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nikarphar 02-20-2013 03:34 PM

Can a horse with hock issues be taught dressage?
I have a 13 year old saddlebred who has been ridden saddleseat all is life.He has not been a very competitive horse and has a somewhat lower headseat.He also has hocks issues with slight arthritis which has been injected once before

I am thinking of putting him in dressage but wonder if would be painful for him because of hock issues.He is intelligent and already knows how to move via rider weight,position etc.but he also has a weak hind end. Would it be fair on him to try dressage ? any ideas?

Opal 02-20-2013 04:03 PM

I believe that he could probably do intro, training, and level 1 (MAYBE level 2) dressage without much problem. I'd go ahead and try it out, but keep a sharp eye out for any signs of soreness afterwards. I believe that dressage and dressage concepts are good for any and all types of horses, so as long as he's not in pain, I think it'd be a good idea.

Kayty 02-20-2013 06:38 PM

Play it by ear - start the work and just keep a watchful eye on him.
Dressage is a sport which requires strength in the hocks, we ask the horse to carry a great amount of weight on the hind legs, by 'folding' the hind limb joints, particularly the stifle and hock.
You see so often ads for horses 'not suited to jumping due to mild arthritis but will be fine for Dressage'. Dressage places just as much, if not more, strain on the joints than jumping.
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1322271927queen 02-23-2013 01:20 PM

With a weak hind end and hock problems, you probably won't get high marks but dressage at training level is great for any horse. It loosens them up and also teaches them how to carry a rider better. Allot of horses on the bit are just using their neck and not their backs. Dressage requires a very flexible horse, especially french dressage instead of the german school of dressage. Good Luck

Kayty 02-23-2013 03:43 PM

Queen it has nothing to do with losingarks, in fact if you show up on a horse that is visibly lame you will be eliminated.
If the horse gets sore, you don't keep going no matter how good for the rest of the horse's body the training is. Unless the OP is prepared to put the horse on regular, expensive treatment to keep the horse sound enough for the workload, then you should not worry about marks more than the horses welfare.
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star16 03-01-2013 12:35 PM

I've got a NSH (half Arabian and half saddlebred) who has some issues in her hind legs- hocks and knees, mainly. I train her in dressage, and she is a little stiff sometimes, but in the long run it seems to help. Just make sure that you warm up well, and know your horse.

TerciopeladoCaballo 03-05-2013 03:53 PM

Well, my APH mare does fine at a very slow training pace. She has cow hocks and an intense rushed training under her girth, which started hurting her at 11yo last year. With a bunch of treatments for her, from stretching to MSM, she's smoother than even before her hocks started bothering her. I have to work Dressage into her exercise variety, elsewise she would kill her forehand and have a stiff shoulder. IMO, as long as the horse is improving over time in relaxation and balance, should be acceptable.

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