Just Wondering…

I’ve done so much research about why my horse was tripping and what caused her to fall at the canter while I was riding her. I kept coming up with nothing. No answers. The pros can’t help. Every. Single. Test done on her and still no answers.

Then today when I rode after her shoes were removed she didn’t trip and she felt confident and we had such a pleasant day. But she was only walking. Lately, at the walk, she was behaving oddly and I believe it was because she was stepping on the backs of her front shoes with her back hooves. (Sounds a little complicated, right?)

So just a few minutes ago I decided to take a look at some sites where people experienced horses that overreached and I found a conversation between people who discussed many experiences with their horses stepping on the backs of their bell boots and down they went! 

My horse wears bell boots because she tends to overreach. I’ve looked at the video where she fell (YouTube “Khyssie Falls”) and when I slow it down there is a point where she makes contact - back hoof to front. Perhaps she’s simply tripping herself. Maybe she’s stepping on her bell boots and that’s all it takes to send her crashing to the ground.

I’m reluctant to take off her bell boots because I don’t want to risk injury. But maybe, just maybe, it will make all the difference in her ability to canter safely. But first, she has to learn not to make contact hoof-to-hoof. 

This has been a frustrating problem but I’m stubborn if nothing else. Yesterday it was again suggested I give my horse to someone who just wants a companion for their other horses and buy another horse. But I can’t imagine finding another horse who is so much a part of my life and my heart as my Khyssie. And so we keep looking for answers. 

Hugs for a perfect trail ride today! 

Hugs for a perfect trail ride today! 

Back to walk/trot. 
We may be getting closer to finding the answers! One of the things I’ve been troubled with lately is a sudden, lurching jerk that Khyssie has been doing on the trail. What in the world? The move is dramatic enough to give me whiplash and I wondered what was going on! If you’ve been following along you know the problem she had with tripping, followed by falling at the lope. So many vets and experts just can’t tell me why. With this recent action she’s been doing I have been close to tears. Could she really have some hidden ailment that is causing mini seizures? Could she be jerking because of a locking stifle? Does she have some really obscure disease that no one has heard of?
Well, it wasn’t that complicated. After researching everything from shivers to stringhalt to wobblers (and beyond) nothing fit the thing she was doing, but it was also very difficult for me to describe, anyway. After sitting down and puzzling over this funny little jerk movement (where she stops at the walk, reaches her neck out and pushes a back leg out quite quickly and with a lot of energy) I wondered… could she be stepping on her front shoe with a back foot? 
Yesterday my farrier came to take my horse’s shoes off - Khyssie was only wearing them on the front - because I wanted to know if she was stepping on them. She does click when she walks which means she makes contact with her hooves and this is also why I put bell boots on her when we ride, so she won’t overreach and clip herself. 
Today, voila! She didn’t do that jerk motion even once and I went on a long trail ride followed by work in the arena. 
So I have concluded. One of the problems Khyssie has had is that she doesn’t get her front feet out of the way of her back feet. (This tends to be a problem with short-backed horses) And, although I’ve never heard of another horse doing this, she was actually stepping on the backs of her shoes on the front with her back toes. This would cause her to stop, because essentially, her front foot was pinned to the ground. A sudden jerk to free her foot, her back leg would slide back quickly, making for a really interesting and uncomfortable moment on her back, and once she got her front hoof free, she was on her way again.
One problem solved - but we continue to search for answers to her falling. No loping right now for the safety of my horse and for me. She has to learn to move off of her rear and not be heavy on the forehand. In this picture she looks hip-high to me, but she’s five years old and probably not in a growing stage but I could be wrong. More collection, more forward movement, more, more… but it’s okay. I have the rest of my life to devote to this mare. I count it all joy. 
And another happy note: She has been flawless on the trails these days!

Back to walk/trot. 

We may be getting closer to finding the answers! One of the things I’ve been troubled with lately is a sudden, lurching jerk that Khyssie has been doing on the trail. What in the world? The move is dramatic enough to give me whiplash and I wondered what was going on! If you’ve been following along you know the problem she had with tripping, followed by falling at the lope. So many vets and experts just can’t tell me why. With this recent action she’s been doing I have been close to tears. Could she really have some hidden ailment that is causing mini seizures? Could she be jerking because of a locking stifle? Does she have some really obscure disease that no one has heard of?

Well, it wasn’t that complicated. After researching everything from shivers to stringhalt to wobblers (and beyond) nothing fit the thing she was doing, but it was also very difficult for me to describe, anyway. After sitting down and puzzling over this funny little jerk movement (where she stops at the walk, reaches her neck out and pushes a back leg out quite quickly and with a lot of energy) I wondered… could she be stepping on her front shoe with a back foot? 

Yesterday my farrier came to take my horse’s shoes off - Khyssie was only wearing them on the front - because I wanted to know if she was stepping on them. She does click when she walks which means she makes contact with her hooves and this is also why I put bell boots on her when we ride, so she won’t overreach and clip herself. 

Today, voila! She didn’t do that jerk motion even once and I went on a long trail ride followed by work in the arena. 

So I have concluded. One of the problems Khyssie has had is that she doesn’t get her front feet out of the way of her back feet. (This tends to be a problem with short-backed horses) And, although I’ve never heard of another horse doing this, she was actually stepping on the backs of her shoes on the front with her back toes. This would cause her to stop, because essentially, her front foot was pinned to the ground. A sudden jerk to free her foot, her back leg would slide back quickly, making for a really interesting and uncomfortable moment on her back, and once she got her front hoof free, she was on her way again.

One problem solved - but we continue to search for answers to her falling. No loping right now for the safety of my horse and for me. She has to learn to move off of her rear and not be heavy on the forehand. In this picture she looks hip-high to me, but she’s five years old and probably not in a growing stage but I could be wrong. More collection, more forward movement, more, more… but it’s okay. I have the rest of my life to devote to this mare. I count it all joy. 

And another happy note: She has been flawless on the trails these days!

7 Signs of Saddle-Fit Trouble | Horse&Rider

Don’t forget to check your tack. Even small discomforts can cause behavior issues. Instead of reprimanding your horse if he or she acts up, check to see if there’s a pain issue first, and then decide how to proceed.

You have treats for us?

You have treats for us?

At the farm where Khyssie is boarded there are many horses and many friends. Nova is the youngest horse there and we all adore her. Gina, her mommy, gives her a lot of love. 
The owner of the barn has a number of retired and rescue horses, and she cares for every one like they’re her children. Where would these horses go if not for such kind people like her? I thank God every day my Khyssie has found such a wonderful place to call home. 

At the farm where Khyssie is boarded there are many horses and many friends. Nova is the youngest horse there and we all adore her. Gina, her mommy, gives her a lot of love. 

The owner of the barn has a number of retired and rescue horses, and she cares for every one like they’re her children. Where would these horses go if not for such kind people like her? I thank God every day my Khyssie has found such a wonderful place to call home. 

“Horses change lives. They give our young people confidence and self-esteem. They provide peace and tranquility to troubled souls, they give us hope.” ― Toni Robinson
Photo by T. Dawn Richard.
Nova and Hannah, friends at the farm. 

“Horses change lives. They give our young people confidence and self-esteem. They provide peace and tranquility to troubled souls, they give us hope.” ― Toni Robinson

Photo by T. Dawn Richard.

Nova and Hannah, friends at the farm. 

Mom, you need to wash this window. I can’t see anything at all. 

Mom, you need to wash this window. I can’t see anything at all. 

This is the story of raising, training and loving a young horse named Khyssie.

I also explore the love of writing. Because I can't be out at the barn all the time.