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You Be the Judge: Horse Hocks


What you like or want in a hock depends on what you intend to do with a horse. Physical absolutes govern how bone angles fit together and what that does to a horse’s hind leg function. But subtle differences in those angles can predispose a horse to do some jobs better than others, and there’s where opinion comes in.

The Journal asked four respected horsemen at the tops of their professions to give us their opinions of six hocks: Don Topliff, Ph.D., AQHA judge and former associate dean of the college of agriculture, science and engineering at the West Texas A&M University; Al Dunning, AQHA Professional Horseman, and former AQHA judges committee chair; Dave Dellin, former AQHA  judge and Professional Horseman; and Wayne Halvorson, AQHA judge, and Professional Horseman. Topliff is a regular lecturer on conformation at educational sessions for AQHA judges; all three Pro Horsemen have trained world champions.

Here’s what they had to say.

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