What About Back End Foes?

by Troy Green | December 6th, 2011 1:23 PM | No Comments

Q. Hi Troy,

I read your article regarding front end foes, but what about back end foes?  I have a two year old Zippos Mr Goodbar mare that we just started under saddle.  She is very green right now, but I have a movement concern question.  This mare is very flat up front and really points her toe at a lope, but the problem is her hind end.

She drives her hock so deep it is almost freaky, but also has a hop in her stride.  She looks like she is hopping in the back end similiar to a horse with a lot of front end knee action (hackney pony,) but in the hind end.  She also flips her ankle on the off lead leg.  A little hard to explain, but we are hoping that once we get her slowed down and collected this will stop.  The hoof angles are normal for her build but were wondering if a change to her angle may improve her stride.

I know it is hard for you to diagnose without seeing her, but thought you might have had something similiar to this in your horse experiences and any ideas are welcome.

Greg, Ohio

A. Hi Greg,

Without seeing it is hard to say but it could be a very good thing. If she has that much spring along with a big step that reaches underneath, that’s great. On the other hand, if it’s more of an up and down action with less reach, that is, of course, less desirable and could just be the horse, or it could be a physical problem.  It sounds like you know what you’re looking at, so if your mare has a deep hock, the spring you are seeing is most likely a good sign that she’s really physical.

As far as the ankle flip, if whoever trains this filly helps her to hold the ground throughout the training process, it should not be a problem. And as far as her angles go, I would try to keep it natural. In my opinion, the best shoers work with what they’ve got and don’t try to change it.

Thanks very much for some good questions.

Best of luck,


About the Author

Troy Green is a firm believer in the importance of a good foundation for every horse with balance, rhythm, and self-carriage being key. A good foundation equals longevity in the show pen. Troy has won over two dozen All American Quarter Horse Congress Championships in western pleasure, versatility, reining, halter and western riding, and has coached clients to over 50 Congress championships. Troy has three AQHA World Championships and two National Championships under his belt, and has won at all major futurities. He spent three years on the national board of the NSBA.

Troy Green has an extensive background working with youth and amateurs at all levels and of various disciplines. He specializes in pleasure futurity and all around horses.

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