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Dale Lee twiddles with the lead rope attached to the halter on his wife’s barrel horse. “This horse started real well,” Lee explains. “In his first rodeo, he was fourth out of 40, so he definitely shows a lot of promise.”
The 4-year-old sorrel gelding sighs and shifts his weight.
“Problem is, he started hitting his ankles behind,” Lee continues. “We tried to get it fixed with some different shoeing, but it actually got worse. Then, this horse got so bad, we were afraid he’d quit turning.”
Few things are worse for a barrel racer than having a horse that’s scared to turn hard and fast. The horse’s problems grew worse and worse as well-meaning farriers tried — unsuccessfully — to help the horse compensate for conformation faults. Lee had to find a solution to the problem, so he finally called on an old friend and well-known farrier, Jan Seutter of Anthony, Fla., to take a look.
Turns out, the horse had two issues: hind ankles hitting and overreaching up front.
TRAILER FIX. To help widen the footfalls of this base-narrow gelding, Seutter applies a rim shoe with a slight trailer, which encourages movement outward instead of inward. The process worked – this gelding now seldom experiences any bruising on his hind ankles.
“He was just out of balance,” Seutter says. “If you look at this horse, he’s got high-low syndrome – one heel is high and one heel is low, and if you…