New confo pics of Cinny today, please critique him - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 16 Old 07-27-2011, 01:45 PM
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Well, I'm not exactly an anatomy/physiology expert, but my understanding is that, unless severe, it is generally not something to be worried about in regards to soundness. I've never heard a term besides "over at the knee," and I've never read a truly technical article about it, but all the information I have read agrees that it is a far less worrisome fault than "back at the knee" / "calf-kneed," which is the opposite problem. I think a horse that is badly over at the knee is somewhat more prone to soft tissue injury, but milder cases are more cosmetic. In other horses, it can be a sign of hard work in the past, though I don't know what the mechanism is that causes the knees to "buckle" over time. You see it a lot in older TB's.

Above: The horse at the left exhibits calf knees or backwards knees, a severe conformation fault with potential lameness implications if used for strenous athletic work. The middle horse shows perfectly straight legs with solid strong bone structure. The horse at the right is slightly bent over at the knee, perhaps caused by hard use earlier in life. This is more consmetic in nature than truly detrimental. All horses pictured above have good angle to their pasterns and adequate length, though some disciplines might like them to be marginally longer for smoothness in gait. The middle horse has good ratio of bone length from upper to lower leg (short cannons are ideal for greater speed and fluidity of movement). The horse at the right has slightly longer-than-ideal cannon bones.

That's the image I use a lot because the horse on the left has about the worst example of calf knees I've seen. The horse on the right is my teenage gelding, who was used pretty hard in the past. He's only slightly over at the knee, but I suspect that his may have been caused more from hard riding than genetics.
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post #12 of 16 Old 07-27-2011, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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One of my favorite reads on Conformation is "Conformation, the relationship of form to function" by Marvin Beeman, DVM. It can be found on the AQHA website. It touches a lot on different conformation flaws in regards to what they can cause later on down life's road. In the case of being forward, it doesn't seem to be a huge deal according to him, especially not in comparison to the opposite. The way I understand him, horses that are over in the knee may seem shaky or week, but it isn't necessarily true and at least the knee is still bent in the direction it is meant to bend in. He also said it's preferred to calf kneed which puts the horses weight and power directly on the navicular bone causing slight calf kneed horses to be more prone than horses over at the knees.

baby cinny.jpg

I was looking at the one and only foal picture I have of Cinny (the one on his registration) and even in that picture, though he isn't square and has his weight only on one foreleg, the leg the weight is on appears to be over at the knee to the same degree he currently is. I also know he has had one owner besides his breeder, and while owned by her he did pretty much nothing until I bought him at age 7. She had him broke to ride at 2, put him back in the dry lot, attempted to start riding him on trails in which he consistently and violently bucked her off so he sat another year until someone wanted to buy him.... me. So as for previous overwork, strain, etc.... unless you count chasing his brother around the dry lot, he hasn't really had any ha ha.

I brought him along slowly, ground work, ground work, ground work. Then walking under saddle, then trot, I don't think we even cantered until about 9 months after buying him except an occasional 3 or 4 strides he broke in to or just to see what he would do....but again, only a few strides. Mainly it was because he pretty much had NO balance. I bought him in April of 2010 and it took until Jan 2011 for him to really be balanced enough to carry out a nice, smooth, balanced canter.

My 12 year old wants to possibly use him hunter/jumper in a year or so, and I need to think about where the concussion and weight will end up when he lands on those knees. I think I may have to really limit her heights on him.
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-27-2011, 03:59 PM
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I do seem to recall jumping as being the one discipline known to be hard on over-at-the-knee horses, but that is not my area of expertise. Oh why oh why do you not have that horse on cow and ranch work, though? ;)
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post #14 of 16 Old 07-27-2011, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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I don't have a ranch, nor do I have cattle lol. I thought it would be fun to learn team penning sometime down the road and in the turnout he seems to have speed. He is also too smart for his own good. He was bred for reining (Doc Bar, Doc's Jack Sprat, etc) The one thing a good ranch horse does need, is to carry a Western Saddle and well.... this horse is very very particular about his saddles which I suspect is why he consistently and violently bucked off his previous owner (she was sort of a one saddle for every horse kind of person when we first met).

I started with dressage (btw it took me over 20 tries to find a dressage saddle he would approve of) because I thought it would be good foundation for any horse. I also wanted him to learn to use his body properly and to his advantage, including not falling onto his fore and not engaging his hind which was a habit of his when I bought him. I have lost count of how many western saddles I have tried on him. Two fitters have attempted to fit him with much frustration because he still bucked the heck out of anything they said should fit him. Mind you, he has NEVER even offered to buck with me on his back, not once. And he normally doesn't buck on the lunge either (except during saddle fittings) but I have never been on him with a saddle that I didn't know for sure that he was okay with. I finally found that he would tolerate a friend's custom saddle and began working him in that (technically it doesn't fit him). I have since found an Abetta trail saddle that he also seems to like even though it technically doesn't fit him either.... with this horse I have learned that sometimes any saddle that does not cause him to violently buck, leave sore spots, or rub him ... was the saddle for us it doesn't matter what the textbooks say in his regard.

My plans are to continue with Dressage for at least a year longer. I know he will never be a great grand prix dressage horse or anything even close, I just want him to really learn how to use and control his own body well. I also like doing schooling shows with him and he really enjoys show atmosphere (he's the only horse I have ever known to lay down and fall asleep with his stall under the judge/soundsystem stand). My daughter wants to take him hunter/jumper (though she is NOT ready to ride any horse h/j right now and doesn't want to buckled down and develop herself), my friend's daughter wants to use him for 4H next year for WP and EP as her old push button is now boring to her. The most likely will be to continue schooling shows with dressage and the 4H shows.
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-27-2011, 06:59 PM
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I just wanted to say that I have seen your videos of him as you brought him along and your patient and systematic development have done well by him.
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post #16 of 16 Old 07-28-2011, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Tiny. You should see him now, actually...... but alas, we have yet to find the video camera ha ha. We recently moved and that was one of the things Rob packed, and well...he has a habit of just grabbing stuff and throwing it in boxes and not marking them to boot ha ha.

I can tell you I can ride with reins completely dropped now. He reaches so far forward with his rear that we have to keep boots on front because he occasionally nicks them (that's the biggest diff), and I can get him to bend and go deep into the arena corners now. Something that he got kudos for at his last show because none of the other intro horses were doing it, they all avoided the corners lol.
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