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Straight Hocks, What Say you???

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  • Straight Hocks, What Say you???

    Ok so I am looking at a horse w/ very straight hocks. Everything else is just nice and correct including ankles.

    I am looking for any and all input and won't be offended, he hasn't done anything so no baseline.............

  • #2
    My homebred has pretty straight hocks and while she can jump the moon she really does it best from a huntery spot (longish, from a forward but lopey canter) and she pretty much topped out in dressage at first level and it was hard for her. Can't blame it all on the hocks, but collection, even in the most basic of terms was highly unpopular.

    She is also level with a big shoulder (she also has a big butt, but she doesn't have that huge forward shoulder some have) rather than uphill, which certainly didn't help.


    • #3
      I'm REALLY a non-fan of post-legged horses.

      Having said that . . . two words: Winsome Adante.
      Click here before you buy.


      • #4
        straight hocks would likely predispose him to hock issues, but geez, what doesn't? I've had horses with cow hocks, straight hocks, sickle hocks... and yes, farther down their career, some of them ultimately needed to be injected (but these were also ex-racehorses,... so, lots of wear and tear there.). Very straight hocks generally leads to a lot of jarring on the hock joint, so compression is your likely issue... but I"ve read many top riders/trainers (frank chapot, Jimmy Wofford, etc.) say ultimately, yes, consider conformation, but some of the best jumpers have had conformation issues and performed wonderfully. If it's otherwise the 'perfect' horse, I wouldn't let it stop you, but that's just my opinion.


        • #5
          I'm not a fan either. However, here is the article with Winsome Adante's conformation assessed.

          He was retired at 14 due to hind limb unsoundness - but what a career beforehand.

          You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


          • #6
            lots of questions

            They can be quite limiting; but, look at the whole picture; how as is the rump in general, croup, lumbar sacral joint? hip; what is the intended use for this horse?
            breeder of Mercury!

            remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans


            • #7
              My first horse was a Quarter Horse with very straight hocks that I was able to compete through Prelim, with dressage scores in the mid-30s, and he could jump the moon. That being said, he did end up needing hock injections and developed arthritis in his hocks. My OTTB also has fairly straight hocks, and similar story- he competed through Prelim as well, but needed hock injections from a fairly young age after slipping in warmup at a show (he still has pretty much clean x-rays at 15).

              I would say that if everything else on the horse is good, they can compensate quite effectively for straighter hocks. I would watch how the horse moves and jumps if possible rather than making the decision strictly on the conformation.


              • #8
                How straight is he going into the stifle?

                I vote no - unless the horse is young (like 3) and is an athletic freak. If its young and a freak (and inexpensive), then its worth the unsoundness gamble IMO. Or if its fancy and quiet, like its not a pro ride, maybe.

                My experience with straight hocks hasn't been awesome. I bought a horse many years ago with straight hocks, and hind end unsoundness, hock arthritis, stifle issues etc caught up with him when he was 14 ish, and he was retired at 16 or 17 (can't remember ). Compounding the suckyness was that he is, was and always had been a true pro ride, so when he was starting to get issues, I couldn't drop him down a few levels and lease him out. He would have eaten a 2'6" er or a lower level dressage rider for breakfast. And he doesn't hack and was a disaster foxhunting.

                Oh and I still own this horse, he has lived a very, very long time.

                Maybe other people have had better experiences? Honestly, I avoid straight hocks like I avoid straight pasterns.
                Unrepentant carb eater


                • #9
                  Tour d'Or had a straight hind leg, and passed it on. My Td'Or horse had the hind leg. Raced a number of years, evented to prelim in late teens, no known leg problems. Normal pastern/hoof angles and lengths. I have observed that often post legged horses are coon footed; that could be a problem.


                  • #10
                    I have one with pretty straight hocks who was a fabulous jumper. If I could find 5 more just like him I would buy them all tomorrow, sell them as GP prospects and retire.....

                    It depends on the severity...mild about anything I can live with, severe anything I avoid.

                    Mine had the usual injections in his teens but so do just about all horses who jump 4'+ regularly for over a decade.


                    • #11
                      JudyBRP Is this a resale project? If so then I would pass. Because everyone that looks at him is going to question this.

                      Also take into consideration that he hasn't done anything yet. So you have no clue how he will hold up to a work load.
                      Derby Lyn Farms Website

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                      • #12
                        Straight hocks are a non-issue to me, becuz I've seen so many successful horses with them. Most people don't know what a straight hock looks like, anyhow. If one is allergic to straight hocks, one must not have a need for a good jumper./)-
                        Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                        Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                        • #13
                          I backed and showed a Connemara (non-pony, 14.3), did some low level eventing, and he was post-legged. Was one of those young athletic freaks tho. He started getting a little dive-y at fences, wanting to go from an uber long spot and then hail mary the rest, in fact I have an awesome photo of us bouncing off the back rail of an oxer, and his eyes are closed like I-think-I-can-I-think-can. We put out some placer rails to school over and he jumped from it. They were canter rails. He made it. So did I, but it had to be pure luck.

