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Training Chains In Gaited Horse's Feet?


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#1 teampenninglady123

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 09:40 AM



Yesterday, One of the guy's at our place had some "training chains" on his Tennessee Walkers's front feet.

I do not have a pic but maybe I can describe them to you:

The base looked like a bell boot...innocent enough in itself... and the entire hoof was covered all around except for the very last ring at the bottom where the shoe is and about an inch above...so you can still see a smidgen of a hoof...but not in the back.. However... I am sure when the hoof goes up and back in a step...the underside of the hoof with the shoe is still uncovered by this "bell."

Now the chains....They were what you typically think of when you picture a chain in your mind. Like the kind you see on a garden gate or an arena gate. Little bit bigger than a bicycle chain but much smaller that a trailer hitch would have. They were 4 links per each strand from coronet band to floor. (I stared intently at this.) And I think I counted abount 10 links across or so total.

I asked what they were for...played dumb like I was not upset...and I was told "to help the horse pick up his feet better when he gaits...he drags his gait too much and it don't look good."

The lady told me a softer version. she said the horse hears the "jingle" of the chains and lifts his feet to the rhythm so he gaits better. Very "Dashing Thru the Snow" version...but I am still frowning.

My thought is...then why not use "jingle bells" why "CHAINS?" questionicon.gif

Isn't this damaging? By the way...this horse looked like a drunk walking in these things and he was a nervous wreck. I don't know the horse...he may already be a tense horse anyway....but he looked like he had a lot on his plate.

Can I have some feedback on this. I am going to post it in the barn...so your deepest feelings on the matter will not go to waste....let 'em rip!!!

Thanks!! huggy.gif
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#2 MyDaddysJag

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 03:59 PM

They are chain action boots. There are also weighted bracelets, and weighted bell boots. They make them for all sorts of horses, including miniatures. Very very common in gaited breeds and driving horses. Every top driving show barn I have been in has had them on their horses. Many work them in chain boots, and keep the weighted bell boots on them in the stalls. The idea of the chains is not to hear the jingle, but to be able to add weight to the foot, and be able to increase the weight when the horse is ready by adding additional links. If the horse is used to its foot weighing more, when it steps it will be able to lift its leg higher, for more action. Some people also use the weighted bell boots for getting more muscle on the chest of a halter horse, they just put front weighted bells on them when they are worked. In the right hands, these can be a great asset. In the wrong hands, they are an accident waiting to happen.
Not saying I agree with any of this, but it is the purpose, and unless you are familiar with the competitive breed show driving world or gaited world, they may seem like an uncommon, cruel, torture device. They're not much different than using different types of shoes to enhance a horses gait.
I'll try to add a picture of the miniature version of chain action boots so others can see what you are talking about.


Chain Action

Edited by corrupt_corpse666, 15 November 2009 - 04:05 PM.


#3 Guilherme

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 04:20 PM

The use of these devices proves at least one thing: the human does not have the slightest knowledge of the proper training of a Walker. Or probably any other breed.

Do these devices cause harm? IMO the door is open on this question. They prove rank training incompetance in that in normal training with horses you apply a stimulus and then adjust that stimulus based upon the horse's response. It's a "on/off" process. It's also an "adjustable" process in that the trainer can increase, decrease, or alter the nature of pressure applied as the horse responds.

The "action device" fails as a training device in that it's always "on." And it's neither adjustable nor can the trainer alter its effect. Whether horse gives a good performance or bad one makes no difference. The chain whacks the foot on every step.

Sadly, this discussion will likely end up in a train wreck, but if one opinion that these things are OK then there's room for at least one other that says they are an abomination.

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#4 robrob

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 05:42 PM

I was told it was to bounce on the feet that have been sored either with chemicals or the fact of having to wear those dumb chains all the time bumping them makes them sore.

I agree if you have to use training devices to much your inept. in fact I watched some videos of tenn walker horse shows, frankly I don't like they way they move or look. doesn't look pretty or fun to me.

natural walkers shows I liked the horses still moved with alot of animation, just not exaggerated or awkward looking.

RRRR

#5 Trinity

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 09:36 PM

Depends on exactly what they were using and how...Mechanical soring certainly happens in the gaited world and plain chains or metal rollars can and will sore a horse over time...especially if used with chemical leg wraps..the heavier the weight of the chain, the more they will sore...I have seen so called trainers use logging chains on horses...then they have to do all this "clean up" before a show because the horse cant have scars and callouses on the fetlocks...the way the old school guys cheat and what they do to the horses really is a dayum shame and a disgrace.

