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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From what I've read, if your horse breaks to pacey, longer toes in front and shorter toes in back will help prevent paceyness. Opposite for horses that break to trot.

I judge how well I do by how pronounced her nod is and how fast she can be pushed without breaking to paceyness. (unequal 4 beat). To aid in maintaining 4 equal beats at a faster speed, I'm told to lengthen her toes and shorten her hind toes. It never seems to work as well as keeping an Average length of toe in all 4 hooves, or even having the hind toes slightly longer than front toes.

So, is this a theory, a guideline , a fact? My horse is sickle hocked (hind legs stand more underneath the horse). How much does this have to do with it?
 

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nothing is ever carved in stone....but from what ive seen you have it backwards.

a pacey horse needs the front to be trimmed shorter than the rear.
 

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I had a mare that always paced as her preferred gait. I tried a few things to bring the swing. What always worked for her was in the rear to keep the lowest heel she could maintain then go short on the toe. I always focused on the heel before the toe because the longer the heel was she stood higher and it changed the rear break point thus shortened her stride. Then raised her front heel angle. She always naturally liked to fall into the 40's about 46-48 depending. I boosted her up and kept her about 52. She never grew much front heel so as a result the toes had to be trimmed some to get the angle. Then I would use a cocked shoe to again change the break over. The lower the angle the less break over again shortened stride the higher the front angle the longer her stride was.
I was so picky I instructed every Farrier I knew where to put her angles and kept a journal of her lengths all the way around so I knew each time she was shod how well the previous shoeing. Worked. I'd recommend if you make changes do it gradually and keep a journal with your angles and lengths (both are important) and the results riding after each adjustment.

My husband was the first Farrier I met who on our first meeting we had a whole educated discussion about angles and lengths. He made sense of my journal and explained to me why things I tried world and how. He's been my greatest tool. So do not under estimate the quality of a good well educated farrier. Ask questions and listen. Do they continue their education and what do they do to continue their education? Science is always helping us understand more about the horse and it pays to have a farrier who is committed to education.
Make sure too your horse stands on level ground and keeps his head strait while being worked on. Did you know that if your horse turns his head to say the right while the hoof is being trimmed the muscles in his leg/hoof respond and the sole of the hoof will be off on the right? The foot looks level held up but as soon as its put down its now lopsided. Just one thing you can do to help the farrier help your horse. They don't see the horses head while their working. Left to right balance is just as important as toe and heel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow. Interesting. I had a gaited trainer tell me that a pacey horse needed long toes in front and upright heels in the rear. Well glory be, 4 years I believed that! And it's in a farrier book as well. No wonder it never worked.
 

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Every horse is different. I never went along with a box mentality that there was one solution for every type of horse. Their height, weight, length etc all play a role in how they balance themselves which will in turn make a difference when you start changing angles and lengths. My mare was 80 inches chest to rear. Built like a tank. Huge feet. Often I got questioned if she was part draft. My aunt has a 16 h mare that's 74 inch length. All legs. That mare is all walk. Her problem mostly is forging. No surprise all legs short back. She kept her fronts short toe and rear long toe high angle. I woulda said now that's gonna be a trotting horse but it's what worked for her.
I have a gelding now that tends to trot if pushed past his gait. Again I started the journal and feeling out what works best. :)
 

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There are 4 phases to ffffffoot movement:

Loading
Breakover
Flight
Impact

The long toe delays breakover. It "sticks" the foot to the ground while the body continues to move foreward. When breakover occurs the foot comes off the ground the lots of energy. This is highly desired in the show ring. The angle of the foot and shape of the toe also affect this process.

Add weight and you alter the flight characteristics.

Everything done to influence the time of breakover or the flight will affect impact.

The "school solutions" often proposed focus on one factor and ignore the rest.

G.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There are 4 phases to ffffffoot movement:

Loading
Breakover
Flight
Impact

The long toe delays breakover. It "sticks" the foot to the ground while the body continues to move foreward. When breakover occurs the foot comes off the ground the lots of energy. This is highly desired in the show ring. The angle of the foot and shape of the toe also affect this process.

Add weight and you alter the flight characteristics.

Everything done to influence the time of breakover or the flight will affect impact.

The "school solutions" often proposed focus on one factor and ignore the rest.

G.
I've been trimming the "average" lately and using that as a reference point. Average being trimming to 50-53 degrees (she naturally comes out to that and I keep track of it. I don't trim her using those numbers). And back up the toe leaving a bit of wall. This seems to give me a good gait.

Where I always read that hind feet should stand taller than fronts on most or all horses, mine tends to favor being at a lower angle in the back, it's very hard to get the backs to stand up more than the fronts.

The rest seems kind of confusing to me!
Is it correct to think that at hind foot breakover, the front foot should be at the highest point of the arc?
 

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my farrier specializes in gaited horses. owns walkers and rackers. shows them. hes the one that taught me about keeping the fronts shorter on a pacey horse. the backs longer, at a 63-65 degree angle.

the horse came to me with the same type trim from another true gaited farrier. cept he had a little more degree on the back.

this goes against the generally accepted thought that gaited horses need longer front to help with the breakover. this does in fact help with smoothing out the gait some and gives the horse a nice flair in its rack.
but this generally accepted practice does not always work with the pacey types.

a shorter trim on front................it works.
 

