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A Curb is a swelling that develops at the back of the hock when the plantar ligament is sprained.


Symptoms of a Curb include:

1. Swelling

2. Heat

3. Standing with the heel slightly raised

4. Lameness that gets worse with exercise. However, many horses with curbs do not become lame.


Curbs can be caused by strenuous exercise or poor hock conformation eg. cow hocks or sickle hocks as these put extra pressure on the plantar ligament.


Treatment of a Curb may include:

1. Cold therapy in the early stages of treatment.

2. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as phenylbutazone

3. Topical applications to reduce the swelling

4. Rest


In general the prognosis is good but the swelling is usually permanent due to thickening of the ligament by fibrous tissue. If a horse has very poor hock conformation the ligament may suffer recurrent sprains which will be a problem.

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