The light action chains that are show legal really are like a braclet however and the original idea for the light chains was the horse tried to step out of the braclet and therefore lifted his feet a bit higher...kinda like when you put shipping boots on a horse for the first time. Do they work? meh..not usually unless the horse is chemically sored to really feel the light chain banging his legs.

But weighted bell boots or even "stretchers" (bungie type weight training device) are hardly something terrible. Do you think that ankle weights on humans working out is terrible? I dont. Adding weight that does not sore is nothing more than incresing the difficulty of the workout IMO and certainly as useful in the horse world as ankle weights for people. :)

Edited by Trinity, 15 November 2009 - 09:38 PM.

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#6 MyDaddysJag

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 02:29 AM

Just wanted to say, I am not for the use of chain action boots. I simply stated what they are, what they are used for, and that they can be harmful int he wrong hands. The trainers I know who use them are using them on shetlands, and no, the horses are not sored. I do not beleive in using the chain boots, but I also dont beleive in many things in different disciplines. That said, I do have a horse who a trainer had wear 2 oz bell boots in the beginning of spring when we fit him for the early shows. They do not flop around the foots like an action boot, simply make his hoofs 2oz heavier. They were used to help muscle his chest, and I know some people use something similar on hunter horses to keep a nice tight tuck on the knees. Flame me all you want, but I personally wear weighted ankle bands when I work my horses for added strength training, and I dont see much of a difference in them wearing safe weighted boots during the workout either.

#7 teampenninglady123

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 06:57 PM

Hey...you may have something there.

I see the comparison with the ankle weights in athelete's...that seems much much more effective and a good muscle builder too...heck...I bet the one's at academy spotr's may even work...

Hmmmmmm.. questionicon.gif

The chains....and now I am hearing about chemicals.....I 'm going to say..Nah...looks too cruel.

I thank ya'll for input.... I may go to academy and price some ankle weights for my thin chested filly. huggy.gif
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#8 Guilherme

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 08:13 PM

Ankle weights on a human and training chains on a horse are in no way, shape, or form similar. They each have a totally different purpose.

Note that I don't say they cause any injury (I don't know that they do). They are, however, the mark of a completely incompetant horseman/woman.

G.

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#9 teampenninglady123

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 08:39 PM

Well...I am not incompetant....so you must not be referring to me,,,we are just chatting out ideas here.

Let's not get testy, honey. flirt.gif

We don't want to pull out our experience level meters on each other....you might want to have a cold one and relax.

But...thanks for your opinion...."everyone's got one...I suppose." angel3.gif
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#10 Guilherme

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 09:01 AM

Yeah, this is a "hot button" issue with me. I'm a trained DQP and have the scars to show my nine years in the "soring wars." I don't know that chains cause injury, but I do know that they are an "action device" not a "training device."

So I think I'll remain testy, even as I do have cold one! winking0073.gif

G.

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#11 teampenninglady123

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 03:27 PM

Wait...let me take a sip of mine......okay...

I meant the ankle weights...as an after thought. If you reread my post/thread, I was in...well..I guess maybe disbelief in what I saw on the horse's foot and had to act like I was interested in it to get info.

I really wanted to cry....fuss...yell at them....whatever.

I post it here and learn in just a few posts that there are chemicals also involved to this matter.

I was inferring that compared to that,...simple one lb. ankle weight that grandma uses when jazzercising to Jane Fonda (showing my age here) or jingle bells instead would be less damaging...if I had to choose.

However....I do not have gaited horses....and am a complete green horse savvy individual when it would come to any other aspect of a horse that I AM experienced in...so, hence the post/thread. That does not mean I am green to horses, dear, and I do not need to prove that to you by name dropping my "horse-creds".

Now...as far as the part about being an irresponsible horse owner/person. As much as I do not know any of you personally...you do not know me. Well, I take that back...I know one who does b/c she is stabled at my ranch right now..."Possum" and her stud , "Crush" is my mare's new beau.

I am not going to ever call anyone outright or backhandedly in an "oh so clever trick of the tongue way" irresponsible as I know was just done and back it up with a few passive-aggressive comments. I am way too old and way to seasoned for that to slide by me, my dear. Sorry, but I will not let it go by the wayside.

