Are there ways to improve tripping?
   

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Are there ways to improve tripping?

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  • Ways to fix tripping in horses

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    06-02-2013, 12:06 PM
  #1
Yearling
Are there ways to improve tripping?

My kids ride a 19-year-old TWH mare. She doesn't pick up her front feet very well, and sometimes catches the tip of her front hoof (either one) and trips. She's not bad on a smooth surface. The tripping is far worse on uneven terrain, like a field. She's a wonderfully trained horse with a great temperament, so perfect for kids to learn on, but I'd really like to improve the whole tripping thing.

Here's what I know:
-19 years old
-moves a little stiffly now and then - may have a touch of arthritis
-has a history of thrush, but no sign of infection in over a year
-no limping or soreness
-is barefoot - uses the best farrier around
-was used in Big Lick shows when young, and was sored
-Seems to trip less when I ride her than when the owner rides her. I suspect saddle has something to do with it. I use a Passier with short tree-points and a wide gullet. Owner uses a Wintec with long tree-points with a twisted tree so the panel rests on her spine.
-Has had chiropractic adjustment
-Is only ridden in a straight line on a smooth trail. Gets no work in patterns or over obstacles.

Based on this, I suspect that she has some arthritis, easily gets her shoulders impeded by a saddle, and is poorly collected, so she doesn't bother picking up her feet. Any other suggestions?

If my ideas are correct, Id like to do the following with her:
-Give her joint supplementation to help with the arthritis
-Give her saddles with lots of shoulder-room
-Start working her in 60-ft circles, serpentines, and figure 8's to supple her and collect her, then add trot-poles and cavalettis

That's all I've been able to come up with. Am I on the right track? Any other suggestions? Or do you think that she's just ready to be retired? I do hope not - she's so lovely and sweet.
     
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    06-02-2013, 12:17 PM
  #2
Weanling
When were her hooves last trimmed? If she's dragging her toes it may be because of them being too long. And it does sound like she may be getting arthritis, my barn owner's mare is 17 and she used to seem sluggish and lazy, but then we found out she had arthritis and now she's on a supplement for it and is doing much better. Maybe talk to the owner about changing saddles for the time being, because it may not help anything if your trying to help her but she's being ridden in a saddle that may hurt her or stress her back. Best of luck, hope I helped! :)
     
    06-02-2013, 12:22 PM
  #3
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliveren15    
When were her hooves last trimmed? If she's dragging her toes it may be because of them being too long. And it does sound like she may be getting arthritis, my barn owner's mare is 17 and she used to seem sluggish and lazy, but then we found out she had arthritis and now she's on a supplement for it and is doing much better. Maybe talk to the owner about changing saddles for the time being, because it may not help anything if your trying to help her but she's being ridden in a saddle that may hurt her or stress her back. Best of luck, hope I helped! :)
Hooves are trimmed every 6 weeks like clockwork. She trips even with a fresh trim. Owner refuses to change out her saddle, but she rarely, if ever, rides her. Wonderful to hear that supplements can really make a difference! How long did it take before you started noticing a change?
     
    06-02-2013, 01:01 PM
  #4
Green Broke
If she has arthritis , I would not be doing the cavelletis and lots of arena work. She needs to move over bending / working an arthritic joint is not good.
Also use some liniment. Is this common in horses that have been 'sored' ?
     
    06-02-2013, 01:04 PM
  #5
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenson    
If she has arthritis , I would not be doing the cavelletis and lots of arena work. She needs to move over bending / working an arthritic joint is not good.
Also use some liniment. Is this common in horses that have been 'sored' ?
Is there any kind of work or exercises that can help an arthritic joint?

I have no idea if this is common is sored horses. This is my first exposure to gaited horses/TWH/soring.
     
    06-02-2013, 05:47 PM
  #6
Super Moderator
Give her Bute for 2 days straight and see how she goes. If there is a marked improvement, it is because she is experiencing less pain and discomfort. If this is the case, I would use one of the injectable Arthritis products like Legend. Start her on a Supplement like Cosamine and it will take over after the first few doses of Legend. Cosamine seems to have the best reviews of all the joint supplements.

If she is the same, it is just her careless way of going. You can try working her slowly on a longe line or in a pen with a lot of low obstacles where she has to learn to watch where she is going. Some horses that are trained and ridden only on very flat arena surfaces have a terrible time learning to look where they are putting their feet. I will also scold them every time they trip. Works on some of them.
smrobs and freia like this.
     
    06-02-2013, 06:38 PM
  #7
Foal
My old lady is in her mid to late 30's. She trips when she's not paying attention. Joint supplements and regular trimming made a world of difference for her. This mare is obviously getting regular trims, so I would definitely recommend joint supplements. My mare does great on MSM and HA.

As far as exercises, my mare does best with a long, loose warm up. Once she's loose, warm and stretching out, I start with bending and collection. We do gentle serpentines and circles. Trot poles and cavalettis don't work for my mare at all, they make her sore and stressed because she catches her toes on them. One thing that makes a big difference for my girl is being allowed to stretch herself out at all gaits before being asked for collection. For example, even after a collected walk, I give her a loose rein for the first lap or two of trot. It gives her a chance to stretch her legs and back and loosen up before being asked to carry herself properly.

Out on the trails, my horse trips a ton because she's so excited and distracted. In that situation, I give her reminders to focus with the reins (a twitch here and there) and I steer her around roots and rocks more than I would other horses. I also talk to her the whole time to keep her attention on me. I don't know if that would work for you, but it may be worth a try!

It doesn't sound like this horse is ready to retire, she's still young (in my books)! I would definitely start with the MSM, my mare was successful on that until about 2 years ago when her arthritis kicked up a notch. It's pretty inexpensive, too.

Good luck!
freia likes this.
     
    06-02-2013, 06:57 PM
  #8
Weanling
It took a bit of time because the arthritis had really progressed and she was pretty stiff and sore, but with adding the supplement to her feed and starting daily gentle stretching and flexing she's now a heck of a lot better, she gallops around with her pasture mate all the time It took about a month and a half-two months for her to get to where she is now.
     
    06-02-2013, 07:01 PM
  #9
Yearling
Thanks for all the great ideas! I feel so much more optimistic now. She has so much life and so much to offer, and she loves her job. It's great to hear that so many of you are finding ways to keep your horses enjoying their jobs and their rides into their wise-years.
Oliveren15 likes this.
     
    06-02-2013, 07:18 PM
  #10
Trained
At her age & considering what you've noticed, I think you're on the right track except for doing circles & stuff with her *unless advised by a bodyworker*. Most certainly a well fitting saddle that doesn't pinch her is a start, as well as not over tightening the girth. I'd get a good practitioner to come give her a treatment & advise you whether there's any damage from badly fitting saddles that needs to heal before saddling her again.

Hoof care is probably no 1 issue with tripping - long toes, high heels, thrush or otherwise weak heels, thin soles, etc. I imagine she's a no. 1 candidate for most of those, being a shown TWH who's owners cared to sore her. Dentistry/bit problems can also cause problems such as tripping, not to mention the hands on the reins.
     

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