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Understanding Sore Shins in Horses

Understanding Sore Shins in Horses
12 October 2015 | Margaret Wilson

 

Visiting a yard recently, I was shown a lovely bunch of yearlings in sales preparation, but it was the two year old that returned back from training that the owner was most concerned with.

Visiting a yard recently, I was shown a lovely bunch of yearlings in sales preparation, but it was the two year old that returned back from training that the owner was most concerned with.

The filly was backward and not offered for sale last autumn. She was put in training in the spring, unfortunately sore shins struck over the summer and she did not race. The owner’s main concern was if there was anything he could do to reduce the chances of shin splints in this year’s yearling crop.

What Causes Sore Shins in Horses

Sore shins are common in young race horses, and occur as they adapt to the stresses and strains of training on the gallops. This “adaptation” is in fact adaptation of the bone. Increased stress or load bearing on a bone causes it to microfracture.

These microfractures are repaired and the healed tissue is stronger than what was there before. In severe cases of sore shins however, the microfractures are so painful that horse cannot continue in training. Typically time off from the gallop and to further mature resolves the sore shins issue.

With horses put into training in their two year old year, they are skeletally immature. Their bones are not yet those of an adult horse, they still have a lot of calcium deposition and joint tissue growth going on.

How to Treat Sore Shins with Bone Supplements

Forans product Osteoglyan supplies the calcium and other bone minerals needed to continue bone density development and treat these juvenile horses’ sore shins. It also contains a source of chondroitin sulphate to support joint cartilage development and repair.

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