Do you think this picture of a horse’s hind legs is correct? That is, is this a normal resting position of the right hind?
Important to know: this is always the position of this horse’s hind leg. The leg moves normally, but at rest he always stands like this. (Also, he is a rescue and is gaining weight nicely)
The answer is “no”, this is not correct.
How can you tell?
He is using muscles to keep his leg in that position. The leg is not relaxed, but instead is being carefully held steady with the toe just touching the ground.
If he fully relaxed the leg, it would flex the hock and stifle….and basically the leg would drop down and forward.
When a horse always rests a hind leg when standing, that is always a problem.
- If he or she rests the same leg, the problem is typically somewhere in the leg (including hip or sacroiliac).
- If he or she alternates resting a hind leg, the problem is typically in the lumbar or sacrum area.
When everything is aligned, then the horse will immediately start standing correctly:
(His feet are on uneven surfaces in this image. My mistake taking the picture at this moment. But he continued to stand square on all surfaces after TBT treatment.)
So take a look at how the horses in your barn stand at rest. If you have any photos you’d like to share, please reply to this email.
Remember, “problems” are just a clue. With TBT we figure out what the clues mean, and where the real causes are. And of course, fix them.
Renee Tucker, DVM
We are looking for submissions for Dr. Tucker's "Featured Cases." If you have a puzzling case you want solved, we would love to post it to help others. Pictures needed, videos welcome. Email to email@example.com. Thank you.