So, my daughter would trot with fairly short reins but not a lot of contact, looking for a slow - in fact very slow - trot. We're not worried about head position or softness at the trot yet - first we want her to self-regulate her pace. One thing at a time. As my daughter said, at this point there's no trot that is too slow - adjusting for forward with Maisie isn't an issue as she's all forward all the time - no leg is required. We want Maisie to self-regulate her trot, and to also respond to a soft half-halt. As soon as Maisie thought about speeding up - but before she actually did so - it is possible to feel this but it's hard to describe - my daughter would circle her in a small enough circle to cause her to think about her feet and about rebalancing, and would continue to circle until the thought (again this is a matter of feel), not just the feet, was slow and soft. There was no hanging on her mouth or bracing against her - just giving her a chance to figure it out on her own. Then straight again until the thought of rushing formed again, and repeat. The circles I was doing were also too large, allowing her to continue to rush and build momentum - they needed to be about 10 meter circles to work well. This can be hard on her stifles, but she's coping well.
I got back on and was able to work with her successfully in both directions. Today, we didn't put together long strings of correct slow trot, but I rewarded her for being able to take 8 or so slow straight steps in a row in each direction. Tomorrow we're work on being able to do longer straight stretches and a 20-meter circle without rushing. It's lovely to have a horse with so much forward, but sometimes it's a challenge.
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Cheyenne in a comment yesterday asked a question about the picture of Dawn's shoe - she notice that it had four nails on each side and also didn't have a toe clip. Since the farrier came to trim Noble and shoe Dawn this morning, I took the occasion to ask him some questions. Those of you with farrier experience (I'm thinking of you, Mrs. Mom, if you're interested), please chime in with comments/thoughts/different ideas if you have them. My knowledge of farrier issues is limited - I know what I know because I've dealt with it, but that's all and there's plenty I don't know.
Here are some of the questions I asked, and his answers as best I can remember them (all inaccuracies are my fault):
Why would you use 4/4 nailing, or 3/4?
He said this was very much a matter of farrier preference, but that he would not use 4/4 nailing with a horse with long narrow feet - the last nails would be too far back towards the heel. Dawn has very broad, round feet, and so the 4th nail isn't too far back and provides some extra insurance against her taking her shoes off (it didn't work this time), and at her last shoeing her walls were a bit crumbly and the extra nail was indicated. He often does 3/4, alternating between shoeings with the 4 on the outside or inside.
He says when he was starting out as a farrier a number of years ago, he was taught to do toe clips in front and side clips in back, but now rarely does toe clips. Since the toe tends to grow much faster than the heels, a toe clip tends to move the shoe forward as the foot grows, resulting in heels that spread over the shoe margins. He also says that toe clips tend to break off, making the shoe unusable for a reshoeing.
When does he use side clips?
When a horse like Maisie has squared off toes (as she does in front with her Natural Balance shoes to improve her breakover), the shoes tend to want to shift backwards with usage, and the side clips help stabilize the shoe.
He also said that shoeing is a trade-off - in order to shoe you do damage the hoof wall. He said that a horse shouldn't be shod unless there's a reason due to how the horse is being used or due to specific issues of hoof structure and quality - if a horse can do well barefoot that's preferable. My relationship with my farrier has developed and improved over time, for which I'm grateful. He's also willing to come and do Maisie at her new barn, which will make my life easier as he's familiar with her quirks and special needs. I appreciated his taking time to answer my questions, and thanks to Cheyenne for starting this off!