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Trace rubs?

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  • Trace rubs?

    Oy! what is with rubs all of a sudden? Got the bit rubs sorted, and now we're getting trace rubs.

    Its very clearly the traces, they're on the bottom half of my boy's round belly. They only just showed up the other day after a particularly tricky drive in the woods where we went around and around and around a lot of large trees/tight turns like a hazard.

    I was watching how the traces touch the sides of his belly yesterday as we were driving and I can't for the life of me figure out how to keep them away from the sides of his body. Wider single tree?

    He does still have a good bit of his winter coat left, especially on his lower belly area so perhaps thats it?

    Is is rounder too having just come off winter and spring grass.

    Should I just slather the area with Corona so the traces slide?

    What would suddenly cause trace rubs after over a year of driving? We are now doing much more driving, 3-5 miles 4x per week, and 1.5 miles is in the woods on very tight twisty trails, so I'm thinking its all this significant bending.

    Thank you so much for any advice!
    Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.
  • Original Poster

    #2
    oooh, I could make a sheepskin cozy??
    Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by buck22 View Post
      oooh, I could make a sheepskin cozy??

      Yup! just make sure to make them long enough so you are covering every possible spot that could be rubbing. Then duck tape those suckers on!

      Once pony gets slimmer, you should not have a rubbing issue.
      www.facebook.com/doggonegoodgoodies
      http://doggonebakedgoods.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        Winter Coat + Spring slightly less fit + Lots of tight turns = trace rubs

        If they aren't down to skin or irritated, we just keep an eye on them until the winter coat comes off.

        Comment


        • #5
          If horse has "matured" by growing, filling out his older body, not a colt anymore, then the wider singletree might be needed. Our horses get a lot wider, deeper bodied, when mature, than what they were as 6yr olds.

          If he is just plump, all the other folks are right on with their advice.

          Keep the traces clean, dried sweat is very abrasive. True sheepskin can be helpful, but often the fake fleece things rub badly on the hair. I wouldn't be putting any goop on horse unless he actually develops a burn or raw spot. Goop also might not be good for a synthetic harness, chemicals not mixing well to cause damage to the harness.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Ahhhhhh, ok it makes sense now.

            Got a bit of video of us during our walk warmup, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnwKZuxnShk tried to pan around to show his roundness He doesn't have so much a big hay-belly belly, as fat pads that go down along his rib cage... on top of his already wide sprung ribs and super wide flat back.

            I am the queen of real sheep I have several pelts of varying thicknesses I cut up and use when needed, so I think some real sheep cozy's vetwrapped onto the traces is a perfect solution. He didn't find the rubs irritating so much as itchy.

            Thank you all!!!!
            Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

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            • #7
              I am glad you posted a video as I suspected they you are not hitched correctly from what I have been taught. The traces should run through the breeching straps and that will pull them to the shafts. I will look for a pictutre as I am not sure I explained it correctly

              Comment


              • #8
                Found a picture but not sure how to attach a picture it just has a link option. HELP

                Comment


                • #9
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=typq1...feature=relmfu
                  you can kinda see it in this video and he also has trace keepers towards the rear of the shafts.

                  And this one is more visible
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP3CI...eature=related

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by China Doll View Post
                    I am glad you posted a video as I suspected they you are not hitched correctly from what I have been taught. The traces should run through the breeching straps and that will pull them to the shafts. I will look for a pictutre as I am not sure I explained it correctly

                    She has traces carriers. You don't need to do that.

                    This is what she has.

                    You really only need to run those thru or above your holdbacks to keep them up off the ground. I can't see that effecting the horse's rubs. With the horses are my work, there are only specific ones that get rubs and they're the ones with big tummies, especially this time of the year as they're coming back from winter with hay bellies.

                    All I can see do to is pad them (like we do) or possibly a wider singletree so they aren't as close to the body?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I vote for shedding out being part of the problem.

                      Last Tuesday I longed my pony in his halter and no problems.
                      Sunday I ground-drove him and suddenly none of the equipment seemed to fit right - crupper too loose, surcingle too loose and winker stays needed adjustment.
                      WTH? It all fit him fine about a month ago.

                      Then yesterday I noticed some very fine rubs on his face - where the cheekpieces would rest.
                      I clean the bridle after every use & wipe it down with a towel (dust) before putting it on, so not from crusted sweat.

