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Training with 'Light' Weights, Chains, etc.  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Thu Oct 5th, 2006 01:32 am
   
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BrendaImus
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Well, gajitlady, I encourage you to visit another board to do so. On this MB, there is no 'other side' when it comes to discussion about adding weights, chains, etc. to encourage or 'enhance' gait.

There's the right way, and the 'other' way.

End of discussion, on this site.

PB r1



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 Posted: Thu Oct 5th, 2006 12:57 am
   
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gajitldy
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Personally, I LIKE to hear both sides.

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 Posted: Thu Oct 5th, 2006 12:33 am
   
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enzon
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Well, gaitingal, since I am a little over 21 (ahem),  Think I will try that nice glass of wine you have over there.  Ooo!!  Ooo!!  watch out for those Sweet Gum Balls - Where's the bon fire?   OOPs - wrong thread.  Sorry 

Yah should have worn your shoes girl!

Last edited on Thu Oct 5th, 2006 12:50 am by enzon



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 Posted: Thu Oct 5th, 2006 12:18 am
   
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enzon
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Well, since we all agree.  Think I'l have that root beer now.

Last edited on Thu Oct 5th, 2006 12:44 am by enzon



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 Posted: Thu Oct 5th, 2006 12:13 am
   
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gaitingal
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  I haven't shod my horses in quite a few years, but I don't seem to recall shoes being quite so heavy. One pound (16 oz each)? Granted, I never had any specialty shoes like you describe. Those must be some big ol' honkin' metallics...

--Debbie in GA



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 Posted: Thu Oct 5th, 2006 12:01 am
   
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BrendaImus
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Laurie,

I'm sorry you will choose to place one pound weights on your TWH's feet, in spite of the info contained in the first post on this thread. WHY??? The horse does not need weights in order to gait - and it definitely contributes to pain and early breakdown in many, many instances.

I don't know about your bell boots, but mine weigh less than 3 oz., and we never ride in them unless we're using the colored boots to illustrate gaits at a clinic. Then they're ridden in them for a few short minutes.

I DON'T RIDE MY HORSE THROUGH VERY HEAVY, THICK MUD OR SNOW. It can pull tendons. In fact, I opted out on a trail just the other day for that exact reason.

But hey, just like this is my 'house,' your TWH is your horse.

PB r1



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 Posted: Wed Oct 4th, 2006 11:52 pm
   
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BrendaImus
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Tangoh,

This is a Gaits of Gold sponsored Message Board. We teach Gaits of Gold training techniques. Clinicians and trainers in accord with our methods are welcome to share their experience and expertise - and many DO. Those not in accord, are NOT. Period.

Do you really believe you could go to a Parelli hosted site, and promote Clinton Anderson or John Lyons techniques - even those in direct opposition to Parelli's stated philosophies? Give me a break!

I have been very patient with this thread, but let me make myself perfectly clear: I do not agree with the use of weights on a horse's foot to alter or enhance gait. PERIOD. I clearly explained why, and it's hard to believe that anyone reading the explanation, and checking out the facts for themselves via sound horse sights (such as the info site provided by Dr. Todd Behre), would continue to justify the practice.

I don't give a RIP about how much you like the work performed at the clinic you attended. If one pound weights were used to make a point or to enhance gait, that is a training 'trick' that we do not promote or condone.

If you don't like it - and you obviously don't - then simply go to a MB where these kinds of things are accepted and tolerated, and leave us to promote our products and training techniques in accord with our own conscience. We're not pushing anything down your throats, nor twisting your arm to keep on visiting a site that evidently offends you.

It's my house. I'll delete any messages I feel are contrary to the horse's long term welfare, or that promote devices that might encourage visitors to this board to try. That includes YOU. Any more of this stuff from anyone involved in promoting this cr*p will see that person banned. I cannot count, or even respond to, all the PM's I'm receiving from members who are deeply offended at your behavior, which at best is rude.

Unfortunatley, negative posts such as yours are a vein of poison to the entire community - and will not be tolerated, for the health of our MB as a whole. I've never, ever responded so strongly to a member (or two) before. The reason I'm taking the time to do so here is because I want to offer you two every chance to maintain your membership, and continue to contribute in appropriate areas.

If you choose not to do so, then we will miss you (when you were at your best).


Brenda



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 Posted: Wed Oct 4th, 2006 11:43 pm
   
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gaitingal
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  I find it interesting that bells were placed around the horse's ankles. Were they the little jingle bells that you can get at craft stores or larger?

  I have some different bells that I like to use, but they are in the form of a necklace, aka rhythum (sp) bells or speed beads. I also have some sleighbells on neck bands.

  I think horses like to hear the sound & pace themselves to it. I like the sound to an extent, unless it gets on my nerves due to excess noisiness.

  It almost seems like if each foot had a different sounding set of bells, a rider could really hear what each footfall is doing, when & where. I keep rolling it around in my head as a good training tool for the rider?

