaaly happy now)) Im going to keep training him to be " a perfect angle (( yeah he will be like that when pigs start to fly)) My first goal is to have him jumping /eventing kindy hight
 

ponyvet

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Anja, simply by being there in a 14 year old pony it HAS to be old. It's a bit like suddenly noticing a scar on your knee and saying "I must have fallen over - I'd better go to hospital and have stitches put in "- you can't it's an old injury and not a problem. he will have had it from before you got him I expect and will always have it, just like he'll always have a nose! :D

KarlR - I think tendon boots are mostly a waste of time and money too! :eek: They are supposed to support your horses tendons whilst you ride right? Well surely your horse can't move his tendons properly when they are all strapped up! They are only needed for supporting acute injuries, and helping heal where there has been a damaged tendon which needs support. Otherwise you can't expect a boot to stop a tendon being injured, as the mechanism of tendon injury is not related to external support.
 
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jillaroo

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Ahha! Thank you so much ponvet! The whole idea of tendon boots as a precautionary measure has been bugging me no end! Have had this discussion and come away thinking well, I guess there must just be something that I'm not understanding because it seems totally pointless to me! I feel much better! Ta!
 

Anja

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Me and mum have decided to just get some exercise boots for him just in case because most our horses get ridden in them
 

KarlR

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I know sometimes that horses damage their tendons by kicking them with their hind feet in which case some sort of boot might be sensible, but I just go for a general purpose boot.

The majority of tendon damage seems to me to be due to strain injuries.

Not that any of this has anything to do with splints of course! :)
 
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Wally

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I have never ever used any sort of tendon boot on my horses in my life. I very, very occasionally use weighted training boots to help a gait along, but only use them schooling, out hacking I have never used them.

I have to say only one of our horses has a splint.

If there is a proven problem get the boot that does the job. I have seen far worse injuries from rubbing, dirty boots than if the horse hadn't been wearing them.
 

Anja

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Ok * looks a bit worried about getting boots* our stbds boots are norammly washed when they are grubby (( we have a bark chipped arena and we have a sand based track which we normally go for a treak down))
 

Nats

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Splints

Hi Wally et al,

My mare had splints (one on each foreleg) when I bought her, they were picked up when I had her vetted and my vet told me not to worry about them. However, she has recently become lame in her NS fore, her fetlock was warm with some swelling up her leg. This goes down overnight in the box and the vet thinks she has 'upset' the splint on that leg. I gave her 7 days rest including 3 in the box and then rode her - she seemed completely sound when we were out and when we returned, but was then lame again the next morning. I do endurance riding with her - she's now really fit having done several 20-25 milers (at 7-8mph) in recent months - could this have contributed to upsetting an old splint or is it more likely she did something charging about in her field?

Any tips will be gladly received!!
 
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