Poll Recap: Hind-Limb Conformation Concerns

Poll Recap: Hind-Limb Conformation Concerns

What hind-limb conformation fault is least worrisome? TheHorse.com readers weighed in.

Photo: Photos.com

In last week’s poll on TheHorse.com, we asked our readers what hind-leg conformation fault worried them the least. More than 600 readers responded, and we’ve tallied the results!

Of the 652 respondents, 236 (36%) said cow hocks are the least worrisome hind-leg conformation fault. Another 210 readers (32%) said standing wide behind is their least-worrisome fault, and 125 respondents (19%) said they worried least about horses that stand close behind. Only 53 respondents chose bow legs as their least worrisome hind leg conformation fault in horses, and 28 readers (4%) selected “other.”

In addition, 34 readers provided comments on their choice:

Poll Results

Several people commented on horses with cow hocks:

  • “Sometimes a horse that jumps great is a little cow hocked.”
  • “Minor cow hocks (aren't necessarily) a bad thing.”
  • “As a farrier  I haven’t seen too many horses go lame from being slightly cow hocked.”
  • “Slight cow hocks don't bother me. Severe cow hocks are another matter.”

Many people mentioned other hind-leg conformation faults that don't worry them:

  • “Long pasterns and/or coon-foot.”
  • “Bog spavins.”
  • “Stands under.”
  • “Sickle hocks.”
  • “Long pasterns.”
  • “Hocks out behind.”
  • “Post-legged.”
  • “My horse is an OTTB who has close-together hind legs, and it doesn't affect him now in any way.”
  • “Standing closer behind is proper conformation for a Paso Fino. A wide stance would be a problem.”

Others left general comments about conformation:

  • “I'm not concerned unless it causes gait interference, lameness, hoof imbalance, arthritis, etc.”
  • “I don't like any conformation flaws, as they all on some level can affect future performance.”
  • “I would not worry about any of them. A horse will compensate for its own conformations.”
  • “As long as the condition is not extreme.”
  • “In my opinion, I'm not sure any one is less worrisome than another when it comes to equine athletes.”

Find out more about why conformation is important in horses, and download a free PDF about hind-leg conformation in horses at TheHorse.com. 

This week, we want to know: how old is your oldest horse? Vote in the poll and share your comments!

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.

About the Author

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer, is a lifelong horse owner who competes with her Appaloosas in Western performance events. She is a University of Kentucky graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Communications and Leadership Development, and master's degree in Career, Technical, and Leadership Education. She currently lives on a small farm in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

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