This is Cloud. He is a teenage "walkalossa" gelding. He was rescued from the Petaluma Auction by
SaferHorse Rescue. I later adopted him. He is a local sonoma county horse, my understanding from a few
who knew of him (prior to the auction), was that his previous job was that of a trail horse. I would love to
know more details about this boy, if anyone out there reading this, knows him and would be willing to share, I
would be very grateful. I love Cloud. No judgment on who ever had to let him go, I am grateful he is here.
I picked him up and brought him back to the ranch in mid. August 2009. Cloud was in interesting shape. In
some ways he was well and in others he was not. He was a very hoof and body sore horse. He has multiple
issues going on. He is overweight as well.
It appears that he has some high ring bone in his right front (osteoarthritis in the pastern joint) hoping that
the coffin joint is not affected. Since coming here this bony prominence has greatly reduced in size. When
he first arrived you could easily see it with your eyes, now it is pretty subtle (to the naked eye) but can still be
felt when touched. Cloud will be getting xrays in the coming weeks to see just exactly what things look like
inside his lower legs and hooves.
He had a pretty severe shoulder injury at some point in his life, could have been some time ago. But
basically the right side of his shoulder (scapula) was tweaked in toward his body, rather than flowing out
away from his body. This makes it very uncomfortable for him to use his right leg in a normal fashion. When
he stands, he has a "toed" out stance. And his front legs are generally spread pretty far apart, while his hind
legs are pretty close together, sometimes looking a bit cow hocked, hocks pointing inward.
His pelvis was pretty seized up and slightly tilted. My guess is that this was mostly about compensating for
the shoulder for a long time, creating quite an imbalance.
At first we thought Cloud had some damage to the muscle in his hind end, on the right side (and of course he
still could) but the more I look at all the other issues he is dealing with and how each problem affects each
part of his body, the more I tend to think, his hind pain, is more a result of the way he uses it to compensate
for his right front. He trips allot at any gait faster than a walk. His hocks sometimes lock when he is moving
faster than a walk, also causing him to trip.
When ever Cloud would turn around, esp. to the right, if he was moving faster than a walk, he would rock
back onto his whole hind end to spare his front right shoulder. It looked very much like a founder stance, if
you have ever seen a laminitic or foundered horse standing or trying to turn around, it can be dramatic
looking. This is how Cloud was moving on a daily basis.
Cloud has an amazing personalty, he is a resilient horse, who has found ways around his pain. He has a great
attitude and I really think we will be able to help Cloud recover to a great degree, if not completely.
The video below shows you how Cloud turns to the right and how he leans himself back onto his hind end
and uses it to evade pain in that right shoulder. He also trips in this video. True to who he is, he is still
having fun, no matter what is hurting him.
In the photo to the left
you can really see the
dysfunction going on
with his body. His hind
end is bound tightly, his
shoulder is causing him
discomfort and his mouth
This was taken after the
video above. A few
minutes of exuberant
play and he was very
Cloud has been on pain
reliving & anti
inflammatory herbs since
he got here. Hes also
getting slippery elm for
To the left, Cloud using
his body oddly.
In the photo to the right, you can
really see how Cloud holds that
right front out and how his hind
end has that pinched look to it.
This is Clouds normal resting
stance. Clouds fetlock joints are
also slightly enlarged.