You insulted me.... yeah I know...freedom of speech and all....you have the right... but seems to me by your two comments that you lack the morality not to use it. You do not know me....and shame on you....

But the beer tastes great and is less filling....I'll drink to that flirt.gif flirt.gif flirt.gif


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#12 Guilherme

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 04:36 PM

I intended no insult to anyone posting here, unless of course they use a device like was first described. Then I meant exactly what I said. So if the OP feels insulted I apologize for that. But if he/she is using or advocating or defending these devices then the apology is "inoperative."

The OP asked, specifically, for comments. They were made. Short and to the point. Action devices are not training devices. If they were they'd be used until the horse "got it" then returned to the tack room.

Action devices are the province of those who don't know much about training horses. I learned that much from more than a decade of Walking Horse ownership. I know they are used in a number of breeds (including ASBs, Park Morgans, Park Arabs, etc.) and I feel the same way about those folks.

The analogy to human "ankle" weights is one that is commonly made by the defenders of the Big Lick Walker (and its various appliances). It doesn't work there and it doesn't work here, either.

So take offense if that pleases you, but no offense was intended unless you use, advocate, or defend the use of action devices. Then, to quote the Immortal Louis L'Amour, "Read it any way you like." winking0073.gif

G.

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#13 teampenninglady123

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 04:56 PM

Annnnnnyyyyywwwwaaaayyyyyyy.......

duh.gif
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#14 audrey-mae

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 05:51 PM

OP you asked for people to let their opinions be told, and then you took statements that were not made to you, and took them personal? I dont think you need to be offended or insulted no comments were directed at you, it looks like a simple misreading and a misunderstanding.

I would be very suspicious of any walker person using chains on their horses, especially one that looked to be a nervous wreck and was moving oddly. Does this person wrap their horses legs at night? If so pay close attention and see if they put any substance on under the wraps, or if you need to be more sly listen for plastic wrap. Do you ever see them soaking their horses legs in buckets of liquid?

How is crush doing? Is he on the road to recovery from his founder?
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#15 teampenninglady123

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 05:58 PM

Hmmmmmmm....troll??????....hmmmmmmmmm???? questionicon.gif
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#16 teampenninglady123

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 06:03 PM

Some days he is gimpy....she still can not ride him yet. Turns him out daily. Stall is dry as a pin. On the blandest food for his problem. She is scratching her head.

I wish he would get better. He is soooooo fine! I'll tell her you asked. huggy.gif

I just hate "cred-droppers" with blank profiles. That's all. The "tude" didn't help. Someone is doing a thread on chronic story-tellers in the debate section. Hmmmmmmm! rolleye0014.gif
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#17 audrey-mae

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 06:31 PM

No I dont think guilherme is a troll. He/she has been around a while and has provided some valuable insights to HC over the years. I dont think his/her behavior has been out of line in the least in this thread. Did you want peoples opinions on using chains or not lol? It does seem you are taking the side of the chain users, because you are getting so insulted at Guilhermes comments about their knowledge of the subject. You said it yourself you dont know anything about it, so why not take the word of someone who does?

Just saying from an outside view, you are taking offense to things that were never directed at you.
Show me your horses and I will tell you what kind of person you are.

May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and the rains fall gently on your fields.

Run Chicken Little RUN!

Knowledge is power
I met boardbuddies! Bryna, lpalomino, scapoose, wrangler, mydakota, Andi, Reiner0227,silverdreamer, Rodentra, desperate horsewife, Remy, xpasocorto, PacaPaca, Equuzen, Lightning strikes twice, and VAQHMA!
Mandy Eagle '03 Paint mare
Elfin Magic '86 Saddlebred mare
Settn the Hotrod Bar '07 QH gelding
Raisn the Hotrod Bar '08 QH gelding
Meko '88ish pony mare

RIP Sweet Vaga
Poco Vaga Bar
4/2/86-3/27/09
RIP Phoenix
CT Booger
2/2/02-8/28/09

http://fishycitysupplies.webs.com/

#18 littlebayroan

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 08:28 PM

Guilherme, thanks for your post. The stupid, disgusting stuff you describe is why my incredibly talented SO got the heck out of Dodge when it came to training walking horses, and he is one of the best horsemen I have ever met - he simply would NOT do what it took to "win" at the shows - and he was living in Shelbyville, TN at the time.

