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Old 05-19-2011, 01:23 PM   #1
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Chasemb's Avatar
Join Date: May 2011
Location: MB Canada
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Do wind-puffs cause pain?

Im' at a dilemma, my OTTB is showing what i cant tell is excesive limping with her front left hoof, but the front right is showing larger wind puffs, and has been favoring the front left and taking weight of of her front right hoof. So sort of a tunge twister but I'm sure you get it. Yet she has no injuries or scares or cuts. i can even completely rub and massage the hole leg without any resistance.
Help please.
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Last edited by Chasemb; 05-19-2011 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:21 PM   #2
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My understanding of wind puffs is that they are a sign that the horse has been under strain, perhaps not enough to damage ligaments or tendons, but still more than just "normal" wear and tear. I think a horse with "fresh" windpuffs may exhibit some pain, but once they're "set", they don't usually bother the horse (but they also don't usually go away either). I had always been taught that windpuffs were blemishes, not unsoundnesses, but I've only ever dealt with horses that had them from before I got them. I think if you're seeing them show up on your horse for the first time, you may want to modify your training/riding program to reduce stress on the joints. I know some people use boots to provide "support" for the legs, but I don't know if they'd work to prevent windpuffs.
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Old 05-19-2011, 06:39 PM   #3
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Wind puffs generally fall under the heading of 'blemishes'. Usually the sign of a horse that was worked too heavily for too long or was trailered a lot. Usually not anything but a cosmetic issue in most cases. Occasionally some horses just have them for no reason whatsoever. If there is no lameness problems, I'd largely ignore them unless they get really big.

Nominally speaking, it's just the bursa in the joint expanding due to excess synovial fluid in the joint bursa. Or it could be the way the horse is put together. I see a lot of wind puffs on former race horses and hunters/jumpers without there being an issue other than cosmetic.

But, on the other hand, it could he a good indicator of a horse that was worked beyond its capacity to recover adequately from that stress.

Here's a good page that has some information buried in it:
Gilmore Horsemanship
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