Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Beautiful Pacific Northwest
• Horses: 0
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.