We were watching the local cable access channel the other night while this trainer rambled on and on about the "beauty" of a horse in it's "natural" gait, while behind him, this horse on 6 inch pads went round and round a little grass arena. SO looked at me and said, You just don't even want to know how hard that is on that horse.

Even if the horse isn't chemically sored, the prolonged use of pads and/or chains to get the fake "action" in the gait puts so much stress on a horse's back and hind legs, that so many of them end up permanantly lame - back problems, blown stifles, it's disgusting because it is SO PREVENTABLE. I've seen scars left from chains - on front legs and mid-cannon on the insides of hind legs. Jingle bells, my appaloosa. Not to mention the stress colics and the ulcers they develop from the pain in their bodies and the stress on their minds........which, if this horse in question in the OP is really that uncomfortable under saddle and off his feed, might be something for the owner to check into.

A horse that is naturally gaited doesn't need chains to "learn" to gait - riding and training can enhance what's already there without them. If he doesn't gait on his own, chains won't put a gait into him, period. A GOOD farrier who understands hoof balance and trims to the horses conformation is extremely important in a gaited horse - a balanced, quiet rider who can shift their weight to enhance a gait (back, forward, or side-to-side to subtly adjust a young horse who isn't 'hitting' quite right).......So much more important than any gadget. Sometimes a young horse (especially a big young horse) just needs time to find his legs with a rider on him - and for a gaited horse, lots of long, slow rides do a whole lot more over time than any man-made "training" device. IMO, the use of chains is no different than the head tying up/down/around that goes on in the western pleasure world to force a fake headset, but they can leave a much more visible mark on the horse.

Edited by littlebayroan, 21 November 2009 - 09:20 PM.




#19 Trinity

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 01:50 AM

Errr.....Weighted bell boots ARE certainly like ankle weights, as are the surgical tubing "stretchers" that some folks use. I have no problems with either and you certainly dont use them all the time or show in them. They are training devices. I also dont have a problem with roller balls that are NOT set to roll and whack the fetlock...ie adjusted above the ankles with no motion to them.... Same as an ankle weight

No one here that I saw said chains are like ankle weights. I said the first comment about them and I said weighted bell boots and stretchers are akin to an ankle weight....nothing else...

I think the show chains are silly because without soring they do pretty much nothing except make a noise IMO...The little show chains ARE like a braclet but again, without soring, what in heck do they do? Horses eventually stop trying to step out of shipping boots and they also stop trying to step out of the "braclets" in a few trips down the aisle...pointless devices IMO except maybe the jingle...I do believe that some horses like the rhythem and respond to it.

Make sure your reading what is written and not what you think you saw ;)

Edited by Trinity, 22 November 2009 - 01:55 AM.

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#20 MyDaddysJag

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 03:55 AM

Maybe the testy comments were made at me since I said that I do use the weighted bell boots. I'm not upset over someones tunnel vision, so dont worry about it either. I NEVER said that chain action boots are like human ankle weights, because they aren't. Im pretty sure I said I dont agree with the use of them. The weighted bell boots on the other hand I feel are almost identical to a human weighted ankle boot. Mine are a normal neoprene bell boot, weighted with 2oz sandbags in them, and my horse isnt sored in any way. I put them on my horse when he is free lunged. Honestly, they do not effect my horses gait. If they did, I wouldnt use them because this is a halter horse. He would look pretty stupid walking in a halter ring if it effected his gait. Again, Im not using them for gait, the horse is not a riding horse, we use them for building muscle in the chest.

#21 Guilherme

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 09:15 AM

QUOTE (corrupt_corpse666 @ Nov 22 2009, 09:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Maybe the testy comments were made at me since I said that I do use the weighted bell boots. I'm not upset over someones tunnel vision, so dont worry about it either. I NEVER said that chain action boots are like human ankle weights, because they aren't. Im pretty sure I said I dont agree with the use of them. The weighted bell boots on the other hand I feel are almost identical to a human weighted ankle boot. Mine are a normal neoprene bell boot, weighted with 2oz sandbags in them, and my horse isnt sored in any way. I put them on my horse when he is free lunged. Honestly, they do not effect my horses gait. If they did, I wouldnt use them because this is a halter horse. He would look pretty stupid walking in a halter ring if it effected his gait. Again, Im not using them for gait, the horse is not a riding horse, we use them for building muscle in the chest.


