Working Up Poor Performance in English Sport Horses
Sometimes when an equine athlete’s performance isn’t meeting expectations, the problem area is relatively clear: an obvious gait irregularity, significant respiratory noise, or a persistently sore back. Other times determining what’s amiss is decidedly more challenging. Veterinary exams can range from a cursory physical exam to advanced imaging and uncover multiple abnormalities … some of which might be irrelevant to the decline in performance, one practitioner said at a recent veterinary meeting. So, how’s a veterinarian to approach such cases?
At the 2018 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 1-5 in San Francisco, California, Christiana Ober, DVM, MRCVS, reviewed how she evaluates poorly performing English sport horses. Ober specializes in treating and managing these horses at Andre Buthe Equine Clinic, in Marlborough, U.K., and is the New Zealand Three-Day Eventing Team’s head veterinarian.
“The ability to determine the cause of poor performance in the three-day eventing or English sport horse is greatly enhanced by a consistent, methodical approach to the examination and extensive knowledge of the discipline involved,” she said. “Additionally, an open mind, good communication with the rider or owner, and collaborating with other experts can improve the success rate of correct diagnosis
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