Are knock-kneed or bow-legged horses more prone to front leg injuries?

Thumbnail for Conformation Effect on Injuries

In the May issue we looked at front leg conformation from the side view; this time we examine conformation abnormalities when observing the forelegs from the front. You should be able to run an imaginary perpendicular line from the point of the shoulder to the ground that bisects the leg exactly in half. The hoof and knee should face forward and the cannon should appear to emerge from the centre of the knee joint, not more to the inside or outside (offset knees). Any deviations from this ideal can affect the horse’s way of moving and may lead to future lameness due to excessive stress placed on bones and ligaments during turning, galloping, and jumping.

Keep in mind that most horses are not perfectly straight. Minor faults can be tolerated if they do not hinder performance or soundness.