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Common Horse Gait Defects
These are the most common gait defects in horses.
Terms in this set (12)
Striking the end of the branches of the hoof or the undersurface of the shoe of the forefoot with the toe of the hind foot. This is the diagonal foot in pacers, and the lateral foot in trotters.
Striking the supporting leg, usually above the fetlock, with the foot of the striding leg. Commonly occurs between the supporting front leg and a striding front leg or between a supporting hind leg and a striding hind leg. Brushing is slight, striking is severe resulting in an open wound.
(a.k.a. winging outward) An outward deviation in the direction of the stride of the foreleg. It is the result of a narrow or pigeon-toed standing position. Winging outward is exaggerated, very noticeable in high-stepping horses. Almost always causes interference.
Twisting the front leg around in front of the supporting leg as each stride is taken. A.k.a.: threading, plaiting, or rope-walking. Common in wide-chested horses. Increases likelihood of interference and stumbling.
When the hind foot hits at or above the line of hair/coronet against the toe of the forefoot beginning the next stride.
Occurs when a trotter or pacer traveling at high speed hits its hind leg above the scalping mark against the shoe of a breaking-over forefoot. The lateral side is involved in trotters, and the diagonal ones are involved in pacers. Can be caused by conformation problems, such as short backs and long legs, leg weariness or hind legs set too far under the body, short front legs and long back legs, and toes being too long on the forefoot.
Same as forging in a pacer. The inside of the opposite forefoot and hind foot strike in the air as the hind leg is about to complete its stride, and the foreleg stride is just beginning.
Stride in which extension is more pronounced than flexion. Breaks or folds its knees very slightly and is low gaited in the front. term is also used to describe the standing position of a horse with navicular bone disease or an injury to the foot or leg.
Perceptible pause in the flight of the foot, like the stride was completed before the foot hits the ground. Can be in front or rear. Common in heavy harness horses, heavy show ponies, and some saddlers.
Gait that has a short, quick, choppy stride. Common in horses with short and steep pasterns and straight shoulders.
Heavy contact with the ground, usually accompanying a high, laboring stride. Sometimes caused by bad conformation that causes the horses center of gravity to shift forward.
Excessive side-to-side shoulder motion. Common in horses wide between the forelegs and lacking muscle development in that area, as well as horses with a toe-narrow fault in conformation.
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