Equine Collapse: Once in a Lifetime?
A horse that collapses while under saddle is both a hazard to himself and others. What does this mean for his potential as a mount, though? For many horses, suffering an episode of collapse (when a horse falls suddenly with or without recumbency–the inability to stand–or loss of consciousness) is a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, according to a Scottish researcher.
"Riding is a dangerous sport whether or not a horse has a history of collapse," said John A. Keen, BVetMed, PhD, Cert EM (Int Med), Dipl. ECEIM, MRCVS, RCVS and European Specialist in Equine Internal Medicine from the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland. "Collapse is, thankfully, rare. A horse is probably more likely to trip, fall, or get a fright than collapse."
Keen and his colleagues conducted a retrospective study of 25 equine collapse cases in an attempt to characterize causes and outcomes. All horses in the study were thought to be healthy when the incident occurred.
Diagnosing the cause of collapse is often difficult and, therefore, it can be hard to predict if or when the horse will collapse again, Keen said. However, many horses that collapse once (whether or not a cause for the collapse was determined) never collapse
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