Overbones are known as "splints" and are bone formations on the periosteum in the area of the metacarpal bones. The term metacarpal bones refers to the metacarpal bones, which are only partially present in the horse as toe walkers or in reduced size. The largest metacarpal bone is the tubular bone, as a body-bearing and supporting bone. Other metacarpals are the grip bones. They are also the ones who are primarily affected by overlegs.
When do overbones occur?
Overlegs are primarily observed in young horses, but can occur at any age. Overbones are often caused by traumatic inflammation of the periosteum, especially in the area of the hocks. These overlegs can usually be seen well or. feel through the skin. They are usually painful for the horse and require examination by a veterinarian. But also overloading can be the cause of overlegs. It is not uncommon for two and three year old Thoroughbred racehorses to develop periosteum inflammation as a result of fissures and the resulting bone formation, with a clear increase in circumference. Here we also talk about "stress fractures". It is interesting to know why overloading occurs here: the cause is the heavy load on the anterior wall of the tubular bone, which is given by galloping up and down on hard ground. The body tries to compensate the overload by the overbones, but usually new bone tissue can not be formed so quickly and finest cracks in the bone develop.
What can be done in case of bone formation?
The veterinarian will assess to what extent the horse is affected by the ganglion and whether bspw. an operation is necessary to remove the ends of the grip bones (if the grip bones are affected). Surgery is usually only considered if the horse shows lameness due to the overlegs.
What does this mean for feeding??
It is probably clear to everyone that a ganglion cannot be fed away. Since overlegs are a bone formation, of course all the necessary minerals in connection with the bone structure play a role. For example, manganese is needed by the body to regenerate the muscles after exertion, but also for the mineralization of the bones and connective tissue. But bspw. Magnesium, zinc and copper are also important for bone structure. What everyone knows is that calcium is essential for the skeleton and should be available to the body in sufficient quantities. But especially when it comes to calcium, it is important to always keep an eye on the ratio of calcium and phosphorus. But we’ll be happy to go into that in another article, otherwise this will be too extensive..
Feeding should therefore correspond to the needs of the individual horse, adapted to the type of husbandry, roughage, performance and other factors such as age, sex, etc. We do not want to make a general statement here either, because the individual case always has to be considered.
Source: "Atlas der Anatomie des Pferdes," 2014, Budras, Kolle, Mulling, Pfarrer, Reese; Praxisorientierte Anatomie und Propadeutik des Pferdes, 2010, Deegen, Gerhards, Huskamp, Wissdorf;