12-29-2011, 11:53 PM
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It's called over reaching, where when your horse is usually moving faster than a walk the back hoof will catch the back of the front hoof. Usually there isn't much you can do, that I know of, besides keeping bell boots on when you ride. I barrel race and my horses will over reach when running. I wear Justin bell boots with a rough back so that when the back hoof tries to connect with the front hoof it catches the boots instead of the soft skin there. Some horse will also over reach while turned out, if your horse does, there are certain types of bell boots that you can leave on your horse while s/he is out. You will just need to check them regularly and make sure they stay clean so the boots don't irritate your horse's skin and legs. Sometimes over reaching can happen if your horse's back hooves are too long, you would probably be best off to call your ferriar and have him come out and see what they think.
ETA - I didn't see waresbear's post before I hit submit.
I would definitely keep shoes on your horse IF your going to be riding on gravel. Gravel isn't very good to ride on in the first place but it can lead to stone bruises and abscesses if you ride on the rocks without shoes on your horse. Stone bruises and abscesses can lead to no riding and possibly a lame horse. Never a good thing to have to deal with.