Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Spring Hill Florida
• Horses: 0
I do believe that stacked up Big Lick horses are illegal now. Animal cruelty. The abundance of gaited horses in this country are pleasure and trail horses and get a natural trim, which may or may not include leaving more toe, or leaving hooves longer. Where the average horse has a toe length of 2.75 -3.5 inches, a Walker may be left with 3.5- 4 inches. Mine are under 3.5 inches, probably closer to 3.25 inches. And that's leaving a bit of toe.
There has been a change over the past 10 or so years to trim or shoe for soundness. That's a good thing and teaches people what is best for their horse.
But I haven't run into anyone yet who will give up their sport of choice because it shortens their horse's useful life. In comparing jumping, barrel racing, roping, dressage, and riding miles of rocky trail, a bit more toe is a small thing to desire, and far less harmful to longevity than all those other sports. And that bit of toe makes it a lot easier to keep their timing, not make it prettier. (Prettier would be the minority of show horses that get toe weights etc.)
TWH's gaits are mostly boring. But comfy. There's some wackos out there who think they should look like a Saddlebred. They do not. If they wanted a fancy stepper, they should have gotten a Saddlebred. If you look up saddlebred foals on youtube, a lot of the foals are born with the higher knee action.
We in this hoof care forum are probably in the smallest minority of people who live, eat, and breathe healthy hooves. And we can come here and obsess over hooves with other obsessed people .
People at my barn have already questioned why their horses all have splits at the toes and mine is one of 3 who doesn't . (28 horses). And I have to keep my mouth shut because their farrier has been there many years. Yes, I'm obsessed. That's why my horse's hooves look good.