--Debbie in GA



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 Posted: Wed Oct 4th, 2006 10:45 pm
   
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enzon
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Hey Y'all,

It sounds like the bulk of what benefited you in the session was not the bells.  It also sounds like every one advanced in their communication with their horse and their performance.  Now that does not implicate GOG tack and even you surmised you thought the tack on the horses was not the issue (they had good pads and good fit).  But, who is to say what other improvements would or would not have come with the GOG tack?  And since most visiting this site are new to gaited horses there is a good chance they may not have proper tack, bit or seat to accommodate the gaited horse.   It sounds as if even the trainer you went to started with a good check of the tack before working out the training issues.

I had the impression from your original posts as well that devices were attached for the purpose of modifying your horse's gait  - which even a leather strap will do (saddlebred style).   It will have the same effect on a young horse or an advanced horse - they will try to step out if it as cat with tape on its feet.  And I'm sure you can all see how this leads you down the TWH path - too much too soon, and well you know the rest of that story if you have been reading the other sites and such. 

Not sure whether a bell boot modifies the gait - never felt the change if it did but I can guarantee you if I put jingle bells on my horse's feet he would be moving differently and modifying his gait too!  So you got more lift and reach?  Is animation what you were looking for?  This site is not about more animation.  More communication -  yes.  Proper collection - yes.  

The weight of a shoe attached to the bottom of a foot is very different then the bouncing weight of a device around a pastern.  Just like if we gain 25 lbs it is much different than trying to carry 25 pounds with our hands or back for that matter.  It takes energy and a lot of modification of support posture, ligaments, muscles etc to do balance it.  

I think you would agree that most horses that are gaiting now are being taken down the road of weights, long toes and chains to achieve it.  I think Brenda Imus has a new approach, "working the walk" and rounded "collection" verses hollow back and a seat etc.  And I strongly feel that this collection is most easily achieved in her tack.  Just like me in the forward English saddle always struggling to get my position.  Or pitching in the western saddle with the stirrups too centered under me.  Or with the Tom Thumb that made him pitch his head in protest.  Etc.  Yes, my trainer could do it with ease - but not me. 

Since you are not a proponent of the bells, and the bulk of what you learned most likely came through the other instruction of collection methods why is the training position of not using bells and weights to achieve a gait so troubling? 

I suggested a tack conditioner instead of baby powder once and was corrected.  No offense.  I think the only thing that was deleted was hostility or such.  Guys, I really think you all know she was not out to belittle.  She definitely did not mock.  And I think it was right to delete a post that was offensive to the host as well as many of the members.  No benefit to leaving it up other than to benefit the childish ego of the poster.  And I think it was right for Brenda to oppose your perception of what her technique was as compared to another’s. 

I am really lost over the hostility.  To me it is the equivalent of telling Vangoh to paint a brilliant sunset instead of a starry night.  It's just not our place.  Don’t you agree?

 

Last edited on Wed Oct 4th, 2006 11:52 pm by enzon



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 Posted: Wed Oct 4th, 2006 04:40 pm
   
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Sask Gaiter
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Also just another note to clarify. There were no chains used at this clinic. The bells were small beads strung on a nylon cat collar so that some of the riders could hear what tempo there horses were performing.

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 Posted: Wed Oct 4th, 2006 04:28 pm
   
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Sask Gaiter
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I am very much against what is going on in the show world with chains and stacks etc, but all of us at some time put shoes or horse boots on our horses. I too was at this recent clinic in Saskatchewan where the clinician used one lb weights on either front or back  to show us what a shoe could do to add a bit of weight, to change the pace or trot. Our horses were all barefoot.

 My thoroughbred is an endurance horse wearing a very solid shoe with clips on front plus a bell boot for protection. We cover miles at speed ,is this breaking him down, no. It is necessary, for the ground we must cover some of it very rocky.

My question to you Brenda is what is the difference in what my TB wears permently on his front feet compared to using a one lb weight on my TWH front feet for training purposes. Once I shoe my TWH in spring to start endurance training her, she too will always be wearing one lb weights in front.

Laurie

 

Last edited on Wed Oct 4th, 2006 04:30 pm by Sask Gaiter

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 Posted: Wed Oct 4th, 2006 03:12 pm
   
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ChrystalStar
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Just a question, what about horse boots?  Those suckers are heavy and you might ride in them all day.

Fran

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 Posted: Wed Oct 4th, 2006 03:08 pm
   
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No, I posted here, to clarify and that post was deleted, but I have re-inserted my points yet again, in the above post.

Last edited on Wed Oct 4th, 2006 03:38 pm by

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 Posted: Wed Oct 4th, 2006 02:41 pm
   
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enzon
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http://gaitsofgold.com/wowbb/forum17/3671.html

Hey Tangoh,

Your post is still there.  So is WL66's.  What was deleted was under Tack or Training - appropriately so as it was more emotional than informational. 

The discussion is good.  We all don't agree though.  My neutral position has changed in favor of  elimination of such action devices as they led the TWH down the path of stacks of pads and heavier chains for more action and such.  Especially after reading Brenda Imus's post above.  Breeding for purpose is a better way to go for action and such.  Also, the rational of "harmlessness" is given proper perspective with PB's post.  

