forging(back heels clipping front ones in a gait)

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forging(back heels clipping front ones in a gait)

Post by Sunny Admin on Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:35 pm

Hello and thank you for this site access:



In NE Pa. I have a big black TW named "handsome" and he is as inteligent and responsive as I have ever ridden. He is 8yrs old, just proud and spirited enough to look the part. He has gained too much weight in the last year, easy keeper, looks like a lite draft horse and has suffered white line disease which I battled fiercely and hopefully won.Thus the result for no riding for months. His hooves have totally grown out and he seems very sound. Now that its winter he is free with the herd of 7 and is the BOSS MAN.



When he walks out into his gait he clips the front heels with his back some times. Is there a solution or a reason to this problem? And with his ration of feed, 1/2 scoop 1 lb with free access to hay, he hasn't lost any weight in the dead of a cold winter. Do I need to separate him, as he will be very upset, and controll his hay? or take away all his feed? In a pickle for Handsome.
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Re: forging(back heels clipping front ones in a gait)

Post by Susan Brown on Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:32 pm

SUSAN: Hi, Patty,



It sounds like Handsome really stays true to his name.



Regarding his feed, I would suggest you send this portion of your question to the veterinarian in our magazine, and ask your vet. I am no expert, but I'd say if he is not losing any weight, you should reduce his feed further. If he is not a heavy worker, he does not need grain, although I can't see how one pound that you feed him could make a difference in his weight. I would probably substitute the grain for a nutritional supplement. This is my lightly educated advice, be sure to ask your vet the next time he/she is out.



Since his is BOSS man and running the herd, and would be upset to be pulled out, it sounds like he's perhaps got a big chip on his shoulder. Often times this will coincide with his relationship with you. If he is well above you in the pecking order in his mind, he will be more likely to become a bully in the herd. If you make him respect you, he will likely respect his herd more and stop bullying, as he is taught that he is not invincible. Taking him out of the herd will likely do him some good. Otherwise, how do you think he will act when you start riding him again and take him out from the herd then? Sounds like he needs some good natural horsemanship groundwork to teach him respect.



Regarding Handsome's "clipping" in the pasture, in which the toes of his back feet clip the toes of his front feet, or his heels, this action is known as "forging". which can be caused by long toes. Be sure he has his hooves trimmed by a farrier every 6-8 weeks.Tell your farrier about this. He/she will likely square off the toes in order to help prevent the forging. It does not normally present a problem with your horse in general. If he is getting sores on his heels, be sure to put bell boots on him to prevent further injury. Forging happens only when the horse is very uncollected. When you ride your horse, you will of course want to collect him to move him out in a athletic, healthy manner. Doing so should eliminate the forging under saddle.



I hope this answers some of your questions, Patty
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