                      I bet your boy's shape changed just enough & combined with shedding hair caused your rubs.
                      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by China Doll View Post
                        Oh I love the adventures of William!!

                        Yes I made a point to get some video just so my arrangement could be spot checked by you all. I appreciate and value the feedback.

                        I do have trace carriers. I did try once to run my traces through the holdbacks, but that broke the line of draft significantly. My carriage is a pony sized Pacific, and my horse is a leggy 14.3h. The single tree is fairly low. The trace carriers are adjusted just perfectly so the traces make a straight line from shoulder to single tree.

                        On an aside however, I feel pretty strongly that I need to find a way to raise my single tree, I think the line of draft is too low and putting unnecessary pressure on my horse's neck.


                        Thanks again, yes he has changed shape. Though I chuckled originally at Goodhors comment about maturing - he is coming 13 in July - his body really is changing shape. Even more sausage-like than before But truly its not all fat, his girth is done up one hole tighter than it was earlier this year. His body just this year decided to deposit fat in pads along side his ribcage, from a roll behind the shoulder all the way to the wheat ear. No cresty neck, no deep crease in the rump, no bulging fat over the eyes, etc. And he's become wider and flatter over the back, I presume its from all of the lateral work we've been doing in hand as its totally new this spring.

                        Spring grass is part to blame too, and I really could make deeper cuts in his diet, but I think his body is developing to his new line of work.

                        Since retiring from being ridden, he's no longer sway backed.... which I found fascinating, and really sad, he'd apparently been sinking his back away from the pain of a rider for a very long time.

                        His blankets aren't fitting him the same way anymore either.


                        Then again, I don't look the same in my jeans as I did 3 years ago either
                        Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Look at the line of draft of these off Pacifics site. I would not move the single tree personally I think something else needs attention. Do you have a side photo or video?


                          http://www.pacificcarriage.com/gallery/dartmoor5.html

                          This is a good photo to show the line of draft and how the traces are with the shafts and not next to the pony

                          http://www.pacificcarriage.com/gallery/dartmoor2.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            As a sidenote, his singletree may be down too low. All pony vehicles are not equal in their dimensions that fit "pony sized" animals. So while the line of trace is straight, raising may be helpful.

                            There was a time, not that long ago, where folks were hitching VERY LOW on the Marathon type vehicles. Most of that was because they bought vehicles too small for the equine, trying to save weight. I have video someplace where a horse is actually LIFTING the front wheels off the ground each stride of the canter! Singletree was below his hocks!! And if one person does something and gets a ribbon, then you will see copycats trying the same thing. Pretty hard on the smaller equines for a time.

                            As for his back, it could be improving because your are MAKING him go correctly in his driving practices, training sessions. Unless he was injured, he probably was not being ridden correctly, so that his parts were kept in "the frame" to allow him best use of his body. Animals that are not "ridden" by the rider will ALWAYS choose to go the easiest way possible, often very sloppy in their travels. You NEVER see horses traveling collected for more than a few minutes of play, before they get casual again, head out, nose down. Even horses used on ranches for work, get pushed to give their BEST extended walk, controlled trot for distance so rider is comfortable. They are not all strung out cantering. They don't go along sloppy, because rider is subtley pushing them along, getting MORE each stride than horse would choose to do unridden. Same with some of the better Trail horses, going distances. They are under light contact, pushed to REACH on each stride just that tiny bit, whatever the gait. It uses their backs and other muscles a LOT different than horse ridden with no contact, unbalanced rider, or unskilled rider. Your horse was probably not "sinking away" from under poor saddle fitting. He just wasn't being ridden well, to get his back lifted and strengthened during his work.

                            Lots easier to SEE what horse is doing out on the long lines, out in front of the driver's seat, to keep his body in the correct posture. You can't tell what he is is doing under saddle while riding, unless you have the mirrors to check things with. Rider has to learn skills, have gained the knowledge to FEEL when horse is avoiding work, going poorly in his posture, and many folks never reach that stage of riding skills.

                            You might want to cut his diet to be helpful in aiding his development as an athlete. Carrying lots of fat will hinder his other work, make him work harder than needed, trying to fold fat layers in bending and gathering himself up. Even for fun uses, he will be more able to work well, not having to deal with the fat. And that spring grass is a possible problem for laminitus, which seems to happen to the fat animals and the elderly ones much faster, than the more streamlined, athletic looking equines. Yeah, a bit more work locking him up part of the day, but worth it to avoid dealing with laminitus issues later. Even a "slight" founder, will cause problems forever in the future.
                            Originally posted by buck22 View Post
                            On an aside however, I feel pretty strongly that I need to find a way to raise my single tree, I think the line of draft is too low and putting unnecessary pressure on my horse's neck.


