By Krista Lucas
When a horse is acting a bit odd, especially a performance horse, it may be wise to get a professional veterinarian opinion. An equine athlete who is suddenly not performing at the top of its game or seems to be in pain may need the hocks thoroughly checked out.
The hock joints of the horse are equivalent to the human ankle and are located right above the cannon bones. It may look like the “knee-cap” of the back legs. Horses use their hocks to push off of the hindquarters and to properly carry their weight.
The hocks are crucial to allow the equine animal to run, turn, jump and play. Horses performing at high levels such as in barrel racing, cutting and roping events put daily strain on their hock joints and rely heavily on having healthy joints.