Dragging a hoof over poles?

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Dragging a hoof over poles?

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    09-24-2008, 11:05 PM
Dragging a hoof over poles?

My mare drags one back hoof over poles every single time. Could be the right one, could be the left one. By drag, I mean she barely picks it up enough to give her some lift, while the other is in perfect position. She does this no matter the angle she approaches the jump, even if she just hops over it at a gait, she still does it. Other than that, she has gorgeous form.

She hasn't been injured, the vet checked her all over last time he was out. She doesn't drag it over a 8" jump (she's just starting and getting in shape, they're super low) but does over a 1'. This is a 17.2hh mare, so most of the time she just steps over things that low.

She cannot be ridden at the moment. This is all at the longe. She is being reconditioned, as I rescued her. She is still figuring out what to do with all her legs, as she was shown performance (Tennessee Walking Horse, google it.) and had pads on her feet from 2 years old. Jumping has helped her figure out that there are, indeed, four of them.

Any suggestions on how to get her to pick that foot up? She never does it over lower jumps, and picks her feet up wonderfully when walked over the jump.

Thanks so much!
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    09-25-2008, 06:52 AM
Angi, I have tons of questions for you. How old is she? What physical condition is she in that she can't be ridden? How long was she on the circuit as a show horse? How long have you had her?

Just based on what I can surmise from your post, you may be going too fast in her retraining. What I hear is that she is a rescue ex-show horse whose training is all on the flats, that can't be ridden but you are trying to jump her (even if it's only 1'). Depending on how old she is and how long she was shown, you may have a lot of retraining to do and your quote that she is still trying to figure out what to do with her legs sure tells me that she may not be ready for jumping.

From what I know of TW show horses is that their training is extremely contradictory to jumping - right down to the way they are ridden (as seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGGTfNbzyCE ).

Maybe you could try slowing it way down and waiting until she is in better condition physically and mentally.
    09-25-2008, 09:49 AM
She is 6 years old, and it's mostly my own choice that she isn't ridden. I'm giving her 6 months without pads to figure out what to do with her legs and how to walk again, and also to rebuild trust with people on the ground.

The reason I upped the height a bit is simply because of her size. She just walks over a jump that low if she chooses to. She started herself over jumps, and it's helped that action that Walkers do with pads in their hind ends immensely. She used to move very mechanically, but now it's becoming a bit more natural and fluid. Vet checked her out and actually was surprised at how well she was doing, he said to keep them under 18" until he comes out again. He's an old guy, one of the official vets used in the Olympics when they came to Atlanta, and he said he had never seen a horse bounce back that quickly.

And you're exactly right about how contradictory they are to each other, that's why she surprised me that she wanted to do this. I'm having to hold her back, warm her up and cool her down, because if allowed she would just go over the little jump all day at a flat out canter. Again, I'm as surprised by this in her as anyone else is, I was expecting a lot of things from this mare and this was DEFINITELY not one of them! Not saying it wasn't a pleasant surprise though.

Her movement with pads was actually more like this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s37NJC7dphA without his lovely temperament (if you know him, you get the joke)

Thanks for your answer!

Edit: I will be putting a before and now pic up on her page in my "barn". There is already a before picture, but I will get her to stand still long enough and not eat the camera today. I hope.
    09-25-2008, 10:02 AM
I don't know much about the breed or jumping...but do you think that she might have a weak back that is preventing her from using her hind end hence the dragging??

This is totally a shot in the dark... hope you can get her turned around.
    09-25-2008, 10:35 AM
It sounds like she has picked her new discipline! I'm sure she will come around at her own pace once she figures out what her back end is supposed to do.

The last TW I owned was back in the early 80's. He was an ex-show horse named Winstons Dazzler. I really liked that little black gelding (16.2h). He was 11 years old when I bought him so I guess he's gone now.

Good luck with your new horse and I'm sure we'll hear more of her progress.

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