                            Since retiring from being ridden, he's no longer sway backed.... which I found fascinating, and really sad, he'd apparently been sinking his back away from the pain of a rider for a very long time.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              [hangs head in shame] yes he needs to shed a lot more weight. Hence work has really stepped up. FWIW I don't have the option of a dry lot, but we go through this every year and in about another week or two they will be basically on a "dry lot" anyhow as the grass will be grazed down. He's a Morgan and I'm partial to pony breeds, laminitis is top of my consciousness every waking moment.

                              As for his back, it could be improving because your are MAKING him go correctly in his driving practices, training sessions.
                              I've spent a great deal of time getting this horse to go correctly Actually, he's not a sound horse, he has fractured withers, hence driving. Never got far as a riding horse due to his acting out due to the pain (that went undiagnosed for years).

                              I have to say a large part of his improvement is probably thanks to daily work over cavaletti, and 2x a week he's worked free over jumps and jump grids, and does about 25 minutes of in hand lateral work. In addition to driving 4x per week.

                              Rider has to learn skills, have gained the knowledge to FEEL when horse is avoiding work, going poorly in his posture, and many folks never reach that stage of riding skills.
                              this is one of my biggest problems! but I'm backwards. Even though I sit well above my horse, I haven't yet developed the keenness to visually monitor my horse and catch him doing things before he does them. I am not anyone or anything special, but there is one bad habit I never developed and that is looking down. Years of bareback to thank for that. Even when I drive, I'm looking where I'm going, not at him, so I often don't catch evasions or unevenness, etc, until the crimes already been committed or partway there. Riding, my body could monitor the horse and catch the *thought* before it actually happened, my eyes could stay fixated on where we're headed. Going from riding to driving, I feel so handicapped as if my body does nothing, is responsible for nothing (which of course is not true, it illustrates how very much I have to learn). I'm finally able to tell if my horse is on the vertical or not (not that I really put much emphasis on that right now anyhow, too early), but I have massive problems telling if we're tracking up or not. It'll come in time, but so frustrating in the interim.

                              As a sidenote, his singletree may be down too low. All pony vehicles are not equal in their dimensions that fit "pony sized" animals. So while the line of trace is straight, raising may be helpful.
                              I think so, this is a side shot of us (you can see my horrid habit of leaning forward!! I must devise a plan, like tying thread around me or something to keep me back)

                              The single tree is about hock level, a bit higher but not much. Again, my horse is "unsound" though you would be hard pressed to tell aside from attempting to ride him . Technically he's fistulous according to my vet. Can never wear a collar.

                              I am concerned about undue stress on the neck strap. Already I have it padded with dense foam (cut off bit of a Wintec lift pad, finally found a use for the stupid thing ) and terry cloth.

                              I'm wondering if I find a way to raise the single tree if it'll lessen the downward pull of the neck strap. He doesn't act sore, but he is happy to be massaged in the area when we're done with our drive. I think a change is in order.
                              Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                My current driving pony, Salt, is quite the wide load. I always thought it was a weight issue, but he recently slimmed down a lot (probably due to all the miles we drive), I can see ribs when he moves, and he still looks like a barrel with legs. It's just his shape. His shoulders are fairly average, his hips are fairly average, but there is this huge barrel in between. My daughter used to say that riding him bareback was like sitting on a comfy couch.

                                Ever since I've been driving him, I've had trace rubs when he's wearing his winter coat. I minimized them this year to where they only appeared just as he was starting to shed, even though we've driven almost every weekend this winter. That's a huge improvement over prior years.

                                When I learned to drive and first got harness for my deceased and sorely missed pony, Crackers, my instructor had me put small dog collars on the traces to keep them in place along the shafts. I did the same for Salt's harness and shafts, but the difference this year is that I tightened them up a lot more so the traces are held further away from his sides. It makes a better line this way--nice and straight from the breastcollar all the way to the singletree.

                                I've never had a problem with the rubs going all the way down to skin, but in this climate, horses need every bit of coat that they grow, so I'm glad tightening the collars made a difference this year.

                                Rebecca

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