Cow-hocked foals

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rosaroca

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I've noticed that a couple of my foals from this year have gotten slightly cow-hocked. They appear straight from the hocks down - their hooves/pasterns are in line with their cannon bones. Is this a farrier problem, or a nutritional one, do you think?

A couple of babies did it last year, too, and are still cow-hocked, despite my farrier's attempts to correct them.

Any advice?
 

mizbeth

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Hi

That is a hard question to answer given the little facts presented. Most of the time these little guys are growing so much they simply cannot keep enough weight on their legs to keep them straight. It is especially true of the more refined ones and the ones with the long legs.

I have seen some that are cowhocked until they are way over a year old, but when they finally level out from growing, they get stronger legs. It could still be trimming too, some grow feet very very fast.

Good luck,

Beth
 

nootka

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mizbeth is right on. I have seen the lighter boned horses go through these phases time and time again, but grow through it and with careful farriery, are fine.

This is not to say they are correcting something that is a congenital defect, but keeping the horse trimmed straight when they are young and following up on that (probably once a month til they are a year or so for me) is important.

Their heels also don't spread right many times.

I believe that some nutritional deficiencies tend to exacerbate these growth problems, but usually only in fairly extreme situations.

I'd have a little chat w/your vet and your farrier and see what you can determine.

Liz M.
 

hobbyhorse23

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their hooves/pasterns are in line with their cannon bones
Unfortunately, that doesn't have much to do with cowhocks as I understand them. Cowhocks involve the angles between the stifles, hocks, and where the toes point, not the cannon bones vs. the hooves. I can't help you much with the cause of your particular problem but I wanted to throw out that little tidbit and see if your babies were truly cowhocked. When they are standing naturally, are their cannons straight up and down as viewed from the rear? Bad cowhocks cause the horse to stand with their hocks together and their cannons non-parallel and pointing in different directions while their stifles point straight ahead. Sorry if my "word picture" isn't very clear, I'm typing at work and keep getting interrupted.


Got any pictures?

Leia
 
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Charlotte

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If the babies have any belly at all........not unusual after weaning........this will push the stifles out which pushes the hocks in and then the toes out....cow hock. We have found over the years that just keeping the babies trimmed level.....no corrective stuff..... allows them to mature normally and the cowhocked look goes away with time and maturity.

Corrective trimming often causes problems where there were none.

Charlotte
 
K

kaykay

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when i looked at this thread yesterday there was a picture??

I would start taking a long hard look at my breeding stallion. Is he cow hocked?? are the mares cowhocked?? i have found that its very inherited.
 

rosaroca

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Yes, my babies that are having this trouble are refined and long-legged. I've only had corrective trimming done on one - a yearling filly that I'd hoped to show this year. She was perfectly straight at birth and for the first few months, but started getting cow-hocked at around weaning time.

The farrier I was using at the time was a "big-horse" man, and he said he could fix her. Well, he made her worse - LOTS worse. Since then I've started using a very good "mini man," and she's starting to come around, but very very slowly.

And, yes, these babies are truly cow-hocked right now, with their hocks pointing slightly towards each other (although none are so bad that they're touching) and cannons angled out.

None of their mommas are cow-hocked, and the babies who went off last year aren't full siblings to the ones going off this year.
 

mizbeth

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Hi

A suggestion for your mini man who is trimming. It will work better for your yearlings and older weanlings if he keeps their toes short and lowered. He must leave a good bit of heal on the back as well.

Lowering the outside wall of the hoof from toe to heel will help to but in this case a trim more often is required as they will grow high on the inside.

I have done this on several occasions and found it to work well. Charlotte is correct tho., a balanced trim and proper feed is more help than anything.

The photo that was there yesterday of the black overo with blaze/bald face? He appeared straight in the photos I saw of him, as I looked too when this subject came up.

Just remember that these little guys simply do not have the weight in porportion to body/legs as big horses do. This is one reason we have so many "apparent" problems with the legs of miniature horses.

I think your babies will be fine given time to grow up!

Beth
 

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