ridecamp@endurance.net: sickle hocks

sickle hocks

Gwen Dluehosh (dluehosh@vt.edu)
Sat, 01 Mar 1997 00:56:19 +0500

I realize that these are Dr. Holmstrom's findings...
but I must say that I would much rather have horse with alittle much angle
than not enough...
I did not take this out of context, it stood on its own as a statement.

Sickle hocks, on the other hand, did not appear in the top
>> >level horses, so somehow or another, they were a weakness that kept
>> >horses from top-level performance.

>at which a horse moves from "slight angulation" to "sickle-hocked",

It'd be interesting to find out the degree!...
I have a herd of horses here with near 45degree shoulders but who have short
cannons, big feet and SHORT pasterns- I guess it's a good trademark in this
breeding program... but I do know what you are talking about. If the angle
isn't excessive, no, it wouldn't bother me a bit to at least try the horse out.
I don't look twice at a horse with too short a hip and correspondingly
straight angles, though I have seen some that have long hips and straight
Dropped pasterns are definitely out.

Please don't take my
>statements regarding Dr. Holmstrom's study out of context--

you repeated the word sickle hocked, yes it's semantics, but to me sickle is
sickle, unless you say something about the degree the horse is affected.
NOone is attacking you... but it was stated.

Dr. H made the observation that often horses which
>have increased angulation in the rear ALSO have increasingly acute
>angles in the shoulder and pastern joint. A laid back shoulder is a
>nice thing but long sloping pasterns in an endurance horse is not, WHEN
>the angle is excessive, because it puts too much strain on the tendons
>and leads to unsoundness.
Agreed, but as above, the two are not mutually inclusive (long shoulder,
good angle plus long pasterns).

But if you're going out and looking at prospects, how do
>you know that horse IS going to hold up? Isn't it better to try and
>find a horse with as few conformational weak links as possible?
Agreed, but
It also depends on WHAT is considered a weak link. I am pretty sure that
many of the Count DOrsaz horses out there who are performing in endurance
and doing just fine may have some degree of sickle hock... but that doesn't
make them any less of a horse- especialyl with the performance records those
horses typically have on board...
This is just an example...

This isn't always a choice when you are looking at preservation adn the
degree is minimal... The mare is perfectly straight otherwise and has many
desirable traits that outweigh that one flaw...
ANd I wouldn' thave a problem taking any of her get out on trail.

Gwen Dluehosh
Desert Storm Arabians
1156 Hightop Rd, #89
Blacksburg, VA 24060

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