Cow Hocks and how much do they limit performance? - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By dbarabians
  • 2 Post By Cherie
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post #1 of 10 Old 11-28-2012, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Cow Hocks and how much do they limit performance?

I ahve a 16 month old Arabian colt that is extremely cow hocked.
I understand that slight cow hocks are pretty prevelant in the horse population and arnet really that problematic in most horses.
I have sold this colt before when he was only a few days old. I accepted a deposit and the man never finished paying him off.
Now he wants the colt again with the stipulation that he not be gelded. He simply thinks its cruel and unnecessary.
I am hesitant to sell the colt to him not only because as a new horse owner he has no idea how to handle a stallion.
My issue now is that I do not want the colt to pass on the defect to any foals he may produce.
I do not have any colts gelded before they are two.
My question is this. If i keep the colt and sell him to someone else what can I truthfully say this colt can do. Besides just be a trail horse or used for pleasure.
I understand that corrective trimm ing and shoeing can be used to reduce the problems with cowhocks and improve performance.
He is pretty cow hocked though and besides selling him as a pleasure horse what else can I promote him as.
He has a very typey head and everything else looks good.
If it were not for the cowhocks I might consider keeping him intact and selling him as a stallion prospect. He has good babson breeding that is hard to find and in the percentage he carries.
Any suggestion I will be eternally grateful for.
I have never seen such a cow hocked horse in my entire life. Shalom
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-28-2012, 01:13 PM
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He could do English or western pleasure. I wouldn't promote him as a sporthorse for jumping, eventing or any of the strenuous western games/disciplines. And I definitely wouldn't sell him to someone who isn't going to geld him.

All horses are cowhocked to a small degree. They are supposed to be for their hips to function properly. It's only the extreme cases that are detrimental and should be taken into account.
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Last edited by DraftyAiresMum; 11-28-2012 at 01:17 PM.
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post #3 of 10 Old 11-28-2012, 01:21 PM
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I would say that regardless of who buys him he should be gelded first.

I've seen some pretty wonky legs that seem to hold up just fine for moderate work. That's not something you'd want on a stallion with your name attached to though.
I hope he finds a good home.
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post #4 of 10 Old 11-28-2012, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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I am in no hurry to sell him and due to his cow hocks I will probably geld him before he is sold.
He is going to be a very typey beautiful horse and except for the cow hocks has the requirements to be a good halter horse.
So I will advertise him as a western and english pleasure prospect.
I do know that most horses are cowhocked . I am just concerned about finding a good home for him.
He was sold at first for 1500. Now I might have to come down a little but with the deposit and payments I will still get more than the original price. Shalom
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post #5 of 10 Old 11-28-2012, 01:37 PM
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I would geld him If you were the breeder, Or state that you recommend gelding him and not being sold as a stallion prospect in the bill of sale and keep a copy for yourself. IDK just my opinion.
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post #6 of 10 Old 11-28-2012, 05:02 PM
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I have not raised any Arabians for many years. Back when I raised them, I would sell them as geldings and have their registration papers reflect that they were geldings. Then, the buyer MUST geld them as the AHC would not register any foals to them.

I do the same thing now with AQHA colts. If you register one as a gelding, AQHA will not accept a stallion report or a Breeders' Certificate for that horse later on.

As for the cow hock, you are asking for severe problems if you use any corrective trimming on one that is over 6 months old. Cow hocks do not change much even when trimmed as babies. I have ridden a lot of cow hocked Arabians. They would all come that way if they had not been selectively bred so hard for the last 50 years to get straight QH looking hind legs.

When a horse is short backed like Arabians are, the cow hocks let them travel wide behind so they do not over-reach and grab themselves. When I was showing Arabians back in the 60s and 70s, I would get in Arabians to train and nearly all of them had been trimmed high on the inside to make them 'look' less cow-hocked. A lot of them would over-reach. I would have them trimmed level by taking off all of that extra inside hoof and they would never hit themselves again.

I did not find cow hocks to be weaker unless they were real small and poorly formed or were also real sickle-hocked. Then, they were very prone to develop curbs.

I used to geld Arabian colts before they were a year old just like I do my QH colts now. As long as they are dropped, I cannot see one bit of difference in development other than having them develop less crest and having cleaner necks and throat-latches. For me, that is always a good thing.
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post #7 of 10 Old 11-28-2012, 06:27 PM
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I don't know much about arabians but I would say that if you as a breeder as saying this horse should be gelded then geld it. I believe you when you say he has great blood lines but there is other stuff as well. I would not sell him to someone who does not want to geld him. Even if you can't register his offspring that doesn't mean the person is not going to try to breed him. Arabians are so often combined with other breeds that lack of registration may not stop them from breeding him. Which would be horrible for you as a breeder. The last thing you want is your name and stock attached to the breeding of something you would not endorse.

Done properly, ie. a vet, sedation, antibiotics and pain meds gelding is not cruel thats man baggage and projection getting in the way. If you would not trust this guy with your prize stud don't trust him with a colt.
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post #8 of 10 Old 11-28-2012, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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I like the man that wants to purchase the colt and think it will live a life of luxury. I have sold this man a few pet cows to decorate his pasture along with the donkeys and goats he has.
I will not sell the man the colt unless he is gelded.
It is not a matter of money but his safety and his lack of knowledge that concern me. He is willing to pay more than the original amount.
Now he has someone to take care of his property and the animals he has.
He traveled over 90 miles every week to feed the horses while the colt was young.

Cherie I agree that a slight case of cow hocks is not a problem but this colt has a bad case.
If I keep him until he is broke to the saddle at 3 then I will want to have him trained professionally to better his chance of keeping a good home.
He cant stay here there is no place for a gelding or another stud for that matter.
His sire completed about 5 endurance rides very successfully and did quite well. At a very young age and is still competeing after being gelded. I was hoping to use that to promote him for sale but am concerned about the stress.
Thanks every one for the suggestions. All of them made good sense. Shalom
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post #9 of 10 Old 11-28-2012, 07:29 PM
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I can't really offer much advice on the whole gelding/selling situation but for what it's worth, he might grow out of the worst of the cow-hockedness.

When my Taz was younger, he was so cow-hocked that his hocks would rub together when he walked

But as he grew, he straightened out quite a lot. He still isn't perfect by a long shot, but he looks a ton better.
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-28-2012, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks smrobs that was what I am hoping for that as he grows they will be less a problem.
I am mainly concerned for him going to a good home and that he will be all right for regular riding and showing.
I am pretty certain that he will be ok for that but if he is able to be used for different things i will have a better chance of finding him a useful home.
By the way he is the one that caused the injury to my right arm. the reason I am now wearing a brace from my wrist to my elbow.
He is so laid back and docile that I forgot he was a horse.
He almost popped the ligaments in my arm .
Anyone in the market for a dark bay arabian gelding? Shalom
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