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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My girlfriend and I are having a mild 'discussion' about this. ^^
Her horse broke open his knees recently (must have happened in the paddock overnight) and she was explaining to me how horses do this while in play.

I googled it and only found articles relating to horse injuries, not play. Not wanting to start an argument because I get that horse moms want to defend their babies...but I think it would never be intentional unless they tripped.
Those open knee wounds take forever to heal and can re-open. I just don't think its part of a horse's play book.
Anyone?
 

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I noticed stud colts do it the most play fighting. But my geldings and fillies do it too.
They will bite at each others legs and drop down on their knees to hide their legs from getting bit so it is possible they are scraping their knees playing.
 

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I have seen young horses that are "horsing around" playfighting drop down on their knees, this an instinctive movement to protect their legs from getting bitten, colts do this more than fillies it seems, they do it but I have never seen an injury to the knees because of this type of play.
If your horse has open wounds I would be inclined to guess the horse had a fall and injured his knees. Or even a nasty kick from another horse,
 

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I can't say whether or not that is normal during play. However, like @Woodhaven said, I would doubt that falling to their knees alone would cause that kind of injury. The BO told me once she accidentally spooked the horses and my horse scrambled and fell to her knees - on concrete! - and didn't have a single scratch.
 

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Horses bite legs, sides, butts, faces...lol, everything.
I have clips of mine dropping to their knees while wrestling, but I'll have to go digging for them.

My girls don't play physically with each other. They'll chew or body bump on a gelding, but the only physical touch to another mare is to demand space or respect.

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Horses going down on their knees usually happens during fighting or play fighting. Horses instinctively know to try and injure their opponents legs - it's a weak spot. So they'll drop down to avoid the bite.
 
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Dropping to the knees is a normal part of rolling. So it is a natural thing horses do every day. Horses with knee injuries or bad arthritis often avoid getting down and stay abnormally clean.

If the horse has injured knees, there may have been a judgment error where the horse dropped on hard ground. One of my horses ended up with bad knee injuries from going down on a gravel road and sliding several feet. She decided to go down on her knees after her hoof slipped, but it was a decision that left her with severe injuries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This horse (not mine, a friend's) is a bit of a klutz...for instance instead of trotting or jumping cavaletti he goes through them, I don't know how!
I love how people are so willing to share on this site. Thanks for broadening my mind!
 

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I'm sorry to hear about your friend's horse and wish him a speedy recovery!

I guess without seeing the "incident" it could be hard to tell if a horse was just playing or fighting when they had acquired their new wounds. I feel you'd just assume it was a fight due to blood being drawn but I wouldn't just to conclusions. Horses are great and causing bodily harm to themselves. ;)
 

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My Arabian stallion and mini stallion always lived together in a large pasture ( a bachelor band ) . It was hilarious how they would attempt to hook each others front leg out from under them, trying to cause the other to fall. They would them attempt to lie down on each other crushing them with their chests The mini could not do much in the way of hooking or crushing but he was always the instigator.

I think stallions are often aggressive because they are stalled and kept alone and do not have a natural life. Both these free range stallions were dolls to handle.
 

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@secuono that's a great little video! Definitely an example of a picture (or video) being worth a thousand words. I had never seen a horse do this, but reading the responses and seeing the video made me realize that it definitely happens.
 
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