Getting my horse to pick up her feet at the canter

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by Kandl.EQ, Nov 17, 2017.

  1. Kandl.EQ

    Kandl.EQ Full Member

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    My horse has a major problem with dragging her feet, especially above a trot. She even does it when galloping in turn out. Her hooves are never more than a few inches off the ground. She has crazy scope over jumps, maybe just unmotivated on the flat? Is there a way I can get her to pick up a more lively canter, or is it just the way she’s built?
     
  2. Duffy1

    Duffy1 Full Member

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    We used to do a lot of pole work with horses that wouldn't pick up(wooden poles, about four inches high, lying in grids on the ground, spaced one step apart and adjusted to the sized step of your horses) - but always suspect an underlying problem before forcing her to pick her feet up over trot poles. Sometimes, if they are out in the back somewhere, it can cause them to drag their hind legs a bit. Also, ensure she's not too straight in the hocks (post hocked) as that can also cause the lack of impulsion behind that is like 'dragging hind hooves'.

    If there's no underlying issue, then lots of long and low (encouraging your horse to engage the hind quarters and power forward with her nose reaching for the ground) can build up her back and hindquarters and get the power back in to her stride, along with work over trot pole grids. We also worked our show horses in fairly rough country and lunge rein work was done on dam banks or through creek beds to make them pick those feet up. Some horses are just lazy because they can be, and need to be worked in ways that have them engage those hind legs.
     
  3. Kristal H

    Kristal H Senior Member

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    So I looked at a black mare that you have another post…She is contracted on her front feet and up on her toe, this is going to cause foot pain. Has she been shod since you have had her home? Did you get a pre-purchase exam with x-rays?
     
  4. Kandl.EQ

    Kandl.EQ Full Member

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    She has been shod, and she was barefoot when I bought her. I shod her because she started getting sore on her front hooves after a short short short trim farrier got a talking to afterwards haha. Unfortunately x-rays weren’t part of our vet check before I bought her They normally would have been, but she’s been living at the same barn (the one I keep her at now) with the same instructor and she said she hadn’t had any health problems before. I’ll ask a vet to come down and get those done. Thanks so much!!
     
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  5. Kandl.EQ

    Kandl.EQ Full Member

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    Ok! I think that post-hocked idea could definitely have some merit with her. I’ll get someone down to check them out, and her front legs probably as well. Thank you!
     
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  6. Kristal H

    Kristal H Senior Member

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    Her getting very sore on the after a trim....is a big clue that her coffin bone is close and pressing on the sole...and that she needs to get front feet x-rays.
     
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  7. Rhythm 'n Blues

    Rhythm 'n Blues Senior Member

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    The feet/ trim in the photos of your “name” thread are absolutely atrocious!! This horse needs a really good trim, and likely some more vet work up.

    Toe dragging is not something to be taken lightly. Could be a muscle issues, a chiro issues, a saddle fit issue, a joint issue or a foot issue. But don’t leave it - this would be something that should have been looked into prior to purchase.
     
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  8. Kandl.EQ

    Kandl.EQ Full Member

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    She didn’t do it nearly as bad before the purchase, like even a little bit so I didn’t think about it. (Plus I was surprised with her, if I’d have known we were buying her I would have gotten her checked up BEFORE I bought her.) To be honest I think the trim sucks too, she’s in a program with a barn-wide farrier and I’m not sure how it works to get her out but I think I’m gonna find her a new one cause yikes. I’m gonna get a chiropractor down here anyways to check her out, that could help a lot. I’ll definitely get a vet for x-rays and a simple look over, too. Thank you!
     
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  9. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Must see video. Usually it's more about how they're ridden.

    Just exactly how high do you want her to pick her feet up?
     
  10. Rhythm 'n Blues

    Rhythm 'n Blues Senior Member

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    While I’m never one to knock getting any extras done, I’m going to be super honest here. Yes the Chiro would help her, but IF the reason for her being “out” is her feet/trim, then you’ll be wasting your money.

    I’d be looking at farrier & vet 1st for this one. Get some X-rays of the feet done so that the vet & farrier (new farrier NOT this current one) can work together. Then adding chiro & massage into the mix is likely to be the smartest train of action. Of course this is all based on what has been posted here - which I’m sure is just a little “snap shot” in the horses’ overall condition/state/history.
     

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