Sudden Conformation Change in an Aged Mare

A vet weighs in on what might cause a well-conformed senior mare to become over at the knee and fall during a ride.
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Sudden Conformation Change in an Aged Mare
A number of might explain a conformation change or a fall in an older horse, so having your veterinarian conduct a thorough physical exam is the best first step to finding an answer. | Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Q. I have a 20-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare that I have owned since she was born. She has been in extensive training and showing since she was four and has been awarded high honors in breeding quality status. However, over the past two years she has become increasingly over at the knee and bobbles her knees just standing in her stall.

She fell down while I was riding her not long ago in a very freakish manner. In all the years of training and showing her this has never happened

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Harry W. Werner, VMD, is a Connecticut equine practitioner with special interests in lameness, purchase examinations, wellness care, and owner education. Dedicated staff, continuing education and technological advances enable his practice to offer high-quality patient care and client service in a smaller, general equine practice environment. A committed AAEP member since 1979, Dr. Werner is has served as AAEP Vice President and, in 2009, as AAEP President, and he is a past president of the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association.

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