Buck-Kneed and Calf-Kneed:The Extremes

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Horse facts as told by a Shetland pony.

 Gypsy, the Equine Encyclopedia, tells about CALF-KNEED AND BUCK-KNEED.

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Knees

 

“Calf-Kneed” is a condition of the carpus or knee.  Calf-Kneed, also known as Back at the Knee, places tremendous strain on the ligaments, tendons and bones in the carpal area.  Sometimes this condition can result from improper hoof care, thus forcing the horse to assume a Calf-Kneed stance.  High-set knees can predispose horses to being Calf-Kneed.

On the other hand, the condition can be genetic, where the bone misalignment in the carpus causes strain on the knee; in this case, even corrective shoeing cannot fix it.    Calf-Kneed horses are not usually suited for hard work but are fine for light riding.  Over at the Knee is far worse than the other extreme, which is Buck Kneed.

Buck-Kneed horses appear to be stepping forward with their feet flat on the ground.  In Buck-Kneed horses, sometimes trembling or shaking of the front legs can be observed after 15-30 minutes of work.  This is because the effort that is put in by the muscles in attempt to hold the knee in its proper alignment eventually becomes tiring, especially under the weight of a rider.

Strain on the ligaments of the knee as a result of hard work results in Buck-Kneed condition.  This is most frequently seen in horses used for high-speed events such as western games, reining or eventing.  Unlike Back at the Knee, this condition is not genetic.  It is not passed on and is essentially a blemish.

Ideally, horses’ knees should be wide, substantial and shield-shaped when viewed from the front.  They should be clean, well-defined and free of puffiness or swelling (windpuffs).  The lower the knees and hocks, the longer and smoother the stride.

Take note: although in horses the stifle is the equivalent of the human knee, it is not to be confused with the carpus.  The stifle is a joint of the hind leg; the carpus the front.

 

 

 

 

Standardbreds: Trotters and Pacers

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Horse facts as told by a Shetland pony.

 Gypsy, the Equine Encyclopedia, tells about the foundation lines of TROTTING AND PACING STANDARDBREDS.

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The Standardbred is a horse breed commonly used for harness racing.  Because some of them pace (the pace is a lateral, 2 beat gait which is faster than the trot) which is rough on the rider and some trot very fast and will not canter, they do not generally make good riding horses.

99% of Standardbreds trace back to the Hambletonian  10, who was the tenth horse to be registered.  Hambletonian 10 founded the 4 great Standardbred lines: in pacers the Direct and Abbe lines and in trotters Axworthy and Peter The Great.  

Early on, in the Standardbred Breed, trotters were more favored than pacers.  Now, however, this is not the case.  In fact, there are now more races for pacers than trotters.  Trotters and pacers do not race together.

Clever Ponies

Over the gate

Across the floor

Around a tack trunk

Out the door

Undoing the latch

-it’s really thick

Scraping with a hoof

That did the trick

Kicking open the door-

Without getting smashed

There- in the middle

A pan of hot mash

Jump up on the floor

Little hooves flying

They got into the feed room

Without hardly trying!

Manes frosted with hay

Noses deep in the grain

These clever ponies

Will try this again!

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The “Sunshine Vitamin”

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Horse facts as told by a Shetland pony.

 Gypsy, the Equine Encyclopedia, tells why horses need VITAMIN D.

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Vitamin D is essential for mineral utilization and helps horses absorb calcium and phosphorous.  It is fat-soluble and is known as the “Sunshine Vitamin.”

In horses, Vitamin D toxicity is a cumulative effect and causes abnormally high absorption of calcium, sensitivity of leg tendons, increased heart rate and many other ill effects.

Horses obtain Vitamin D from ultraviolet sunlight and sun-cured cut hay (not from grass or pasture; sun-curing hay increases the Vitamin D content).

 

Why Vitamin A is Important to Horses

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Horse facts as told by a Shetland pony.

 Gypsy, the Equine Encyclopedia, tells why horses need VITAMIN A.

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Vitamin A helps horses maintain good vision, especially at night.  Horses need it for healthy skin and strong muscles.  Lack of Vitamin A in equines can create problems such as a dull, scruffy coat, poor night vision (horses have much sharper night vision than people do) and severe anemia.

Toxic amounts of this vitamin can cause decreased blood clotting, poor skin quality and bone abnormalities.

Because microbes in the horse’s small intestine need beta-carotene to produce vitamin A, good sources include hay, grass and carrots.

 

Equine Advice: The Importance of Vitamin E

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Gypsy, the Equine Encyclopedia, has something to say about why vitamin E is essential to horses.  Like all shetlands, she is always watching, listening and eating. 

Horses use vitamin E in many different ways.  Vitamin E enhances horses’ immune systems and helps maintain normal cell function.  In addition, vitamin E helps horses with the absorption of vitamin A and works as an antioxidant to prevent damage to cells.

Horses get vitamin E from green pasture and vitamin supplements.  Microbes in the horse’s digestive system  produce a small amount of this vitamin but it is by no means enough.

Lack of sufficient vitamin E creates many ill effects in the horse, including muscle wasting, decreased immunity and slowed growing in foals.

 

The Katie Award

Blog Award 13

Katie from A New Path for Old Hooves has given Hooves and Claws a “Katie Blog Award!”  Thank you!  To pass this award on, I have nominated the following creative blogs:

http://sketchjay.wordpress.com

http://blueridgepony.wordpress.com/2013/02/07

You can visit Katie’s blog for directions or read them below.

 

 

Award Details:

If you have won the Katie Award, the requirements are small, like Katie herself.  You must display your award on your page.

You must then give out the Katie Award to five creative blogs of your choice.  But Katie won’t be checking on you (she is too busy eating), so if you give it out to 1 or 6 or 25, that is OK.   Be sure to post in their comments to let them know they won and link to the award description in your post so they know they won and can pick up their prestigious award!