My BLM mustang has quite a severe conformation flaw. I worry about his potentially higher risk of arthritis, lameness. My dream is to ride some endurance rides with this horse... Can you give me thoughts on his comformation, please. Would x-Rays give me answers in what the future might hold? The horse is 10 year old. Thank you.
Tiia, your horse is neither narrow-based nor splay-footed. He merely has forelimbs that orient outwards.
If you will be good enough to follow the directions given in a thread near the top of the home page for this Forum -- the directions that show you how to use the Google Advanced Search function -- then you can look up our previous discussions on this topic, and see the illustrations and instruction so that you can learn to see what is really there instead of just repeating "common" knowledge, which is not knowledge at all, but merely a body of traditional error.
Alternatively, you can obtain back issues of Equus magazine containing articles by me on the subject of analyzing forelimb conformation. They also give excellent illustrations and instruction so that you can teach yourself to "see".
In short, and to summarize -- although you'll still need to do what I've told you above -- your horse holds his elbows in toward the body all the time, and because of this, the center-planes of his knees and ankles orient outward.
You fix this over time by teaching the horse to carry itself straight and round. These topics also have been extensively discussed in this forum and you can look them up also.
Looks like you've got some reading to do, Tiia....enjoy the journey. -- Dr. Deb
Wonderful reply. I was in fact just repeating what was told to me and I knew you would have something intelligent to say on the matter. Now that I know what the correct term is I'm excited to start my research. Thank you!