What you see. The starting point for addressing any equine health related issue is your observation.


Resting One Hind Limb, One Limb Cocked


Normal healthy horses regularly rest with one limb cocked and with the other bearing full weight. Often they alternate the cocked and rested limbs.

However, horses with hind limb lameness also cock the affected limb. If there is rapid switching of the rested limbs, it may indicate pain associated with weight bearing in both limbs, as seen in horses with hind limb laminitis or degenerative suspensory ligament disease.

  • Code Yellow

    Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment
    • If you are convinced this is associated with lameness.

your role


What To Do

If you are unsure whether this behavior is normal or not, assess the horse's general health with the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), walk the horse looking for signs of lameness or reluctance to move. Examine the horse's hind limbs, especially feeling for digital pulse and heat in the rear feet, and share your findings and concerns with your vet.

your vet's role

Your vet will evaluate the horse at rest and in movement to determine whether there is a physical abnormality causing the behavior.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • Does the horse's attitude and appetite seem normal?
  • Does the horse show any signs of lameness or resistance to move?
  • Do you notice swelling, heat or injury in any of the limbs?
  • What are the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE)?

Treatments Your Vet May Recommend

A way to resolve the condition or diagnosis. Resolving the underlying cause or treating the signs of disease (symptomatic treatment)

Very Common
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Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP