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If your horse is lame there are many things that could be causing the problem, there are some signs that point to navicular disease as a possibility but are not specifically diagnostic.

  • Shortened strides – this suggests that the horse is trying to keep his weight on his toes to reduce the pain in his heels.
  • Toe-first walking
  • Tendency to shift weight, especially on front feet
  • Reluctance to move forward
  • Reluctance to take a lead that was not previously a problem
  • Tendency to stand with front feet on a slight slope with toes pointing down.  I haven’t seen this noted anywhere else but my navicular horse does this.  He stands with his front feet on the edge of a little depression in the floor of his stall so that his toes are lower than his heels.  This position takes pressure off the heel.

These signs alone do not indicate navicular disease, but they do suggest you should consult your veterinarian. Only your veterinarian can diagnose the disease with the help of radiographs and other tests.

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