What is “Calf-Kneed?”

Straight forelimbs are better-equipped to avoid the injuries suffered by misaligned legs. This includes calf-kneed and two other injuries.

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By: HPG |

Correctly conformed forelimbs are better equipped to support the horse’s weight and avoid wear-and-tear. When viewed from the side, an imaginary vertical line should run from the forearm straight down to the back of the heel. Three main forelimb misalignments are outlined in this Horse Sport article.

Over at the knee (sprung knee) is a forward bowing of the knee. Sometimes caused by an injury to the check ligament or the structures at the back of the knee, it can create tendon and suspensory ligament strain and increase risk of bowed tendons. When the horse is back at the knee (calf-kneed), the cannon bone angles backward, placing stress particularly on the knee joint but also the tendons, bones and ligaments. A leg that’s tied-in at the knee looks narrower at the tendon where it meets the back of the knee, limiting flexor tendon strength and limiting concussion absorption.

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