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This condition will more easily show up in hard-working horses. It also is more apparent when a horse works in tight circles. When he is moving in a straight line it is not as apparent. The lameness seems to almost disappear when horse is at rest. It will reappear when it is working hard again.
How do you treat navicular syndrome? First, begin early. The horse owner is responsible for recognizing there may be a problem. If there is a problem, then veterinarian and farrier should be called so treatment can begin. The treatment consists of corrective trimming and shoeing, pain relieving and inflammation decreasing drugs, and carefully controlled exercise.
Interestingly, treatment for navicular syndrome may be quite different from veterinarian to next. They will not necessarily prescribe same treatment.
Exercise is one of most important parts of treatment because it increases blood flow to horse’s foot. But remember that exercise has to be carefully done.
What horses are most likely to have navicular syndrome? Hard working horses like race horses, cutting, reining, calf roping, and barrel racers. They are especially more likely to get navicular syndrome if they work on hard surfaces and have poor conformation.
Navicular syndrome is most common in horses with upright pasterns. Navicluar syndrome is also common in horses when hoof and pastern slope at different angles.
As a horse owner, you should know that improper trimming and shoeing can also cause navicular syndrome. If farrier trims a heel too low on a horse with an upright pastern it can increase pressure where flexor tendon and navicular bone meet.
Thus, be watchful of your horse. If you see something out of ordinary when you ask your horse to work hard you may begin by looking for navicular syndrome since it is most common cause of lameness in horses. As always, consult your veterinarian for diagnoses and treatments.
Andy Curry is a nationally known horse trainer and author of several best selling horse training and horse care books. For information visit his website at www.horsetrainingandtips.com. He is also the leading expert on Jesse Beery's horse training methods which can be seen at www.horsetrainingandtips.com/Jesse_Beerya.