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Question
Hi my horse has creaking joints which i can hear when she is walking  beside me or in stable.  She is 5 and half .  I do notover rideher and amjust startinggrid workwith her, should i be worried

Answer
Dawn,

You didn't specify her breed or size but I'm guessing she's a big horse.  She's still  young and what you are hearing are her tendons in the joints snapping.  She's at the age where she's growing fast and things have to catch up. She's only 5, still has 3 years to grow; horses grow until they are 8 yrs. old.  The last part of the equine skeleton to ossify is the spinal cord and that's not complete until they are 8.  Just go slow with her, don't ask a lot because she's still growing.  Sounds like she's going through a growth spurt now.  It's nothing to worry about as long as you don't over stress her by asking too much at this early age.  This will in all likely hood stop over the winter when the growth slows down.  The bones grow first and then everything else has to catch up.  The tendons get stretched when the bones grow and it takes a while for them to tighten up after the growth is done.  If she seems a little sore at times just give her some time to get over the growing pains.  I waited with my youngster to start her under saddle this year at 7 because she was small and rather fine and I didn't want to put weight on her too early.  People always want to rush young horses not realizing that they do take a long time to mature.  I've seen a lot of damage done over the years from asking too much too early.  Just be patient and give her time and she should be fine.  

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Lyn Kamer, C.E.S.M.T.

Expertise

Training, alternative therapies, saddle fitting problems, behavioral problems, endurance riding, driving, Mustangs

Experience

Horseman of over 50 yrs., certified equine massage therapist, trainer both riding and driving, long distance trail riding and driving. Both endurance and competitive trail riding and driving.

Organizations
American Endurance Ride Assn., Eastern Competitive Trail Ride Assn., New Jersey Trail Ride Assn., Aromatherapists International, American Mustang and Burro Assn., United States Trotting Assn., Standardbred Pleasure Horse Org., US Wild Horse and Burro Association

Publications
Trail Blazer magazine, AERC Newsletter, Hoofbeats magazine

Education/Credentials
Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist, Least Resistance Trainer, Certified Aromatherapist

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