There are certain defects of conformation which, if they are not themselves unsoundness, sooner or later lead to it when existing in a pronounced form, and the examiner must be on his guard in respect to the amount of licence he permits in them. Among these, turned-out toes is in certain instances a fruitful source of trouble, and especially when the pasterns are long and the horse is narrow in front; and the defect is still further fraught with mischief when the feet are large. Brushing, cutting, and interfering are the common consequences of this form of development. If the out-turn of the feet is not considerable, and the pasterns not too long and sloping, and at the same time there is an absence of any marks of brushing, no serious importance may attach to it, and especially if the horse has been in regular work. When, however, in these cases the animal is wearing a feather-edged shoe and the inner quarter of the foot has been rasped away, there is ground for suspecting that the horse is in the habit of brushing when undefended by these artificial means.

Legs bent over at the knee, "knee-sprung", or that form in which the bend is forward at the knee, is another very common defect of conformation more particularly seen in our thoroughbreds. This is very frequently congenital and hereditary, in which case a slight forward inclination is of no importance, and we have known horses whose knees were very much flexed to pass through a life of hard work without displaying the slightest inconvenience from them.

But this defect is very frequently acquired by accident or hard work. It may be that no very obvious changes in the textures of the leg are to be found, but with the majority it is otherwise. Bursal enlargements, sprains and contractions of tendons and ligaments behind the limb, bony enlargements behind and below the knee, are the most common among the causes of this defect, and all of them constitute unsoundness.