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[RC] Interference & Forging - k s swigart

Michelle said:

I called him this morning, he said that interference is usually caused
?by something higher up than the foot 
My horse is currently doing BOTH interference and forging.?

In my experience, interference and forging are caused by quite different 
things.? Interference is caused by a less than straight flight path of the 
foot.? This less than straight flight path of the foot can be caused by any 
lateral abnormality anywhere in the leg, including the foot, but not just the 
foot, some horses have crooked legs?and are gonna interfere no matter what you 
do their feet, but some interference problems can be made better or worse by 
changing the lateral balance of the foot.

Forging (I am assuming that we are talking about forging at the trot), on the 
other hand, is caused by a longitudinal imbalance.? Forging is, in essence, the 
equivalent of saying "heavy on the forehand."? This is why some horses only 
start to do it after they get tired.? The horse is spending more time with its 
weight on its front feet than the back, and the back foot is coming forward 
before the front foot has gotten out of the way.? You can change how quickly 
the horse gets its front feet out of the way with shoing by changing the 
breakover of the feet.? However, most farriers make the mistake of speeding up 
the break over of the back feet in an attempt to fix forging (which only works 
if it causes your horse to short stride behind) rather than speeding up the 
break over of the front feet (the ones you want to get out of the way).

However, I have found it to be more beneficial to teach the horse to engage its 
hind quarters and round its back.? Horses the work well from behind don't forge 
because the front end isn't in the way of the back end by being slow.

During the winter she is occasionally barefoot, and early in
?the conditioning season she only has front shoes.

Shoing only the front feet contributes substantially to "heavy on the 
forehand."? If you protect the front feet but not the back feet, the horse is 
going to choose to bear most of its weight on its front feet.? Personally, I 
don't like to ride horses that have protection on the front feet but not on the 
back as asking that horse to then use its hindquarters is something I consider 
to be grossly unfair.

I will often have shoes on the back but not on the front.? I just don't do it 
the other way around (unless there is some therapeutic reason to keep weight 
off the hind end).

But, if I had a horse that just started interfering but hadn't been for miles 
and miles before, I WOULD be inclined to think that it was something different 
in?the shoing job (8 1/2 year old horses don't develop crooked legs) unless 
there were some obvious injury (in the shoulder if the horse is interfering in 
front or in the hip if it is interfering behind).?

If I had a horse that has started forging and it is getting worse, I would 
assume that it was because I was not working it "correctly." (Or that it had a 
subtle hind end or back pathology that was making it disinclined to engage the 
HQ and/or round its back).

I MIGHT consider it to be a neurological pathology if both the things started 
at the same time as both of them CAN be attributed to "incoordination."? And if 
my horse became suddenly and progressivly both laterally and longitudinally 
incoordinated at the same time, I would seriously consider the possibility that 
it had some neurological impairment.

Orange County, Calif.

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