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I have a 13 year old Shire X mare who came back from loan in April. Since her return she has simply hasn’t been right. We initially thought it was in her back, now she appears ‘wrong’ in the front. She hasn’t really been lame just seems sore all over.

We have had her back checked twice, numerous vets visits & x-Rays of her front fetlocks & feet. The x-rays showed the beginning of Arthritis in her right Pastern joint. She was given a course of bute (2x daily for 7 days) but in our opinion she still isn’t right.

I would value your opinion and your thoughts on this problem.”


Hello Gemma

Thank you for your question.  This does seem a difficult scenario as quite complex variables have occurred recently with the change of rider etc.  Without further questions being asked it is difficult to narrow it down, but quite probably this horse may have multiple issues going on.  There could well be a spinal issue going on +/- a shoulder/scapula issue, however we would need more questions answered first ie, has there been a change in tack recently between owners? has the farrier changed his method of shoeing recently or has there been a change in farrier?  Has her workload changed between owners?  Also has Bute made a difference?

The best way forward is to ensure that the person checking your horses back has liaised with your vet and your farrier to make sure everyone is aiming for the same outcome and that everyone can discuss a way forward to ensure a successful outcome.  The mare needs to be looked at as a whole rather than just her back or just her feet.

If you would like us to get involved and look at the overall picture with your mare we would be more than happy to do so.  If you would like to make an appointment than please call the office on 01432 890490 or email:

I wish you all the best in getting to the bottom of your problems with your mare.

Best Wishes
Rhiannon Bradford


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