HELP! Ziggy isn't right


Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
Surrey Hills
I went over early to feed the boys and take Ziggy out for a quick hack. They were standing at the top of the field, sunbathing with a friend on the other side of the fence. Mattie cantered down for his feed: Ziggy walked, very slowly. This isn't like him so I watched him walk - I am always on laminitis alert at this time of year - but he wasn't lame at all. I put him in the shelter to feed him and he ate with gusto. He was shivering, but he has shivered a couple of times since he was clipped out so I thought it would just help get the weight off.

When I went to lift his feet he wouldn't lift his left front at all. I was worried and asked him to move. He wouldn't move. I put his halter on and he followed me out and did a couple of circles in walk, slowly, looking stiff and sore. I found it hard to get him back in the shelter and when he did get back in he stood camped under. I tried again to lift his feet and he lifted obediently all except the left fore - he tilted his right hind instead as if to say, "I can't, because of this one."

I put a stable fleece on him and left him in with hay. I don't think it's laminitis because in Ziggy that presents with sore front feet and general lameness. Could it be tying-up because he got cold? Poor little chap, I did feel sorry for him, but apart from the reluctance to move he seemed bright and happy. All suggestions gratefully received.


Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
Suffolk, UK
I would very much doubt tying up in the sense of muscle breakdown, but sore back muscles can come from shivering for an extended period. I'd check him again once he's thawed out a little :)
Not lifting left front would most often be indicative of a problem in the right front, but if you found nothing there perhaps it is just cold stiff back muscles.


Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
It does sound quite similar to Raf's unexplained stiffness that he suffers from time to time. The first time when it was very severe I called the vet and she was convinced it was tying up but blood tests proved otherwise. Since then he's done it a couple of times but less severely, more like you describe Ziggy at the moment. The latest time was on Sunday after a PR. He was ok getting off the wagon, but after I put the cold hose on him (it was red hot and sunny at the time) to wash the sweat and mud off he could barely move when I led him away. I left him in a little paddock in the sun with his cooler on to warm up and move about and he was fine after a couple of hours. So I'm thinking it might be cold with Raf now.


Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
Surrey Hills
Thank you! I will check him again now and when I am back from work later on today and see if he seems to have thawed out. Cross fingers it's not anything worse...


Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
Possibly sore muscles, but I wouldn't rule out laminitis I'm afraid. Hopefully warming up will do the trick, but I'd also check his digital pulses when you go back, just because it isn't how he normally presents doesn't mean it isn't & it could be a combination of cold & soreness made worse because he's been moving ess & bracing himself against sore feet. I hope I'm wrong & it is just stiff muscles from being cold, but until I'm sure I'd treat as laminitis.

Mary Poppins

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2004
Visit site
I doubt he was shivering from the cold alone. It is still 7 degrees overnight and he has the option to move to keep warm - unless his foot was sore so he didn’t want to move? I think you have done the right thing by leaving him in with a fleece, fingers crossed he looks better this afternoon.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
Mine is growing out a hunter clip & has only a light summer coat, if he was out at night unrugged in 7c he would be shivering, hence why he has a light rug on.

KP nut

I'd rather be riding.
Dec 22, 2008
No advice but just to send bucket loads of vibes and hope he is better this afternoon x


Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
No advice from me either just lots of healing vibes and hope he’s back to himself soon x


Well-Known Member
Jan 18, 2016
Sorry no advice but fingers crossed he's feeling better this afternoon and sending heaps of vibes!


Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
On an island
Lots of get better soon vibes to him. I'd be wondering about the reluctance to lift the foot - wonder if there is something like an abscess brewing in there? Do his legs feel okay in general, ie, no lumps bumps or heat?
Hopefully he was just cold and displaying it. I was a bit bothered about Zi last night (he isn't clipped but shivers easily and is a warmblood) however he was fine.
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