When your horse is lame, you will watch him move to figure out where he hurts. However, what you see, may not always be the result of the actual cause of the issue. I see a lot of horses and the owner will say “he’s off on the left hind,” and I will say, “No, it’s actually the right front.”
It is interesting how quickly they can compensate! By the time they are bobbing their head, they are more like three-legged-lame. Many times when you think they are lame, it is going to be the area that was overworked and overcompensated, rather than the site of the original injury.
So if you are riding and the horse seems to be lame on the left front, you should look at the right rear. You need to look at how tight the muscles are in each shoulder and each hind leg. The over-tight area is the one that is over-working. I have a video on how to palpate the front leg suspensory and tendons.
Follow the tight muscles, they will tell you where there is an issue. You want to look for heat. There are a couple of products that are pretty amazing when you are not quite sure where the lameness is.
I like Dynamite Release Spray. You can put it on an area and it will foam wherever the issue is.
Bigeloil is another one. The oil will dry everywhere except where the issue is. Apply the oil daily to help that area heal a little bit better, but you still need to trace the lameness back to the cause.
I have quite a few videos on my YouTube channel for diagnosing where things are starting. The Horse 102 book that I sell on Amazon, has a little bit of information in that as well.