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Re: Falling horses


>Jim, doesn't lifting the head lighten the forehand?????   Thus easier to
>get balanced.  Linda

Hi Linda,
  The problem is in what we are calling falling or tripping and some of the
disagreements in the posts stem from that distinction.

   Collecting the horse reduces tripping and falling if done before the
horse trips or if the trip doesn't involve both front legs being trapped.
(The lazy horse Karen talked about or some of the others discussed.)

   I was specifically referring to the falling horse where both front legs
are initially trapped. The scenerio goes something like this.  Right front
leg collapses a big Kit Fox den and the leg goes down a long way and is
partially caught.  Because the chest sunk so deep the left front leg hit the
ground on its normal swing forward and isn't where the horse needed it to be
as he moves forward.  So the horse does the best he can to raise his chest
to get at least one leg free while bringing his back legs up to attempt to
raise himself up from the rear.  He raises his chest by dropping his head.
From a riders perspective you feel yourself go weightless as the horse sinks
away from you. It is a sickening feeling as you expect to go all the way
down. Sometimes you do, sometimes the horse walks on his knees and nose and
sometimes he manages to get a foot out in front before hitting both knees.

   I certainly believe in keeping a downhill or heavy forehanded horse
collected to stop the tripping and falling.
But from a physics point of view you can't do it if the front legs are
trapped and that is when I think you need to leave their head alone and let
them try to get out of it.  After that you can keep the collected.

Jim Mitchell

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