Cow Hocks: Affects of Correction
Good morning..I apologize in advance if this is the wrong forum. This isn't so much a conformation question as I know the problem so much as a question on possible effects of the problem :)
I am considering a very nice mare. She's 17h, coming up on 5 yrs old, quiet, spookproof, brave and willing. She is easy and uncomplicated to ride and the gaits are smooth. The one major issue I see, however, is that she is cowhocked. The left hind isn't too bad but the right hind does have an outpointing toe, maybe somewhere along the lines of a 5-10 degree angle marking a straight toe as 0 degrees. This mare was started in 4 races, showed no interest in racing and has never been shod. The seller/owner/breeder is indicating she has been this way since she was foaled. Why they didn't attempt to correct the issue I don't know. The mare has never been lame and is schooling, very easily, 4'. My plans are for a dressage/hunter.
I know that corrective shoeing can help, however, I am concerned with the age, since she is obviously past her growth period. I realize the obvious course is a vet x-ray of the legs to show any current changes, however, I am more concerned that if the x-ray shows no changes, what the possible affects might be later on due to this late in the game correction. I am guessing, based just on past observations and general educational conversations with a farrier, that it would probably take at least 3 shoeings to align the tow (right hind) into the proper position without putting undue strain on the leg with a "one time does it" correction.