Friday, 22 April 2016

All About ... Curbs

What are they?

A curb is a swelling just below the point of the hock which feels firm when pressed.  It forms when the tendons and  ligaments of the hock are injured .  The swelling is due to the accumulation of fluid in the area.  


  • Swelling just below point of hock 
  • Maybe lameness which can be slight or severe 
  • Area may be warm


  • Hock conformation ie: cow or sickle hocks 
  • Strain from sudden and quick movements 
  • Kicking walls, fences or ramps (in trailers) 
  • Strain from excessive use


Ultrasound or x-rays can be used to confirm the diagnosis. 


Call the vet as they will ensure the diagnosis is correct.  If the horse is in pain they may suggest painkillers and/or anti-inflammatory drugs.  The horse should make a full recovery, however, the swelling may remain or become smaller.

  • Cold hosing 
  • Rest 
  • Careful fitness and rehabilitation programme


Ensure there is no excessive strain on the hind limb.  Every horse is an individual so if the horse has conformational weaknesses eg: cow hocks then they will be more susceptible than others. Ensure the horse is fit enough for the job expected and an awareness of each individuals limitations is important.   

Bandage or use good boots for travelling so damage cannot be done by a knock in the box or trailer.  If the horse is known to knock himself in the stable consider lining the walls with rubber!

Curbs don't have to cause long term problems but having an awareness of your horses limitations is important!

Have you seen this week's video 'Catching Tommy'  on my You Tube channel.   
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Until next time!

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