I need help with a stumbler - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 27 Old 01-27-2010, 03:40 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern Utah
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I have a friend who trains Foxtrotters for a living. He is also a farrier. so he makes his entire livelyhood from horses. Two years ago he was working with a TWH that the owners told him "Tripped a Lot" Now this friend of mine lives in Southern Utah and his method of training is to go ride in the mountains. So he was working this horse through lots of rough country teaching it to Pick Up it's feet. After several weeks of training the horse tripped and went down, landing on my friends leg and breaking it. Put him out of work for 6 months. He sent the horse back to the owners saying, No cure, Sell him.

I don't know if you can fix the problem or if it's just something that horse has to deal with. I know watching kids grow up. that they go through ages when they are gangly and clumsey and then they bloom and seem to be so athletic and coordinated. So maybe it's a growing up thing.

There is a ranch near where I live that sells a LOT of quarter horse babies. Part of their sales pitch is that this horses are born and raised on some very rough and mountainous terrain. That these colts learn to pick up their feet as babies and that trait stays with them for life. And there are a lot of people who seem to believe that.

Good luck
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post #12 of 27 Old 01-27-2010, 05:04 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Watertown, MN
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I know I've already said this..... BUT here goes again.

Seriously the first thing to do is get the horse's hooves looked at. Especially if your farrier is trimming them "like a TWH". Take a look at a show TWH hooves.... is that what you want a farrier doing to your horse? Just because it's a TWH?

Other people have a good point that it may be a balance issue that can be solved by training and riding, but you need to get his feet looked at.

Let me tell you the whole story of my mare.

My parents bought this mare along with her 1/2 sis when I was like a year old. They bought the 1/2 brother a year later. Flame was a serial tripper. This continued for years to the point where she had actually fallen on me 15 or so times throughout my childhood. I'm apparently a moron because I continued to ride her regularly, but in my defense the tripping happened probably 5% of our rides together. Anyways, she damaged her knees from falling so often so developed arthritis in her knees and so was retired from regular riding. I went away to college and my parents took care of the horses. They went through the typical succession of farriers never finding one who was reliable (the most important quality to them) or who did a good job (important to me). Somewhere along the line they found a guy who was reliable!! Yay!! He also *GASP* knew how to trim a TWH's hooves!!! Oh how wonderful, my parents thought. I came home for a visit and just about puked looking at the horses feet. They looked like they belonged on a cow. LONG toes, no heel. Around this time I noticed that Flame no longer did anything but walk in the pasture and she was tripping constantly now. I had no money (or clout) to get a proper trim on the horses so it had to stay the way it was.

Skip to the end.
I moved home and became interested in trimming. My friend had been learning from 2 different farriers as well as going to several Ramey clinics. She agreed to come out and trim my horses. Long story short after 2-3 proper trims Flame started gaiting/trotting/cantering in the pasture again. I even got brave and took her out on some rides. No tripping. NONE. She was about 27-28 when this occured and was good for about a year. Then she hurt herself and can't be ridden againg, but that's a different story.

I'm sorry but I get really leary when I hear "knows how to trim TWH." I'm sure that other trimmers had something to do with her issues as well as us causing problems with riding/balance, but that last trimmer really caused her a lot of pain. JMO. *steps off soapbox*
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post #13 of 27 Old 01-27-2010, 09:29 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
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I agree with everyone who said to look at his feet and get a farrier or trimmer who will bring his break-over back. I am not a professional farrier, but I have studied feet for years, and that is the only cause of a horse tripping constantly that I can think of, short of maybe an older horse with arthritic joints or chronic lameness. If he is sound otherwise, I would just about bet money on his toes being too long and his break-over being too far forward. And besides, that should be an easy fix. One proper shoeing and you should notice and immediate difference.

