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Bench knees
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spookyfilly
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 Posted: Mon Jun 12th, 2017 05:47 pm
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There is a yearling that I have a high opinion of and would like to have but her cannon is significantly offset to the outside of the knee. How compromised is her future soundness? I have been looking at her from different angles to see if it is just from the front but...

I've looked at knees from both sides now
From up and down
And still somehow...

DrDeb
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 Posted: Mon Jun 12th, 2017 11:06 pm
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Spooky, can you post a photo? Because without that, I can't look at her knees from ANY sides now! -- Dr. Deb

spookyfilly
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 Posted: Tue Jun 13th, 2017 05:39 am
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Ok, I need to go to my other computer to save them as smaller files

spookyfilly
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 Posted: Tue Jun 13th, 2017 05:56 am
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Trying to post photos

Attachment: image.jpeg (Downloaded 107 times)

spookyfilly
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 Posted: Tue Jun 13th, 2017 05:57 am
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Whoa, success

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spookyfilly
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 Posted: Tue Jun 13th, 2017 06:01 am
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Still trying, shot from rear

Attachment: image.jpeg (Downloaded 103 times)

spookyfilly
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 Posted: Tue Jun 13th, 2017 06:01 am
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Left foot

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DrDeb
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 Posted: Tue Jun 13th, 2017 05:28 pm
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OK, Spooky -- decent photos, and they do show some offset to the position of the cannon bone relative to the carpus. Now, let me help you see them MUCH better. Go back and re-take the photos in this way:

(1) DO NOT stand, nor take any photo, from a position directly in front of the horse's breastbone. This is what you did in the top photo you posted -- guaranteed position not to see what you want to see from. And yes, I know, this is where all the conformation/halter judges stand at horse shows. They need to learn better, too.

(2) DO stand directly in front of the left knee. This will probably mean you'll need to walk an arc outward from the centerline of the horse's body -- because it appears, as it usually does appear, that the young horse's knees orient outward. So you go walk around toward the outside to whatever point that puts you DIRECTLY IN FRONT of the "face" of the knee. Then you kneel down and aim the camera lens directly at the face of the knee (while being far enough back that the picture includes everything from the point of shoulder down to the hoof).

(3) AGAIN stand directly this time, in front of the right knee, and repeat process (2).

(4) Post those photos here please, and then we'll have something REAL to discuss and a real and meaningful basis for decisionmaking. -- Dr. Deb

spookyfilly
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 Posted: Wed Jun 21st, 2017 08:33 pm
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Finally! I do think that the angle makes a difference. I am not sure the cannon is right below the knee but it seems like it might work out for her.

Attachment: image.jpeg (Downloaded 62 times)

spookyfilly
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 Posted: Wed Jun 21st, 2017 08:35 pm
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..and the left, not sure why the last one is sideways. It looks like this one is too.

Attachment: image.jpeg (Downloaded 60 times)

DrDeb
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 Posted: Thu Jun 22nd, 2017 04:34 am
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Ahhh....what a lot of HELP it is when the prospective purchaser knows that, in order to get any kind of true picture at all of the alignment of forelimb or hindlimb elements, she must stand (for the forelimbs) directly in front of the face of each knee, and (for the hindlimbs) directly behind the face of each hock. Spooky, you see how different the second set of photos makes the limbs look than the first set did. The limbs can only be seen accurately when you stand and look from the right position, and each limb must be assessed separately. It is rare that both limbs (left and right) have the same problems or to the same degree.

I now reply to your post with three images. The one attached in this message I have posted many, many times before; but because the very concept is strange to most students, I understand that it will be necessary to keep presenting it, over and over again, until people get what it is trying to tell. What it is trying to tell is, in a picture, exactly what I just said (in words) above. A LIMB IS NOT 'STRAIGHT' IF YOU CAN DROP A PLUMB LINE THROUGH IT. What must be dropped through it is A PLANE not a line, because a line does not contain enough dimensions to tell you all that you need to know. A three-dimensional object (a horse's limb) cannot be adequately assessed by a one-dimensional line; rather, only by a two-dimensional plane can you tell what the ORIENTATION of each limb element is, as well as whether the particular element (say, cannon bone) is tilting or offset.

The reason that students and prospective buyers are unfamiliar with the 'plane of assessment' concept is that it is not taught in any books or magazine articles but my own. Thus, limb assessment has been wrongly taught since the advent of modern conformation study, i.e. mid-19th century or i.e. for more than a century. It is mis-taught in Horace Hayes, it is mis-taught in Gobaux and Barrier, it is mis-taught in Ben K. Green, it is mis-taught in every German 'verband' handbook, it is mis-taught in the Pony Club and 4H handbooks. It is mis-taught in virtually every magazine article. I once had the "pleasure" of having just given what I thought was a brilliant lecture at Cal Expo horse fair, on the subject of conformation, which included this information. And the very next speaker who came up was this yay-hoo with cutting horses from Texas who represents some feed company, and the first thing out of his mouth was, "I cain't hardly believe this, but I've heard-tell somebody out there is teaching people that horses whose hocks face in AREN'T cow-hocked."

