When a horse engages itself for a high jump, its haunches take all its weight as it moves backwards. The horse then springs forward as it sails over the obstacle being jumped. While the horse is in the air, it brings its limbs in tight towards its body then stretches its front legs for the landing. As a result, all the weight lands on the horse's front legs and feet, which act as a shock absorber.
All of this shifting of weight from the hindquarters to the forefront puts a tremendous strain on the ligaments in the legs. Almost half of the injuries sustained by horses occurs in these ligaments.
Ultrasound therapy is a good way to maintain the horse's ligaments and minimize the risk of injury. Veterinarians often use this therapy or they use nerve blocks to diagnose ligament problems. Without diligent care, an untreated horse with ligament injuries can soon become lame and will need to rest for approximately one year.