                          Anyways, straight behind, otherwise very nice. Eventually went on to a hunter home, and last I heard (he would have been, erm, seven?) he was already on pretty high maintenance for the hocks.
                          COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                          "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


                          • Original Poster

                            unless the horse is young (like 3) Yes and is an athletic freak.Yes If its young and a freak (and inexpensive), YES YES then its worth the unsoundness gamble IMO. Or if its fancy and quiet, like its not a pro ride, maybe. Both but have a 4* rider


                            • #15
                              I had a horse that had straight hind legs. My vet always commented on his "post legs" (to the point of being annoying).

                              He had HUGE movement...just lovely. Gigantic strides and a really fluid walk. He had gonitis (chronic inflammation of the stifle joint) that showed up with any work and I had to retire him from all work at the age of 11 due to other issues, such as arthritis developing in the hocks and some undiagnosed issue with his hips and back. He remained a pasture pet for the rest of his 26 years.

                              On the other hand, I knew a former Amish horse that worked for her 21 years and she had back legs so straight that it sometimes looked like she didn't have hocks. She worked the fields all her life and then became a lesson horse. She was sound.
                              Last edited by maunder; Jun. 22, 2012, 07:07 AM. Reason: can't spell


                              • #16
                                It will affect them a bit from a re-sale perspective. But for my self....While I try not to bred a horse like that, I wouldn't avoid an otherwise great prospect. You have to look at the whole picture.
                                Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Jun. 22, 2012, 08:02 AM.
                                ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                                • #17
                                  Remember the standard by which vets vet horses: "Is he sound FOR THE INTENDED USE?"

                                  How far do you expect this guy to go? Up to training? Then go for it. Past training? I would pass. Resale? Definitely pass.

                                  Remember, owning an unsound or unsaleable horse is not your goal. If he is 3, then you are looking at 30 years of having him around if you cannot sell him.

                                  I would pass. There are always exceptions to every rule, but asking a post legged horse to collect or jump is going against nature. You may have an exception, but buying a horse with that hope is not a wise plan.

                                  THERE IS A REASON HE IS SO CHEAP.
                                  "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                                  Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump


                                  • #18
                                    Based on recent experiences, I would pass.

                                    I've seen two young horses lately who had super straight hocks who developed issues between 5 and 7.

                                    One was showing stifle issues because of the hock angle and a very well known sport horse vet said it was a matter of time before hind suspensory issues started to develop. He said low level dressage and low jumping, like 2'6" would be best for this horse. He also commented on a horse he knew, no names, who had the same conformation and was recently retired from a BNR's barn....he lamented that he told the BNR when she vetted the horse a few years ago, to pass, because the straight hocks would catch up with the horse and limit his career....and BNR said "but he's an athletic freak....I want to try", so they tried, and they went up the ranks, but the horse did fall apart as predicted and entered an early retirement....his comment - why go through all that effort and money with a horse who you know is not going to be up for the job physically.

                                    Second is 5 and is already showing signs of suspensory degenerative desmitis. It will not get better, and his other joints are showing wear as well, the hock angle forces his other joints to wear incorrectly too. He is a very low level wtc/2' hunter, happy and sound at the moment, with vet supervision, but will retire as a trail horse sooner rather than later.

                                    Both horses are super nice, sweet and good boys and happy and sound in very low level jobs, but it has been an eye opener about conformational longevity at even the middle levels of our sport.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by judybigredpony View Post
                                      unless the horse is young (like 3) Yes and is an athletic freak.Yes If its young and a freak (and inexpensive), YES YES then its worth the unsoundness gamble IMO. Or if its fancy and quiet, like its not a pro ride, maybe. Both but have a 4* rider
                                      Then buy it!

                                      I would buy the straight hocked horse that I own again (notwithstanding my previous post ) in a heartbeat if he was 3 coming off the track.

                                      at 3, you have enough time with them to make what I think is the serious risk of early teenage breakdown worth it. Of course, JMO.
                                      Last edited by Judysmom; Jun. 22, 2012, 09:55 AM. Reason: blah clarity
                                      Unrepentant carb eater


                                      • #20
                                        I have recently passed on a post legged horse that was everything else I wanted, but it was more because of the way she used her hind legs, than the conformation of her hind legs. She was very lazy behind and drug both her hind feet, not a very forward horse. Weak behind at age 4 along with poor hind end conformation - no way.

                                        If a horse had good conformation of the hind end (LS, hip angle, stifle angle, etc...), and used himself really well, just had straight hocks, I would definitely consider the horse.
                                        On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog