Since I am now the owner of a 22 year old ex-barrel horse - well, my 78 year old mother is with "loose" hocks (best way to describe), I am going to try hock boots to give him support. I can't seem to find the comments on hock boots thread with the search option; can I get your suggestions again?
Long story short...he's been vetted by previous owner (to the tune of $3,500) and they could not give a straight dx. My chiro, who barrel races, said they just ran him until he was broken. He's had hock injections, ultra-sounds, etc. He was given to my neighbor for light riding and a companion to a horse they used to have.
He hung out by my horses every day in his pasture, and when I gave them their afternoon hay (which I do in the winter), of course he got some, too. They decided to give him away on CL (the previous barrel-racing owner did not want him back), and when I told my mother about what usually happens to these old guys, she decided to "adopt" him.
So now we are going to maintain him; he's got arthritis in his knees and hocks, plus the "loose" hocks, but he's got a forever home (I made my mother realize that this was his last home); he'll get some very light riding by an old woman and be spoiled.
So I need to decide on hock boots for turnout just for support; I"ll probably take them off in the stall at night.
Hi, I used the back on track hock boots on my gelding with hock arthritis. I used to put them on for about one hour before I rode him (while I tacked up and walked up to the arean) to help them warm up. I know some people leave them on in the stall for a few hours per day. I have never seen any boots designed to "support" the hock.
I don't think there is anything you can put on the outside of a hock that will do jack to support that joint.
I had some cheap neoprene hock boots that did create heat. That makes some arthritic horses happy. I don't think these fit well, so I wouldn't use them for riding, but I would leave them on over night or as another poster suggested, put them on a bit before a ride. I haven't tried that myself.
And yeah, I have never heard of "loose" hocks. Horses can have conformational deformities in the joint that makes them twist, but the joint is pretty stout. Loose stifles are a possibility. Now that's a badly designed joint, IMO.
Could be a loose stifle...I'll try and get a video this weekend. One leg, puts his hoof down, and sometimes the hock will bend out a little sideways, either in or out, and he kinda wiggles...like it's loose. I was thinking in the line (and discussed this with some other experienced horse people) to try and prevent that a bit...kinda like when we wear a knee brace. Did see online that some people use them when riding; I"ll just have to see.
He's not in pain (except for his arthritis, which I am seeing what works best for him to manage), definitely only for light riding (which is all my 78 year old mom will do). Seems they were barrel racing him like this - they gave him hock injections, buted him up, and ran him - and he won them money. Once it became clear his costs would be more than his winnings, they decided to place him, but at least they looked for a home that would not race him (seems like there were plenty of people willing to take him and run him into the ground).
I have a call into the original owners to see if I can get permission to get info from the vet who did all the testing on him.