What do you do with a drunken sailor? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum

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post #21 of 31 Old 11-20-2011, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
And just for the record Celeste, what is your education and profession?
I am a Georgia state licenced, USDA federally accredited veterinarian. After 25 years of equine practice (with a little small animal practice mixed in , I retired from practice after one too many emergency colic call and I now teach anatomy at a small college.

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post #22 of 31 Old 11-20-2011, 09:37 PM
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So what are the potential problems caused by properly applying horseshoes and what would some drawbacks be to going barefoot?

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #23 of 31 Old 11-20-2011, 10:15 PM
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My mom went to school and became a licensed farrier about ten years ago and after learning and seeing first hand what shoes can do to some horses we opted to go barefoot and have been ever since. If a horse doesnt grow much hoof the constant reapplication of shoes can really tear up the hoof wall. That was one of our horses problems. That and he would come up lame every few months or so. Started barefoot and he hasnt been lame since.
A horses foot is designed to flex and contrast with every step. This takes away some of the concusion to the rest of the horses leg and keeps a constant blood to the hoof. When you put a shoe on, it eliminates the hoofs ability to do that. I have one horse that had calcium building up in his joint and wouldnt stay sound. You could actually see the increased size in his joint. Quit shoes and started a natual hoofcare trimming schedule and he was actually able to be brought out of an early retirement. Lameness problems disappeared.
There isnt one solution for every horse out there but for me barefoot was definitely the answer. Some of the drawbacks are the experimental process of figuring out what boots and hoof protection work the best for your riding, and the putting on boots. Not the most fun thing to do in the winter when fingers are cold, or the boots are muddy to take off. But much cheaper in the long run.
Just my opinion

"Sorry don't get it done, Dude."
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post #24 of 31 Old 11-20-2011, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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No one has mentioned yet - push her forward! Generally the faster a horse travels, the straighter they will travel. Applies more at a gallop but the same principal applies at the walk. Most of mine will wander when they are being lazy, but at a good march we travel pretty true.
I like your thought process. The only problem with that is that my 16h warmblood and I ride with 14 something hand QH/arab types and the only way we can ride together is if I'm doing a collected walk... lol I can try to keep her in front of my leg more and maybe that will help.

(Oh and thanks for staying on topic and not strangely hijacking the thread)
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post #25 of 31 Old 11-20-2011, 10:42 PM
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A horse with normal hooves should not have any problems with properly applied, properly maintained shoes.

The main problem that I have seen with shod horses is when the owner tries to make the shoes last over 6 or 8 weeks. The horses overgrow the shoes and bruise their soles. Another problem with leaving shoes on too long is that they will throw a shoe and a chunk of hoof with it. This may take a while to grow back. I have seen horses kept in extremely muddy environments that had trouble keeping their shoes on. They even had bigger problems with thrush.

If shoes are not maintained on a regular schedule, they will do more harm than good.

Shoes protect horses from rocks and general wear and tear. Horses that are seldom ridden probably don't need shoes. Horses that are heavily ridden usually benefit from shoes.

In my own case, I keep shoes on the horses that we ride. The freeloader bums usually go barefoot.

The decision to shoe or not to shoe a normal horse is a purely an economic one.

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post #26 of 31 Old 11-20-2011, 11:35 PM
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I've read stuff from a vet that says otherwise when it comes to shoes, they always cause harm. I'm not an expert so not going to get into that debate any further then that.

What I have done is researched both sides of the debat and came to the conclusion I will go without shoes. When a horse has a cronic lameness issue that shoeing will help, then I'll shoe them.

Back to the drunken sailor problem. If you are riding with horses that have a much shorter natural stride then "drunken sailor" might be one way your horse tries to keep going at the same forward rate. IE, putting more motion into side to side then forward. So, does she do this when solo?
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post #27 of 31 Old 11-22-2011, 05:19 PM
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I applied some of the techniques here on keeping Biscuit off of the outside edge of a drop off this weekend! I made sure I was sitting straight with weight equally distributed.

He can be a bit of a drunken sailor and I was letting him choose his own path as it was freaking rocky as all get out there. Hubby noted "Biscuit is all over the place" so after that I turned to training mode and while everyone else was tracking on the left of the trail I made Biscuit track on the right so he wasn't just "following" the other horses. He did a terrific job with a little help with leg pressure and occasional light touch on the reins.

All of the horses had boots on this weekend as it is not rocky where we live and we rode at McKinney Roughs in central Texas near Austin. My horses are barefoot and I do barefoot trimming on them. My former horse had shoes and it was a nightmare and expensive as all get out keeping him shod. He was shod from the time he was about 18 months old and had 0 or 00 feet and was a 15.3 hh racing bred Quarter Horse. He had the littlest feet that were not the best and I really believe all of the shoeing is what put his feet in that condition. Don't understand why race horses are shod in the first place. They are trained in soft dirt!

My horses back feet looked terrific after the rides - their Mustang Rolls looked even more "rolled"!! The rocks and sand really did their feet wonders! I wish they were tough enough to go totally barefoot there but they aren't. My hubby's horse might have been able to; he has got feet of steel.

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post #28 of 31 Old 11-22-2011, 07:44 PM
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My horse Sadie does that too, but she will weave off of the smooth dirt path onto the gravel threshold between the field and the dirt. My dad rides her, and gets really stressed out and has no idea how to handle it. I don't see us riding again untill spring but it would be nice to know how to fix it. She is barefoot, and such a piggy; but it is not like we can trail ride anywhere that doesn't have fields with hay/grass.

Nobody has any controll of her when riding. She will try to quit and stop real close to anyone on the ground. And when I am riding my gelding she will weave and bump into him. -.- I would love to know ways to fix this.
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post #29 of 31 Old 11-22-2011, 07:49 PM
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My Cleveland Bay used to do the same thing as a youngster. I used to claim I rode twice the distance as everyone else on the ride! Some days I thought I was riding a snake! In time we worked out of it. I think it is one part looking around, one part inexperience, one part youthful exuberance and one part just excited to be a part of it all. If you gently try to keep urging her to stay straight, she should stop "staggering" in time.
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post #30 of 31 Old 11-23-2011, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButtInTheDirt View Post
My horse Sadie does that too, but she will weave off of the smooth dirt path onto the gravel threshold between the field and the dirt. My dad rides her, and gets really stressed out and has no idea how to handle it. I don't see us riding again untill spring but it would be nice to know how to fix it. She is barefoot, and such a piggy; but it is not like we can trail ride anywhere that doesn't have fields with hay/grass.

Nobody has any controll of her when riding. She will try to quit and stop real close to anyone on the ground. And when I am riding my gelding she will weave and bump into him. -.- I would love to know ways to fix this.
It could be she was not trained well to begin with and needs additional training. Or, she's been trained well enough but has your number. A trainer can fix or tune her up but a problem still exists and that's you.

If you and your dad don't learn what you are doing wrong she'll go right back to doing what you sent her to a trainer to fix. Take yourselves and your horse to a trainer and have them teach you what you are doing wrong and how to correct her.

Every ride is a training ride and it is often easier to teach horses bad habits then good ones.
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