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ArticDream 07-22-2009 11:41 PM

Why Won't He Move Forward?
I just bought my first horse on July 16. That's the day he came home. I let him settle in and relax a bit for about two days, and on his third day at my farm, I rode him. He did perfect! He obeyed my commands, and did exactly what I asked of him. That day, he was barefoot because his two front shoes fell off, as his old farrier glued them and they weren't very secure.

About two days after that, I rode him again. This time, he had shoes on all four feet, and they were secure. But, he hasn't had shoes on his back feet since he retired from the track 3-4 years ago. They were also slightly too big for him, and stuck out a bit on his heels. He would walk, stop, turn, and back up, but that's it. He would not move into a trot. Every time I nudged him, kicked him, or clicked to him, he stopped, and wouldn't move. The only thing that had changed since I'd rode him the first time were his shoes, him having new ones put on, and shoes were put on his hind feet for the first time in about 3 or 4 years.

Does anyone know what could possibly be wrong with him? Is there anything that I need to be concerned about?

ameliaelizabeth 07-23-2009 12:11 AM

Possibly still getting a feel for the shoes. Can't help that they're too big.. I'd do some longe work with him and try to get him to go into a trot from there instead of being on top of him where you can't see what's going on. If you notice during that he seems reluctant to move faster still, pay attention to his feet and physical cues to you. He'll let you know what's wrong, and will have neverending appriciation if you listen. If it does have something to do with the shoes, consider getting him re-shod or with fitting shoes or just taking the back ones off completely.

ArticDream 07-23-2009 12:14 AM

Thanks, ameliaelizabeth. :) I'll lunge him a bit and see if I can spot anything. Oh, and I'm having someone else come out and re-shoe him Saturday with the right shoes.

ameliaelizabeth 07-23-2009 12:21 AM

Good stuff. If he was behaving before the shodding, it's probably, most definately the shoes. I can only imagine that a too-large shoe would be uncomfortable at best and would cause a horse to do all sorts of crazy stuff to let you know, "I'm not ridable in this shape."
I've seen it all too much with the "problem" horses I've worked with in the past-- feet problems, I mean. More often than not, they aren't problem horses. Just aren't comfortable performing.
Good luck, and congratulations on your new horse!

ArticDream 07-23-2009 12:32 AM

Thank you a bunch! :) I'm pretty convinced that his shoes are the problem. I may ride him lightly tomorrow to see if he behaves, and if not, it's definintely his shoes. I'll probably lunge him a bit before riding him, though, to see if he's moving differently. Thanks again!

dressagebelle 07-23-2009 01:09 AM

I don't know what he was doing between being retired from the track and coming to you, but shoe size would have an impact on how he moved, as well as the weight of the shoe. I am not certain how heavy a race horses shoes are between races, but I do know that they put on extremely light flat racing shoes for races, so having extra weight along with a wrongly fitting shoe would cause problems. We had a horse come into our barn, he was a dressage horse, and when his new owner pulled his shoes, and had his feet done, we found out that the shoes weighed about 5lbs each. We actually did weight them on a scale they were so heavy, and they were squared in the front (on the front feet none the less), and so the horse had problems, acted up didn't move right ect., and as soon as his shoes were changed, he was a lot better behaved, and moved much better. Hopefully fixing the shoes will help a lot, and he'll be a great horse for you.

ArticDream 07-23-2009 11:25 AM

Thanks, dressagebelle :) I can't wait until Saturday. Someone else is coming to do his shoes, and this person actually went to school for it, so I'm hoping the outcome will be better. I'm kind of anxious, as I don't know whether he'll change his attitude or not, but I hope so! Thanks again!

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