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Horse continuously tripping?
Hey, I have had my Belgian/QH gelding for a month and I have run into a problem. He stumbles and trips like crazy, mostly under saddle but will do it every now and then on the lead line. The first two or three times I rode him he was fine, then one day he was suddenly reallllllllly bad, he tripped every few steps and when I stopped him his back legs slide into his front and it spooked him into a canter. I tried him on different footing, same thing. I called our farrier and he trimmed the hooves but said there is nothing wrong there and he probably needs to just wake up more and stop shuffling. I would agree with him but he seems to trip more when he picks up his pace, like he is way less balanced at a posting trot than a jog. The barn manager says he is just fat and lazy and needs to move out more but I am scared if I pick up the pace anymore he is going to wind up hurting himself and/or face planting.
any tips, have any of you encountered this before?
Is the same leg repeatedly? Or does he switch?
If it's always the same leg, it could be an atrophied muscle in his shoulder causing him to not pick up that leg far enough. My mare's been doing this for months. Between asking my farrier and my vet when he did chiro on her, that's what they figured. Farrier said he noticed that the toe of that hoof was worn down more than the other. They suggested front leg stretches forward and across the front and lunging on that side to build up her shoulder muscle inside.
ETA: I just noticed you said it's gotten as bad as every few steps. It could still be an atrophied muscle or his shoulder could need adjusting by a chiro. Do you have any in your area?
When you lead him at a walk watch to see if he is doing a toe first landing. A heel first is often imperceptable and may appear as a flat landing. Walk faster as some horses will do toe first landings when lazy. This can account for tripping.
If his sides are noticeably unbalanced from left to right, I would try a chiropractor.
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It never hurts to have a chiropractor or other sort of back specialist out anyway... in my experience a lot of horses have at least minor back problems when you buy them. Then if there is a problem you can deal with it.
It can be a lazy thing or a learned behaviour. Some horses trip and then the rider stops "riding", lets them have their head, lets them slow down etc and they learn that tripping gets them out of work.
Have you tried loose lunging him in a round yard, keeping him at a good trot for a while? Does he keep tripping or does it reduce when he warms up? Does he trip in the paddock?
Something Neurological could be wrong:-(,a back or neck injury/strain can cause tripping & incoordination.Having a lameness evaluation by a good equine vet would be in your best interest:wink:.
In addition to the above, fitness or lack of it could also be a cause.
You may not like this advice but the next time you ride, give him a smack with the crop to wake him up. Some horses function almost in sleep mode and pay little attention. Are you riding him or basically being a passenger?
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