A question: how are four ounces (the combined weight of the boot and sandbags) of weight going to build muscle on the chest of a 1000 pound horse? Continuing the human analogy, it would be as if the human worn wight was 4 oz./5 (the rough differential between a 1000 pound horse and a 200 pound human). Even if you could put a iull pound on the foot that would equate to roughly a human wearing a piece of cosmetic jewlery. The action itself will alter musculature, but that weight seems de minimis when compared to the weight of the entire animal.

Is there any independant confirmation that this works? Or is it just a "tradition" that folks follow?

G.

P.S. I had to use wrist weights a while back as part of a physical therapy program; they were a lot more robust than cosmetic jewlery and ranged from two pounds to ten pounds.
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#22 Trinity

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 12:25 PM

Strechers will absolutely build muscle and definition on a horse 100% used correctly...Its like a bungie workout.

and I believe that it isnt so much the amount of weight so much as what the horse percieves and uses his body differently with the weighted bell boots. Same as a regular shoe and a slightly heavier shoe. Wear a pair of tennis shoes vs say a pair of boots...You body will move differently, albit slightly, in each even tho the weight is not that different really...not the greatest analogy but....

So long as there is no pain, i think it doesnt really matter if it makes a difference or not....
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#23 SaddlebredRider

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 12:10 AM

Here is something I got from another (ASB)forum:

QUOTE
Stretchies- - Pros: Increase stride, can free up the shoulder(aid in rolling out), can slow down a game horse and back them out of the bridle. Can also assist a rider in learning how a horse should feel. Can force a horse into the correct frame or they can help a gaited horse catch their trot. They can also assist a slow to warm up horse. Cons: Can cause pitching, winging or labored/broke in half and or walking behind. Also known as dream breakers! Can give you a false sense of your horse’s ability.
Dog Collars (Leathers)/Light Chains- Idiot proof! Always start with the lightest. Less is more! Pros: Can improve cadence, gain motion, and help a horse use their legs. They can be used behind to encourage a horse to rack. They can also be used on the front on a naturally gaited horse to break up the rack (pace) and/or enhance the trot. Can encourage one to take a bigger step behind as well. Cons: Can cause pitching in some horses.
Heavy Chains- Used progressively and with caution. I do not use these often. Pros: Can be used to help determine shoeing weight and/or changes. Mainly to even out motion and can be tried when light chains are not effective. Cons: Can be misused when too much weight is used and cause labored movement and pitching.
Weighted Bellboots- Pros: Can be used to determine shoeing needs (lead, etc). Also used much like chains in the naturally gaited horse to break up the rack(pace) and encourage trotting. Can increase motion/stride and help prevent a horse from overreaching. Cons: Can cause labored movement and pitching.
Running W’s- Can be beneficial in experienced, trained hands. HOWEVER, when misused can cause damaged muscle structure, and destroy the horses way of going.

Edited by SaddlebredRider, 23 November 2009 - 02:18 AM.

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#24 MyDaddysJag

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 02:58 AM

Guilherme,
Before you start a pissing contest with someone, get your facts straight. I NEVER said I was working a 1000 lb horse. Infact, my horse is 175 lbs when fit, and I will look for some before and after pictures and see if that's not proof that this works. I must be doing something right, my horse has a HOF in halter, is a previous halter horse of the year, over 225 points in halter, and multiple time national champion in halter. I didn't realize that you show this caliber of halter horses to know how use weighted bell boots will help to add refinement in muscles on the chest.

#25 Guilherme

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 06:10 AM

Are you nunning "minis?" And using weights on "minis?" The mind boggles.

As far as the ASB explantions are concerned what those folks do is their business. But even the very explanations carry with them the reasons why these things are Bad Ideas if you choose to read them.

My opinions remain unchanged.

G.
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#26 Trinity

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 02:25 PM

Labored movement....hmm sounds like me when Im working out and reaching the end of a session and tired from the exertion...Kinda the point of working out isnt it?

The "thing" itsself is not inherently bad...Its all about the correct application of it...
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#27 Cheadle Chick

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 05:07 PM

I've been kind of following this thread but haven't replied yet.

