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RE: strange tripping

On Date: Fri, 27 Nov 1998 00:51:20 -0600 you wrote:

>>I have a horse that has four times stumbled, gone down on both front
knees, actually made himself fairly parallel to the ground and gone on four
or five steps in this position. In this position, I just went along with
him until he got back up. The people I was with at these times all thought
this was one of the strangest trips they ever saw. Anybody out there have
any experience with this?<<

	Actually, I've had two generations of the disconcerting experience of
riding a horse that is still continuing forward motion on its knees for
several strides while it recovers from a "trip".

	In fact, I knicknamed the originator "Spookahontas Tripsalot".  This was
some time ago and I naively bred two foals from this mare because of her
other wonderful qualities.  The results were appropriately knicknamed
"Spookahontas" and -- you guessed it.....  

	Well, I sold "Spookahontas" who was quite surefooted, despite his
insistence on low heels... Guess who I kept!  

	This mare is now 14 and eight weeks ago I wondered if she'd pushed her
tripping once too far.  Again, she has many wonderful qualities, posessed
of a phenomenal recovery rate.  She takes care of herself, most of the
time....  However, she has learned to conserve herself and wastes no energy
lifting her feet to cover the ground... she also has one white front foot,
and just about the time she is due to be shod, I have to be aware of her
tendency to trip, particularly since she has this wonderful, rhythmic 8 - 9
MPH coasting trot that is like a metronome.

	Well, we were heading out to pick up the tail end of the 50 Mile Ride at
Biltmore to take over as drag rider (we'd already had a good time with her
in harness at a practice Combined Driving Event -- one of her other
careers) and I took my eyes off the trail to query a rider on a parallel
trail as my mare found that rock with her knee's name engraved upon it.   

	I expected that we'd manage to come back up to hooved travel, but things
deteriorated.  When I surveyed the damage it looked as though someone had
tried to sever her knee with a blunt instrument.....  Yuk!

	Well, if you've got to have Murphy working against you, have it happen
less than a mile from an AERC ride treatment vet!!!  Surprisingly sound, my
mare practically pulled me down the trail (after all, we were heading back
to the trailer).  Within 35 minutes she was being treated, and I credit
that speed with the success of her recovery, though I learned later that
she'd severed an extensor tendon in the accident, (Fortunately she has two
extra!!!) and she's been sound througout, even though the wound is not
completely closed over yet  (sutures were out of the question, and the
width of the laceration resulted in a huge sagging of the entire covering

	Bottom line -- I've always asked my farriers to keep my horses trimmed
short in the toe, setting shoes back, etc.  THIS time, I asked him to
experiment with the four point trim, saying that I'd prefer never to see
her travelling with less action than a hackney!!  Well, what's interesting
is that she is carrying herself so much better...  We resumed driving her
after four weeks -- I can't bring myself to ride her until she's healed as
much as possible.  We've had no tripping.  She's now been shod with a shoe
that looks like the photos of a "New Balance" shoe and continues to handle
herself with better self carriage than ever......

	I suggest that you do a critical analysis of your horse's conformation --
is it at all down hill, or does it have a low head carriage??  Look up some
of the literature on the "Natural" trim, etc. --  

Good luck

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