Chains around frontlegs? What for? How? :)

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Chains around frontlegs? What for? How? :)

This is a discussion on Chains around frontlegs? What for? How? :) within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category

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    12-13-2008, 09:02 PM
Chains around frontlegs? What for? How? :)


I've seen on some pictures at shows that gaited horses has chains around their front hooves. Is it to lift the leg higher? How does it work? If anyone can explain and show pictures that'd be great :)

I also know some iceandic horses are trained with weight boots.. it the same thing?

I was thinking about putting some ''weightless'' leather strap losely around Crows frontlegs, like a bracelet. Both to maybe help him remembering his frontlegs more (even tho I suspect he'll just get used to it after two steps, like horses gets used to leg wraps and bandages etc) and also as a decoration (I can put some shiny metal plates on, like on bridles or something ) . Because his legs look so bare and I refuse to start bandaging them like some dressage person or put protective boots on them when he wont need it.. I wanna be special! XD But I also hoped that if it was rather loose it would move a bit and maybe make him lift his legs a little more and help him with the rythm in the rack or something.
I wonder tho; can it hurt him in some way? I don't think so I mean I wear bracelets and watches without it hurting me.. but maybe it's different? Ideas? Reasons to do it or not to do it? :)

And I'm also reallly curious about those chains in shows :)
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    12-13-2008, 09:25 PM
The most common example of what you are thinking of is the TWH show circuit, I think. Some of the trainers will place caustic chemicals on the horse's pastern to cause "soring" and then with the addition of the chains, every time the horse takes a step the chain will contact the sore skin and cause the horse to lift his leg higher in an attempt to get it away from what is hurting it.
High Performance Hoof Care - Big Lick - The greatest freak show on earth

On the other side, if you want to put decoration on Crow's legs. I don't see anything wrong with a very light weight leather strap. Or you could probably get very small plastic chains in bright colors that do not cause pain. Good luck and I hope this clears things up for you.
    12-13-2008, 09:28 PM
I should know the weight boot thingee (it's often just bell boots)

It raises their legs, yes, something because of how they step down..
Ok, I'm going to check this topic again in the morning.. I'm too sleepy now
    12-13-2008, 09:32 PM
Originally Posted by Zab    
I also know some iceandic horses are trained with weight boots.. it the same thing?
Yes they do and for the same reason. The boots are definitely better than soring, but I don't think riders should be allowed to use any kind of gait enhancement device in competition. Then how can you know which horses have the best natural ability and therefore would be best for breeding?
    12-13-2008, 09:33 PM
Originally Posted by ponyboy    
Yes they do and for the same reason. The boots are definitely better than soring, but I don't think riders should be allowed to use any kind of gait enhancement device in competition. Then how can you know which horses have the best natural ability and therefore would be best for breeding?
that's a valid point but the shows are not all breeding show... actually, few of them are
    12-13-2008, 09:39 PM
I know in Morgans and Saddlebreds the chains, sometimes weighted sometimes not are a training aid. They are not allowed in the show ring, but widely used at home. For them it's more of a "jingle". They noise, and feel excite the horse and make them step higher. Combined with weighted ones, obviously it CAn make them pick their feet higher too. But...if your horses isn't biult to do it, or if it needs weighted shoes, etc. chains won't do anythign special. I used to use very light jungly ones on my mare when we showed saddleseat. The noise excited her more than any weight ever would. Leather bands were used the same way, it's sually something that horses feel, and we would use them on the back legs so they would feel them when they would bend their fetlocks and it just"automatically" makes them pick up hgigher. But, just like bandages, boots, etc most horses just get used to them, especially if their not weighted. My horse thougth of them as Hope that helps
    12-13-2008, 09:57 PM
Thanks for all the answers! I'm still hoping for more x)

I will read the link sent :)

I think I'll make some light leather straps for decoration, I'm not into plastics :P Maybe the feel of them 'bouncing around'' will help the legs, and if not; wth, I'm just using him for trail riding :P Maybe I'll even put them tight enough to sit firmly above the pastern (maybe they'll bother him if they're below when he bends the hoof..or maybe that would put the feet up.. I'll just try and see how I like it.) and make them a litte broader and only for decoration. :) I love fantasy/medieval stuff in case you didn't notice :P Leather and metal are awesome. X)

I definetly won't blister/sore his feet! :O I rather have him walk in piggypace than that! And I don't really like weight boots either, feels like it'll wear on his tendons... but what do I know :P
    12-13-2008, 09:59 PM
Soring really baffles me!
I remember how shocked how was when I first found out the some people did that to their horses, I went around telling everyone that wanted to hear (and those who didn't) how horrible it was.. (still do actually)
    12-13-2008, 10:03 PM
Green Broke
When I was a kid, my neighbor had a Hackney pony that he showed in parade class and something else.

They kept chains on him at home, not only when working him but also when he was in his stall, to make him lift his front legs for more action.

They were not allowed to have the chains on the Hackney in the show ring.

That was back in the early 1960's, so chains and other action "enhancements" aren't anything new. Doesn't make them right, but they have been around forever
    12-13-2008, 10:07 PM
I wish people would just not do that *Sigh*

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