Hitting his heels?

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Hitting his heels?

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  • Why does my horse clip his heels
  • How to break a horse of overreaching its hind feet

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    02-23-2011, 11:43 PM
Question Hitting his heels?

I've started noticing that my horse has started to hit his heels / pasterns ( you hear a loud clicking/clapping-like noise) when he moves, mostly during transitions or at the trot. Does this indicate anything? Stiffness possibly? I'm sure repeated hitting will cause some sort of damage to his heel, are there boots you can purchase that protect his heels?
Sorry if this is the wrong section, I was torn between riding, equipment, and here..hopefully I made the right choice!
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    02-24-2011, 12:35 AM
I am assuming that you mean he is over-reaching (where he clips the heels of his front foot with the toe of his back foot on the same side)?

If so, then it could be a dozen different things causing it. Maybe it's his conformation, maybe he's unbalanced, maybe a different trim on his feet is causing it. You can buy bell boots that will protect his front feet but I would also try to figure out why he just started doing it all of a sudden.
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    02-24-2011, 03:04 PM
Green Broke
I agree, I would get some bell boots..I have the Justin one's for riding, They are great..and then a friend has to leave rubber bell boots on her horse when she is turned out..she will over reach just walking around..so I would try both of those..and I agree with smrobs, if this just started happening I would try to find out if there is something else wrong..
    02-24-2011, 03:13 PM
My horse forges like this all the time, but its due to her conformation. I keep the rubber bell boots on all the time to prevent her from cutting her heels as well as pulling her front shoes off.

Corrective shoeing can help with this FYI. Since I have been using my new farrier (about 16 weeks total), my horse's forging has gotten a lot better.
    02-24-2011, 03:24 PM
Id worry about getting his feet looked at before getting boots, your horse could have long toes causing him to hit his fronts, my horse has that issue aswell. Also im not a fan of bell boots personally. You can actually get overreach or heel boots I think there called and there shaped like the heels there really neat
    02-24-2011, 03:30 PM
Just curious, why are you not "a fan of" bell boots?

I just don't understand what your issue with them could be...

I guess it just depends on WHY this horse is having the issue, but a reason to get rubber bell boots instead of just boots with the heel protection is if the horse constantly forges (like mine). Its not only when she is under saddle or in work, she forges just as bad when she is walking around in the pasture.

I would personally rather have the rubber bells on her in the pasture than some other boot that you have to strap onto her and costs probably 5x as much.

    02-24-2011, 03:33 PM
Green Broke
I don't get the bell boot thing? Why don't you like them?..I've never seen what your talking about either..the bell boots I ride in are fitted to my horses heel and Velcro in the front..they aren't just plastic..
    02-24-2011, 03:33 PM
Originally Posted by xXEventerXx    
Also im not a fan of bell boots personally. You can actually get overreach or heel boots I think there called and there shaped like the heels there really neat
Bell boots are basically the same thing as over reach boot!
    02-24-2011, 11:12 PM
Green Broke
Yeah..mls is right..they are the same thing..
    02-25-2011, 12:02 AM
Super Moderator
Change or educate your farrier. Most overreaching and forging (they are different) come from poor trimming/shoeing or from letting a horse go too long between shoeing jobs.

If a horse's front toes are left too long or the angle of the hoof is too low, a horse is at risk for many problems and forging and overreaching are just 2 of them.

The hoof should be set up straighter. This is best done by setting the front shoes back farther with or without squaring the toes. This allows the horse to 'break over' more quickly so that his front foot / shoe gets out of the way before the hind foot falls.

If a horse is very short backed ( like many Arabs) or is naturally 'cow-hocked' and the farrier is trying to make the hocks look straighter, the horse may overreach or forge because the horse's hind feet come forward and land in the same place as the front ones are occupying. The key to shoeing these horses is to shoe their hind feet level and stop trying to 'correct' them. These horses have to stand cow-hocked and travel with their hind feet wide in order to not hit their front feet.

When I used to ride a lot of Arabians and rode a lot of endurance horses, I ran into this all of the time until I finally found a farrier that would follow directions and trim them 'level' before shoeing them. I never had any more problems after that.

boots, heel, hitting

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