I am quite new to the horse world. I trail rode alot as a kid but never did shows or anything. I recently bought a new horse and I would like to know if he looks to be structurally sound. He will only be used as a trail horse and a companion, I'm just interested to see what people who really know what they're talking about think of him. I apologize if this isnt the right forum for this post, if it isn't, could you direct me to the right one?
And I'm sorry that the only picture I have right now is from the side.
The photo does not help this poor fellow at all, but here goes.
Long in the back; puffy, round hocks; short pasterns in front; hammer headed; and perhaps a hatchet neck; light in the fore arm; slighlty tied him below the knee; legs seems short for the body length and size; tail set is high; angle at the point of shoulder is a bit too acute; toes seem long.. feet need trimming?
Unfortunately that's the only picture I really have of him right now, and it does not help that the ground is uneven. Oh well! Like I said, he will not be a show horse, just a trail riding one. Do you think any of what you listed will give him problems? He had his feet done about 2 weeks ago, but I think the toe needs to be a little shorter still. Thanks for your reply! :)
I would do a LOT of trotting up hills with him.. letting him drop his head in the process. EVERY hill you come to, get him to trot. If you can do this 6 days a week for a month you will find he is an easier ride all over. He will build muscle to drive up the hills, and build abdominal muscles to support his back and make him more able to shift his weight rearward. A trail horse needs balance as much as any other horse doing another discipline.
Be sure to work him on circles and transitions getting him to smoothly go up and down both in gait and speed.
Wit proper conditioning and training he will surprise you.. but both those things are up to YOU and your consistant application of both.
Every time you get on a horse you can train. The location is immaterial (ring or trail).
I work him 7 days a week. I started working him about a month ago but only from the ground. Next week we will start working under saddle as well. For the past year and a half he has just been a pasture horse and not worked at all. I can def work on hills with him. I lunge him for about 30 min every evening at a walk/trot/canter. I haven't done it for a longer amount of time since he is so out of shape. The consistence is no problem, I have all the time in the world to work him. Thanks so much for y'alls advice!!
I have rarely lunged a horse even that long. It is tough on the horse's legs (most lunge lines are 24 feet so the circle is only 50 feet in diametere which is only about 16.5 meters. That is pretty tight.
Also, lunging needs to be done carefully so that the horse tracks up and does not two track (hind feet on a different track than front feet). Lunging and having the horse two track actually improves stiffness and not suppleness as the horse usally tracks his hind feet outside the circle (swings butt out) and does not bend.
Okay, I can do him less. And that is not 30 minutes solid, it probably ends up being 20ish minutes, maybe less of actual work. We take quite a few breaks. Do you have any other suggestions for ground work to help with some of the muscle conditioning? Sorry for the questions, as I said I'm pretty new to horse training/conditioning so I'll take all the suggestions I can get!