Lameness is an abnormal gait or stance of an animal that is the result of dysfunction of the locomotor system. In the horse, it is most commonly caused by pain, but can be due to neurologic or mechanical dysfunction. Lameness is a common veterinary problem in racehorses, sport horses, and pleasure horses.
Lameness is most commonly caused by pain, but may also be the result of neuromuscular disease or mechanical restriction. Lameness itself is a clinical sign, and not a diagnosis
The majority of lameness originates in the hoof. For this reason, the hoof is closely scrutinized in shape, balance, shoeing, wear pattern, and for the presence of cracks, and contracted or sheared heels.