clacking hooves - Page 4

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clacking hooves

This is a discussion on clacking hooves within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category

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    10-14-2012, 12:48 AM
I'll give it a whirl. Speed doesnt bother me. I like to move right along. I'll even let her canter at times. I know this aint the best route for a walker, but she like s to go, and so do I. So I allow it occasionally.

I'll speed her up on the hills. I just thought letting her go downhill at her own rate was best. The clacking don't bother me at all, its not continous, and I kinda like the sound.
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    10-14-2012, 09:20 AM
The horse is not standing square, so making a definitive call can be difficult. But it looks like you've got a couple of conformational issues, here.

First, looks like the horse is "sickle hocked." This is a common fault in Walkers. It is believed by many breeders that a curved rear leg will allow the horse to "reach under itself" better and that will give more overstride. In fact that is true. But it also means a weaker rear leg and may be major contributor to the large amount of rear end issues that plague Walkers.

Second, the rear leg is quite long. This, again, is not uncommon in laterally gaited horses and is not all that much a concern as long as it does not unduly affect movement.

If you've got "forging" that means that the front end is not moving fast enough to get out of the way of that long, curved rear leg. Some advocate the rear leg moving outside the front foot. This would not be a good idea, biomechanically speaking.

Talk to your farrier. It's likely that you'll have two broad options.

First, speed up the front foot. From the photo it does not look like you've got the "long toe, low heel" going on (as many Walkers do). It does look like the angle might be a bit low and if that is the case then get the farrier to "stand the horse up" by keeping the toe short and growing more heel. This is allows the foot to break over a bit sooner and that might be all that is required. A second option is to roll the toe to get a slightly earlier break over. Squaring the toe might also be an option.

Second, slow down the rear. Here the toe can grown or shaped to extend the time to break over and this will allow the front to get out of the way.

It's even possible to do a little bit of each.

Riding style might also be an issue. In nature the horse has about 60% of its weight on the forehand; when we get astride we want to move weight back to the large muscles of the rear, and have about 40% on the forehand. If you're keeping the horse on the forehand (i.e., not riding such that the weight is shifted) then that extra weight will alter break over. If you're riding "feet on the dashboard and butt on the cantle" then the horse is ventroflexed and that prevents the shift of weight to the back. If you're using a long shanked bit and "setting the head" with your hand you're also preventing any lightening of the forehand. Have someone video you as you ride and then review it with an instructor/coach who can intelligently evaluate your seat and your use of the aids.

If you've not read them go to Amazon and order Dr. Deb Bennett's three books on Principles of Conformation Analysis. They are about $14/ea. And well worth the cost. While they mostly focus on trotting horse conformation they still are about 98% accurate when dealing with gaited horses (she currently rides an SSH if memory serves).

I don't consider "forging" to be a minor problem, because it is often the "canary in the coal mine" and a signal of larger issues. But because it can be the result of so many issues it can be difficult to address.

Good luck in your project.

Dead Rabbit likes this.
    10-14-2012, 09:44 AM
I mentioned my horse that does what your horse does. I did not mention that this was over 12 years ago. She is 22 years old. She has never been lame a day in her life.

Your horse is very pretty. I don't see any major problems.

You are getting mixed advice on what type of shoeing or trim to do. I think that your own farrier will have to work with you on that.

If she is not smooth, she is probably not gaiting just right. That may be due to how you are riding her, or maybe she just isn't sure what to do. Though it totally goes against everything that I have been taught about riding, guilherme has a point about riding position and weigh distribution. If you shift your weight back a bit, it may free up her front end so that she can move it out better. You can experiment with it. Shift your weight back a little, and push her into the bit. When I say that this goes against what I have been taught, I mean that it is incorrect with three gaited horses. Gaited horses are a whole different program.
Dead Rabbit likes this.
    10-14-2012, 10:11 AM
Thanks for all the advice people. It will take me some time to meditate on it, and absorb it all.

I must be honest, I have a good friend that is a farrier. But I don't use him, but the initial time I had him look at her. The fella I ride with is an old time farrier, he was listening to the first farrier show me some tricks in trimming shoeing etc. it was a real science to it. After the farrier left. My old friend, fella I ride with said all you gotta do is get the hooves even to where the shoe sets on their right. So with him ther is no science to it.

I'll get this figured out though. Thanks again. I'll get more current pics of her feet and stance. Let ya'll critique her. As mentioned this pic is from months ago.
    10-21-2012, 12:51 PM
I ride a couple ex show Walkers and they over reach and clack at the slow gait a lot. They used to be padded, theyre not anymore.

As for Walkers being popular with people with bad backs, it is hit or miss. Walkers are smooth but very swingy at the walk, which can aggravate back pain, depending on the individual rider (posture, position, etc). If you have ever ridden a Foxtrotter or Peruvian Paso and experienced that 4 beat gait that has almost no swing to it at all, you would understand. You can still post to a Walkers gait. You can't hardly post at all to a true Foxtrot, it has that little impulsion to it.
    10-22-2012, 10:35 PM
Oddly enough it was a Paso that caused the most problems with my tailbone.

If you have ever ridden a Foxtrotter or Peruvian Paso and experienced that 4 beat gait that has almost no swing to it at all, you would understand. You can still post to a Walkers gait. You can't hardly post at all to a true Foxtrot, it has that little impulsion to it.[/QUOTE]
    10-22-2012, 11:52 PM
I was thinking about this thread this past friday. I went out for 10 miles on a trail and while riding, she has a alot of swing to her. I was noticing it actually made my lower back feel better. Kept it moving I guess. Sitting for a long time, and esp. Laying down can cause my back to hurt. But that swinging motion really helps me out.
Where as a trotting horse hurt me.
Celeste likes this.
    10-23-2012, 11:40 AM
Personal preference varies. One lady I know with nerve issues prefers Paso's. Another with a previous broken back prefers her Foxtrotters. I met a cop with a bad back from a wreck that prefers Walkers. I know another lady with muscle degeneration that loves her Thoroughbreds. :)
    10-31-2012, 10:59 PM
Spoke with a farrier few days ago.

He said if she's not hurting herself or pulling shoes than its a minor issue. Couple things can be done. Blunt the rear hooves....(but then this just speeds her hind end up) and shorten her front hooves (which will speed them up.

Or ride her more often to get her into better shape. The more you work her muscles, the better shape she be in, the better her movement will be.

He said it could be a variety of issues. Even mentioning some horses are lazy. And you got to push them to move them quicker.

The past couple of wks there is alot less of this "forging" only a few times while going up a couple of inclines.

Course he said alot more. Im paraphrasing from memory.
    10-31-2012, 11:03 PM
If she is doing better, then you must be on the right path. I'm glad she is doing well.

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