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The hock (ankle) joint of horses is bistable: if placed in an intermediate position it springs either to full extension or to strong flexion. We have performed experiments to measure the torques involved and to elucidate the mechanism. The torques were much smaller in hocks of Przewalski's horse (E. ferus) and zebra (E. grevyi) than in those of domestic horses. We suggest that the bistability of the hock is too slight to have much importance for wild horses but may have been enhanced in the breeding of domestic horses by selection for elegance of gait. The elbow joint is also bistable but the stifle (knee) and carpal joints are not.