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Crooked Horse Under Saddle? One Bell Boot can make a difference

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    Crooked Horse Under Saddle? One Bell Boot can make a difference

    https://thehorse.com/178062/crooked-...boot-can-help/

    Anyone else see this? One of my horses had MPLS surgery on his stifles a couple of months ago which definitely helped, but he's 10 and so has not been using his right hind as he should for some time and I'm trying to get him more through and was intrigued by the article. So last night, I tried it, and I do think it improved the quality of his canter work.

    Fat Cat Farm Sporthorses on Facebook

    #2
    That is fascinating, but it does make sense. I believe it is similar to something I read by Linda Tellington-Jones years ago about tapping the hind hooves with a whip (while on the ground) in order to help them feel and connect more.
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      #3
      I saw that article and was quite impressed by the quality of the analytics they used. Although it isn't a true controlled study with a sham treatment, they are using the change from the horse's baseline and showing a statistically significant change.

      I think we will be putting a bell boot on my horse's right hind and see how things go as well
      "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham

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        #4
        I also read it today and think I will start putting a bell boot on my mare's right hind since I am rehabbing her from an injury. Some in-hand lateral work has already helped her to start picking it up more, but I like this idea too, and can't see it causing any harm.

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          #5
          Wow! I might try that for my TWH - recovering from low / negative plantar angles, but still seeming to favor one of her hind legs. I'll let you know if it helps....

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            #6
            I have some light chains but I always put them on both hinds(haven’t used them in quite a while). I will have to try with doing it just on the weaker right hind.

            Susan

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              #7
              Funny, I read a study a few months ago on the same subject/findings, although it was talking more about light weight chains/wood balls, then read this just the other day.

              I have a twofold issue, stronger hind end in general and stronger left hind/ mild upward fixation. So a few weeks ago I bought some 1lb wrist / ankle weights thinking I would add Velcro to make them for and they work without modifications.

              About 3x week I put them on for our 15 walk warm up (being careful not to over do it). I think I'll still do that, but after the warm up walk is done, only remove the right side and build up time with the left only (they are very soft and relatively loose)
              Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

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                #8
                DMK, I think the point of this research is that it's the feel rather than the weight that makes the difference, which is why the bell boot rather than a weight.

                We tried this in my lesson the other day. Definitely made a difference, most notably at the canter, which became much more pendulum like on that side behind, rather than egg beater like, which made it much easier to keep straight. I'm going to try the 60 days of every third ride and see where it gets us. Nothing to lose!

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                  #9
                  Yes, I understood the premise of the article, but 1lb isn't actually significant weight, so the proprioception response is presumably equivalent and more importantly, I've tried about 6 different sets of bell boots and none fit (giant foot, but not tall enough to support the height of xl= rubs), so alternative approaches were called for.
                  Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

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                    #10
                    I'm also giving it a try on our right hind. Why not! I've already got the bell boot. Can't hurt I reckon.

                    #bellbootchallenge
                    Last edited by tipzythegreat; Sep. 4, 2019, 10:02 AM. Reason: #bellbootchallenge

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                      #11
                      I tried it this weekend, and I definitely *felt* his movement was different, although I have a hard time explaining exactly how. I think we will keep going with this and see how it goes.
                      "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham

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                        #12
                        Kind of a dumb question, but which hind leg would you use for a horse that:

                        -- tends to weight her right shoulder
                        -- starts out with better bend to the left, but becomes better to the right as the ride progresses
                        -- had suspensory surgery on the LH in 2010, and steps slightly short on that leg until well warmed up
                        -- has significant arthritis in her hocks, but more findings on X-rays in her RH than LH

                        I'm thinking LH.
                        You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                        1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by quietann View Post
                          Kind of a dumb question, but which hind leg would you use for a horse that:

                          -- tends to weight her right shoulder
                          -- starts out with better bend to the left, but becomes better to the right as the ride progresses
                          -- had suspensory surgery on the LH in 2010, and steps slightly short on that leg until well warmed up
                          -- has significant arthritis in her hocks, but more findings on X-rays in her RH than LH

                          I'm thinking LH.
                          I agree. Just the "weights right shoulder, bends better left" alone would have me looking at the LH!

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                            #14
                            Thirty-odd years ago, pastern rings were all the rage for this very reason. 😁 That said, the methods outlined in the study are really interesting.
                            Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.

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                              #15
                              I have an Equestic Clip which is a gadget that clips onto the left flap of my saddle and records all kinds of data on my horse during my ride. One I check all the time is the symmetry analysis of the trot which tells me the difference in airtime between LF/RH and RF/LH strides, difference in push off between LF/RH and RF/LH diagonals, and difference in landing force between diagonals.

                              This analysis shows my injured horse is very slightly favouring his RF/LH, pushing off and landing harder on the LF/RH since we returned to work. The LH was the injured limb, and the Clip data prior to diagnosis showed a stronger imbalance that had the LF/RH working much harder. The bell boot might help him use the injured leg a little more.

                              My younger horse shows a similar bias and I have been working on getting the LH more active and engaged under him. I think a bell boot might be just what he needs.

                              I am interested in seeing what the Clip data tells me.

                              I don't own bell boots. I wonder if a single polo or splint boot might work.

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                                #16
                                I think boots would work to as Mme Mare will only pick up and keep a lovely right hand lead canter on the first try if wearing hind boots (2). I call her dyslectic of the back end: she will also not pick up the right foot on the first try when picking her hoofs . We know she has an anomalie on her right stiffle ( x-ray: show no arthritis just a displacement) but is never unsound on it, to the amazement of the vet.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Showbizz View Post

                                  I agree. Just the "weights right shoulder, bends better left" alone would have me looking at the LH!
                                  Thank you!
                                  You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                  1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    I busted out my old donut from the 1990s to try on one of mine.

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                                      #19
                                      So I just tried this on my guy. He has weak stifles in general but particularly the RH. Stifle conditioning is a constant battle for me.

                                      I put the bell boot on the RH (a Professional's Choice, no turn kind, it was all I had that might fit) and when I led him out of the crossties to the mounting block he did that sort of spider walk, picking the RH up reeeaaalllyy high. Fair enough: he has never worn bell boots but has worn brushing boots and standing wraps. By the time we reached the mounting block the exaggerated "what is on my foot" was gone. I schooled him lightly, really just happy to be back in the tack and planning our fall show schedule. The canter was nice, probably nicer than it usually was but he still likes to get down on his right shoulder in the trot and canter. Like MissAriel , it is hard to explain how it felt different.

                                      What I found interesting: when I was done and turning him around to put him back on the crossties I noticed him picking up his RH (more than normal). I thought that was weird because after a 30 minute school I figured the "what is on my foot" feeling would be gone. Well, maybe it was the way I was turning him. So I asked him to back up, in a straight line, about 7 steps. He picked the RH up higher than normal (and higher than the LH). I asked him to walk back into the crossties, and same thing. I really thought the "sensation" would have worn off by that point.

                                      I think I am going to move forward with every 3rd ride, for 6 weeks and see where we get!

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                                        Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        I really do think the one boot helps and will continue to ride with just the one. Funny how something so simple can make a noticeable change.
                                        Fat Cat Farm Sporthorses on Facebook

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