So,last night I found out that Gidget has a big default in conformation that can really determine her riding career..she is severly calf kneed I was planning on making her my first beginner endurance horse as she love to go,go,go on the trails. She can trot for days on the trail it seems....well if she is calf kneed I am afraid this will make her go lame so I don't want her to not be rideable...I need to change riding careers with her...trails will still be okay right? I was hoping to do 10 mile ride with her in August but I worry about her front legs...
Stormy is going to be my official endurance horse. She is half arab and I am hoping she will have the heart to do it....of course she is no where near doing endurance as she is still a yearling.
She is MILDLY calf kneed, if you ask me. If she has been trotting along all this time without lameness, then you should trust that she can continue. She has heart! Think of Seabiscuit; too small, not well put together at all. Didn't stop him.
Gidget is very tidily built, all in all. I would perhaps not use her as a jumper, but the more you work on building her hind end and getting her to USE her abdominals to raise her back and step under, the more weight she will carry on the rear.
Stick with the hill work, transitioning up and down, halting and backing up the hills and stuff like that. Have faith, someone exagereated.
I agree completely with Tiny. She is a long way from a severe case. Other than what has already been suggested, I would like to include that you should probably be very strict about her hoof care. Make sure that she's always well trimmed as a bad hoof angle would put that much more stress on her knees.
But, just to put your heart at rest, I've seen several lifetime working ranch horses that had much worse conformational issues than her and they never took a lame step. Go ahead and do whatever you want to do with her, I see no reason not to. Just do like you would with any horse and listen if she tells you she's had enough.
I am no conformation expert, but a half-halt, to me, has always been a squeeze of your outside rein, inside leg, and tummy muscles/seat so bring the horse back to you, so to speak. I've always used it to remind the horse they are working and to rebalance. When you do half-halt, you do want to feel the horse hesitate in their way of going. At the walk, you almost want two hooves to plant before you release and walk on. Does that make sense?