Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
SoftHeartsHardHooves

Building That Hindquarter-Stop Dragging Toes

13 posts in this topic

So my TB gelding is looking great, build a lot of muscle in, toning up nice. But he's still dragging his hind toes at the trot. Sometimes at the walk but not bad. I know he didn't before and riding in a dusty sand arena or all weather ring isn't helping anything. I don't want to throw shoes on just yet and finding a hill to work on is nearly impossible. He's not sore or ouchy and it could just be him lazy, he's collecting, I've put in in a surgicle and side reins and it helped a bit, like take some actual steps with his hind feet then drag the toe.

I'm wondering if anyone has any work out ideas or tips on how to get him to pick up his hind feet. I'll start putting bell boots on him. And if finding a hill to do hill work may be the key then I'll try...

Thanks to all!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

they say that the better a horse can travel sideways and backwards the better he/she will do anything else. are you just going straight or are you varying your daily program?

try playing "stick and ball", unexpected obstacles, varied terrain (up and down hill--fallen branches etc). barring soreness issues it could be that he just needs to pay more attention to where he's going and where he puts his feet. (don't you watch out for him--that's HIS job).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I do vary it up when I ride, it's either a basic w/t/c ride with collection and circles, or I'll throw in some side passing and work on stops and backing up. We go on trail rides here and there and I work him in the sugar sand round pen too. When the ground poles are laid out I'll have him go over those....but he always picks his feet up on them like it's nothing. There's really no varied terrain where I'm at >.< and I don't know where any trails in the woods are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well there is your answer. you'll have to vary the terrain yourself. make those ground poles very, very unpredictable. don't count strides (for him) in between--just throw them out like a STORM would. you'll see what happens. :smilie:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you done hock flexions tests?. Often a horse will drag his back toes if he is sore in the hocks

If he is really moving collected, striding well under himself, he should not be dragging those toes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've put back shoes on him and he's stopped dragging his hind toes... And no I don't know how to do the hock flexion tests.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Instead of using just poles, you could try varied cavaletis like different heights and leave some as poles. If you aren't a jumper this might not help you but doing gymnastics works great for the athletic horse.

Since you jump you could also try courses with bending lines and rollbacks, they are great for keeping his attention and building muscle.

Edited by Pony Jumper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do jump him, but we dont have cavalettis. Just regular poles and jumps. They finally set a course up so I'll rig a little mini ground pole half cross rail gymnastic course when I get back from vacation. Hope it helps. When I first got him he was really weak in the hind end, was stiff and I had to work him out of it and get muscle back. He wasn't really ridden at all before I got him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since your horse seems to pick up his feet when he needs to, I wonder if he is just bored. He may equate a slow trot to a lazy trot. If he seems lethargic, do something to create impulsion such as a brisk rising trot. Then, go back to a sitting trot until you feel the energy wane. Then, go back to the energetic rising trot.

The best exercise to build the strength and flexibility of the hindquarters is the shoulder-in. This is generally done as a three-track movement with the horse bent throughout its body on the arc of a circle with a six-meter diameter while moving in a straight line away from the way it is bent. Introduce the shoulder-in gradually to build up the horse's strength and flexibility or he will develop a faulty way of moving which will negate the benefits of the exercise. A good introduction to such work is Jane Savoie's book "Cross-Train Your Horse". She doesn't actually describe the shoulder-in until her second book, "More Cross-Training", but it is best to bring the horse up to this gradually through the exercises described in her first book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

since shoing corrected the toe dragging, I am led to assume that the problem was with those hind feet being long toed, versus a weak hind end, as shoing is not going to correct the latter.

Trotting over poles is a very good exercise to have ahorse watch where he puts his feet, providing you don't use poles that roll when he hits them, but rather poles solid enough that he will feel it when he raps them.

A simple box, made with three poles works wonders. You set it up so that the distance between the poles on any side are lope spaced (6 to seven feet )You can first trot through them, coming from various directions. Since a jog stride is 3 feet, the horse should have no problem using two strides to go through that box. You then can lope through that box in one direction, make aturn in the direction of the lead you are on, and lope back through that box, over the side rail

Edited by Smilie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since your horse seems to pick up his feet when he needs to, I wonder if he is just bored. He may equate a slow trot to a lazy trot. If he seems lethargic, do something to create impulsion such as a brisk rising trot. Then, go back to a sitting trot until you feel the energy wane. Then, go back to the energetic rising trot.

The best exercise to build the strength and flexibility of the hindquarters is the shoulder-in. This is generally done as a three-track movement with the horse bent throughout its body on the arc of a circle with a six-meter diameter while moving in a straight line away from the way it is bent. Introduce the shoulder-in gradually to build up the horse's strength and flexibility or he will develop a faulty way of moving which will negate the benefits of the exercise. A good introduction to such work is Jane Savoie's book "Cross-Train Your Horse". She doesn't actually describe the shoulder-in until her second book, "More Cross-Training", but it is best to bring the horse up to this gradually through the exercises described in her first book.

This!

I think you really do have to consider the trimming/shoeing angle, but lateral work, especially shoulder in, and REAL forward work (not sure what you mean by "collection" as I see that term thrown around everywhere, often incorrectly) will help. When you want to put him together, remember you will need MORE impulsion, and often more leg, than you would use while riding forward/extended. Anytime you ride front to back, they'll get a little lazy behind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A simple box, made with three poles works wonders. You set it up so that the distance between the poles on any side are lope spaced (6 to seven feet )You can first trot through them, coming from various directions. Since a jog stride is 3 feet, the horse should have no problem using two strides to go through that box. You then can lope through that box in one direction, make aturn in the direction of the lead you are on, and lope back through that box, over the side rail

For similar exercises for the more forwardly oriented english horse, a canter stride should be set at about 12 feet, and trot steps start around 4'6" apart. If you want to set a box so that it is both trottable AND canterable, set poles about 12' apart and come in on a springy collected trot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0