I'm putting some riding time on a gelding for a friend. This horse (Chism) is really lazy.On his own he wont even pick up his back feet, just drags them along, he rubs the toe of his hoof off. When you make him move/pick up the pace, he picks his feet up fairly nicely,but his gaits are really rough. I've been working on collecting him, and creating lift, and it's helping some,but he is still terribly rough. I understand some horses are rougher than other,but I was hoping to help him be more pleasurable to ride. He had been evading the snaffle bit he was trained in, so when I was certain he had all the commands down,I put him in a small curb.He seemed to like it much better, didn't try to evade it at all, and kept his head down better too. Any ideas on if or how to make him a bit more comfy?
I have a quarterhorse that I got last year or so and she had a really weird trim. So after I trimmed up her feet twice her gait changed just like that. Her toes were too long and the foot was unbalanced. But it sounds like this gelding may have some hip problems because he drags his hind feet which is the indicator. So maybe he's got a little arthritis or something. I would probably try adding flax (flax is an anti-inflammatory) and I think there are other supplements too.
I personally find that doing a lot of transitions really helps to develop better gaits but also the way you ride really makes a difference. I'm sorry but I really can't explain that in written words.
Thanks for the ideas. It may be his feet. His front hooves are really wide. They look kind of like saucers.lol. The farrier is working on them. The owner(my friend) doesn't want to shoe him( which I think would help tremendously) because it is expensive. I'd say yes to maybe the arthritis,but he's just turning 3 and hasn't had to do anything extreme at all. We've been working on transitions today and he's doing really good. I've trouble with him evading the bit in a snaffle, so I put him in a short shank curb bit. That for some reason seamed to create lift in him and some impulsion(not much though) he seems to understand the curb bit better than the snaffle. We've also been going over some trot poles on the ground this has helped too. I'm not noticing as many drag marks in his stall. Again thanks for the idea!
You are most welcome. It is interesting how some horses just hate snaffles - I think it is the pinching on their tongues that gets them upset. Of course a curb would not do that. I find that just riding in a rope halter eliminates all that stuff and it's just amazing how much better they go without a bit. I love how easy it is too.
Well you must be doing something right if he's dragging a little less. Sometimes creatures can get arthritis young and without any physical strain. They're just born that way but I'm sure it's rare.
You know I though about just riding him in a hackamore,bosal or a rope halter,but he is a strong horse, who likes to lean on his rider and I don't doubt that he would try(probly succeed) in dragging me around the pasture. I've been working on him giving his shoulder's on the ground he really likes to push on me with them and he's getting better.
As far as the arthritis. I suppose it could always be a possibility. He was born 2 months early and was very big for the average foal. His dam had joint problem and was giving supplement for it. Everyone just assume the reason he was soo big was because of the supplement his dam was getting.
Well I'm sure in time you'll be able to ride in just a rope halter. Interesting about his dam. I've not had this problem myself but I've heard that some horses if they grow too quickly can develop joint problems. Now I've heard a couple of different reasons one being too much high protein food and the other being the mare having very rich milk. I think the high protein feeds are more likely. I mean how can mom's milk be bad - right.
Yes I think the protein played a role too. She was giving a 14% feed and alfalfa hay along with the supplements. His growth slowed to normal after he was born,but he was a huge baby. I wish I had a pix of him when he was little i'll see if she still has it so I can show you.