Unsoundnesses and Blemishes of Horses: Feet and Legs
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Unlike other farm animals, the horse is serviceable only when in motion. Any abnormal deviation in the structure or action of a horse can render it partly or completely useless. Therefore, any defect that affects serviceability is considered an unsoundness, i.e., lameness, blindness, faulty wind, etc. Those defects that detract from appearance but do not impair serviceability are considered blemishes, i.e., scars, capped hocks and elbows, etc. Blemishes are looked upon with great disfavor in gaited, parade, and some pleasure horses. They are more common in stock horses and tend to detract less from their value than from other types of horses.
Archive version. For the most recent information see extension.missouri.edu.