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This is a discussion on Overreaching within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • How would you correct overreaching
  • What is overreaching

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    01-09-2012, 10:00 PM

So I've just now gotten to the point with my mustang colt that I can safely take him out on walks around the property. He steps out a bit more when we're in a new area, and I was noticing a crack, crack, cracking. At first it sounded like joints popping, but when I turned and watched him while walking backwards, I realized that he's overreaching and clipping his front hooves with his back hooves.

My question is, will this negatively affect him in any way? He's due to be trimmed... does this mean he might not clip himself as much once he's been trimmed? He's about a year and a half old right now, is it possible that he'll "outgrow" this overreaching?
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    01-09-2012, 10:20 PM
To be on the safe side, I would invest in some bell boots!
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    01-13-2012, 04:47 PM
Hi he may be overreaching due to conformation, being unfit, hoof form... It is often due to long toes & when hooves are well trimmed this won't happen. Yes, horses can bruise or cut themselves on the front heels, so it is something you need to either avoid, if possible, or use bell boots to manage.
    01-13-2012, 08:03 PM
Alright, thanks for the info... I'm going to get him trimmed ASAP. He's a mustang fresh off the range as of a few months ago, so we're still getting him caught up on training. I've been working on picking up and handling his feet for several days now. He's now gotten to where he'll allow me to pick up and hold his front feet, still working on the backs, but I'm optimistic that we'll keep steadily improving. Fortunately he seems to have awesome retention skills from one day to the next. ^_^

I've never trained a horse from scratch like this, so it's sort of the blind leading the blind. The lady I thought was going to be helping to mentor me hasn't been as involved as I'd hoped... but that's a whole other can of worms.
    02-02-2012, 05:52 AM
The most common reason for horses to suddenly beginning to overreach is that the toe on the hind feet is too short, and the toe on the front feet is too long. That makes the hind feet to rollover sooner than they should, and the front feet is not breaking over early enough. So, the front feet are not getting out of the way fast enough to escape the hind feet.
If your solution is to put on bellboots, you will keep the horse from hurting itself, but you won’t solve the problem.
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    02-02-2012, 07:01 AM
Green Broke
Is the handsome horse in your avatar the one you're speaking of??

I agree with what everyone has said BUT, if there happens to be a gaiting gene in there, Walking Horses are known for their tremendous reach.

Since you've just been able to start working him, I think I might pay some attention to how he moves. He may want to gait - at least part time.

Or he could be a trotter with a really long, natural, reach

That could be totally off base; regardless, the right trim is important to stop a horse from corking themselves
    02-02-2012, 10:12 AM

This is the handsome horse I'm speaking of. ^_^ The one in my avatar is equally wonderful though.

He's scheduled for a trim in another week or so (I can lift his front feet and pick them out, still working on hind feet). With any luck we can improve the situation. I've explained to the farrier what is going on and she seems optimistic about being able to help address the issue.

I don't think you're completely off base, walkinthewalk. The Kiger Mustangs are somewhat known for their super smooth gaits and incredible "rear-wheel drive"... I think it's somewhat rare to have one that is literally gaited, but I'll keep an eye on my boy's movement. So far all I've seen are true gaits... and nice ones.
    02-02-2012, 06:23 PM
Originally Posted by Eolith    
I don't think you're completely off base, walkinthewalk. The Kiger Mustangs are somewhat known for their super smooth gaits and incredible "rear-wheel drive"...
I think most horses that are able to develop properly with heaps of unrestricted movement - that is, they're fit & well balanced - are like that. Interested to know how old he is?

While of course regular hoofcare is generally necessary for domestic horses, because they don't tend to do enough work on abrasive terrain to effectively 'self trim', so he probably needs a trim ASAP, I wouldn't try to force the issue yet, considering his level of training & I'd be careful to choose a farrier that was good & patient with training too. So by all means, if you reckon he's up to it & the farrier you have booked will help him develop a good attitude about it, go for it next week, but I'd explain the situation fully to the farrier & ask them to take the time it takes and give his training precedence over just getting the job done. You may have to pay a little more, for the farrier's time, but it'll make the task easier in future for all concerned.

Oh & borkus, have to comment on that gorgeous pony(well, I presume that's what's under all that hair!) in your avatar!
    03-09-2012, 02:01 AM
I wanted to update.

My colt was trimmed and his feet look great now, but it didn't seem to do much to help the overreaching. >_< I'm hoping that as my farrier continues to work with him she'll be able to resolve any hoof issues that may be contributing. She was only able to work one-handed this time because he just wasn't ready to have her put his hooves between her knees. I was pretty impressed with her knowledge and skill level overall though... she worked really well with him.

Is it possible that this is just the way that my boy is built and he'll always be prone to it?

I'll be picking up some bell boots tomorrow... we'll see if he lets me put them on. He'll probably walk really funny at first too.
    03-09-2012, 02:11 AM
Oh my goodness Eolith! I remember seeing a picture of that beastie, my trainer was thinking about bringing him home but decided against it. I agree with everything that's been said so ya know just thought I'd say that. So glad to see him with a good home. I can't wait to hear all the updates!
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