He's rope walking ...
I've noticed my 21 yr gelding has been rope walking on the front feet. He walks with his front feet going inside. His leg confirmation is a little out anyway so he does that a little bit, but he's gotten a little worse and he's been tripping and stumbling whenever I ride him at trot and canter. He does it a little bit at the walk but not a whole lot like he does if I'm cantering.
Just wandering what you guys would do if you had a horse like that and didn't want to just trail ride but also jump (for fun), arena stuff, possibly show (for fun beginner low class stuff), and trail ride but not all the time. I do want to trail ride, but not all the time, I like doing arena things, going over poles, jumping a little, etc. I got him in April of this year so haven't had him very long and I didn't have a vet exam and I didn't really know what I wanted at the time.
Here are some pictures to help ya'll out.
Are you 100% certain that the movement is new or is it just the stumbling that's new?
I would suggest having a vet give him a good once over. A sudden onset stumbling problem could be a sign of something more serious going on. It may be something so simple as his feet being unbalanced and you need a new farrier or it could be something serious like neurological problems or one of a million things in between. It could just be that he's getting older and losing some of his muscle mass. A vet will be able to give you a more definitive answer.
Do you mean placing one hoof ahead of the other, as tho walking a rope? If so, my arab did that with poor saddle fit. Their shape changes more rapidly when in the senior years.
Well he's always walked a little inward (foot in front of other), but now he's gotten somewhat worse this week. His feet when walking, look like he's going to hit his other inside legs. His tripping and stumbling has started for a few weeks though. As you can tell in the pictures, his front do go out some.
When you were looking at him to buy, did he do this? I would contact his former owners and ask about this- but I think the most important thing to do is call your vet. I'm thinking that this may be a physical problem, because he's an older horse....
I don't think he did walk inward. I know for a fact he didn't trip, he just started that a few weeks ago and I'm learning to canter on him and it affects my confidence a lot when trips during it as it unbalances me. I'll keep a better eye on him when I go since I now know what to look for when he moves and when I ride him. I think though that his leg confirmation was a little out like in the pictures, but it wasn't terribly noticeable.
Just out of curiosity, would you sell him?
No one would buy him, with the problems you've described. I agree he needs to be thoroughly vetted.
I would just retire him... I don't think a horse that trips constantly like that when trotting/cantering is ride-able. Like Bubba said, nobody would buy him. If he's okay with walking, he could be a therapy horse, where he would just be lead around at a walk.
He walks fine and does good on trails. He just trips more when you go faster. He's my first horse is why I'm asking if ya'll would sell him. If he's retired then that would be kind of a waste and using all of my money for him just sitting there and me doing little things. It's just me that pays for him and I definitely cannot afford two horses. If anything, he could be just used as a pleasure trail horse and that's it.
That's when "I hate to say I told you so...." comes into play. That's why you get a pre-purchase exam done when you buy a horse, and you budget for the unexpected.
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