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RE: [RC] Trot Question for the Engineers - heidi

Jody, I'm glad you mentioned this.  You are absolutely right that maturity and fitness tend to develop the adductory muscles so that horses travel wider over time.  I've watched time and time again as green/young horses fatigue during a ride and get narrower and narrower as the day goes by.  A couple of years later, you'll see that same horse, more mature and more fit, finally able to keep his hind legs decently adducted throughout the course of an entire ride--50, 100, whatever.

 The other statement that was making me grind my teeth was about the horses "fearing hitting themselves and so they would widen out".  OK,  I have a "little" bit of experience here to comment.  Being a farrier that has shod Arabs/ endurance horses since about 1986, I can tell you, that IMO they NEVER do this because of fear.  They correct this when two things happen and most of the time both happen.  The farrier corrects the forging problem AND the horse matures and changes the way they travel.  In other words, the horse builds the muscle and conditioning and that alters (somewhat) how they move.  Lots of horses will stop a hind leg interference problem when they develop the back end muscle and become conditioned.  And so I stay PC, for those barefoot folks, the barefoot horse can also be trimmed in the manner, they don't HAVE to have shoes.  :))
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