Is stumbling common with gaited horses?

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Is stumbling common with gaited horses?

Post by Sunny Admin on Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:31 pm

I have an 8 year old Racking mare that naturally gaits in the pasture, is very calm, has a s-l-o-w rack when trail riding. She has tendency to bread into a pace when asked to go faster. My problem is that she tends to stumble (front and/or back feet) sometimes following her pasture mate at a walk (the last time she fell to her knees when walking slightly downhill). Is this a common thing (as one of my TWH friends told me) with gaited horses?Should I be holding the reins (and her head) a little higher when going downhill?

~Linda C. (a very novice rider)
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Re: Is stumbling common with gaited horses?

Post by Eric Adams on Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:03 pm

ERIC: Linda,

Some horses are just like people they have a tendancy to stumble and all horses will do it. Most of the time in gaited breeds you will see the more laid back gentle horses stumbling more often than the hyper horses that have a lot of go. You might want to have a vet check to make sure that she don't have anything neurologically wrong that would cause her to have balence or coordination problems. If that all checks out sound the next thing that I would look at is her feet. Horses that stumble are generally dragging their toes on something verses another type of stumbling which occurs by misplacing a hoof. You can trim all of her toes shorter than normal and leave a higher heel which will give her a tendancy to step up instead of stepping out which they will do with a longer toe and lower heel.


When going hill I always try to keep their heads up a little and keep the reins snug but at the same time not pulling on them. The thing about going down hill is that a little stumble can turn into a complete flip over very quickly. When riding down hill or anytime for that matter, when a horse stumbles take a strong hold on their mouth and get their heads up. Have ever noticed when a horse stumbles, most of the time it will fall if its head ever hits the ground, they sort of just give up and go on down when that happens, whether they are in mud, water, or just riding down a hill. But 9/10 times the horse will stay up if you can get its nose and head up in the air. One last piece of advise sense you are a novice rider, when going down hills(on trails that permit), hold the reins in one hand and hold the back of your saddle (cantle) with the other hand. This way if your horse does stumble you will still be in position to pull him up instead of falling up on his neck as he goes to the ground.




Best of Luck,
Eric Adams
Adams Horse and Mule Co.com

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Re: Is stumbling common with gaited horses?

Post by Susan Brown on Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:21 pm

SUSAN: Linda,

Yes, it is common for the gaited horsesto trip more, especially the Walking Horses. But this is something you really do have control over. If you ride your gaited horses like quarter horses, you'll get yourself into some trouble.

When you ride, you need to teach the horse to shift some of his weight to this rear legs. How, you ask? First, through collection. You must have short reins, with contact so you can feel the horse's mouth in your hands. At the same time, at a walk, push your horse forward with your seat and legs, without allowing him to speed up, You hands and seat will say stop, your legs will say go. This will cause him to use his rear legs more. Do this for just a bit at a time on the flat until he learns it.

So when you go down hill, you will ask him to sit back on his rear end, by giving him little gentle half halts with the reins over and over, and leaning back onto his hindquarters. You don't need to hold your hands up, but you do need to keep contact and rein him in a bit, gently, and keep talking to your horse through your reins to keep him slowed up on your way down the hill.

If your horse ever trips while you ride him, then you know your reins are too short, you're perhaps leaning too far forward in your seat, and you're not asking him to drive with his back end. As the horse trips, you can help to keep him from fallind down. I want you to lean back fast and hard, and pull back on the reins gently but firmly, to help him keep from falling forward, While you pull him back up, you will have your heels down, and forward, so you have leverage to pull him back up with, and you won't just fall forward when you pull the reins..

If you learn to collect your horse more, she will be able to gait faster without pacing. You'll build up to little by little.

I hope that makes good sense to you.

Feel free to write again if you have more questions.
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Re: Is stumbling common with gaited horses?

Post by Caroline Siegel-Hoffman on Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:03 pm

CAROLINE: Linda,

This is a common problem with some gaited horsesthey do stumble sometimes. However your case sounds extreme. I would have a vet look at your horse for soundness and EPM to start. Then you are correct to think to ride with a little more collection not raise your hands in the air, but ride with mild contact in the reins. That way if you horse stumbles you only have to lift your hands back and up a few inches to help them keep their balance and not fall to their knees. The most important part for you is to remain balanced in the saddle. By learning to ride centered and with lowered heels you will improve your chances of not getting thrown off balance when she does stumble. You can simply sink down into your heels and seat trying not to let your body fall forward on her neck. This will help her recover quickly and minimize her weight shift forward.
It might be worth a check with the farrier often corrective shoeing can help solve or alleviate some of the stumbling in some horses.
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stumbling

Post by bst on Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:37 pm

Is the horse u necked? This can cause a horse to not be able to get his rear under him well. I have seen many Walkers stumble. It could also be just a lack of balance, ill fitted saddle, toes too long.

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Re: Is stumbling common with gaited horses?

Post by Got_gait on Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:25 pm

What's u necked? OHHHHHHH you mean ewe necked! I agree with what you said tho!

Lee

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Stumblig

Post by bst on Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:45 pm

LOL, Yes you are correct. Ewe necked. Sorry about that! I'm not the smartest cookie in the jar! Embarassed

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Re: Is stumbling common with gaited horses?

Post by Got_gait on Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:23 am

haa. me neither! <-------- dumb blonde. Very Happy

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Re: Is stumbling common with gaited horses?

Post by Iceangel on Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:36 am

My horse used to stumble lots. It can be your saddle fit. Also, after she stumbled bad I was so concerned where her feet were going that I kept looking down. That put her on her forehand and caused her to stumble more. Now I always look ahead.

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