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High heel/low heel syndrome.



There are many theories behind HH/LH but the one I get behind is Dr. Kerry Ridgway’s. It’s the theory of laterality in horses.

Just like us, horses are either right forelimb dominant or left forelimb dominant.

Also just like us, more are right forelimb dominant.

R dominant horses will for example, use their R foreleg for balance while they stride out on their left, making them better on their left lead. (Which is usually what makes us THINK that our horse is actually left handed).


While grazing they will brace with their right leg, lean over and park their left leg out in front.


Now the more right dominant they are, the more they will consistently brace and balance with that right forelimb.


❓How does this affect their feet?


Feet grow in the shape that supports the load they are under.


The right will grow a higher heel because the horse is loading the heel.

The left will have a lower heel and longer toe because they are loading the heel less and the toe more.


🤯


So what do you do now?


❗️As always have your vet rule out any clinical problems and make sure your horse is healthy and receiving the proper nutrition.

💡Have a qualified bodyworker assess and remove any restrictions so your horse CAN use his body in a balanced way.

💡Work on straightness training. Be balanced in what you’re asking your horse to do. Hold them accountable to quality movement over speed. Speed is a compensation for balance.

💡Find creative ways to encourage your horse to stand square while they eat. Maybe you put their feeder behind a board so when they lean over to eat out of it their front feet stay even. Or you could vary feeding heights to encourage engagement of the thoracic sling muscles as browsing naturally would do. 🤔


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