There are lots of weird horse behaviors.

Most of them are clues to underlying physical issues.

Here’s a picture of one…

If you zoom in on the hind leg hooves, you’ll notice this horse stands with the feet purposefully placed so his heels are elevated.

The owner tells us that the horse, 4-year-old Papu, always does this when he is in his stall.

In the US, I don’t often see this type of sloped concrete wall. Instead, I find horses digging out the dirt in their stall/turnout. Or I see them piling up shavings to make a ramp.

However they manage it, if you see a horse using his or her environment to change how their body is positioned….there’s a problem.

What could this problem be?

Papu is elevating his heels. This changes the angles of every joint in his hind leg and pelvis.

Most commonly horses do this to help relieve tension in the hocks, hips, or sacroiliac joints. But the issue could be anywhere in the hind end.

For Papu, TBT Practitioner Kaisa was able to align his body so that Papu no longer does this. He needed a lot of work, but it was primarily his sacroiliac joints that were the problem.

It is great that she was able to do this, because long term sacroiliac issues can be disastrous.

If you have any pictures of weird behaviors, I’d love to see them. Send emails to

Here’s to finding and fixing the weird,
Renee Tucker, DVM
PS. If you’d like help with your horse in New Zealand, please contact Kaisa at:

PPS. If you’re a TBT student and have an interesting horse you would like showcased, please send them in! I’d love to share them.

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