Now, in the next two posts I'm going to give your own images back to you, Spooky, marked with all the broken planes they contain. You may gain from this that the animal you're considering is more offset below one knee than the other; but that 'offset' is probably not her biggest problem. Her biggest problem is the ignorance of the people who have had her previously in their care, who think that a horse's front toes are always supposed to aim straight forward, parallel to the midline plane of the body. In point of fact, they are virtually NEVER to aim in this way but that's what's prized by the Texas yay-hoo (fore and hind), and at virtually all halter shows. There are zero, zip, nil, nada, not any NORMALLY CONFORMED AND NORMALLY FUNCTIONING MAMMALS that have their forelimbs so oriented.

Nonetheless it is the fixed idea of the industry that this should be so, so much so that they have, as you may clearly see from the marked photos, so lowered the outside wall on the left fore as to cause the animal's left ankle to buckle outwards. How long do you think she'll tolerate this before going lame? Will you take care to engage a KNOWLEDGEABLE farrier who will not try to "straighten" a forelimb that is SUPPOSED TO ORIENT OUTWARD?

You may see from considering this that the orientation of the limb as a whole (the orientation of the plane of assessment) is a SEPARATE FACTOR from whether there are structural misalignments, of which there can only be three kinds: offsets, rotations, and deviations. You have deviations in the left forelimb that are 100% MAN MADE. As I said, the small amount of offset in the right fore is inconsequential by comparison.

Now before we quit this discussion, I would also impose upon you for another bit of homework, and that is, if you're a sharp observer, you will also by now have had it hit you that you need to take a much closer look at this animal's HIND legs, to find out how bowlegged she actually is, and how much of that bowleggedness is of her own making, and how much is due to the stupid and misdirected attempts of her current owners and farrier to force the hind toes to face foward (which would please the Texas guy, for sure).

Hope to hear back from you with the hindlimb photos relatively soon. -- Dr. Deb


Attachment: Forum forelimbs no1 Planes of Assessment.jpg (Downloaded 57 times)

DrDeb
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 Posted: Thu Jun 22nd, 2017 04:38 am
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LEFT FORELIMB MARKED WITH CENTER PLANE ORIENTATIONS

Attachment: Forum forelimbs no1 left.jpg (Downloaded 55 times)

DrDeb
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 Posted: Thu Jun 22nd, 2017 04:39 am
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RIGHT FORELIMB MARKED WITH CENTER PLANE ORIENTATIONS

Attachment: Forum forelimbs no1 right.jpg (Downloaded 55 times)

spookyfilly
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 Posted: Thu Jun 22nd, 2017 06:34 am
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I am happy to find alternative information which is not a repetition of the status quo which is the same no matter what source I read. My instincts tell me that conformation is part of a dynamic whole and I have noticed that some "flaws" can be an advantage in certain situations. I have been looking more critically at the horses around me and find that symmetrical limbs seem to be the exception more than the rule. I do find the whole thing quite interesting. I wonder what the heritability of limb conformation is. I have read that some things are congenital but not necessarily genetic but I also feel that most faults can be eliminated from the gene pool with careful breeding.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Thu Jun 22nd, 2017 09:25 am
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Spook, the heritability of limb CONFORMATION is 100%. If a misalignment, such as the warped-out ankle I mentioned in the post above, is due to human error, then it is not heritable; but it is also not an example of conformation -- rather it is an example of an injury. Conformation means "structure", and the study of conformation is the study of proportionality of structure. Structure is 100% inheritable.

I would like to emphasize that I am not here providing "alternative" information. What I am providing is the correct information. That the industry is thoroughly muddled on this subject, and has been muddled for more than a century, is not my problem -- though it may be YOUR problem, in the sense that the propagation of falsehoods always lead to even greater problems in the end. Despite the tone of our times, it is NOT true that if you repeat a falsehood enough times it will become true.

It is a truism of adult education that adults can usually only hear what they are prepared to hear. What adult horse owners are prepared to hear is, like the Texas yay-hoo believes, that if the horse's hocks face inward the animal is cow-hocked; they believe that if the toes (fore and hind) don't point straight forward the animal's limbs are "crooked" and need to be straightened. The only way anybody could believe any of these things would be if they never actually observed a badger, a fox or coyote, an elk, or a zebra in the wild. The domestic horse's body works just like the body of any other quadrupedal mammal.

So, again, I do hope that if you're still interested in purchasing this horse, you'll take the time to photograph the hind limbs in the same way you photographed the forelimbs: take separate photos of each hind leg, positioning yourself square behind the "face" of the left and right hocks.

Not expecting absolute immediate service on this by the way: the Modesto area is expecting temps to be 110 degrees by Friday, and it is thus not only impossible to do anything with a horse during the daytime (except possibly to find a shady wash-rack and have a nice cool wet bath) -- it is dangerous to be out in this weather otherwise. Cheers -- Dr. Deb


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