So I get this horse, a little fat but after a chat with previous owner realised she had rescued him and that now she was overcompensating on the food juuussst a lil bit. So we decided to find out why he was neglected and dug into his history a little bit.
The neglect story is harrowing but not really relevant to my thread...so we will skip that part.
What I want to take you back to is his being broken as a 2yo...way back when. I found his breader and after a long and pompous speech about how he was a champion harness racer in his younger days (which he was...i saw the pics and was so proud, me lil heart skipped a beat) I got round o the business of him being broken.
I had noticed what appeared to be rope burns on hid hind pasterns around the back. They seemed to break open whenever it was wet. I didnt really expect an answer, just asuming it occured during the years he was neglected, but thought id ask anyway.
He led me to one of his other horses that had the exact same burn whelts and asked me if it looked like that. I was like 'ok, sow how did it happen?'
He then went on to tell me it was part of the training process for harness horses. You see they like them to pace as it makes the break over easier going around a corner, and when pacing they can pick up more speed. As welsh sec d's are not pacing horses, they train them to pace by tying a front leg to a back led on either side. So as the horse moves forward in trot or canter they have to move right hind and front together then the left hind and front together, effectivly yanking the back leg whenever they move a front leg. After monthes of doing this every day even when they are turned out, the horse just does it out of habbit and the bindings can be taken off, unfortunatly it leaves them wit the really bad rope burns. To me this is barbaric and I reported him the the local authority as soon as I got out of their.
But what I was wondering is if this is a common procedure or has anyone heard of it being done to harness horses before? As it happens miraculosly he isnt scared of harnesses at all and I have driven him lovely before (we tend to just ride now as a can't afford my own cart).
Any thoughts would be greatly recieved!