My horse has recently started tripping alot he has never had this problem before and its getting really annoying his hooves and legs are fine and he has no troubles in the paddock or on the trail but whenever I do any sort of dressage he starts tripping? Any ideas?

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trotting poles...? I know I always hear that one too...sometimes I notice my horse does that when he's bored..but trotting poles make them lift (hopefully!), and is the easiest to start off with.
Thnx ill try that
I gather he is tripping in the front? Off the top I'd think poor balance. On a trail horses are generally more concious of where they are placing their feet and in the paddock they generally don't have riders onboard messing with their natural balance.

I have a horse with a simliar problem and yup trotting poles do help. I'd also recommend square corners. I set up a fairly large rectangle with pylons and started practicing square corners at a walk. The goal is to have the horse do almost a quarter turn on the haunches around the corner but the key is not to let them stop to do it. Outside rein maintains a half halt and outside leg is behind the girth to keep his hind end from swinging out. Just enough inside rein to keep his neck straight and inside leg on the girth to maintain the forward motion. I'd ride a few times in the rectangle then let the horse go large around the arena, change directions and do a few more then go large again. Eventually you can work up to trotting your square corners.

It was very helpful in getting my long backed boy to sit on is hind end and use it in his corners and it really improved his balance. The tripping stopped once he learned to use his hind end and to better accomodate having a rider which naturally throws off most horses natural balance, particularly if they are young or have not had previous work of the sort.
Thnx, the trotting poles have improved the problem a bit, ill try the square corners and yes he is tripping in the front
Could you be unintentionally interfering with his tempo/rythym movement or causing a riding resistance/balance issue that carries over to the wither or shoulder of the horse stiffling his footfall?

Sometime it is not the hind end or engagement that is lacking....but cadence in the front caused by an outside resisting factor other than the horses' laziness.

Also...starting to trip under saddle and in trot mostly...can be the early warning signs for ringbone/sidebone/hoof trouble.
I have seen this in horses where the saddle pinches along the withers. Check the fit and that you have a hand width clear along each side of the withers. Or the footing in the arena, if it is to deep.
seems fine
What are you doing differently between the dressage ring and the trail? Is the footing deeper in the dressage ring? If your horse is correctly on the bit he should be picking up his legs both front and behind. Your horse is trying to tell you something. Now you have a puzzle to decipher. Try taking a video of your horse being ridden by yourself and another rider both on the trail and in the dressage ring. Do this again with a different saddle. Note any differences and go from there.
He does the same thing for my mum and dad and weve tried 2 other saddles and tried getting a bigger gullet for my saddle its still the same, though he is improving slowly after i have been using the trotting poles and done the square corners but theyre not really helping that much.
Hi, Geoffrey:

How do you know that your horse's legs and feet are fine? I'd be looking at toe length before anything else, as hoof angles have more to do with tripping than almost any other cause. Sudden development of tripping can also be an initial symptom of navicular disease, or a ligamentous or tendonous attachment within the pastern or hoof. You wouldn't know without x-rays and/or ultrasound. I would get a second farrier's opinion, to ensure that your farrier has not been missing something with regard to maintenance of correct angles. I see that a lot as a dressage clinician, and it's amazing how many horses stop tripping when their feet are properly attended to.

Does your horse wear shoes? How often does the farrier come? What kind of shoes does your horse wear? What's the age of the horse? What's the background of the horse?

I suspect that your issue has more to do with balance than anything else, but you should check out the feet. If the trotting poles help, and the horse truly is fine on the trail, then balance would be the next place I'd look. Try increasing the weight of your connection, and be careful not to drive your horse so forward that he pushes himself onto his forehand. Lots (and I do mean lots) of transitions between gaits will help to re-balance him horizontally, so that he can keep his front end moving properly and in rhythm.

Good luck!
The farrier checked it out about a month ago and he thought it was all fine. We get barefoot shoeing (no shoes) sort of just trimmed in a way to make the hoof stronger. The farrier comes about every 6 weeks. My horse is 10 years old before we got him he used to do cattle work. I think its a balance problem of some sort he is starting to improve since doing the other reccomended exercises, ill try that


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