Can A Horse With Navicular Be Ridden?

Last Updated on February 23, 2022 by Griselda M.

The horse’s front feet have hoofs that extend forward to form a “navicular” bone. Navicular is the name of this type or toe, and its shape helps support the weight of the foot when it makes contact with hard ground. Horses with navicular are not recommended for use in riding

The “when to euthanize a horse with navicular” is an important question that has been asked many times. The answer to this question is when the horse’s condition becomes too painful for them to continue living.

In horses, donkeys, and mules, the complicated ailment known as navicular syndrome is quite frequent. There are a variety of therapies indicated for this ailment, and it’s unclear why some are more effective than others. Knowing the structure of a horse’s hoof may help you figure out what’s causing navicular syndrome and how to cure it.

Is it possible to ride a horse with navicular? In this post, we’ll talk about navicular syndrome and look at some of the most frequent worries people have about it. Continue reading to find out more.

Q&A about Navicular Syndrome in Horses

navicular syndrome in horses q&a

Is navicular a medical condition?

Naicular syndrome is also known as caudal heel discomfort or navicular illness. All of these terms pertain to the same kind of hoof problem. Because navicular illness is no longer a singular ailment, veterinarians no longer refer to it as such.

It is a syndrome, which means that it encompasses a wide range of issues.

Because it produces discomfort at the back (caudal) part of the hoof, the ailment is also known as caudal heel syndrome. This kind of widespread heel discomfort may quickly develop to lameness.


What is the best way to treat navicular in horses?

Navicular syndrome may manifest itself in a variety of ways in various animals. This is due to the fact that the causes of the illness differ. As a result, identifying the proper therapy requires an accurate diagnosis.

How can you know if your horse is suffering from navicular syndrome?

It used to be quite difficult to establish whether your horse had navicular syndrome and, if so, which parts of the foot were damaged. Veterinarians had to depend on x-rays in the past. Hoof X-rays may reveal abnormalities with the bones of the hoof (precisely, the navicular bone).

Veterinarians may now check soft tissues in the hoof with the use of MRI technology, which can make a tremendous impact. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is now widely used (MRI makes it much easier for veterinarians to deliver a firm diagnosis).

Navicular syndrome is a complicated condition, and vets have only recently been able to learn about its many facets thanks to the development of MRI equipment.

A variety of different sorts of injuries may result in navigcular syndrome. Many indications and symptoms are missed when a diagnosis is made only on the basis of an x-ray. It is impossible to develop a specific therapy for navicular syndrome without understanding the exact etiology.

What are some of the most effective navicular syndrome treatments?

There is no straightforward cure for navicular syndrome. It’s critical that everyone on your horse’s health team, including your veterinarian, farrier, and yourself, is on the same page and working together.

An correct diagnosis is critical, and continuous application of appropriate therapy is required.

If the navicular condition in your horse is caused by abnormalities in the bone inside the hoof, your veterinarian may prescribe drugs that can help. This form of treatment may not be useful if your horse’s ailment is caused by tissue inflammation.

The symptoms of navicular syndrome may typically be alleviated by reducing inflammation. As a result, some veterinarians feel that long-term corticosteroid injections into the navicular bursa and/or coffin joint, along with pain medication, may effectively reduce navicular syndrome symptoms, inflammation, and discomfort.

In certain horses, corrective shoes may aid with navicular syndrome. This is why it’s critical for your veterinarian and farrier to collaborate closely. Their combined efforts might be just what your horse needs.


The most important thing to remember when considering what sort of therapy your horse need is that each horse and scenario are unique. What works wonderfully for one horse may not work at all for yours.

Is it possible to ride a horse with navicular?

You should also think about what you want your horse to do for you. Your horse may have previously been a high-performance animal or a working horse. Navicular syndrome may modify the function of your horse, but it does not make him unsuitable.

While your horse may no longer be able to race or leap, he or she may still be able to provide peaceful pleasure riding. On the other hand, certain horses who are well cared for from the start may compete effectively for a long period.

Is it possible to lunge a horse with navicular?

Lunging is not a good idea in general. Running in circles at a 45-degree angle is taxing on a horse’s joints and hooves, and it’s a certain way to aggravate or possibly induce lameness.

Try developing a consistent schedule of feeding, grooming, and groundwork before saddling up and riding if your horse needs some time to relax before riding. This will lead to a stronger link between you and your horse, as well as a greater feeling of calm and communication.


Is it a good idea to acquire a horse who has navicular changes?

In general, you should acquire a sound horse; but, if you want a calm, gentle mount for mild riding, as a companion animal, or to lead the grandchildren about, a horse with navicular syndrome may be suitable.

Just keep in mind that you’ll need to commit to proper, consistent veterinarian and farrier care from the moment you buy your horse until the end of time.

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The “navicular horse walking” is a question that many people have been asking themselves. The answer is yes, but the horse must be ridden with care.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you exercise a horse with navicular?

A: This is a question about horse training. Please refer to the appropriate section from our FAQ for more information on how to care for your equine friend.

Can a horse recover from navicular?

A: A horse can recover from navicular. It is a condition that affects the cartilage on either side of the hoof, and it usually occurs in horses walking over rough terrain where they are often turned out to pasture.

What do you do for a horse with navicular?

A: A horse with navicular is typically treated with anti-inflammatory medication, rest and possibly corrective shoes. There are also some cases where a veterinarian may recommend surgery to help fix the issue.

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