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The flexion test being performed on the hind legs of these horses is an indicator of the condition of a horse’s legs and joints.  On a firm flat surface with at least 30' of flat footing or the horse to trot forward, one leg is held up as far as possible for at least 2 minutes. When the leg is released, the horse is asked to immediately trot ahead. The horse’s leg will be stiff at first, but should return to normal in a matter of a few seconds. The time required for the horse’s movement to return to normal is proportional to the horse’s condition.  Similar flexion tests are performed on the front legs.  This procedure may aggravate lameness caused by joint problems such as arthritis.

Performing a flexion test

Credit: Cara O'Conner

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Publisher: MyHorseUniversity.com

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Description: The flexion test being performed on the hind legs of these horses is an indicator of the condition of a horse’s legs and joints. On a firm flat surface with at least 30' of flat footing or the horse to trot forward, one leg is held up as far as possible for at least 2 minutes. When the leg is released, the horse is asked to immediately trot ahead. The horse’s leg will be stiff at first, but should return to normal in a matter of a few seconds. The time required for the horse’s movement to return to normal is proportional to the horse’s condition. Similar flexion tests are performed on the front legs. This procedure may aggravate lameness caused by joint problems such as arthritis.

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