Horse sets back on pasterns at canter- what does that mean?

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Horse sets back on pasterns at canter- what does that mean?

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  • What does it mean when a horse sets back
  • Does a horse have pasterns in its back legs

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    01-31-2013, 07:40 PM
Horse sets back on pasterns at canter- what does that mean?

So I was looking at some pictures of me riding my horse at the canter, and I noticed that when he puts weight on a certain leg his pasterns go down and it looks like his fetlocks are almost touching the ground! You're probably thinking that it's because he has long/ weak pasterns, (that was what first came to my mind) but I realized that's not the case- his pasterns are normal length. I measured them once and they were fine. So what else could it be? Would protective leg wear help? I really have no idea.
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    01-31-2013, 09:31 PM
Super Moderator
Could you post some pictures of him just standing? That does seem like quite a drop. I am curious to know , too
    01-31-2013, 09:33 PM
You're right - it sure stands out! What's his breed, age and history?
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    01-31-2013, 09:54 PM
That does seem like an awfully big drop for a horse with healthy legs and pasterns that aren't too long, especially just at a lope.

I, too, would like to see some pictures of him just standing.
    01-31-2013, 10:54 PM
Green Broke
    01-31-2013, 10:56 PM
Wow, your horse has a massive shoulder, was so busy ogling his pasterns I missed his shoulder!
    01-31-2013, 10:57 PM
Have a farrier check his hooves. Sometime a collapsed or run down heel caused the pasterns to bend more as the hoof doesn't place perfectly.
    01-31-2013, 11:31 PM
I would have someone trot him away from you-- do his fetlocks hit the ground from behind? Does he have any fetlock swelling or enlargement? Are all fetlocks equally affected?

I would have a vet come out and check his suspensory ligaments if you're nervous. If you don't know his lineage, DSLD may be possible-- but not to scare you or anything. I'm not a vet, just a chick on a forum. ;)
    01-31-2013, 11:36 PM
If you want to do *something* to give him support and protect his suspensory ligaments, iconoclast make these great (however expensive) boots that wrap under the fetlock and pull up.

Iconoclast Orthopedic Sport Boots
    01-31-2013, 11:51 PM
A piece of neoprene is never going to support the weight of a 1200lb animal bearing down on it. Ever. It's just plain science/physics.

If you are really concerned, it's no harm to ask a vet. There are some degenerative diseases where the ligaments in the leg get weak and the pasterns sag.

Good luck!
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