Can You Ride a Horse With Dropped Fetlocks

Dropped fetlocks are a conformation fault that can occur in any horse breed. The condition is caused by a genetic defect that causes the leg tendons and ligaments to be too long, resulting in the fetlocks (ankle joints) dropping lower than normal. While this fault does not usually cause health problems, it can make the horse uncomfortable and difficult to ride.

  • Assuming you are already on the horse
  • Encourage your horse to walk forward
  • If he doesn’t want to move, gently pull on the reins until he takes a step forward
  • Once your horse is moving, keep light contact with the reins and sit up straight in the saddle
  • As you ride, pay attention to how your horse is moving and look for any signs that he may be uncomfortable or in pain
  • If you need to stop, gently pull on both reins until your horse comes to a halt

What Causes Horses Fetlocks to Drop?

Several reasons a horse’s fetlock might drop, including weight bearing and muscular imbalance. The most common cause is simply due to the horse’s conformation; some horses are born with lower-set fetlocks that are more prone to dropping. However, any horse can develop dropped fetlocks over time if they experience repeated stress on the joint or muscles surrounding it.

This can happen from incorrect shoeing, poor nutrition, or even repetitive work on hard surfaces. In many cases, dropped fetlocks are a cosmetic issue and do not cause the horse pain or discomfort. However, if left untreated, it can lead to further problems, such as arthritis.

Can Horses With DSLD Be Ridden?

There is no definitive answer to this question as each horse with DSLD will present differently; therefore, some may be able to continue being ridden while others may not. It depends on the individual horse and how far the condition has progressed. Generally, once a horse has been diagnosed with DSLD, it should no longer be ridden as the condition can worsen and put unnecessary strain on the animal’s legs.

What Causes Dropped Pasterns in Horses?

There are many possible causes of dropped pasterns in horses. The more common causes include poor nutrition, genetic disposition, and injury. Poor nutrition is often a contributing factor in horses developing dropped pasterns.

If a horse isn’t getting enough of the right nutrients, their bones can become weak and deformed. This is especially true for young horses who are still growing. The genetic disposition also plays a role in some cases, as certain horse breeds are more prone to developing dropped pasterns than others.

Injury can also lead to dropped pasterns, particularly if the injury damages the cartilage or ligaments in the area. In most cases, dropped pasterns can be corrected with proper treatment and care. However, surgery may be necessary in severe cases to correct the problem.

When Should I Euthanize My Horse With Dsld?

When deciding when to euthanize a horse with degenerative suspensory ligament disease (DSLD), there is no easy answer. The decision must be based on the horse’s quality of life and the owner’s personal preferences. Some owners may euthanize their horse as soon as they are diagnosed with DSLD, while others may wait until the disease has progressed significantly and the horse is in pain.

Ultimately, the decision of when to euthanize a horse with DSLD is a personal one that should be made after consulting with your veterinarian and other equine professionals.

How to Treat Dropped Fetlocks

If you’ve ever had a horse with dropped fetlocks, you know how painful and frustrating it can be. Several things, including arthritis, tendon damage, and ligament damage, cause dropped fetlocks. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to treating dropped fetlocks, but a few things can help.

Arthritis is the most common cause of dropped fetlocks. If your horse has arthritis, anti-inflammatory medication can help relieve the pain and inflammation. Your veterinarian can prescribe medication or recommend an over-the-counter option.

Tendon damage is another common cause of dropped fetlocks. If your horse has damaged tendons, they will need time to heal. This means keeping your horse off work for at least six weeks.

Your veterinarian may also recommend supplements or physical therapy to help speed up the healing process. Ligament damage is another possible cause of dropped fetlocks. If your horse has ligament damage, it will need time to rest and heal.

Support Boots for Dropped Fetlocks

If your horse has dropped fetlocks, you know how frustrating it can be. Traditional wraps and boots can be bulky, uncomfortable, and only sometimes in place. But there’s a new generation of support boots specifically designed for dropped fetlocks, and they make a big difference for many horses.

