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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 13, 2009

    Question 4 y/o mare, striaght hind legs- exercise's to engage hocks?

    I have a 4 y/o warmblood mare that trots and canters without engaging her hocks. Her hind legs are fairly straight. When she canters, the inside hind leg (of either lead) will paddle inwards. Any idea's of what I could do to help her engage in her hocks? Transitions? Exercises over fences? Could this be age related or conformationally incorrect?
    AJV Breeding

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    down the road from bar.ka


    Quote Originally Posted by Mallrat7777 View Post
    Could this be age related or conformationally incorrect?
    Could be either. Could be both. Could be niether and just a growth spurt she has not adjusted to. She is only 4. I would NOT design excercises, especially over fences, to try to correct this on a 4 year old WB.

    You run the considerable risk of actually hurting her if you try to force things. Just ride her normally and take your time as she grows, let nature take care of as much as the basic conformation allows.

    Of course, asking your vet and farrier might help answer any questions about development or conformation flaws. Probably better then anybody in cybersace.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2007
    Finland and NJ


    Ditto findeight. You don't want to push greenies too fast. As time goes, maybe incorporating some hill work into her schedule would help her build her hind end.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2008


    Not a vet or other expert, but I do have an 18 yo mare with pretty straight hind legs. Conformationally. She has suffered stifle problems that don't allow her to jump or do collected work for the last five years or so, and we don't know if that is caused by the conformation or the jumping she did as a youngster or simply an inborn tendency or some combination of all of the above.

    In your place I might consult with my trusted vet and trainer to be sure to strengthen her hind legs in a gradual, productive way, building them up carefully to be as strong as possible without causing damage to the joints or undue wear and tear. In other words, take her conformation and young age into account when designing her training program.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2007


    At 4, the only things I'd be doing with her to strengthen anything was walking or trotting up hills a few times a week. Especially with a horse that has a physical issue/limitation- I would hold off on any jumping that requires effort on the part of the horse. Have the vet out to discuss the conformation issue you see and how it might limit the horse (or whether the vet thinks its caused by a growth spurt and might reverse).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Greensboro, NC


    Either don't ride her if you think this is a growth issue


    Ride her correctly to teach her to engage. It doesn't have to be Poetin-engagement but it needs to be 4yo greenie engagement, not just letting her w/t/c around in a strung out fashion. Letting her do that is asking for damage. So, what twofatponies said.
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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