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Stumbling in horses is serious business. Here's advice from a veterinarian and a trainer on dealing with this dangerous problem.
By Elaine Pascoe | 10/26/2011
Your horse suddenly pitches forward and drops out from under you. For a split second, his balance and yours teeter on the brink. Few things are more alarming than a horse stumbling, even for an experienced rider: Will he go down and take you with him?
Horses usually manage to stay upright when they trip, and (after you catch your breath) it's tempting to quickly laugh these incidents off. Even when a horse stumbles repeatedly, you'll hear people dismiss it: "He's just lazy," or "That's just him."
Yet it takes only one misstep for Twinkletoes to go down and flip over, with results that we'd all rather not contemplate. But let's, briefly, contemplate them: You could be killed. So could your horse.
This is a problem you can't ignore.
Stumbling in horses can be a training issue, but it can also have physical causes. We asked equine veterinarian Duncan Peters of Lexington, Kentucky, to explain those causes and what you can do to correct them. For the training angle, we went to longtime Massachusetts eventer Mark Weissbecker...
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