These new boots provide support without being bulky or uncomfortable and stay in place much better than traditional wraps or boots. They’re also easy to put on and take off, which is a huge plus. If you’ve been struggling to find a way to support your horse’s dropped fetlocks, these new boots are worth checking out!

Dropped Fetlocks in Horses

One of the most common problems that can occur with a horse’s leg is a condition called dropped fetlocks. This occurs when the tendons and ligaments in the back of the leg become slack, causing the fetlock (or “ankle”) to drop down lower than normal. This can happen on one or both legs and can be caused by various things, including genetics, poor nutrition, injury, or even wear and tear from everyday use.

Dropped fetlocks can cause some problems for horses. It can be very painful, especially if the condition is left untreated. It can also lead to arthritis and other joint problems later on down the road.

Additionally, dropped fetlocks can make it difficult for horses to move around properly, impacting their performance in competition or their ability to work properly on farms or ranches. Several ways dropped fetlocks can be treated. Sometimes simply changing the horse’s diet or providing them with supplements can help tighten the ligaments and tendons so that they no longer hang.

In other cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem. After treatment, many horses can return to normal activities without further issues.

How to Strengthen Weak Pasterns in Horses

If your horse has weak pasterns, there are several things you can do to help strengthen them. Pasterns are the bones that make up the lower part of the leg, just above the hoof. They should be strong and straight to support the horse’s weight and provide proper shock absorption.

One way to help strengthen weak pasterns is by doing regular hoof care. This includes trimming and balancing the hooves and keeping them clean and debris-free. Consider using shoes or pads that offer extra support for weak pasterns.

Another way to help is through exercise. Regular turnout in a large pasture or arena will give your horse’s legs a chance to build strength. If possible, add hills or inclines into their exercise routine as this will also help promote stronger pasterns.

Finally, nutrition plays an important role in overall bone health, so be sure your horse gets all the necessary vitamins and minerals from their diet. Talk to your vet about supplementation options if you think your horse is deficient.

Dropped Pasterns in Young Horses

Dropped pasterns are a condition that can affect young horses. It occurs when the tendon that attaches the leg to the hoof becomes weakened, causing it to drop. This can cause pain and lameness in the affected horse.

Several things can cause dropped pasterns, including genetics, poor nutrition, and injury. Treatment involves supporting the affected leg with a splint or cast and giving the horse time to rest. Surgery may also be necessary in some cases.

Are Dropped Fetlocks Painful

Dropped fetlocks are a common injury in horses. The fetlock is the joint between the cannon bone and the pastern bone. Ligaments, tendons, and joints connect these bones.

When a horse drops its fetlock, it stretches or tears these structures. This can be very painful for the horse. There are several reasons why a horse might drop its fetlock.

One reason is that the horse is not used to carrying weight on that leg. Another reason is that the ground is too slippery or uneven for the horse to keep footing. A third reason is that the horse has an injury or condition that makes it difficult to hold up its fetlock joint. Treatment for a dropped fetlock depends on the severity of the injury.

If the ligaments or tendons are only slightly stretched, rest and ice may be all that is needed to help them heal. More serious injuries may require surgery to repair the damage. In some cases, a dropped fetlock can lead to arthritis in the joint later in life.


If you’ve ever seen a horse with its fetlocks dropped, you may have wondered if it’s possible to ride them. The answer is yes, but you should know a few things first. For starters, horses with dropped fetlocks are more likely to be sore in their legs and feet.

This means they’ll need to be ridden more carefully and slowly than usual. You’ll also need to be extra careful when dismounting, as they may not be able to hold their footing as well as other horses. Another thing to remember is that dropped fetlocks can make it difficult for a horse to balance.

You’ll need to help them by keeping your weight centred and avoiding sudden movements. If you do all these things, you should be able to ride a horse with dropped fetlocks without any problems safely.