Originally Posted by Christiannhorserider
He had an injury to one of his legs but it hasn't bothered him. He is due for a trimming and has been trimmed regularly. He has no other problems with his feet at this time.
He is doing it when he is trotting. At a walk he is great. He is stubborn when I lunge him and can rarely get him to a loap. When you ride him, he can be very lazy but with a tap from the leather string on my saddle he perks right up. I've noticed more and more that he is not picking up his feet when he stumbles. I recently watched a training video that suggested laying poles out and having them walk over them to learn to pick their feet up.
I think I'm going to try this but wanted other suggestions as to things that may be goind on for him to be slipping and stumbling so much.
** A thought that my husband mentioned the other day: When I 1st started lunging him. I took out my stick and when he saw it. He immediately started panicing, backing up, prancing..... etc. I started rubbing him down with it and he is now comforatable and doesn't do that anymore. My husband seems to think that he is scared of the stick. He typically seems to stumble and slip more when he is asked to do something with it.
But even at other times he is still slipping and stumbling.
Without seeing him in action, it does sound like he just needs to learn to pick up his feet and move with a little more energy. Ground poles can help, but I do recommend outfitting him with some kind of leg protection first. The last thing you want is him banging into poles with his legs at this point. I've also seen poles set up on a curve, with the ends at the "hub" propped up and the other end resting on the ground. Might be an option after he's mastered simple ground poles.
The stick might have something to do with it. My gelding fell all the way down once, tripped over his own feet mid-spook (I was leading him, not riding). If they're scared, they tend to move first and ask questions later - this applies to foot placement, too.
Take care with desensitizing, though. There's a fine line between defusing a fear of the tool and making it meaningless. It's harder in the long run to deal with a horse who has been desensitized to the point that you can't get him to move off at all.
ETA: Apachie (she posted at the same time as me :P ) has an excellent point on the tripping being a subtle sign of lameness, coming from somewhere other than the foot. Definitely something else to look into.