|Alabama 5 year old Spotted Saddle Horse/TWH
ridden in walking horse bit and Trooper saddle on farm roads, pasture by
Question: We raised the horse here as a pet. He has never been
a problem other than being a little lazy. Im 52 years old with a
bad hip so the lazy is not a problem for me. I use horses to run
birdogs (field trials), just want a smooth and safe ride. My problem
is that he stumbles. A few times he has fell on the front end to
his knees. I dont know much about horses and I know even less about shoeing.
I was hoping that some of you knowledglable horse people could recommend
a farrier in my area who knows corrective shoeing measures for gaited horses.
I just dont know who to trust. I love that old horse and want to be
able to ride him. I live in Northwest Alabama and would be willing to trailer
the horse to the right farrier. Please try to give me a name and
phone number and not the name of an association.
Thank You, Charles
From Panelist Bob
I suspect that your horse's main problem is his laziness. I have had
people contact me in the last year with this very problem. I tell them
have their horse trimmed to his/her natural angle and shod with flat
shoes. I then tell them to carry a riding crop and tap their horse
with it if
they stumble. Four of them got back and told me that this worked fine.
that continued to have problems, we had the toes slightly rolled.
From Panelist Lukka
One thing to think about, is that lazy horses often stumble because
"falling asleep" and stop thinking about the trail and what they're
Just as if we're out walking and not watching the trail, and as we're
own thoughts we might stumble over a pebble. In those cases the
horse has to
be kept tiny bit more active, let it go a bit in serpentines once in
stop and go without a direct nessesity, just to let the horse do different
Worth a try.
From Panelist Stella
I do not live in that area, but one of the best people to ask would
veterinarian for a suggestion on farriers. He is likely the most familiar
with a number of them firsthand. While lazy horses are more apt to
especially if their toes are too long or lateral balance is off and
possibly interfering, it is also an early symptom of EPM,a neurological
degenerative disease. You may want to have the vet take a preliminary
and he can likely evaluate the hoof angles and balance at the same
Perhaps the horse is not so much lazy as not feeling well, so it is
at least rule out this possibility for your own peace of mind; EPM
be controlled with medication if caught early.
To help develop your trust and judgment of farriers, it is always a
idea for owners to educate themselves as much as possible in recognizing
well-trimmed naturally balanced hoof. There are a number of good farrier
sites on the web with information and illustrations to help you, for
From Panelist Liz
In regards to trimming and shoeing this horse it would be no different
than any other breed. Correct angle in relation to the pastern,
balanced from side to side and a normal toe length as with any other
breed. Please don't be trapped in thinking gaited horses need a gaited
farriers. Any farrier that has had a good education and understands
equine structure and looks at each one as and individual should be
able to do this horse.
It is also possible that his feet are not the reason for his stumbling
but lack of conditioning or just being lazy , not paying attention
picking up his feet are. In this case maybe wake him up some and ask
him to use himself more . Some good exercises such as going over
ground poles, working simple patterns such as serpentines and figure
8's . Anything to keep him alert and paying attention to you and where
he is going.