• 'iving legs a look • What’s that sound? • What not to do for a choking horse
Running a hand down each of your horse’s legs is a good habit to develop. But what exactly are you looking for?
During the quick passes over your horse’s legs, you’re learning what his normal contours feel like. Most mature horses have a collection of bumps and lumps that don’t affect soundness, and you’ll want to be familiar with their location, size and texture. That way you’ll notice when something changes: A bump that’s suddenly bigger, warmer or squishier is worth a closer look. It’s important to feel your horse’s legs every day (or at least every other day) to be able to distinguish normal from not.
Also observe your horse’s reaction to having his legs handled. It’s not unusual for a horse to object mildly to having certain parts of his legs palpated, and some horses can be very sensitive. But if he suddenly starts flinching or reacts more than usual, that could indicate trouble.