ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: [endurance] horses: uneven leg length

Re: [endurance] horses: uneven leg length

Thu, 11 Jan 1996 14:21:33 -0500

I have a gelding that has about 4000 miles. I don't compete much anymore
with this horse, because he tends to have metabolic problems - doesn't eat or
drink well. Throughout his career, I only pulled him 2 times for lameness
problems. When I began riding him (I raised him from a baby) I didn't notice
uneven hooves or shoulders. After about 2000 miles, I began to notice that
he had a long toe on his left fore. My farrier worked to keep that hoof
upright, but the left heel seemed to move farther and farther under the hoof,
causing the appearance of a long toe. In addition, I noticed that the horse
sometimes would throw me toward his right shoulder, and carry his head
slightly to the left of center. Upon examining the back, I noticed that his
left shoulder was higher than his right.
Take a look at your gelding from the rump, looking toward the withers.
Are his shoulders the same? I believe that before I began competing, my
gelding was fairly even. I believe that I was responsible for his
un-evenness. I posted to only one diagonal, because I didn't know any
better. Once that shoulder became higher, it was difficult to post to the
low side - I felt like I was sliding off to that side, and the horse wanted
me back on my usual pattern. Your problem may be related to your riding
style. Do you post equally to both diagonals? Do you ask your horse to use
both leads at the canter?
I am a self taught rider, and so not very versed in equitation. This
was my experience. I am told you should do circles to the side where the
shoulder is lowest and the heel the highest, and to spend more time posting
to that low shoulder side, and leading with the right lead in order to even
things out. Maybe this is not your problem at all. I just would like to
help, if I can.


Vonita Bowers