How to Tell Lameness in Horses on its Front Leg(s)
Horses are big animals and they can take a rather large shift in weight off of a front leg if it suddenly gives way. Therefore, it is easy to see that a horse that is limping 100% of the time on its front leg is probably not going to be well off if you start riding it and that injury is never going to heal. If the lameness is only evident when the horse is carrying a rider or taking a step, it might just get better on its own. But, if the lameness is apparent when the horse is standing around, it could be that you are facing a long term issue, whereas a horse might get over the problem if you just get it some exercise.
To be on the safe side, call the vet to come and have him look at the horse. The vet will need to take a look at the leg, probably squeeze it and if there is a sprain or strain, he'll need to shoot some cortisone in the tendon.
To avoid lameness problems, horses are often provided with shoes which help them to engage with the ground faster or increase the hoof level thus helping the horse take larger steps and move around with greater ease.
Causes of Front-Leg Lameness in Horses
These will be some of the most common causes for front-leg lameness in horses. However, just because the tooth issue is rare doesn't mean you shouldn't take it seriously. When a horse is able to pull the foot off the floor, then that is a sign that there is something current that is causing discomfort.
A sore tooth causes the horse to chew constantly, which means you will see the horse's face nearly always facing towards the ground. The chewing will produce a lot of extra saliva that is usually destroyed by the continual chewing. The creation of the extra saliva is the reason the affected horse will have a wet, shiny face.
For more information on front-leg lameness, try reading this article. It overviews most causes of lameness of the front legs.
Note: Altered photos of the horse's te