ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: Cow Hocks, etc.(getting long!)

Re: Cow Hocks, etc.(getting long!)

Gwen Dluehosh (dluehosh@vt.edu)
Sun, 02 Mar 1997 20:53:04 +0500

Hi Barbara
We need pictures I think! I know what you are talking about (I think!), but
it may not be clear to others on here!
OK, for this discussion- sickle hocks have NOTHING to do with cow hocks. I
do not consider cow hocks a flaw if they are NOT extreme. So forget cow hocks...
Base wide never came into the argument.
Standing under is a definite conformational flaw.

The sickle hock I am referring to is the one where you draw a line from the
point of butt down through the point of hock through the back of the
pastern. ALl three points should line up in a side view. (Int the normal
horse.) I don't think that is disputed.

OK, Now, I have a horse that if you start at the fetlock joint, and go
through the hock joint (point of, that is) the third point which shoudl lie
on the point of the butt will be a few degrees off- into outer space. i only
mean one or two degrees, no more than 4-5.
That's ALL I will accept of look at. SOmetimes you see it, sometimes you
don't if you just casually look at the horse.
NOW< the other type of horse with the bent hock- we have a TB out in the
pasture (thankfully a gelding) who has BENT hocks. He has some constriction
just below the hock joint that is just horrible- and just to prove it's bad
conformation, he managed to get himself a nice curb on the back side of his
joint there just running around in the field.
BUT< along with this this poor horse has a peaked croup, his legs are set on
funny as well, and it looks as if his back end was attached later. This is a
definite horse I wouldn't look at twice. HOwever he IS a sweetie, and if
anyone is interested in a pleasure mount for palling around with...

As for blaming Raffles, I am only trying to point out horses that are highly
visible to most of the people out there... I don't think I own but two
horses that don't have Raffles in them. And the broodmare I refer to with
the slight sickle has 24 crosses to him. So it's something I really have to

Go look at some of the Gainey breds- there are LOT of nice individuals, but
there are also some that are not so nice. I never made the comment that he
wasn't well made- but it's something to think about when breeding.As for
LAdy Wentworth, some days I would like to shoot her, other days I think
she's a genius.

My program here is also based on Crabbet blood- I am aiming for a 60-80%
blend with other horses- and so far it looks like the "other " is anything
from Egyptian to Babson to Davenport to Polish. And yes, there isnothing in
the world quite like a heavy Raffles horse- tough as nails and go all day.

I dont;' think I have ever seen a good side on view of Silver Vanity that
demonstrated to me that he was sickle hocked(I'd be happy to look at one!).
However, I do recall seeing some Crabbet horses that were definitely this
way... I'd have to go back and look.
Boy this is getting good.
Ever take a look at some of the NSHs out there? Especially the ORan get- You
really have to watch for the sickle trait. (We have some Oran in our horses
toobut I don't go looking for it! )

I think we need a better definition of what you mean by Base wide. Too me,
base wide is how far apart the legs are in comparison to each other down
toward the feet. You'd have to look from behind to see this. The sickling I
am talking about can be seen in any side view if the horse is posed
adequately. UNless you mean that the hocks are pointing to each other and
the feet are way away from each other... IN effect making an "x"
conformation of the three previous landmarks when viewed from behind.
We discussed that a long time ago and I think there was a minor consensus
that Arabs are usually not really"X" conformed, but are parallel "II", but
some stand closer together than others. This would disqualify them from
really being "cowhocked". AM I the only one that remembers this conversation??
I totally agree that one should take soemone along if they are looking at a
first time buy or don't have a lot of experience evaluating conformation...
The poor gelding I mentioned could have been avoided altogether if the mare
owner had known better- I can't imagine what the stallion must have looked
like. She didnt' know anything about conformation (she admitted that to
me... Iam not making blatant statements) and was just trying to raise a nice
dressage horse for herself. He moves nicely, but I doubt he'd hold up to the
rigors of anything beyond 1st or second level.

I hope your horse does well... there are horses out there that never cease
to amaze me, and some that should never have anything wrong with them that
go down..
As for Nabiel--- Diane where are you???
> 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.
>were (and are) TOUGH!!
> 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
> I think extremes of any conformation are risky in long distance sports.

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

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