clacking hooves - Page 5

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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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    11-01-2012, 11:32 AM
It is no wonder folks new to the gaited breeds get so confused, ie, forging because their going too fast -- average front hoof angle is 45 degrees -- forging is good.
You have one answer from G. That is on target.

Forging comes in 2 varieties. In both cases the back foot hits the front foot(or bulb) One, the back foot hits the bottom of the front hoof. Two, the back foot hits the top of the front shoe and/or the bulb.

Forging is undesirable in either case. There are 3 major causes for forging.
One, is conformational. Two, trimmed incorrectly. And three, improper rider.

Let's dispel some myths.
Gaited horses, like 3 gaited horses, move better at, or near(plus or minus about 2 degrees) their natural angle. The natural angle for most horses fall in the range of 50 to 55 degrees for the front, and 52 to 58 degrees in the rear. It is a rare horse that has a natural angle below 50 degrees.
Forging almost always occurs when going slow. And most often when they are either being lazy, or the rider has fallen asleep and forgets to ride the horse.

Now to the horse in question. Yes, the horse is a downhill horse, ie, the back is higher than the front. Not a good thing, but not terrible either. These horses have a much more difficult time staying balanced and require a lot more rider interaction to hold gait, stay balance, etc.

If the current hoof angles are as the photo shows, it would appear she is too low in the front and rear. And the toes are far too short. Horses that have the running walk as their preferred gait, usually need a front foot that is heavier than the back foot.

Another common cause of forging is the bit. If the bit is not right, the horse will pay more attention to it and less attention to where it is going and how it is going. This is usually worse when moving slow, because at slow gaits(usually the walk) it has more time to think about that horrible thing in its mouth. If you are using what they commonly call a walking horse bit, ie, long shanks, high port, throw that dang thing as far away as you can. The horse does not exist that likes this bit, yes, they get used to it because they are forced to do so. First item to check in finding the correct bit, is the floor of the horse's mouth, ie, how much room is there for their tongue when there's a bit in the mouth. You may find you need a bit with a comfort rise that gives more room for the horse's tongue. And you do not need high ports and long shanks, period. They are training short cuts that should be avoided on all horses.
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    11-01-2012, 09:57 PM
Thanks for the informative post BOB.

I must confess, that I thought the farrier I was speaking to was not totally correct in alot he was telling me. In my lack of experience and knowledge, I just listened. I figured id get some critiquing of what he said when I posted here, by some that may be in the know.

The pic of my mare was back in july. Her feet were in bad shape then, she was in a herd and kept in a 200 acre field. Only rode few times by the then current owner. At least that was my understanding. Since then her feet are still rough. They aint the best at all. The fronts have grown out quite a bit. But have chips in them. The backs are still short.

In my opinion, my horse has her lazy moments. When riding alone she prefers to walk slow. I have to "encourge" her. Not all the time, but she has her slow moments. I've noticed her dragging her feet at times. Literally. Hind feet that is. She seems to love the level flat areas and really likes to go. But on the steeper terrain, she will slow down.
For instance, she can do a mile on the flat terrain in just over 11 mins.
On the steeper terrain it can take 16-17 mins. That's not running walk, that's just walking.
Does this mean anything? I don't know. Lack of experience.

As for bit type. This is what I use.

Western AT Low Port Loose Cheek Bit -
    11-01-2012, 11:31 PM
While I agree with most of what you said Bob, I don't about the heavier front feet. While show people like that long front toe and heavy shoes most trail horses do better with a short toe.

Dead Rabbit. An 11 minute mile is ~5mph which is a fast flat walk or slow running walk and right around the speed most trail people will ride a walker. They all naturally slow down going up hill as it is more work. For short rides you can keep her booted up but for long rides it doesn't hurt to let them slow down in the hills. You're still talking going 4mph which is a decent flat walk.
    11-04-2012, 06:55 PM
Darrin. Like it or not, the majority, probably 75% or more of all TWH used for trail, will hold a better, smoother gait with the front feet a bit heavier(longer) than the rear. Simple fact. A short foot on the front of a TWH will promote pacing on a whole lot of them.

Rabbit, your bit may or may not be ok. Check to see how much clearance the horse's tongue has with the bit it.
    11-04-2012, 11:39 PM
Still have to disagree. I have a walker that is on the pacey side of life. The longer his toe, the rougher he is and the more he trip. A quick trim and surprise surprise, he smooths out again.

My other walker has an extremely smooth natural gait, longer toes make him trip more and that's all. Doesn't impact his gait at all.
    11-05-2012, 12:09 AM
Originally Posted by bbsmfg3    
Darrin. Like it or not, the majority, probably 75% or more of all TWH used for trail, will hold a better, smoother gait with the front feet a bit heavier(longer) than the rear. Simple fact. A short foot on the front of a TWH will promote pacing on a whole lot of them.

Rabbit, your bit may or may not be ok. Check to see how much clearance the horse's tongue has with the bit it.
This is wrong. The long toe does NOT promote "pacing." It delays "breakover" and causes the front foot to come off the ground with more energy, producing a bigger "lick."

What this does to overall gait will vary from horse to horse.

    11-05-2012, 10:26 PM
I'm not suggesting long front toe, like I think you guys are thinking. I'm only talking, at the most, 1/4" longer toe in the front than the back. And natural angles. Just enough to have a difference between the weight of the front and the back. This can be done with shoe weight also, but natural trimming works much better.

And it is true, it does not apply to all, there are always exceptions.

And this only applies if the horse's preferred gait is the running walk. If the horse is built for the rack, then this does not apply.

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