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post #1 of 13 Old 07-09-2013, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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stumbling

I am hoping someone here might have an idea about this. My 4 yr old Morgan gelding is very green and we just started lessons with a dressage trainer. Last Sunday was our third lesson. I had lunged and long-lined him on Saturday, and then warmed him up for about a half hour before the lesson. He seemed pefectly fine. But as soon as I mounted him and started to ride he seemed "off". At first I thought he was just not into it, as it was a fairly hot day, but then every time we picked up a trot he stumbled and once almost fell down. He IS due for a trim, and my farrier is coming this week, but his feet don't look terrible. There is no sign of any injury, no swelling or heat anywhere and he appears sound at a walk, and even running around in the field, etc. Yesterday I took him out and lunged him again, and he seemed fine. I did not ride as I decided to wait until the farrier has been out. My trainer suggested it might be a stone bruise, but I actually think he was just being lazy. I am hesitant to call the vet right away as we already have a lame older mare and a sick dog, both of which I am still paying for. But it almost seemed like his foot had gone to sleep when he stumbled- is there a condition like that? I am at a loss.
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-09-2013, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by KatieQ View Post
I am hoping someone here might have an idea about this. My 4 yr old Morgan gelding is very green and we just started lessons with a dressage trainer. Last Sunday was our third lesson. I had lunged and long-lined him on Saturday, and then warmed him up for about a half hour before the lesson. He seemed pefectly fine. But as soon as I mounted him and started to ride he seemed "off". At first I thought he was just not into it, as it was a fairly hot day, but then every time we picked up a trot he stumbled and once almost fell down. He IS due for a trim, and my farrier is coming this week, but his feet don't look terrible. There is no sign of any injury, no swelling or heat anywhere and he appears sound at a walk, and even running around in the field, etc. Yesterday I took him out and lunged him again, and he seemed fine. I did not ride as I decided to wait until the farrier has been out. My trainer suggested it might be a stone bruise, but I actually think he was just being lazy. I am hesitant to call the vet right away as we already have a lame older mare and a sick dog, both of which I am still paying for. But it almost seemed like his foot had gone to sleep when he stumbled- is there a condition like that? I am at a loss.
If your instructor is knowledgeable you they should know if he is heavy on the forehand which would make him trip on the front or if he is tripping on the rear he is not using his hind end. My guess is lazy but that should be obvious to both of you. Unless he is in really good condition I would not warm him up for a half an hour. When they are tired they will trip also.
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-09-2013, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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He was tripping in front, and he is extremely green so I am thinking his balance is not quite there yet. I am not heavy, but he is not in shape so was probably tired after the previous day's workout and the warm-up. He is also by nature a lazy horse!
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-09-2013, 02:47 PM
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He was tripping in front, and he is extremely green so I am thinking his balance is not quite there yet. I am not heavy, but he is not in shape so was probably tired after the previous day's workout and the warm-up. He is also by nature a lazy horse!
It has nothing to do with you being heavy it is how the horse carries himself. If he is carrying his weight up front"heavy on the forehand" he will stumble.
This is elementary for some one teaching dressage and if they can't see that I would be concerned. You could post a photo and I could tell you.
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post #5 of 13 Old 07-09-2013, 04:16 PM
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Horses are not necessarily born with "agility", if that is what you want to call it in this case. It is easy enough to set up logs/poles for them to travel over and maneuver to teach them to "pick up their feet" and see if that helps. My filly can pick up her feet just fine, but sometimes when she is schlepping along, which she is quite good at when it is hot, she will bang a hoof on a 2" high pole. Otherwise, I wouldn't discount the trimming aspect - especially if he is lazy about picking up his feet to begin with.
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There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-09-2013, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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I have no doubts about the instructor; she judges at a National level, but like I said this is only our third lesson with her. I am not sure she realizes just how green this horse is- he had a month of training in Feb. With a professional trainer, and then several months of doing next to nothing while the ground dried up. He has been ridden about a dozen times, but he is a very willing guy so she may have assumed he had more hours on him than that. I am not intending to go into dressage with him, by the way, there are just very few instructors that will come to our area and I thought the basics of dressage would be a good foundation for him. She had us trotting on a lunge line when he stumbled, and I am thinking his balance is just not developed enough yet for that.
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-09-2013, 08:33 PM
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Have the farrier put the hoof testers on him when they come out to do the trim just to check for a stone bruise or possible beginning abscess. My horse got an abscess one time and was barely lame....took forever to figure out what the problem was as the usual signs, pounding pulse in the foot, hot hoof, were all missing.

If the tripping/stumbling isn't consistent then I would tend to agree it is either a balance issue and getting him off his forehand will help, or just what it was..a stumble. I ride dressage so the horses I ride are already balanced...my horse decided one day to try and bite at he flies on his chest just as I asked him for the canter...he was so overbalanced from having his nose at his chest that he stumbled and darn near went all the way down...actually had dirt on his nose. I tried to stick but he took a hard left turn around the corner and launched me :)...people gave me an 8 for the dive.
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-09-2013, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Yes I will ask the farrier to check him, and I also will not give him such a long warm-up next time. I guess I was a bit anxious and excited, and wanted to make sure his attention was there when the instructor arrived. I guess I overdid it a bit- half an hour is a long time on a hot day, especially to a green horse who is somewhat chubby!
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-09-2013, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Aaaaah! I screwed up and posted the same thing twice!

Last edited by KatieQ; 07-09-2013 at 09:27 PM. Reason: already posted
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-09-2013, 10:56 PM
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sounds like a green horse that's not got his balance yet with a rider on him. Give him more rides and time and the stumbling will stop.

Iv had green horses stumble because they arent used to carrying a rider. As they become more balanced the stumbling stops.
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