Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Maintain Your Horse's Hocks

Maintain Your Horse’s Hocks

In other newsletters I’ve written about the benefits of establishing regular maintenance for your horse trailer and tow vehicle.

But how about regular maintenance for your horse?

Just like your trailer or truck, he has parts that, over time, can wear down due to overuse. One area that often becomes problematic is the hocks.

Whether you use your horse for reining, dressage, or something in between, there may come a time when his hocks get achy. And sore hocks can definitely interfere with your horse’s ability to perform at his best.

So if this happens, what are your options?

A popular yet expensive choice is hock injections. Your vet will give the injection, which sends hyaluronic acid into the joint. The hyaluronic acid lubricates the joint and helps the depleted synovial fluid do its job.

As I mentioned, hock injections are pricey, often running into the hundreds of dollars. Most likely, your horse will need to be sedated for this procedure. If your horse is sensitive (like one of mine was), he could react to the sedation by colicking. However, many horses respond very positively and improve dramatically (mine did.)

How long your horse benefits may vary. Some horses do well with once a year injections, others may need to have the injections repeated more frequently.

Another option is feeding your horse an oral supplement that contains hyaluronic acid. There are many on the market to choose from. Initially, supplementing orally with hyaluronic acid was deemed questionable as to how useful it was. But over time, this practice appears to have produced results and has grown more popular. And if you’re trying to keep expenses down, this is a practical alternative.

Most likely, your horse was a big investment for you. So it’s worth your while to invest in a therapy that will work well for him and keep him going for years to come.

1 comment:

Ron said...

A Good plan to keep your horses hocks sound is to stay off his back till he is four years old and then start breaking him or her! In the old days a horse was never mounted as a 2year old, they were halter broke, gentled and put in the herd to bond till they were 4 and then riding started!! It still is fool proof today!

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