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Horse Training Tips and Techniques, Helpful Hints for Health Care;
Plus Business Advice on Making Your Career With Horses a Financial Success

By Don Blazer

        If the horse you are training needs both power and speed then look at the stifle and hock relationships.
The stifle joint should be about the same height as the elbow of the front leg and directly under the hip, creating a low joint for better leverage for the muscles of hindquarters.  If the stifle is low, the muscles along the back of the hindquarters can be longer and stronger continuing down toward the gaskin.  (This is just the opposite of what we see in today's halter horses.)  When viewed from the rear, the stifle should be slightly wider than the hip.
         The hock is complex and worked harder than any other joint, so it must be well proportioned and strong.  A large, well formed hock provides power for motion and a greater area for absorbing conclusion.
         The point of the hock should be level with the chestnut on the horse's front leg and directly below the point of the buttocks with a slightly turned in angle for best leverage and strength.
         Finally the distance from the stifle to the point of the hock should be equal to the distance from the point of the hock straight down to the ground.
         You can't train or condition power and speed into a horse; power and speed are directly affected by conformation. (For more information about Conformation and Selection for Performance, take the online course at )

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