For as long as people have kept horses, they’ve also recognized that horses go lame. History books are filled with various treatments for various lameness problems, many of which are easily recognized as occurring – and incurable – today.
From a statistical standpoint, the vast majority of lameness in the horse is associated with the front feet. It’s been estimated that as much as 70% of all lameness conditions result somehow from problems in the front feet, some of which can be easily cured, others of which cannot. As a result, the horse’s hoof gets a lot of attention – as it well should. But problems in other areas present their own challenges – each case has to be handled individually.
Lameness is not a disease, it is a sign of a disease. There are many individual conditions which cause lameness – we’ll discuss some of the more common ones in the pages that follow.