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Discussion on Standardbred forging

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Pamela Towne
Username: Fototrop

Post Number: 16
Registered: 7-2000
Posted on Thursday, May 8, 2003 - 6:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My 18 year old Standardbred gelding forges most of the time, even walking around the pasture. He has a powerful stride and almost seems to drive with his hindquarters when he trots. He seems to hit the front of the back hoof with the bottom front edge of the front hoof. He tracks up to and beyond his front tracks as a normal way of going. Is this a fault of his breed, being a racing harness horse? My farrier has tried rolling his toes to have his front feet break over sooner, but that doesn't eliminate the problem. I am concerned that he will hurt himself.
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Holly Wood
Username: Hwood

Post Number: 316
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Thursday, May 8, 2003 - 6:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi, Pam,
I have heard of Standardbreds cross-firing, but don't know about forging. In addition to taking off as much toe as possible and rolling them in the front, you could try squaring off his toes behind, ALOT . . . and, if he is shod, add heeled shoes in the back . . . . or just be sure not to take off much heel in the back. I have an Anglo-Arab who does the same thing. . . .
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Sharon M Roboski
Username: Roboski

Post Number: 152
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, May 8, 2003 - 8:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Walking horse hind shoes sometimes have a "trailer" on the inside - kinda makes 'em roll out around the outside of the front. I had that problem with my horse until I put that kind of shoe on the back. And,yes, absolutely, squared off toes on the back.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: Dro

Post Number: 8340
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, May 9, 2003 - 7:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The suggestions above are excellent, you might try further squaring of the toe and a rocker on the bottom of the front. If you do not get relief try doing the same to the rear legs. You will have to experiment a bit. Your last resort might be a protective boot.
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Mary E Adams
Username: Ntucket

Post Number: 37
Registered: 12-2000
Posted on Friday, May 9, 2003 - 9:52 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Just out of curiosity, did he ever race? Although they usually trot when unrestricted or not racing, 80 -90% of the racing Standardbreds are pacers. In ten races at the track there may be only one Trotting race, the rest are pacing races and most use hobbles to encourage maintaining the pace. Obviously totally different interference issues as these are two different gaits.

I've seen trainers of Trotters putting toe weights on the front to encourage more reach in the stride, and lots of trailers on pacers to prevent cross firing.

Although they can go either way, there are bloodlines that throw pacers and others that throw trotters. I had a retired Standardbred that I used to ride and drive a carriage. I assumed that he was a trotter since he trotted when I drove him, but when a neighbor with a homemade cart and horse came out to race with me in my carriage (very funny picture) on some back country roads, my horse threw his head up and started pacing like hell. I later used him on a harness training track to help train young racers to work behind (and want to catch) another horse. He free paced (no hobbles) every time he hit the track and would trot back to the barn.

Of course this is no help, but may be of interest!
Good luck
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Annette P. Roydon
New Member
Username: Malhana

Post Number: 1
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Tuesday, Nov 18, 2003 - 10:44 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi, I have a trotting yearling standardbred filly who has been "broken" and on the track for about three weeks and is jogging two miles per day on a 1/2 mile stonedust fair track. She had (a minor) OCD removed from her left hock this summer and until a few days ago was joging barefoot. She breaks over perfectly and we we put 1/2 inch, 1/2 rounds on her up front (leaving her barefoot behind) which is fairly standard for young horses and she immediately showed signs of discomfort, started hitting her hinds legs and spent the first and 2nd day cantering which she had never done before. We removed her shoes and today she was back to trotting. I've had discussions with farriers and vets and have received opposing advice re: aluminum shoes.
The vet says that aluminum doesn't slide as does steel and therefore will slow her breakover and therefore her front end. I don't want to slow up her hind end in deference to her hocks so that's not an option. question is, do aluminum shoes (1/2 rounds with a squared (beveled) toe speed them up or slow them down in front?
Thank you, Annette
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: Dro

Post Number: 9491
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Nov 19, 2003 - 6:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I learned long ago it was not always possible to accurately predict the effects of shoeing changes. Conformation and environment, particularly the working surface change the way shoes behave. It is logical that when you go to a lighter shoe the foot will leave the ground sooner and when changing from a regularly shaped shoe to a round the foot will leave the ground sooner because breakover has been moved back. But you will just have to experiment to know if this applies to your situation.
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