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A Hitch in the Giddyup

A horse with stringhalt can look perfectly normal standing in his stall or pasture. But when he begins to move at a walk or slow trot, his hind leg is jerked up involuntarily towards his belly. In some cases, he actually touches the bottom of his abdomen with the front of his pastern with each step. In others, the movement is less dramatic, but still significantly affects the horse’s gait. When both hind legs are involved, the horse may even end up “bunny hopping” as the two legs kick up at the same time. The movement is usually worse if the horse has been resting or if the weather is cold, and tends to improve or even temporarily disappear after the horse has been exercising for a period of time or when the horse is working at a canter. Fortunately, the abnormal movements don’t seem to cause the horse any…

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