Action Point: Stay up to date on current research on lameness and other conditions by checking the following websites at least once a month.
American Association of Equine Practitioners
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Merck Veterinary Manual
My Horse University
UC Davis Centre for Equine Health
Rationale: While thehorse.com provides a wealth of easily accessible information and summaries of current research, the AAEP and veterinary schools provide an additional level of scientific and academic information that will help increase personal knowledge and understanding of lameness and other health topics of interest as they emerge.
Action Point: Spend time feeling and identifying the structures of the leg and learn how it feels to palpate these structures on each horse to know what is normal for them. Refer to the Journey through the Joints Healthcare Tool and Functional Equine Anatomy course materials for reference.
Identify the structures of the legs, bones, major tendons. Palpate the shoulder blades, withers, and muscles. Watch the horse walk, trot, and canter, and take a video for reference.
Rationale: Regular palpation of a horse’s body and legs may aid in the detection of any changes or soreness at an early stage, allowing for conversations with the vet and/or changes in exercise before serious lameness issues arise. Having a video record of normal gaits of each horse will serve as a handy point of reference if/when a gait abnormality is observed.