 



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 Posted: Wed Oct 4th, 2006 02:25 pm
   
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tangoh

 

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My post was deleted.  It said nothing in it except a clarification that the bells were used only to hear the 4 beats, or lack thereof, and then exercises were given after to develop a better stride.

Brenda, why was my post deleted?  Was it because I asked about how this light weight is any different than a horse that needs to pick up his feet to plow through heavy snow?  Or to plow through heavy mud?  All this would create the same torque that you describe.  Do we stop riding in the snow then?  And through the mud?   And what about bell boots, vet wrap, shipping boots...I could go on.  All these things, then, in your opinion, add extra weight and stress to a horse's legs and should be avoided.  Am I correct?

Can a member not EVER be given the luxury of maybe making a valid point contrary to a statement you've made???  Is this not about sharing ideas and learning, even on your part.   Sorry I just don't get it.  I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I want to understand why you think what this clinician did was wrong in your mind.  

And, I really wish you wouldn't have taken this very successful clinic and turned it into a 'let's bash a non-GOG clinic'.  As I said before, you were not there. 


If this post gets deleted again, I will have my answer.

 


Last edited on Wed Oct 4th, 2006 08:55 pm by

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 Posted: Tue Oct 3rd, 2006 04:59 pm
   
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rackn
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Yes, thank you too for the education.  I, just messing around one day with my Sis, placed some harmless roller balls on her horse to see if it would break up his hard pace.  It did and that poor horse was exhausted.  My sister wanted to go out and buy them.  Thank goodness she can't figure out where to get some.  I'll pass this article along to her right away.  Thank you. 



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 Posted: Tue Oct 3rd, 2006 04:47 pm
   
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gaitingal
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  Well, now I understand the why's of "an ounce on the hoof is a pound on the shoulder".  I just accepted the known fact, but it feels much better to know the why of it all.

Thanks, PB!

--Debbie in GA



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 Posted: Tue Oct 3rd, 2006 04:34 pm
   
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enzon
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That really laid to rest any retained thought of usefullness for an action device I may have had (a lay over of my saddlebred days for sure).   I had this discussion with someone who claimed that a saddlebred only stepped high as they had action devices etc.   I contended that they did so as they were bred for such and pointed out that my saddlebred was a high steppin horse in aluminum shoes 10 years after his retirement in the pasture at 28!  I sent off a slew of pics from horsetopia and such of high steppin weanlings (trotting and gaiting, saddlebreds, walkers, lippizans) to support that what they exhibit is natural and a result of breeding as they can do it at liberty. 

Doing that under saddle could should and logically would only come from the right tack and training and only with the right breeding.  Innate gait.  Beyond that is frought with undesired consequences for the horse, horse breeding and the horsemanship industry.  

Thanks for setting that straight.  



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 Posted: Tue Oct 3rd, 2006 04:11 pm
   
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BrendaImus
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A recent post from someone who attended a non-GOG gaited horse clinics referred to the fact that the clinician added 'light weights,' and 'bells' to the horse's feet and legs to help enhance the gait. She was impressed by the improvement these training devices made, and stated her belief that these items are so light weight that they are harmless.

I beg to disagree.

There's much to-do made about the fact that the 'weights' are so light weight. What most people don't understand is that - unlike humans - horses HAVE NO MUSCLE in their lower limbs to lift weight. This means there is a leverage or pulley effect that takes place in the upper limb, even for a seemingly 'light' weight. This pulley effect does cause greater lift in the leg, and quickly 'enhances' the gait. But BECAUSE there's no muscle in the lower leg, the strain on the knee and shoulder (or hock and stifle) is phenomenal. Only 6 oz.? Think about that being equivalent to 6 pounds by the time the torque reaches the shoulder (or hock). Then think about that action being repeated 60 times every MINUTE. The horse's leg has effectually lifted 360 lbs. during that one minute. Weights on two legs? 720 lbs. a minute. Humane? No. Effective? Maybe for the short term.

The next point generally made is that these devices help young horses learn to gait, and can be removed once 'muscle memory' has been established.

Hog wash. Muscle memory can and will be 'forgotten' within a relatively short time after the action devices are removed. In addition to this, the young horse who hasn't yet developed 'muscle memory' is the one whose vulnerable structures should NOT be subjected to weights or chains.

About the chains. They chaffe, and the horse will quickly lift its leg to try to rid it of an irritant, thus changing the timing of the gait and giving more 'lift' in front. It's an instinctual action brought on by the horse's sense that anything interfering with its lower legs puts it at risk, and should be shaken off. As usual, the horse is right in regard to understanding what constitutes a danger to itself. The trainer is depending on an instinctual avoidance response, as opposed to bringing the horse to a place where reason and sound riding techniques prevail. Also again, any 'muscle memory' developed in response to the artificial device is quickly 'forgotten' once the device is removed.

Folks: make sure your horse is comfortable, and then work the walk. It's easy, long lasting, great exercise for you and your horse, a good relationship builder - and guaranteed not to cause any long term problems down the road.

Brenda



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