What’s A Buck Kneed Horse?

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Question: Julie,

I have a question. When someone refers to a horse as “Buck Kneed” what does it mean and will it bother it’s performance? PS- my wife just adopted a donkey and now she says she has two jackasses.


Answer: Hey Jack,

“Buck-kneed” is a term used to describe a horse that is over at the knee. Looking at him from the side, the knees would be bowed forward instead of flat and vertical. It is unsightly and the horse could possibly be more prone to stumble, but many people think it actually makes a horse faster (lots of race horses are buck-kneed) and makes him carry his hindquarters up underneath him. Lots of high performance horses are a little buck kneed. As with any crookedness in the legs, the horse would be more prone to arthritis and unsoundness at an earlier age than a straight-legged horse.

“Calf-kneed” means back at the knee so that from profile you see a concave line at the knee. These horses are not particularly athletic and in my opinion it is a worse conformational fault than buck-kneed.

PS- Sorry, I am not insured to dish out marital advise but I know your wife and I have always found her to be a wise and intelligent woman 😉


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