The angle and length of the pastern is important to strength and smoothness of gaits. Too long a pastern, while providing supple shock absorbency for a smooth ride, may not stand up to hard work. A short pastern will be strong but the horse’s gaits may be choppier. Ideally the angle of the pastern on the forelegs should be about 45 degrees. The pasterns on the hind legs will have slightly more angulation.