Indiana 21 year old Tennessee Walker ridden in  hackamoor and bighorn western pleasure on trails and in round pen by advanced Rider.

Question: Since the beginning of fall, and the leaves have fallen on the
trails, she wants to side-step downhill while trail riding.  It seems
like she is a little concern about the trails being covered with leaves
and the slipping factor.  I do not have hard tack on her shoes because
she is very agressive with the other horses.  How can I make her feel
more comfortable, and stop side-stepping downhill?  It's causing some
concern to my husband for my safety.  Thank you.

From Panelist Laura

 There's a couple of things you could try which may help.  Instead of plain 
keg shoes, put on rim shoes, both front & back.  The rims hold in dirt which 
helps provide more traction than the plain flat shoes.  You could also just 
put on a little borium or drill-tek on just the front shoes and go with the 
rim shoes in back.

You might also consider if she is starting to have more joint or back pain at 
her age and that she may be avoiding that pain rather than just slipping.  If 
you think this might be the case, ask your vet for the best 
treatment/supplement.  If her joints are the problem, you would want to avoid 
too much traction with the shoes since that will increase the stress on her 
joints.  Since this just started with the fall of the leaves in your area, I 
suspect it is mostly due to loss of traction and would try the rim shoes 
first to see if they help.  You could also try riding her in easy boots - the 
rubber can give more traction and the boots can be removed after riding.


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