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utah2990 01-06-2010 09:41 PM

Gaited horse/ stumbling and falling
OK, actually I have a few questions... :) The first is that my gaited Icey stumbles a lot. In fact, he went down on his knees in the fall and I went over his head and landed on the street. :( Seems to do it more with certain saddles (I've been looking for a new one) but the end result is that I'm nervous to ride now, I don't want him to trip and I don't want to fall off. I went back to my old saddle which is a very hard seated Wintec that brings my legs forward too much instead of long and straightish which I think is the goal when riding Iceys. When we do ride, like 1x a weekend in the winter, he wants to G-O but I want to keep him collected... and slow, again w/ the winter, cold weather, snow, and the fact that he tripped to his knees, we're in a constant battle fighting the bit the whole time. Am trying a snaffle to get more control. Hate riding his face. How can I collect him, his neck has no arch at all, no muscle... he is always stretched out. OK, any suggestions are welcome. Sweet horse which I'll never sell, great health no issues, 14 yo gelding. Imported when he was younger. Thanks!

Macslady 01-07-2010 08:11 AM

How are his feet trimmed, is he long in the toe? After that check to see if he is even picking up his feet or is he just shuffling along. I also find with gaited horses the more you slow them down they often will trip/stumble. This just is a matter of keeping them alert. How is your balance in the saddle, are you leaning forward and not realizing it or are you sitting back allowing the rear to engage.

As you said the saddle could be a factor too, make sure his shoulder area is free and doesn't pinch. He may be stumbling to avoid a pinching pain.

There are so many different things to mention, I am sure others will chime in with other possibilities. I guess the best thing to do is start with the simple and work from there.

maura 01-07-2010 09:31 AM

After you have the farrier out and he/she have done all they can, have the vet out.

As soon as someone says their horse has fallen with them, I would want an exam to rule out EPM, Wobbler's syndrome, and any other neurological problem, and then I would want the vet to evaluate their way of going and look specfically at back problems and soft tissue injuries.

Horses *DO NOT WANT TO FALL DOWN* - something is very wrong.

MN Tigerstripes 01-07-2010 10:06 AM

Yup agree with the others about getting a good farrier out. My mare used to trip all the time. As I learned more about hooves (as I got odler) I realized that her toe has be consistently too long throughout her life. When I started trimming she stopped tripping. I'm not perfect by any means but her toe is shorter than it was.

Of course, now she hurt herself and can't bend her leg enough so she's back to tripping occaisionally now. :-(

SmoothTrails 01-07-2010 11:19 AM

Well, if things don't change after seeing a farrier and maybe even a vet there are other possibilities. Teh first is that he is just not paying attention to the ground at all because he is thinking about going faster, and the second is that he is doing it on purpose after an accidental one. The second was the one I had to deal with.

My horse accidentally tripped, so I got off to check him out and didn't get back on because he seemed to have pulled a muscle. The next few times I got on he would basically "trip" and fall to his knees in slow motion. The farrier cam out and the vet looked at him. They came to the same conclusion. I had a very fast learning horse. He realized I got off, so he did it again. After I got him over this we went to a competition where he pulled a muscle in his shoulder in a spook, so I pulled him and trailered him back to can. After this he started a "pony limp" when he got Rule out everything else first, but it is a very real possibility that a horse can/will learn to do this kind of thing to get you off.

Weltiger 01-12-2010 04:32 PM

hi hi,
Well i am riding icelandic horse,and the owner wants to make him more flexible,and i just started with him acctually:) And vau he needs alot of work...on his walk he is ok,he is going really collected and relaxed.. But as soon as he start to run i am loosing everything:( his head is up,so its just not work,like you saying UTAH,i just also hate to ride like this..So what i do i am just trying mostly to walk for now and get him flexible.So i somebody knows is it good for them be collected on tiolt? maybe they just cant do that?Help me!!!:))) i have been trying to ride on trot also,but as soon as i take shorter rein he is starting his tiolt,as soon as i let the long rain he trot:)so i dont know,but i will do my best:)

westonsma 01-12-2010 04:48 PM

WELTIGER--- you need to post a new thread.

as for the stumbling, it could be that he's highly tenderfooted. I had a Morgan/Paint cross that was so tender he had to have pads on his soles between his feet and shoes. It corrected after a while of turning him out on some rough ground barefoot... which NOW would be a prime time to do it because you aren't riding much.

ponyboy 01-12-2010 07:00 PM

Not sure if this is related, but are you sure your saddle fits? Icelandics aren't shaped like any other breed... I question whether a typical brand like Wintec could fit one. (And actually Icelandic saddles don't fit properly either. They are made too narrow in the belief that it makes the horse tolt better). But whether your saddle fits or not, you should definitely look for one that would allow you to have a straighter leg.

Weltiger 01-14-2010 04:26 PM

well i dont know about sadle,i think its ok,but maybe know i am using what owner of the horse is giving me,so for now i cant change sadle. But you know yesterday he was much better,finaly he was collected and did good trot for me:) so i was happy with that:)the thing is that icelandic riders dont want to collect horse so much and i think because of tiolt. So maybe my horse just didnt understand me well in the begining,but now he is learning:)

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