You’ve likely seen a horse with odd swelling in their hock. This swelling, similar to windpuffs in the fetlocks, is known as a thoroughpin. They are caused by swelling of the sheath around the deep digital flexor tendon as it passes through the hock. Thoroughpins vary in size and are generally most prominent on the outside of the hock. While this can be concerning, thoroughpins do not cause pain or lameness.
Horses can develop thoroughpins for many reasons, but horses with hoof imbalance or poor hock conformation are more likely to develop this issue. Horses under intense work or with tendon injuries can sometimes present with thoroughpins. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to determine the underlying cause.
Fluid can accumulate around the hock area and cause the appearance of a thoroughpin. If the fluid is not associated with the tendon sheath, it is not considered a thoroughpin and is more likely from an injury. Fluid from a thoroughpin can be moved with manual pressure from the outside to the inside of the hock.
In most cases, veterinarians do not recommend treatment for thoroughpins. For advanced cases, treatment of thoroughpins can include withdrawing the fluid and doing hock injections of hyaluronate or corticosteroids. This procedure must be done routinely until the swelling does not come back.
While not a treatment for thoroughpins, hock boots provide protection and support to a horse’s hock joint. Horses participating in high-impact activities are the most prone to injury and strain. These boots will promote healing through compression. Hock boots can help reduce inflammation in a suffering horse and promote healing.
Benefab’s Rejuvenate Smart Hock Boots are made with a neoprene base induced with far-infrared emitting minerals. These minerals help to keep muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments supple and relaxed. They also promote blood circulation. With fourteen magnets, these hock boots pull blood to targeted areas, continually stimulating those areas during and after the boots are worn.
Many riders use hock boots to prevent injuries and support the hock joint. The hock joint is vulnerable to injury, particularly in activities like jumping and racing. If your horse is already experiencing thoroughpins, hock boots can provide additional support during your ride, reducing the risk of further swelling. These boots are comfortable for the horse while providing support to prevent injury.
After an injury to the hock joint, hock boots can provide support through healing. It will also provide stability to the joint as it heals. Compression, far-infrared emitting minerals, and targeted magnets will help increase blood circulation, speed healing, and reduce pain and swelling.
Without the risk of injury, horses can enhance their performance. This is also true if an injury occurred in the past. With hock boots, the horse can move with confidence that the joint is supported. With proper therapy, many horses can return to normal exercise, and horse shows after injury with proper therapy.