Tripping (mainly at the canter) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-02-2011, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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Tripping (mainly at the canter)

I have been working with an 18.1, 11 year old Hanoverian gelding. He was once an eventing horse and then he was a police horse for 3 years. He loves the stimulation of doing multiple things at once so the police force was a bad place for him.

I find that he tends to trip, mainly at the canter, but also at the trot when I let him go on a long rein. If I frame him up and encourage him to use himself, it gets better, but doesn't completely go away.

The weird part is though, when I put him on a lunge line and let him trot and canter, he doesn't trip... like at all.

Does anyone know why he trips under saddle, but not on his own? (when I lunge him, I do both with a saddle and bridle and also just a lunge line. He doesn't trip when I free lunge him either)

Is there anything I can do to help him other than helping him come under himself? If I let him go on a longer rein, he tends to panic, trip and break, almost like he's afraid you are going to leave him. I push him through the break but some younger girls allow him to stop.
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-02-2011, 12:03 PM
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I'd say either bad trim (too long toes) or lack of balance. Or both.

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post #3 of 13 Old 08-02-2011, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by kitten_Val View Post
I'd say either bad trim (too long toes) or lack of balance. Or both.
Yup. Could be.

I also want to throw in there and ask if you've had him checked for any soundness issues by your vet and farrier; especially in his legs or feet.

Kind of a random story, but I did hear of a horse that was discovered to have absolutely no feeling or sensation in his back legs while they took him to a barrel racing clinic. The owners had no idea. Very dangerous, to say the least! Not saying that your horse has anything like this going on .... but it at least makes you think.

It's possible he could just be a clumsy/lazy type and a stumbly-type horse. My horse drags his back feet when he walks most of the time (lazy man :roll: ) and he kind of is a stumbler too. Always has been. Probably because he doesn't pay attention to his feet as much as he should.

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post #4 of 13 Old 08-02-2011, 01:16 PM
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the fact that he does this only under a rider means that it either has to be the additional rider weight throws him off balance, or that the saddle, when weighted, is pinching a nerve that affects his motor control
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-02-2011, 01:50 PM
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Maybe a visit from a good Chiro ? He may be in pain and just need's an ajustment..

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post #6 of 13 Old 08-02-2011, 01:58 PM
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Is he shod?

After I bought my gelding, he'd always been shod, so I just left him like that. I also dealt with the consequences of a very off balance and trippy horse. To very dangerous consequences, incluing going completely down on me twice.

I pulled his shoes after that, took a couple trips to the chiro (he was having a lot of back problems after that last fall) and have had no problems like that since.

He grows out unevenly. At about four weeks, he has to be rasped to even his hoof angles out again, and then trimmed normally at six weeks to keep him balanced. His left heel grows faster than his right, leaving him uneven. With shoes, that caused tons of problems.

I would have a chiro or vet check his legs, and hoof angles to see if he's off balance at all like my gelding was.

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post #7 of 13 Old 08-02-2011, 02:09 PM
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I have a similar situation. I have a 6 yr QH who is kind of clumsy. If he is not perfectly balanced he trips over himself, freshly shod or not! And yes he has been this way ever since i've had him since the age of 3. I thought he would grow out of it as he matured, but nope!

If he is balanced he has a beautiful uphill canter, actually impressive for a QH. If I let him have a little leeway and (even on a trail) he'll shift his weight to his forehand and trip.

I have ruled out lameness, have a chiro visit him on a reg. basis, and neurological problems. I have a horse that just needs to be balanced. I think it is worse at that canter just because he is more apt to shift his weight and gradually excelerate (I do not want to say bolt, or take off with me, because that is not what it is).
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-03-2011, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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we've tried taking off his shoes, but he really needs them. vet has cleared him as one of the soundest horse's he's seen and our massager lady says he is very relaxed and stuff.

like i said, he doesn't trip when i frame him. he used to be an eventer, so all i can figure is that he was never taught how to balance himself under saddle, someone always did it for him. thanks for your help everyone!
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-03-2011, 06:31 PM
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Do some pole work, to teach him hoof placement, and just always keep him famed when he's working at a trot and canter. You say he doesn't trip when he underneath himself and collected- well of course not. He's on his hind end like he should be. It's really good for his topline anyways to ride in a collected manner.

So, just work on building his topline, and having him carry himself in a frame, and pole work to get him moving out.

"You're just as sane as I am."~Luna Lovegood.
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-04-2011, 12:16 AM
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Some times if their heels are sore they will land toes first which will make them stumble.

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