Equusite.com > Healthcare > Stringhalt

PREPARED BY: Cheryl Sutor   [1997]

What is Stringhalt?

An involuntary flexion of the hock - the leg springs upward in a reflex-like action.


Many horses with stringhalt will flex their hock mildly, while others will jerk their hock harshly up towards their bellies. Some will not show symptoms all the time, while others may show symptoms with every step they take. Watch for these symptoms mostly during turns and while backing. Be aware that these signs may disappear and may show only sporadicly and spasmodicly. In some cases, cold weather has increased these symptoms.

Horses with stringhalt do not have trouble standing up.


The true cause(s) of stringhalt are unknown. Most scientists believe the cause of stringhalt is from certain neuromuscular conditions.


In most cases, the tendon that is causing this involuntary flexion is surgically removed. Most horses improve from this type of treatment. If you see any of the symptoms for stringhalt, be sure to call your veterinarian immediately to examine your horse.

References, Resources & Links:

"Ask The Vet" - Stringhalt

Pony Club Vic - Stringhalt

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This article was published on: 1997. Last updated on: 1997.