My thoughts on horses (or people) having a “short leg”: it’s not real. (99%)
Proof: I correct supposed short legs regularly.
Caveat: I’m not talking about the hooves. This is not about low heel, high heel, club feet, etc. We’re talking about the leg itself.
Typically, I see a horse who has a wedge pad on one foot but not the other. More commonly on the hind end. The reason for the wedge pad often has something to do with the foot. But every once in a while…
“My horse has a short leg,” the farrier/vet says.
A “short leg” is more common in people where shoe orthotics are often used to eliminate short leg issues.
But the body doesn’t make one short leg.
What I have seen is a horse with cannon bones of different lengths. This happened when one cannon bone epiphysis (growth plate) had been injured. BUT the upper leg bones grew a bit longer to compensate. So the horse ended up with effectively the same length of leg.
The body compensated for the injury.
This always happens. The body is always compensating for lots of issues. We ONLY see a problem or lameness when the body cannot compensate anymore.
The key is to think WHY does it seem that the horse’s leg is short. It could be the pelvis misaligned, or a hip joint malfunctioning, or ligaments that are too tight/loose to maintain correct biomechanics, etc.
Human chiropractors often check the atlas alignment when people have a short leg. They measure the legs, adjust the atlas, and …boom! The legs are even.
We were just at the TBT biennial conference in Savannah, GA (for Master practitioners). One of our attendees had a short leg. So much in fact that she had 1.5 inch heel lift on one of her cowboy boots.
I worked on her with some upgraded TBT techniques and …wa la! Her legs are now even.
In summary, a short leg is a compensation for something else. (99% of the time)