I love Henry to pieces, but a great mover he is not. His canter is by far his best gait, and indeed his canter is the reason I bought him. His walk and trot, however, definitely leave plenty to be desired. Especially if you watch him from the front.
His legs aren’t super straight… his cannons twist outward a bit just below the knee. This really hasn’t caused him any trouble physically, aside from the one very short-lived farrier who tried to make his feet LOOK straight and caused him to pop a splint. In the realm of crooked legs, his aren’t so bad. I’ve seen and owned worse.
Henry’s crookedness mostly just shows up in his movement. His front legs have a more circular articulation–a bit like the classic over-exaggeration of a bowlegged cowboy walking around in fringed chaps.
Of course, the very first impression a dressage judge gets of him is trotting up center line, and the front view is where it’s most obvious. We will never get great gait scores. Otherwise, the only issue it has really caused for him is that he interferes up front. A LOT.
I had to go through a few brands of front boots before I found some that didn’t spin on him. And because he does interfere so much, he’s very very hard on his front boots. He also has to wear bell boots 24/7 because I’ve never seen a horse that can pull a shoe like this one can. He steps on his own feet a lot.
But I also don’t think I’ve ever had a horse that was so consistently good with his knees over every. single. jump. There’s no such thing as a bad jumping picture of Henry; if you get the timing right, his style will be good. Maybe loose below the knee depending on how unimpressed he is, but the knees are always up and even, crooked legs be damned.
In the grand scheme of things, his crookedness has not mattered much. He’s not a pretty mover, and his legs aren’t perfect, but he doesn’t know that. I just keep him very well-booted (yes, his “everyday” boots are XC boots) and make sure we have a good farrier.
Anyone else have a crooked-legged creature, or are crooked legs a dealbreaker for you?