Help with sickle hocks..... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-08-2012, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Help with sickle hocks.....

Not sure if This is the right section, but I was wondering how one would describe the degree of sickle hocks my horse(the bay roan) has. Are they terrible? slight? possible future problems ect....Also, I posted his and his sister's(the gray mare) pic on a different forum and this was the response I recieved, and I just was wondering if anyone else on this forum felt the same.

"I can see some promise in the grey but her feet are a disaster. No two are the same and all look to have a slightly off angle. In one pic the near fore is long, has way too much heel, is underslung to the 9's and there is a LOT of stress on the deep flexor. The Off fore is the exact opposite. WTH???? Someone who has a clue how to trim needs to come out and reballance this gray's feet. It may take a few trims. Until she can get ballanced up I'd go easy on her.
While you have the farrier out please check your roan. I'm not trying to be mean but your 5 year old roan looks like a 2 year old. There isn't sufficient muscle on this horse to collect. Have you checked teeth, kept up a deworming program, perhaps thought of adding grain to their daily food intake?

( I am going to post the same pics so you guys see the same things.)
Also, I have their feet done by the farrier recommended by my trainer and have never heard any complaints from any of the others who use him. I worm regularly, wolf teeth pulled and teeth floated whithin the last 4 months, and they are fed a pelleted form of 70/20 alfalfa bermuda, twice daily. they are on a regular psylium schedule, and I feed platinum performance as a supplement............Just not getting any feedback elsewhere so I thought I'd try here......

Their pedigree can be seen at, and leg problems in there.....?
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-08-2012, 09:40 PM
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Some people just have nothing better to do than knock other people's horses.

I don't see sickle hocks. And even if I did, I read a thing about them not being an actual conformation fault but rather a result of back pain or hoof issues or something like that. I don't think there is actually a conformation fault of "sickle hocks." But I personally don't see sickle hocks.

How can anyone really critique the mare's hoof angles in the sand anyway?

If I were to fault either horse, neither one is particularly muscular or stocky. They look more like the "Thoroughbred" type Quarter Horse to me. Maybe they could use a little more weight or muscle (I admit I like my horses a bit chubby), but nothing else really jumps out and grabs me. And a lot of people I'm sure would say they are at the perfect weight.

Last edited by trailhorserider; 02-08-2012 at 09:42 PM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-08-2012, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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BTW forgot to mention. their feet were done by the same farrier,2 days after these pics were taken, and they were 8 weeks out ( farrier was busy and was 2 weeks late)
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-08-2012, 10:24 PM
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I'm not seeing skickle hocks either. With the first horse his back is a little bit straight but not seriously so. Both are nice horses with pretty decent confo.
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-08-2012, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Ive posted the bay roan before, but im learning and was concerned that i was unknowingly underfeeding my horses........ive had horses for my whole life(im 27, been riding since I could sit on a horse), caring for them is almost second nature, and I was afraid they looked, IDK far as sickle hocks how does one inentify sickle hocks then?
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-08-2012, 10:43 PM
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You know, I don't know where exactly I read it, but I *think* it was an article by Dr. Deb Bennet that said that sickle hocks are a pain stance and not an actual conformation fault. I am having trouble finding that in Google however. Everyone else seems to believe it is a conformational defect. But I think that is an old way of thinking. However, I could be wrong as I am going from memory. If I can find something I will post it.

Last edited by trailhorserider; 02-08-2012 at 10:46 PM.
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-08-2012, 11:00 PM
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Some interesting links:

Missouri Foxtrotters - Missouri Foxtrotters A to Z :: Old Time Foxtrotters :: Foundation Foxtrotters

Dr. Deb Bennet's explanation, see post #4 below

Question About Camped Out VS Sickle Hocked - Questions and discussions for the ESI Q and A Forum - ESI Q and A Forum - ESI Q and A Forums

So my memory was somewhat incorrect on the "pain stance" thing. Well, maybe not, who knows. I am actually confused now, haha!

Link #1 says it can be pain from saddle fit, etc. Link #2 says it is actually that the legs are too long in comparison to the rest of the body......I guess?
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-08-2012, 11:16 PM
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The Bay looks more post legged than sickle hocked , to me. Is he part draft? very common in drafts. I think he's cute!
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-08-2012, 11:31 PM
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That poster was just looking for things to pick at, I think, and most of what he/she found was only in their imagination.

I quite like both horses. Good solid working conformation. I don't see sickle hocks in those pictures but someone might in the one picture of the gray. The only thing about judging from a single picture is that so much can change depending on how you square them up and what angle the picture is taken at.

As for the "looking like a 2 year old thing"...what crap. They apparently don't know much about horses; QH especially. Depending on their individual breeding, some horses bulk up early, some don't bulk up until they are 7-8, and others have the leaner build their entire lives. Just because he doesn't look like a freaking halter horse doesn't mean that he's not getting enough of the right food. I don't see any ribs, I don't see hip-bones, he is well rounded and fit, just not bulky. Crap, my guy Denny was much leaner than your roan when he was 5 and he just got bigger and bigger every year until he was nearly 10.

As for the feet...they do look just a touch long but that is just me judging from the appearance on the side and front. It is impossible to judge angles without the horse standing on a surface that is guaranteed flat, like concrete. When a horse stands on dirt, everything about the angle of their feet can be changed depending on whether their toe is on a rise or in a hole in the dirt. Even as far as the length, I would also want to see pictures of the soles and from the front/side on the concrete before I made a definitive judgment there.

I am of a split mind when it comes to sickle hocks. While I believe that a pain/bad balance stance can cause an otherwise "straight" horse to be mistakenly labeled as having sickle hocks, I also believe that it does exist as an actual conformational fault as well.

Oftentimes, a horse that is labeled as "sickle hocked" isn't at all, they are just standing camped under for whatever reason.
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-09-2012, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
The Bay looks more post legged than sickle hocked , to me. Is he part draft? very common in drafts. I think he's cute!
They are both very heavily Hancock Bred, And Toby, the bay roan, seems to really hve picked up some of those percheron type features. they are both 17.5% Hancock, 75% FQH, however, they do not have the percentages necessary to be registered in either fondation registry. just AQHA.
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