Monday, November 7

 Here is a short video showing Eddie's stride.

After you're done watching this, please read on!
There are 5 steps to a horse's stride. Or... five steps to one step.
The first stage is:
  • Initial Contact - Initiates pastern movement, heel hits the ground first.
  • Impact - Defined by pastern descent
  • Stance - Defined by load or force. Greatest amount of load that is on the dermis (dense inner layer of connective tissue) of the hoof.
  • Breakover - Begins with pastern ascent.
  • Flight - Utilizing the energy.
 The energy utilization and dissipation is much like a bow and arrow. The energy is stored and released, stored and released, over and over. That carries into hemodynamics (the blood flow in the hoof) but that's a big topic to get into right now.
There is, however more to the stride. Here is how the structures of the hoof should come into contact with the ground during different gaits.
Slow Walk - Wherever. Toe first, heel first, it doesn't make a difference.
Working Walk - Heel hits first.  Toe if the hoof is out of balance.
Trot - Heel comes into contact with the ground first.
Extended Trot - Definitely heel, horse should move freely.
Canter & Gallop - Undoubtedly, the heel should come into contact with the ground first. What is interesting, is that the lateral heel (outside of the hoof) will hit before the medial (inner) heel.

I bet, the next time you watch your horse walk, it will be much different!


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