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Sacro-iliac Strain In The Horse

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Most horseman call this 'dropped hip' syndrome. In fact actually it is a strain of one of the major ligaments of the hind end. Typically, the horse is presented with one hip lower than the other, when viewed from behind. It is the lower hip which poses the problem. Many horses will demonstrate pain when pressure is applied parallel to the spine. Although these animals rarely appear to be severely lame, the trainer may complain that the animal is simply not performing up to par.

The treatment for this condition is rather variable. There are many techniques, but very little actually works well. Many veterinarians will say that simply stall rest will do the trick. The ligament will repair, the hip will come back up, and the animal will race/perform. Others will perform acupuncture, which will help take the pain away temporarily at least. Still other will advocate manipulating the spine in order to effect a chiropractic adjustment. In actual fact, this seems to give the best results, but the effects are short-lived.

It matters not what you do, so long as the pain is relieved. Take away the pain, and the animal will immediately race/perform better. Even if the hip is still dropped, once the pain is removed the animal will perform well too.

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