“Many owners are surprised when I suggest some of the reasons horses get bedsores on their hocks. Shedding hair is a big one,” said California horsewoman Shari Click, founder of Click Horse Products' Hock Shield and Fetlock Shield.
“When that extra layer of 'winter fuzzies' goes away so does a layer of protective hair for protruding joints like hocks. Hocks also become susceptible if there is weakness in another part of the body (knee, back, dominant back leg) and your horse has to use their body in a way they usually don't in order to get up from the ground,” she continued.
Older horses in particular may have trouble getting up after lying down, due to hock pain that discourages them from pushing themselves to their feet. Some become so reluctant to lie down that they resort to sleeping standing up and may show abrasions to the front of their fetlocks or knees where they have caught themselves before falling down while half asleep. These and a lack of signs a horse has been lying down (like shavings on its belly or in its tail) may suggest they are unable or afraid to lie down for fear of not being able to get up again.
“I have had three horses live in the same space with the same bedding,” Click said. “My 1,300-pound gelding and 1,100-pound mare rarely had tiny bedsores while my 900-pound mare, whose issues ranged from bad conformation to problems like a cyst in her stifle and torn ligament in her foreleg, wears Hock Shields constantly to avoid nasty sores.”
Hock Shield custom-fit hock protectors are designed to stay in place to prevent and help heal hock sores, using a tear-resistant neoprene outer shell and soft fleece lining. The Hock Shield (half-wrap) comes in two adjustable sizes and has a soft, flexible 'pocket' in the center back to provide extra comfort to the most delicate areas where tendons pass just under the skin.
The perfect solution for the majority of hock sores, Hock Shield Ultra (full-wrap) comes in four sizes and can also be used on arthritic hocks to prevent chill. The thin neoprene and double layer of fleece make a comfortable but tough boot that can be worn full-time by horses with deep, chronic sores.
Learn about Click Horse Products, and find more success stories using the Hock Shield, Hock Shield Ultra and Fetlock Shield at www.hockshield.com or call 831-426-1206.