OTTB Just off track, over at the knee after working - now with photos!
HI there all you OTTB lovers ans confirmation experts. Meet Dante (registered Tiz Savy). I bought him at Golden Gate Fields in August really as a pasture mate for my big baby boy, and potential replacement horse for friends in Oregon.
He's 4, 16.2, was only raced 5 times, was just not fast, sound (so said vets), sweet, handsome, we're hoping maybe he'd even make a nice fox or showhunter some day. worst case scenario, he's a handsome lawn ornament at my dear friend's ranch in Oregon and certainly a pleasure horse.
He vetted clean at the track, was slightly over at the knee on the right but I was assured that this was common for horses on the track and that a few months on pasture would straighten him right out. Bought him, shipped him to Oregon.
Now, when he's been just resting, they are both straight but after a lunge or some galloping on pasture, he presents again over at the knee and now on both.
Dante is also a bit "tied in behind the knee". The best description of this is that the line of the flexor tendons are not parallel to the line of the front of the cannon bones, rather, the line of the tendons angles in toward the knee, making the horse look "pinched in" below the knee. I wonder if this relates to being "over":?
Any advice or guidance would be helpful. (I'll get a link as soon as I can get these pics posted somewhere, I can't access any posting sites from work!
Last edited by tisor; Nov. 2, 2012 at 02:58 PM.
Reason: added photos
It is most likely his build, and when he gets tired, he reverts back to what is easiest for him (standing over at the knee) I'd much rather a horse be over at the knee, especially for a jumping career, than behind at the knee. Is there a particular reason that you are concerned? Do his knees shake or tremble when he stands like that?
Yes! Definitely, after working when he goes very over, the knee(s) shake and tremble. One knee will go way over, tremble for a few moments, then it stops and usually starts again over and over til he's cooled out. I think it's more in the right knee that the left, and it's never both knees at once. It's as though he might collapse if both knees buckled at once.
If he is super low in his heels, you might want to put a 2 or even 3 degree wedge shoe on him in front. We've had really good luck doing that for the low heels, but it would help what seems to be a strain of the ligaments causing the knees to buckle. I would also put standing bandages on him with a mild brace, but that's just me. The mild heat would help to relax the ligaments.
I have an over at the knee fellow here now, and formerly had a lesson horse that was very over at the knees. We don't do too much trotting on a loose rein with these boys as they can be trippy...
I would not think heel pain to be the cause as then I would expect it to be common in Navicular horses, rather the horse was likely born that way. The horse likely gets worse/shakey with work, as its ligaments are being worked/stretched and its legs get "tired", as unlike a "normal" horse, this horses legs don't stack properly vertically, so its soft tissue has to hold the legs straight mechanically.
Farrier work is key, and I think it is important to find a farrier with knowledge working with buck kneed equines; they need their break over to be pushed back, and need to be encouraged to stretch down into their heels as much as they are able.
After seeing the pictures...I wouldn't worry about it too much. I wouldn't put wedges on...his angles look pretty good, but I would bandage him for a while when he is stabled to relieve some possible inflammation in the ligaments. Nice looking horse!! On a side note....my "best horse ever", an ex Grande Prix jumper was a bit over in the knees!! Couldn't be beaten in the jump off!!
I have had the best luck with these guys pulling their shoes, giving them a good trim at an interval that is best for them, and turning them out for the winter. Plenty of durasole if they are a bit ouchy without protection.
Each of the three horses I have now has gone through a period of "over at the knee" when the feet weren't right. None of them exhibit it now.
He looks like he is just slightly built that way, but I wouldn't worry much. I agree that wrapping him would be beneficial when he is stalled. I doubt it is sore heels - if it was, he would stand this way all the time, not just after working. Have the farrier get his break over correct to help alleviate any extra strain and just work on building up muscle and stamina. He's really good looking overall and has a great expression.