Gracie's Stifle Story

A Good Reason to Always Get a Second Opinion

Good Morning Y’all! I’m having a hard time getting going this morning. This weekend we had nice weather but last night a system came through with a bunch of rain and colder temps. Not to mention, it being dark longer in the mornings makes it hard for me to want to get up. I liked driving to work and watching the sun come up. Now I drive to work in the dark and miss the sunrise. Boo.

Gracie in Pink

But anyway, I wanted to update everyone who has followed Gracie’s injury and asked how she’s doing.  Sunday I had a new Equine Chiropractor out to give me a second opinion on her. She has been on the road to recovery but it seemed like for every 2 steps forward we were taking one step back. After Joseph would come she would get better but not 100% better. So I felt like it was time to bring someone else in and get their opinion. Boy am I glad I did too.

You can read what Joseph found to be the problem here.

So the new lady I had out is a certified Chiropractor for humans and horses. She first asked about Gracie’s history so I explained the whole story and what the first chiro and massage therapist said. Then I told her that Gracie has continued to have problems with the locking stifle but it only happens when it seems her hip is out. I explained to her that in order to be able to work her I had the Farrier put wedges on her back feet and that those did help to keep her from locking up. After I finished all my explaining it was her turn. First thing she says to me, “I know your horses problem because I’ve seen it many times before.” Of course, in my head I’m thinking, I sure hope you do but prove it.

Twisted Tibias. That’s what she says to me. She believes Gracie’s injury came from her running in the pasture and then going to stop and her butt slid up under her and her legs went out in either direction. Think of a reining horse as they run full speed and go to stop and their legs slide under them. Except instead of the legs staying under them in a straight line, they twist and go out in a v shape. That’s what she thinks happened.

So now she has a hunch of what she thinks the problem is and does a full body work up. As she’s feeling on Gracie she keeps saying, “Oh man” and “Oo.” You know all the words you don’t want to hear. Turns out Gracie had a lot more probs then just twisted tibias, but those were part of it.


This is what was determined after Gracie’s full work up:

  1. Twisted Tibias
  2. Shifted Sternum
  3. Hip positioned to forward
  4. Lower butt out
  5. Left Shoulder out
  6. Sore Gastons – this is from her hip and tibia
  7. Fetlock out
  8. Knotted muscles through her chest
  9. Neck still out
  10. Rotated Rib Cage

Insane right?! I couldn’t believe it but she showed me everything and taught me how to feel for it. I was in complete shock and was thinking how in the *** did he miss all this. Now don’t get me wrong, I think he’s good but after seeing how much he missed I am a little disappointed. Gracie could be much further along in the healing process if all this would have been found months ago and not now.

To make a long story short, this lady spent 2 hours working on Gracie. She did a combination of massage and chiro work on her to get everything straightened out. Gracie seemed to enjoy some of it and then some of it she hated. She warned me she would be sore from everything and that she would need some more time off but by this weekend I could go back to slowly working her. She suggested I do a lot of hill work because her muscles were so atrophied. She also highly recommended taking the wedges off because they were causing her hip to be forward and weren’t helping. So the farrier came out yesterday and pulled them off.

I expected Gracie to be more sore then she was yesterday but she seemed much happier. She was walking better, her mood was better, and her body actually looked better. My hopes are high that we finally are on the right path to recovery and she will be as good as new soon. I’m sure hoping for the best because I think she has a ton of potential. 🙂


What’s the worst injury your horse has had and how long were they out of work for?



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  • Reply
    March 19, 2013 at 9:13 am

    My OTTB Auggie was kicked in the chest area last February and I pulled a bone chip out. He had two hairline fractures from it. He was off for 6 months and right around the time I planned to bring him back he caught his left leg with his right hoof and tore it open so he was off for another month or so.

    • Reply
      Ashley Agee
      March 19, 2013 at 9:15 am

      Yikes! I hope he’s all well now and back to his before injury self!

  • Reply
    March 26, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Poor Gracie! She was way out of alignment, I’m glad she is getting better & on track. She also must have a great mind & attitude to be able to put up with the pain & not turn into a total witch to be around!

  • Reply
    Barrel Horse Stifle Problems and Blistering
    November 4, 2013 at 8:43 am

    […] 2nd opinion for Gracie […]

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