Fetlocks touching the ground!Healthy or Unhealthy?

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Fetlocks touching the ground!Healthy or Unhealthy?

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  • Front fetlock touching ground when walk
  • Horses+fetlock+almost+touch+the+ground

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    03-31-2012, 01:59 PM
Fetlocks touching the ground!Healthy or Unhealthy?

There is a new horse at our barn he is a stout little 15h 13yr old QH gelding. He has been used for roping and reining. I saw her riding him and I noticed that in the back his fetlocks touch the ground when he goes faster then a walk, and the front are almost touching. She plans on using him as a western gaming horse (speed events like barrels and poles) is this safe for him? How can dropped fetlocks be good for a horse? I asked his new owner (she is ten years old) and she said it was no big deal then again she doesnt even know the name of the bit she uses or why she uses a tie down! Sorry if im ranting a little but this girl is going to ruin this horse because she has no idea what she is doing and doesn't care whatsoever! If he already has these issues what others could develope because of I? I really hope this isnt a problem becasue he is a sweet horse who has ended up in the hands of someone inexperienced.
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    03-31-2012, 02:10 PM
Super Moderator
I cannot see how that would be good either. But, what can you do? It's not your horse, right?
    03-31-2012, 02:12 PM
I know but if I know something about it and I talk to my trainer she may be able to convince her to do something.
    03-31-2012, 02:13 PM
Green Broke
She's 10, leave her alone. IF you are truly concerned for the horse, speak to the BO and/or the child's parents - but, ultimately, there is nothing you can do. Right now you have no real information - no idea what, if anything, has been done and what, if anything, trained proffessionals (ie a vet) has told the horse owner about the horse's fitness for use and what, if any, restrictions have been recommended on the horses use.
    03-31-2012, 02:29 PM
I am more curious about what kind of effects this has on a horse and from talking to her and her dad they are doing nothing about it they think the horse is fine.
    03-31-2012, 02:31 PM
That is a dropped pastern.....it can be genetic but it can also be damage from too many hard stops and other activities......it can be painful......I'll see if I can find an article for you.



Super Nova
    03-31-2012, 02:33 PM
Thanks Super Nova, it looks like he might be in pain because every time she askes him to go faster then a walk he just takes offin a faster gait, I think he might be running from the pain?
    03-31-2012, 05:48 PM
Super Moderator
Weak or soft pasterns can be 'normal' for some horses (referred to as being 'coon footed'), or they can be degenerative and worsen until the horse cannot get up from lying down and cannot take but a few painful steps.

Whether they are congenital or acquired, they are much weaker and prone to becoming crippled than a horse with 'normal' fetlocks.

One way to tell is if a horse lays around a lot or has trouble getting up the day after being ridden. You can also feel his fetlocks early in the morning after he has been ridden hard the previous day. Any heat (denoting inflammation) will be easy to feel early in the morning when they should be cold.

I am afraid that if he is sore or they get worse, there is not much one can do but retire him or put him down. They will not hold up forever for hard use.

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