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Horses/rough gait or sore

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Question
hello. may i know whether this horse has rough gait or it is trotting sore? she seems to trot roughly i believe. am i correct?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgb-jb8GAE8

Answer
Rohit,

Wow, I don't know where to start after watching the video several times.  A horse's gait is affected by many things.  Your horse is traveling with a hollow back and nose stuck out so it's not using the hind end properly. This can greatly affect the gait.  Running around in circles made judging the gait a little hard too.  By not using the hind end properly and getting it up under the horse, she's pulling herself around with her front end making her very heavy in front.  Her conformation isn't terrible, she's a little straight in the shoulder but has adequate pasterns for shock absorbers.  She needs some basic work to teach her to carry herself correctly which would smooth her gait out a bit.  I didn't really see evidence of soreness, just a horse traveling all "strung out" which will make the gait rougher.  I would suggest a proper bit rather than the rope through the halter which isn't very kind to her mouth and could contribute to her sticking her nose out.

I don't want to discourage you in any way so please don't take offense when I say I would like to see a bit more weight on her too.  She's on the thin side.  With more weight she'd be rounder and easier to ride because you would have more horse under your legs.  

Best suggestion I can give to teach her to use her hind end is working her over ground poles to teach her to collect herself a bit when she's trotting.  It will take time on your part to get her traveling more correctly and you should notice a gait improvement when she does.  Start by working her over ground poles, at least 6 -8 in a series, on a lunge line at first while she figures out how to do it.  You have to adjust the spacing of the poles based on how fast she's trotting.  I rake the area first, trot the horse in hand and use the footprints to indicate where the poles need to be placed.  Once she's familiar with doing them without a rider then start doing it while on her back.  It would be easier for her to carry you if you use a saddle so that you are not sliding all around on her and throwing her off balance.  

I hope this answers you question and gives you some help with correcting the problems.  Her trot may never be really smooth, I couldn't tell from the video, but it will improve.  

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Lyn Kamer, C.E.S.M.T.

Expertise

Training, alternative therapies, saddle fitting problems, behavioral problems, endurance riding, driving, Mustangs

Experience

Horseman of over 50 yrs., certified equine massage therapist, trainer both riding and driving, long distance trail riding and driving. Both endurance and competitive trail riding and driving.

Organizations
American Endurance Ride Assn., Eastern Competitive Trail Ride Assn., New Jersey Trail Ride Assn., Aromatherapists International, American Mustang and Burro Assn., United States Trotting Assn., Standardbred Pleasure Horse Org., US Wild Horse and Burro Association

Publications
Trail Blazer magazine, AERC Newsletter, Hoofbeats magazine

Education/Credentials
Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist, Least Resistance Trainer, Certified Aromatherapist

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