4 facts about stocking up

If both of your horse’s hind fetlocks become puffy in the dead of winter, chances are the cause is a relatively harmless condition known as “stocking up.”

• Stocking up is most commonly seen in the hind fetlocks, with severity ranging from mild puffiness to an extreme swelling, giving the leg a “stovepipe” appearance. Stocking up doesn’t cause lameness or affect the gait, and each leg will be equally puffy.

Close up of two hind hooves and lower limbs
Treating stocking up is as simple as getting the horse moving—either with turnout, riding or even hand-walking.

• Stocking up is a relatively harmless condition that is a function of inactivity.

Click here to learn how to prevent tendon injuries in horses. 

• Stocking up occurs when a horse stands still for extended periods of time. The equine lymphatic system, which is responsible for “pumping” excess fluids from between cells back into the circulatory system, works best when aided by movement of surrounding tendons, muscles and ligaments. So when a horse stands still for long periods of time fluids can accumulate, particularly in areas farthest from the heart.

• Treating stocking up is easy—you simply need to get your horse moving. Ride him, walk him by hand or turn him out with a pasture mate. With activity, swelling will usually diminish within the hour.

Don’t miss out! With the free weekly EQUUS newsletter, you’ll get the latest horse health information delivered right to your in basket! If you’re not already receiving the EQUUS newsletter, click here to sign up. It’s *free*!




Related Posts

Gray horse head in profile on EQ Extra 89 cover
What we’ve learned about PPID
Do right by your retired horse
Tame your horse’s anxiety
COVER EQ_EXTRA-VOL86 Winter Care_fnl_Page_1
Get ready for winter!


"*" indicates required fields


Additional Offers

Additional Offers
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.