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I had a gaited farrier work on my boy for a long time, told me a lot about the angles and breakover time, balancing the hooves and leaving length or takfing toe...

Then he suddenly got hurt and had to retire. Now i just use the local standardbred farrier- lots of racing around here- and you would never know the difference.

Just trim to your horse's leg, and allow his natural gaits to come out :)
 

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I had a gaited farrier work on my boy for a long time, told me a lot about the angles and breakover time, balancing the hooves and leaving length or takfing toe...

Then he suddenly got hurt and had to retire. Now i just use the local standardbred farrier- lots of racing around here- and you would never know the difference.

Just trim to your horse's leg, and allow his natural gaits to come out :)
Application of the KISS Principle. I love it!!! :)

There's a lot of just, plain "balderdash" in circles proclaiming "gaited horse expertise." It is true that for every problem there is a solution that is simple, cheap, and wrong. It is also true that "experts" in any field profit from complexity so complexity proliferates. That means the equine husbandryman must be on constant guard for both types of "charlatans."

G.
 

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that type of reasoning kinda reminds me of an old walking horse buddy of mine. he use to do some shoeing on the side up to about 20 yrs ago.

he says all you gotta do is let the toe grow out and keep the bottoms flat.

not only do i not buy into that type of mentality but ive ridden enough to know the difference.

you might be able to get some horses that will ride any old way they are trimmed and shod, but when you get a horse that needs "science" applied.............its hard to beat a man at his own trade.
 

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In many (not all) instances the longer to goes along with added weight via artificial aids when one states a boxed statement like "lengthen the toe" and etc. Many times the toe is left long but so isnt the heel in conjunction and you get a stilted effect. This increases animation also. Long toes and flat heels can create paceiness. I simply try to stay with the natural angle simlar to the angle of the shoulder giving or taking some as needed. I mkight square off a toe in the back to increase break over depending on the situation.

To long of toes can hinder break over time and create a more pacey effect.
 

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In many (not all) instances the longer to goes along with added weight via artificial aids when one states a boxed statement like "lengthen the toe" and etc. Many times the toe is left long but so isnt the heel in conjunction and you get a stilted effect. This increases animation also. Long toes and flat heels can create paceiness. I simply try to stay with the natural angle simlar to the angle of the shoulder giving or taking some as needed. I mkight square off a toe in the back to increase break over depending on the situation.

To long of toes can hinder break over time and create a more pacey effect.
Trimming to anatomical correctness should always be the starting point. Unless you are altering gait (for the show ring or the like) it's also going to be the end point.

Most Walkers are bred to be pacy because most Walkers today descend from show stock that was bred to pace (and then be "squared up" by devices, soring, etc.). There are lines that have avoided these evils, but you'll have to "look under rocks" to find them. Anytime you see a claim of WGC breeding you'll be looking at a pacy animal (in all probability).

Again, the assertion of hard numbers for desired angles might be right, but is at least equally probable to be wrong Anatomical correctness in angles will be right in the vast majority of cases.

G.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Okay, so possibly I'm on the right track of trimming her towards anatomically correct. For the past 18 months, up until October, she had been trimmed with long toes with acceptable angles. However, I've taken over the trimming and needless to say that I've found the true apex of the frogs and am quite shocked . The hooves looked fine until the frog apex was where it should be. I will be spending a lot of time getting those toes back where they should be.
 

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Trimming to anatomical correctness should always be the starting point. Unless you are altering gait (for the show ring or the like) it's also going to be the end point.

Most Walkers are bred to be pacy because most Walkers today descend from show stock that was bred to pace (and then be "squared up" by devices, soring, etc.). There are lines that have avoided these evils, but you'll have to "look under rocks" to find them. Anytime you see a claim of WGC breeding you'll be looking at a pacy animal (in all probability).

Again, the assertion of hard numbers for desired angles might be right, but is at least equally probable to be wrong Anatomical correctness in angles will be right in the vast majority of cases.

G.
I was talking about when altering. I was adding to the point that "long in the front and short in the rear" is often associated with weight, length (toe and heel....what I call propping up the foot like in Saddlebreds for example.) and etc. esp when talking to a show person or a trainer that also may show thier animals. Yes, you should always trim for anatomical correctness.
 

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id say getting the pace outa a horse is "altering"

hence the need to use angles and degrees. one must have a starting point. and true gaited farriers are the best at knowing where to start.

anatomically correct is all fine and good. but its not the correct answer every time. and this is not in referrence to the show ring.
 

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id say getting the pace outa a horse is "altering"

hence the need to use angles and degrees. one must have a starting point. and true gaited farriers are the best at knowing where to start.

anatomically correct is all fine and good. but its not the correct answer every time. and this is not in referrence to the show ring.
You don't need a farrier to get a horse out of a "pace." You need nothing beyond a skilled rider, correct tack, and patience.

G.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I do believe in a baseline. I do see that sometimes with gaits we do have to do a bit of nip and tuck. I've felt it on my own. I do believe in what you say, too , Guilherme. But I do pay attention to how far I can push her and how long she'll stay in a 4 beat gait. If it's effortless, I know things are good-including the feet.
 
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