What are all the possible things that could cause...
a normally sure-footed trail horse to start tripping pretty frequently?
I'm 90% sure it's something my farrier did, as it started after her last trim, but I just want to see if it could possibly be something else.
If a horse suddenly starts to do something that he never did before, you need to look at what changed. If he just started to trip and it happened right after your farrier's visit, that is where I would start.
I would call the farrier and ask him to come out to recheck my horse. He could have a nail that went in wrong, he could have an abscess, or got a trim that was a little too heavy, etc.. That is where I would start looking.
do the feet have long toes? did he change the angle of the feet drastictly? a huge change in angle of the feet can cause a horse to that
Her toes aren't long, but her heels are short. My last farrier was trimming them way too short (especially in the back), and my current farrier is trying to fix it. It wasn't that bad in the front, though. I'll get the farrier back out. Thanks!
I agree with iride. She could be a bit sore if it was a recent trim on soft feet, or it could have been that something didn't go 100% right, how long ago was the trim? If you're working on changing her angle, that might cause it for a few days or so, until she gets used to the small changes. Abscesses can also cause this without obvious lameness, if it is just brewing and not ready to break out yet.
Her last trim was two weeks ago and she's been tripping ever since. He trimmed her six weeks before that and she was fine after it. He was doing the same things with her angles then.
As others have said the farrier has to be the first port of call.
But: try videoing on level ground the horse's leg and foot action trotting and walking directly towards you.
Some modern vets do keep a high speed video camera for doing gait analysis but probably they then charge a fortune for performing the analysis. However gait anlysis will show up an unbalanced foot action - which the farrier can then correct by counter balancing the shoe (like rebalancing car wheels with weights). However a good video will show you most of what you and probably the farrier need to know.
An 'English' rider would ask himself whether the horse had 'dropped onto the forehand'. Solutions for that condition are more complex.
but there is another simple reason - that the horse is tired or unfit.
Does your horse land heel first? or is he stubbing his toes then snapping down the heel? Heel first is the correct way.
I would assume she's coming down toe first, but she hasn't done it except when I'm riding her, so I haven't seen it happen from the ground.
Have your farrier back out and have him watch the horse with and without you riding. If she is in shoes, then I might ask to have them pulled to check underneath.
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