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How do you train your horse to find his feet

This is a discussion on How do you train your horse to find his feet within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        01-08-2012, 04:30 PM
      #11
    Foal
    No he isn't = actually his feet hardly grow - they are healthy just don't grow much. His feet are trimmed regularly. I was told to square off his toe a little so that he doesn't catch on it.

    Either way none of this has helped :(
         
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        01-08-2012, 10:29 PM
      #12
    Trained
    None of this helped? It's only been a day! Have you tried the raised logs/poles for a couple of weeks yet? How many times have you taken him over uneven terrain on a loose rein -- a couple dozen? Gee -- your days must be longer in Wisconsin.

    Plus, he's 4. How long has he been ridden? Does he do this when he is on his own, or only with a rider? Balancing with a rider would be completely different for a horse and he may still be learning.

    Have you squared off his toe? That sound ominous to me, but maybe there is enough toe there to do it. How about overall pic of your horse?

    Give it time. Try these ideas and see how it goes.
    Savvy Debonair likes this.
         
        01-08-2012, 11:50 PM
      #13
    Foal
    You wont get any where dismissing the help. Or being impatient, he'll trip and stumble bigger and worse, till it becomes a vice and possibly unsafe.
         
        01-09-2012, 12:33 AM
      #14
    Trained
    Ruling out any medical issues first.

    The answer is simple...you help him find his feet, by making him move his feet. A horse in the pasture, probably won't step over things voluntarily enough times to really benefit from it, so developing 'balance' under saddle, or in hand is up to you either way.

    Trot poles, riding in the woods or on trails(going over and through anything 'safe enough' that you can think of and find), hill work, doing serpentines, and circle work, doing 'follow the rail' or 'cruising' type exercises (in which you ride in the arena, or round pen, with loose reins, and only focus on keeping the horse in the gait you desire...you don't interfere unless he breaks the gait; I tend to do alot of trot and canter of that exercise.

    In your ground work, don't settle for lazy "if I have too" type work...get those feet moving there as well; your balance issues really start here, because if he's lazy on the ground, he will likely carry that to under saddle too; and it's more of a response to you not asking more of him, than him not knowing how to use his feet...Get her moving in the pasture with her pasture mates, I bet she doesn't trip quite as often there...simply because there is more motivation.
         
        01-09-2012, 12:38 AM
      #15
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NorthernMama    
    Yup, training is good, but is this the same horse whose legs "shake" when he's lying down? Ever think the two issues may be connected? Time for a vet check.
    Missed this post...

    If this is true, than I double my statement of ruling out medical issues; he may have wobblers syndrome, or some other issue going on.
         
        01-09-2012, 03:25 AM
      #16
    Super Moderator
    Apart from all the good ideas of the wise people here, I'd like to remind you that he is still quite young. My gelding was the same when he was 4, but now he is almost 6 and has been trained with lots of ground poles and trail riding, and I recently made a note to myself that he has really improved and shows no signs of clumsiness anymore. You can't expect the grace of a dancer from an inexperienced youngster. :)
         
        01-09-2012, 05:03 AM
      #17
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Saranda    
    Apart from all the good ideas of the wise people here, I'd like to remind you that he is still quite young. My gelding was the same when he was 4, but now he is almost 6 and has been trained with lots of ground poles and trail riding, and I recently made a note to myself that he has really improved and shows no signs of clumsiness anymore. You can't expect the grace of a dancer from an inexperienced youngster. :)
    This <3 Love this post, he is barely broken I would think at 4, let alone experienced!
         
        01-09-2012, 06:33 AM
      #18
    Foal
    Thank you for all your responses! And yes he is young so that is a good reminder to me.

    He was trained/broke in June 2011. I've been riding him ever since 3-4 times a week. In this time I have trotted over poles, around obstacles, worked on side passing and maybe he just needs more time. But I can say I won't canter with him because we have both gone down 2x - very scarry. Yesterday I had him out and we were riding w/ 2 other horses, he slipped, went down on all 4s and struggled to get up but he did get up w/ me on his back (it all happened so fast). Anyway, I was looking for exercises to do w/ him and I guess I will continue to do what I'm doing and use some of your suggestions - so thank you!

    The vet thinks he's just fine - he is slow to mature and has lots of growth to do. But to be safe, I guess I was looking for things to do on the ground to help him develop his balance - I really don't feel like going down w/ him again!

    Thanks again for all your responses.
         
        01-09-2012, 07:06 AM
      #19
    Super Moderator
    It really sounds like he just needs to refine his skills and some more time. As for groundwork - differend ground pole and small obstacle exercises really helped my guy! Also, he seemed to be progressing very slowly...and this year BAM - he's suddenly made a great progress and is now a whole different horse - as if he had meditated upon what he was taught for a long time and finally put it all together. :)
         
        01-09-2012, 07:19 AM
      #20
    Foal
    Well that is very reassuring then ....I will just give him time. He is such a smart horse he likes to be challenged, so I will have to come up with some more obstacles that challenges him both mentally and physically.

    Thanks - I feel better= I guess I will give him another year and see if he can straighten this out.

    I was really hoping to go trail/camp riding this summer but might have to wait a summer. Or get another horse for the summer and just work JR (horse w/ tripping problem) on obstacles etc.

    Thanks.
         

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