SPLINTS

EQUUS - - Conformation Insights -

Ab­nor­mal bony de­po­si­tion in horses fre­quently in­volves the con­ver­sion of lig­a­ment tis­sue to bone, which may be ac­com­pa­nied by con­sid­er­able thick­en­ing and prickly-look­ing pro­lif­er­a­tion that is tech­ni­cally called ex­os­to­sis. Changes of this kind most com­monly oc­cur as a re­ac­tion to ten­sional stress—jerk­ing— upon the lig­a­ment fibers that bind bones to­gether.

The most com­mon ex­am­ple of this in horses is the con­di­tion called “splints,” the de­vel­op­ment of which is of­ten at­trib­uted to poor con­for­ma­tion—off­set or “bench” knees, bowlegs, knock-knees or lack of sub­stance. While faulty limb con­for­ma­tion can cer­tainly add to stress on fore­limb lig­a­ments, move­ment—es­pe­cially torque or twist­ing force gen­er­ated dur­ing fast turns—is the ma­jor cause. The tops of the splint bones form part of the base of the carpal joint in equines, so any­time pres­sure is dif­fer­en­tially ap­plied to ei­ther

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