Can't Lock Knees ?!

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by Nitro17, May 17, 2017.

  1. Nitro17

    Nitro17 Senior Member

    Mar 12, 2017
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    .I saw a horse and noticed his knees were bobbing and look bent. I asked her about and she said since he's been a barrel horse since he was a baby it took a tool on his knees. And now he can't lock his joints.
    Have you heard of this before?
  2. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

    Mar 30, 2016
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    I'm not understanding what you're seeing and saying. His knees were bobbing? Idk what you mean.
  3. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

    May 21, 2010
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    Horses lock their knees when they sleep.

    Never heard of a horse whose knees were destroyed. If the horse can't lock his knees he can't sleep standing up.

    Let's see, with owner's permission, a picture of this horse. Or, better yet, a video.
  4. Binca

    Binca Senior Member

    Mar 18, 2014
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    I know a horse whose knees don't lock, so he can't sleep standing up. It's not uncommon to see him dose off and nearly fall on his face as his knees buckle. He will jerk himself back awake, and then it will happen again. He usually does it around 5 times before either managing to stay awake, or going inside his stable to lay down for a nap. I have known him for a few years and only once has he smacked his nose on the stable bars. He had a slight blood nose, but nothing too bad. I don't know what causes it though.
  5. VermilionStrife

    VermilionStrife Senior Member

    Apr 12, 2012
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    I knew a horse who was like that. The girl who owned her showed in 4-H and the horse nearly fell on her several times in a SMS class because she would doze and her knees would buckle.
  6. bobo and horses

    bobo and horses Senior Member

    Feb 4, 2007
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    Narcolepsy- we had a big HUS horse who would fall asleep at odd times, such as when she was being braided, and fall forward, catching herself, but sometimes she would fall to her knees or ram her head into a wall in her stall. Vet was consulted, but no test could be done, but vet said it was most likely that diagnosis.
    Never under saddle, tho, or in a SMS or Halter class.

    Just wanted to add, if the horse is over at the knee, their legs will sometimes shake or tremble after work outs.
  7. LeenieBean

    LeenieBean Senior Member

    Sep 14, 2012
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    you can see this with bench knees, they look like they can't lock, and when standing after a work out, you'll notice them wobbling. I always find it sort of unnerving being near these horses because they always look like they are about to take off lol
  8. FraggleRock

    FraggleRock Full Member

    Mar 22, 2011
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    My gelding couldn't lock his knees when he first came, but it was completely from horrendous shoeing! His feet were so so tall with high heels and corks that he just could not lock them. One farrier visit later he was feeling much better, although it took quite a while to get his hooves looking somewhat normal. Some how he had been racing with that shoe job... And doing well- honestly I'm not sure how he didn't fall down!
  9. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2004
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    Toll. Not 'took a tool', 'took a toll'. Early work took a toll on the horse's knees. A toll is a price one pays - like on highways that charge a 'toll' for using the road.

    Most likely, what you're referring to is a flaw called 'over in the knee'.

    Foals are often born 'over in the knee' - when the horse is standing, the knee appears to fail to straighten out all the way so that instead of seeing the usual 'flat' appearance if you look at the horse from the side, the knee appears to be buckled forward, even when the horse's front feet are both firmly on the ground. Usually, the leg straightens and takes on a normal appearance in about three weeks after the foal is born.

    HOWEVER....there is ANOTHER sort of 'over in the knee'. The horse gets this from excess work, yes, usually dating from a young age, but it can also develop later in life - the key is that the horse is over-worked without appropriate rest. And of course, if the footing is bad, the shoeing and trimming is not right, the conditioning of the horse is not right, or it's just really hard work, wear and tear is much more. It used to be that in the 'good old days' you'd see many older work horses - draft horses, carriage horses, that had this flaw. In THIS sort of situation, it's an 'overuse injury'. Accumulated wear and tear.

    Of course, horse's knees buckle forward in other situations, such as with the horse that has narcolepsy - a sleeping disorder. The horse falls asleep at unusual times, even if there's some activity going on around him. The knees can buckle in that case too.

    So if a horse has an abnormal stance or gait, the best thing is to have a veterinarian evaluate, because it's impossible for most people to know what's causing the problem, and it might be either 1.) that still working the horse becomes a welfare issue 2.) that it's something that could even be dangerous to the rider.

    For example, if your barrel racing pal's horse actually had narcolepsy, she could get hurt very bad if she's riding him - especially if she's running barrels - when he falls asleep.

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