Horsegirl4

6 Month Old Foal Cow Hocked

6 posts in this topic

I have a 6 month old foal that is slightly cow hocked. My main question is how do I help correct it as he grows? I do my own horses hooves, I use a rasp only! I never use the nippers. His hooves are ing perfect shape, I just want to know how to help straighten his back knees or do I have to get a farrier to do it? I do semi-weekly trims on him because he is young. I mainly try to do it only when he is getting a little long, not before then because I don't want to sore him or cause a bad experience.

Here is a picture of his back end as a 5 month old

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I know it looks terrible but he also likes to stand with his hind feet out, lol goofy horse.

heres a picture when he is eating I believe this was when he was 5 months as well

PICT0424.jpg

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You are in a small window of opportunity here. I would call in a professional and get off to a good start, if its going to happen.....no messin' around.

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Some things can be changed with trimming, and some things are just the way the horse is conformed. You also have to consider the stage of growth. A bum-high foal often looks like a conformational nightmare, but then when the withers catch up for a minute they look much better.

That being said, it looks from the pics that he turns out at the stifle and not at the hock, which is good. Turning out at the stifle is much more likely to be a temporary thing or to be fixed through trimming.

You need to find someone who has trimmed a lot of foals to look at him. Foals are a bit different to trim than adult horses in that you don't want to correct the toeing out too much on a foal. They should toe out a bit, because when the chest widens the front legs will straighten out. If you trim them to be straight when they are young, then they will toe in some when the chest gets wider. At that point, it is really too late to fix the toeing in, as the bones have finished growing.

Most horses really do need to be a tiny bit cow hocked too. Not only does it allow the hind legs to clear the belly when the horse moves, but it gives them a bit more pushing power. However, we are talking a very slight deviation, not as much as this guy is showing right now.

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A lot of conformational 'defects' in foals tend to correct themselves as the horse grows. It looks like this guy really isn't all that bad off. Keeping him on a regular trimming schedule and keeping the hoof well balanced will help insure that he straightens up correctly. As far as trimming goes, the farther up the limb the deformity is, the less effect you're going to have with trimming. I always suggest a professional when trimming babies. This is a critical time for development as you have several epiphyseal plates sealing at different times. What you do now will effect him for the rest of his life.

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He's a baby, they DO that! Unless it's really severe, leave it alone. They grow out of it when the hips start to widen out and make room for those legs. Usually around 18 months or so, you can't tell there was ever a problem. I;ve raised a lot of babies, and only one that I remember DIDN'T toe out a bit at that age. They all grew up straight.

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