When a horse stops performing to their expected level, there can be a long list of possible explanations. We have a particular interest in investigating such cases. A logical diagnostic approach is critical, whilst at the same time we recognise that not every horse can be tested for every possible problem. We will take a thorough history from you before examining the horse in detail, before discussing the findings with the owner or trainer and coming up with a plan.
The type of problems that may be underlying a poorly performing horse include:
- Low grade lameness.
- Over-riding dorsal spinous processes (‘Kissing Spines’).
- Gastric ulceration.
- Airway disease.
- Viral infections.
- Hormonal problems in mares.
We also recognise that not all problems are physical! As frustrating as it may be, should our investigations fail to highlight a physical abnormality, then a behavioural or training issue may be the contributing factor and the help of para professionals may be required.
Our vet Rob Walsh has a further qualification in Equine Sports Medicine and as such travels far and wide to see competition horses; the clinic itself has a reputation for poor performance cases and this would make up a significant proportion of the horses we see each week.