Identifying Sacroiliac Distress in Horses

Poor behavior during a farrier’s visit is one possible clue that the SI joints are in discomfort

Pictured Above: A 3-dimensional look at the sacroiliac joint.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Many common horse behaviors and hind hoof issues are related to a horse’s sacroiliac (SI) joints.
  • When you have a picture of the SI joint anatomy in your mind, you can make smarter decisions in your work to help horses.
  • You have many tools in your hands to help a horse stay more comfortable and perform stronger when you factor in the SI joints.

Have you worked on a horse that can’t bring its hind leg back to your lap? What about the horse that ...

  • Can’t get a clean lead change behind?
  • Jerks you forward with every strike on a nail in the hinds?
  • Stands with its hind feet tucked up under its belly?
  • Has a lateral flare on the hindfoot that you can’t seem to get rid of?
  • Can’t lift its hind foot more than a few inches off the ground and leans on you no matter which foot you’re working on?
  • Has a low palmar angle in its front feet?
  • Has “pointy” hindquarters?

Have you wondered what might be hiding behind these behaviors and foot issues? Farriers see these symptoms and behaviors regularly. It’s our job to find a way to work on these horses safely and keep them performing well. But, what if there’s one important piece of anatomy you’re missing? The sacroiliac (SI) joint.

SI joint health is a concern of our clients, trainers and veterinarians. We hear about it all the time, especially…

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Diana youngerman

Diana Youngerman

Diana Youngerman, EDO, APF, is a farrier and holds an Equine Diplomate of Osteopathy. Her practice focuses on the connections between a horse’s feet and body to improve performance, health and longevity.

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