Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Combat Hock Problems in Horses

Equisearch.com - Full Article

By Elaine Pascoe with Gary Baxter, VMD

Wear and tear can break down these critical joints. Here are the latest targeted treatment options to avoid hock problems in horses.

Your horse is leaning on the bit, unwilling to bring his hind end up under himself or really use his hindquarters as he moves. When he takes a fence, he doesn’t push off with the power you know he has. Is he getting lazy? Regressing in his training? Or is it hock problems?

The hocks are a key part of your horse’s hind-end driving mechanism. Actions such as jumping and work at collected gaits, which call for extra hind-end effort, are especially tough on these hard-working joints. So are tight turns and small circles, which load the hocks unevenly and apply twisting force. With time and miles, the joints can start to break down and cause hock problems in horses.

That’s the bad news—but there’s good news, too. You can take steps to keep your horse working comfortably and extend his career, even when hock problems start to develop. In this article, we’ll explain what goes wrong and what you can do...

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