I think that if you've got to use anything like a chain around a horse's feet to "train" them to move properly or better, then he just isn't a naturally good mover. Chains are a "crutch" for natural talent. If it was natural, you'd see the horse doing it out in the pasture. I doubt that "spider walk" is natural at all. Nor does it look comfortable to ride (isn't that the idea of a TWH? It moves fast and you can ride it all day cause it's so smooth?) all hunched forward trying to stay with the movement.

I have a question for those of you that have experience with gaited horses (particularly TWH's). I was watching a video of an American "flat shod" TWH not too long ago, the thing moved like a spider in a hot pan. I used to show TWH's up here in Canada and NONE of our horses moved like that. We had several Versatility Champions, so they were really good horses and man could they walk. So why the difference between the "US" and "Canadian" flat shod horses? The rules on shoeing are the same from what I've seen. So why the difference? My first thought was that perhaps our judges and governing bodies are tougher on soring and manipulative training procedures and people follow the rules closer up here. Or perhaps it's just "the fashion" down there. I dunno. I've gotten answers such as "Well obviously the Canadian horses aren't as good!" which i don't buy.

QUOTE (corrupt_corpse666 @ Nov 23 2009, 08:58 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Guilherme,
Before you start a pissing contest with someone, get your facts straight. I NEVER said I was working a 1000 lb horse. Infact, my horse is 175 lbs when fit, and I will look for some before and after pictures and see if that's not proof that this works.

I would like to see pics of a 175 lb horse.... Picturing someone riding a horse that small makes me not so worried about the leg weights or the chains anymore. duh.gif
Now really, what would I spend my money on if I didn't have a horse?

#28 littlebayroan

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 07:42 PM

Cheadle Chick,

There are some (probably a bigger percentage the bigger the show) flat shod horses that are ex-padded horses.

There are also those who sore a flat shod horse, which goes on, on EVERY level around here. You can show up to a saddle club show and watch someone ride their TWH on pavement back and forth for 4 hours, horse is barefoot, then go trim his toes in short and slap a legal set of shoes on him - horse is road foundered, but man does he pick up those feet, and without a true inspection that goes above and beyond looking at the shoe, no one's the wiser. sick0022.gif

I suspect the farther north/east you go, the less common this is - just as you find some of the purest, old blooded, truly gaited walking horses far from TN. I may get slammed for saying it, but I've had more than one lifelong TWH trainer/owner/breeder say that the bigtime show breeders have bred the gait out, and now they breed pacey horses that "require the package" (i.e. pads and chains) to make them gait. Sick, sick, sick.



#29 MyDaddysJag

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 12:58 AM


There's my 175 lb horse.

For size comparison, here he is in all his winter wooly wonderfulness, not conditioned, straight from a winter on pasture.


Don't worry your little head, im pretty sure If you read a few of my posts, you'll see that this isn't a riding horse....

#30 Guilherme

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 10:51 AM

Just out of curiosity I weighed my watch (A Swiss Army offering with a metalic bracelet). It weighed four oz. I then got out a pound package of black eyed peas and played with them for a few minutes. I could feel the resistance of the package as I moved my arm, but it did not change the way the arm moved.

So I'm still of the opinion that weights on the end of equine limbs (mini or otherwise) will not appreciably affect that limb or associated structures. Reports to the contrary must be viewed in that light (unless confirmed by unbiased, third party sources).

Streatchies are another issue. I tried one of those, too (left over from physical therapy from a year ago). Even at light weights they do alter the way the arm moves. So they might, in proper hands, constitute a worthwhile training device. But I don't believe that the "resistance" they offer will do much for strength training in a full sized horse.

One of the saddest chapters in the history of the Walker is the rise of soring in the light shod and flat shod horse. There is a strong movement to make these "JV Big Lickers" and use of devices, legal and illegal, toward that end has increased dramatically. Several years ago I was at a trail ride in Middle TN when the wife of a notorious "sore lick trainer" showed up for a five mile ride on a clearly sored up Walker. She didn't get out of the trailhead before the horse showe lame and "trail boss" excused her, to the curses of her husband ("GD it, don't you know who I am...you'll never work in this town again...yada...yada...yada...").

The last Walker show I attended (a couple of years back) demonstated similar trends. Indeed, when USDA arrived on the second day, entries declined by more than half and there were no "names."

Returning to the original question the "exercise" value, if any, of the action devices the OP observed does not address the question of their use as "training devices." My opinion remains unchanged on that score.

G.

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