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Discuss How do you trim your gaited horse's hooves? at the Horse Chat forum - Horse Forums.

I have a RM horse and was told this past weekend that he has a ...
  1. #1
    Senior Member Rebec's Avatar
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    How do you trim your gaited horse's hooves?

    I have a RM horse and was told this past weekend that he has a basic QH trim. He is barefoot. I was at a Rocky Mountain Horse show and noticed that the horses hooves are all longer in the front while the back feet were trimmed short, like my horse's. I know that the RMH show rules only allow for a 4' toe, while other mountain horse circuits allow longer toes. I got the impression that the longer toes added some weight allowing for a more accentuated gait.

    How do you trim your gaited horses' hooves?? Are they barefoot or wear shoes??

    Here is Aspen shortly after a trim. It's not a close up, but you can see the nice rounded trim.



    Here are pics of a RMH at the show....

    Front... look at the long toes


    Back are trimmed short...
    ~~ My Rocky Mountain Horse is my therapist ~~
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    Senior Member+ mftx4's Avatar
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    My MFT's are trimmed for their individual needs, aka, natural. They are barefoot and have been for several years with no problems with gait. My trimmer checks angles every third trim to make sure they're staying on track.

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    Senior Member Rebec's Avatar
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    Yep, natural, that's what I thought Aspen was. I'd never heard 'basic QH trim' before. What exactly do you mean by 'checking angles'??
    ~~ My Rocky Mountain Horse is my therapist ~~
    “Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion." Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Senior Member+ mftx4's Avatar
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    He checks the angle of each leg and hoof to make sure they are alined properly, using an actual gauge. Most are usually a 45 degree angle, but individual horses can be a bit different. I had an older mare that was toed out on all 4 feet. Things like that can be corrected when they are very young, not when they are older. He trimmed her to suit her. She was a bit stiff when he first worked with her but after about 4 trims, that suited her 'way of going', she fox trotted very well.
    I'm sure many farriers and natural trimmers have names for the types of trimming and shoeing they do. They feel that horses in particular 'jobs' need different types of trims. I've never understood trimming and shoeing to enhance gaits.

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    My Tennessee Walker can't handle having long feet, even though many farriers in the area still leave the long toes on the assumption that the horse will "gait better" with them long. If my guy doesn't have close-trimmed, balanced hooves, he quickly begins to a) be prone to thrush and b) start popping in his hocks and c) has problems moving out properly.

    I would never, ever let my farrier alter his trim simply because of his breed or because it might produce a nicer gait under saddle, and I'm glad a I have a great farrier now who takes care of him as an individual. I mean, he might have a flashier gait if the toes were left long, but I know he's healthier when trimmed properly for his needs. He's barefoot too, by the way.
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    Senior Member ChevyGurl's Avatar
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    I was wondering about this! I have been getting "natural barefoot" trims done on my Quarter Horse, now that I have a gaited horse I was wondering if natural would be the wrong way to go...if a natural trim would mess with his gait. My Quarter does great but my Tennessee Walker has been kept long before I got him and he always overreaches. Does he need to go shorter in the back? He is barefoot and does have seedy toe and thrush...
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyGurl View Post
    I was wondering about this! I have been getting "natural barefoot" trims done on my Quarter Horse, now that I have a gaited horse I was wondering if natural would be the wrong way to go...if a natural trim would mess with his gait. My Quarter does great but my Tennessee Walker has been kept long before I got him and he always overreaches. Does he need to go shorter in the back? He is barefoot and does have seedy toe and thrush...
    I have found that keeping my horse's feet short heightens the quality of his gait because he has more reach, more stride. This is especially true when the back feet are trimmed properly - he is more inclined to stride forward and power up the "rear wheel drive" that the Walker is known for.

    In my opinion, the best way to improve the gait of a Walker is to get the horse into good condition and teach him to collect and properly use himself. The majority of walkers that have poor gait, or who pace, are not using themselves properly. They have not developed the muscles needed to sustain their trademark running walk. This is what any Walking Horse owner should strive for - having a fit horse with the muscular conditioning necessary to do what the breed was meant to do, and to have a horse that is on the bit and collected. Trying to heighten the action by leaving the toes long is a band-aid fix in most cases, and the horse's legs and hooves are much healthier when trimmed properly for the individual horse instead of leaving them long simply because he is a Walker.
    When you're weary, feeling small, when tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all. I'm on your side. When times get rough, and friends just can't be found...like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down.
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    Senior Member+ Gottagallop's Avatar
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    where is rick? I am VERY curious... I know a walker whom does best with a rocker toe with more break over. He needs his feet trimmed every 5weeks or he starts to trip.
    I would say trim to the basic needs of the horse.


    edit..

    Do you think your horses is gait is alright? Do YOU think you would want him long like that?

    I guess the longer you leave the feet the more often you would need a trim? So why leave them unnessarily long. .. idk ill just leave it to the exsports
    "However Mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it. It looks poorest when you are richest.The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise."~W~
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