Like Riosdad said, a rockered toe would be a good place to start. Also, there is a shoeing system called "Natural Balance" shoeing that will also do basically the same thing. The shoes have a very distinctive look because they are made to bring the break-over back. Look "Natural Balance Shoeing" up on Google. While you don't HAVE to use those shoes or a Natural Balance farrier, it will give you an idea of what you are hoping to accomplish.
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post #14 of 27 Old 01-28-2010, 07:23 AM
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post #15 of 27 Old 01-28-2010, 12:50 PM
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Location: Arizona
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What really makes me big believer in the Natural Balance/Hope for Soundness trimming is that my Mustang naturally wears his feet just like their trimming practices and he is wonderfully sound barefoot. I may roll the edges once in a while, or lower his heels a tad, but he always has his toe naturally squared and his breakover brought back, all on his own.

The first thing I did when I got my Foxtrotter and she was trippy, is rocker her front toes with a rasp. It's been 3 months now, and if anything she has more rocker than she did before, so I think that is how she wants her breakover too. She still does occasionally trip, but not as bad as before. I am also going to see if I can keep her barefoot for as long as possible. If she gets tender this summer when I ride alot and the ground is hard, I will use Easyboot Epics. I have had pretty good luck with them.

The Mustang was an ex-rope horse and shod when I got him, and it took him a good year or two, but now he can go anywhere barefoot. I'm hoping the Foxtrotter will do the same. But I digress.....
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post #16 of 27 Old 01-28-2010, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Resaca, Georgia
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How do you get a horses hoof so you don't have to have shoes???

When I lived in sandy South Texas as a kid, I hardly knew what a shod horse looked like. Living in North Georgia, that is a different story. We not only shoe our horses we have to put "drill tec" or "borium(sp)" on them. It will keep the horse from slipping on pavement or on large slick rocks (I learned the hard way about a horse slipping on slick rocks). Whenever I have tried to go without shoes or if a shoe comes off they will go lame within 30 minutes. Where we ride the trails are usually very rocky or some of the logging roads have gravel on them.

So how do you get by without shoes??? Inquiring minds really want to know!

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post #17 of 27 Old 01-28-2010, 03:24 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Watertown, MN
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I'll let others (more educated) give you the in depth info but from my experience it depends on several factors: the individual horse and it's hooves, type of riding, and riding conditions. From what I've heard going from shod to barefoot is a process and can take a long time (and hoof boots) until the horse is comfortable being ridden barefoot on varying surfaces. Some people say that all horses can be barefoot comfortably but I'm not sure I agree with that. I've never had to shoe (yet) but am not averse to doing so if my horse requires it to be comfortable.

You will find a ton of info if you use the search feature and search "barefoot vs shod" or "barefoot".
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post #18 of 27 Old 01-30-2010, 02:58 PM
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this has been interesting reading. my appy stumbles quite a bit. late last summer (i'd been away from him for a while), i got a farrier out here (good fella, but i haven't gotten him on the phone since then...) who trimmed and put shoes on his front to see if we could help the tripping problem. he picked up his front right foot and looked at me saying "he's got pain in his knee." have yet to make it to the vet for it, which i really think we need to do when finances allow. his hooves are white as can be and generally soft. i'm looking at having him shod all the way around this spring, and would like to try this natural balance stuff. that looks worth a shot...

our other two don't need shoes at all. the TB has hooves that grow funky (and fast), but the old gray, well, you could ride that horse anywhere and nothing bothers him. he's just getting old...
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post #19 of 27 Old 01-30-2010, 05:03 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Mariposa, CA USA
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Wow...great thread! I have an older (16) running QH who tends to drag his toes when he walks. He also stumbles on gravel roads. He's barefoot (his feet are so beautiful I hate to shoe him if at all possible to avoid it) and needs trimming 2-3 times a year, since he keeps his feet nice and ground down. I will talk to my farrier to see if we can't change the shape a bit to help...There are also some new type 'boots', easier to use than EZ boots, and (IMO) better for the horse...I may try those.

It's the little things that drive me wild...
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post #20 of 27 Old 01-30-2010, 06:20 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Riverside, CA
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I'd agree with looking to his hooves. I've had good success with rolling the toe. I also think this horse just may need more time to re-balance himself with a rider. I have an 18 hd. draft cross and when we started riding him, he stumbled quite a bit. You wouldn't think 150 lbs or so would throw off a horse that big but it sure did. Now that he's got a year under saddle, he will occasionally stumble when he's day dreaming on trail but otherwise, he's doing great!

Riverside, CA
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