15 yr old Tennessee Walker tripping and wont go into gait1
Hi, this is my first horse that I have owned. He is a Tennessee Walker and 15 years old. Before I bought him I go to ride him and he responded and moved very well. However, after I got home when I finally started to ride him he would trip a lot. I have fallen off him three times now and I don't know what is going on. I can't get him to go into the gait I know he was trained to do and I think that might be part of the problem. I am using him as a trail horse which he has been used as before but I am not sure what to do to get him to start walking correctly. Any help is appreciated!!!!
Are his feet too long? Has your farrier been out?
I would get a teacher who is familiar with gaiting to help you, especially if you are a beginner. It could be the horse, or could be something you're doing that is creating the problem.
Have you called the people you got him from for some tips?
Yes I have tried talking to the people that owned him before but they don't seem to have anything to say. His feet probably do need to be clipped it has been a while. However, I have read that there is a specific way gaited horses feet are supposed to be clipped it that true? and do you know what it is.
The most common way a "gaited horse farrier" will trim is to let the toe get long and chop the heel, giving the "long and low" trim. This will enhance gait quality but at the cost of efficiency of movement and stress to the suspensory system.
Make sure your farrier follows the first example, not the second. Ditto for any trainer or instructor you engage.
How is the horse shod?
How often do you ride and how much do you ride? What kind of tack are you using? What is your equitation style? All of these can and will influence how a TWH will move.
If you're lucky all you need to do is get the horse trimmed up correctly. If you're not then you'll have to do some "detective work" to solve the problem.
I wish you good luck!
Ditto his feet should be trimmed according to what is correct for him.
However, that is not my thought.
Did you have a Pre-Purchase exam on this horse?
Also, it's a concern to me the previous owners are not very willing to talk to you.
Please have this horse examined for EPM -- please-------------
EPMhorse - Symptoms can be anywhere in the head or body
Some researchers feel it can take as long as two years for symptoms to appear.
I would like nothing better than for you to tell me, his tripping is nothing but needing trimmed. I've seen this innocent tripping before, with a young lady's first horse, who also happened to be a TWH.
The tripping went on for several months, with a couple different farriers trying everything they knew to correct him; with and without shoes.
One day he went down with her and that's when she called the vet, at the insistence of several of us on my local forum, and he was diagnosed with EPM.
In the beginning, she never saw him trip in the pasture; only when she rode him. I theorize that is because he was in complete control of his movements in the pasture.
Again, I really hope I am wrong and all he needs is a good trim:-)
Thanks, guys I get his feet trimmed and see if that fixes it if it doesnt then I will get an EPM check done.
Thanks for all the help!!! : )
Easiest way to do a "quick" check for EPM is make the horse circle very tightly, if they do a lot of tripping or is uncoordinated than start looking deeper at EPM or another neurological issue.
Chances are (by the sudden onset) I'm leaning towards feet in need of trimming. I will 2nd on gaited horses (for pleasure/trail especially) do not need any special trimming. The feet need to be trimmed to the anatomical mechanics of the horse and not to any predescribed "angles/degrees".
Good luck, hopefully a good barefoot trimmer will get the horse on his way to proper feet and that will hopefully solve his gaiting problems.
If he is only tripping under saddle, you may have the girth too high, saddle too far forwards which impedes shoulders, or your riding mechanics could be messing him up.
And TWH's gait is natural, not trained.
Can you get video of how he is tacked up and with you riding him, as that would help best.
But if he continues to trip could be all sorts of things going on.
You might also want to check for Wobbler's Syndrome. It also involves stumbling/tripping.
My last SSH had Wobbler's, stumbled a lot and fell down several times, with and without me. Another symptom is inability to canter; he refused to do it under saddle and when turned out would constantly swap leads in the back.
He passed the PPE (I no longer use that vet), and seemed fine when I tried him. Good luck, I hope your problem is just the trim job.
If someone took you out into a big field in Texas, blindfolded you, and then asked to identify the animal making a noise that sounded like dozens of shod animals running most folks would say "horses"; but some would say "Zebras." ;)
When working on gait issues beware of becoming a "Zebra chaser."
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