firstname.lastname@example.org: (no subject)
Barbara Madill (WFMADILL.FMF@worldnet.att.net)
I think it would be a good to settle on the semantics for purposes of
discussion. For instance, are you truly discussing "cow hocks" and "sickle
hocks" or "base wide" or "standing under"?
Also, I'm not so sure I would be so quick to blame *Raffles for some of the
hocks on horses of his lineage. Don't forget there were a few other horses
in the pedigrees. If I correctly remember film footage of *Raffles, he was
rather well made, despite his 13:2 size. I often wondered, since there was
so much controversy about Lady Wentworth possibly letting a little
Thoroughbred into the Rijm line, whether Dyoll Starlight, a foundation Welsh
Mountain Pony sire, might have had something to do with *Raffles!!
THAT'S A JOKE!!! -- no matter what Lady Wentworth did, the Crabbet horses
were (and are) TOUGH!! Let's face it, where would the Russian Arabians be
without Raktha (sire of *Serafix who ended up in Russia after a sojourn in
Republic of South Africa).
Seriously, I think the "base wide" type of "cow hocks" is the result of a
longer gaskin than required for a straight leg. And, I agree that I'd
rather have a horse base wide than too straight.
Sickle hocks (the bent ones) are a different matter. *Silver Vanity had
BENT hocks (truly sickle). Possibly some of our British readers will
remember some of the commentary in "Riding" magazine back in the early
1960's. I'd steer clear of a truly bent hock if a lot of hill climbing or
high level dressage were expected, but I think a slightly "standing under"
horse can develop more drive than the straight legged horse. I think there
were studies done some years ago on the actual measurements -- length of
bone and degrees of angles -- and the eventual athletic successes of the
horses studied .
I think extremes of any conformation are risky in long distance sports.
Perhaps a horse with low action saves energy, but may injure itself by
tripping when it doesn't pick up its feet. (I had a mare that I nicknamed
Fitting the conformation and attitude of the horse to the rider is also
part of the overall equation, but usually the final choice is absolutely
subjective, so it's a good idea to have someone along who will be staunchly
objective whenever you look at horses.
The above has to be said with my own foot in mouth, because I've bought a
16 hand "giraffe" of a horse (*Nabiel son) with a lot of extremes -- length
of neck, shoulder, back, pasterns, etc. and I'm 5' 3"!!! A friend said I'll
do well with him in open Dressage (which we have, already) because, with me
on him, he looks like a Warmblood!