Sickle Hock Information Needed

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Sickle Hock Information Needed

This is a discussion on Sickle Hock Information Needed within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Sickle hock problem
  • The effect of sickle hocks on horse action

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    03-11-2012, 11:55 AM
Sickle Hock Information Needed

I started reading an article in a magazine about it. I didn't get much farther than "Sickle hocks might actually be a problem somewhere else!" So I was hoping someone could fill me in. It was widely believed to be foot problems, right? But now they're seeing that it could be trouble somewhere else.

Forgive me if I sound like a moron, but at least I'm asking.

Also, while we're on it, anyone who knows good, reputable horse health books should suggest the author and title.
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    03-11-2012, 12:09 PM
FAQ Hind Leg Conformation

Leg Set: Its Effect on Action and Soundness of Horses

Horse Conformation: Sickle Hock by Cherry Hill

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    03-11-2012, 12:11 PM
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Years ago it was thought that sickle hock actually helped a horse get its hind feet up underneath itself. This was the thinking as the horses naturally camped their hind feet up underneath them.

As breeding and training improved for athletic events like reining, cutting and roping, it was soon figured out that sickle hocks are much weaker than hocks with good conformation. It was also figured out that training and inherent athleticism had a lot more to do with how a horse used it hind end.

Sickle hocks are much more prone to 'pop curbs' and to get so sore that horses stopped using them altogether.

Just like hocks that are too straight are prone to unsoundness, sickle hocks are, too.

I don't think sickle hocks contribute to hoof problems other than they are frequently seen with 'coon-footed' low pasterns and really bad pastern to hoof angles. It is still usually the hocks or the tendons and ligaments behind the lower part of the hock that go unsound.
    03-11-2012, 12:46 PM
Originally Posted by Cherie    
Years ago it was thought that sickle hock actually helped a horse get its hind feet up underneath itself.
Thank you very much for your response. :) I'll be trying to read in and retain info, but your quick summary if good enough for my dumb brain today.. x_x

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