What is ‘equine faulty action’?
Faulty action is defective actions during movements, which may arise for
many different reasons. Conformation defects will affect the horse’s
ability to move in a smooth gait because then foot falls are affected.
Horse’s age is also a factor that may lead to faulty action during
movement. Older horses may experience changes in their joints and muscles
that alter the way of going. On the other hand, foals need time to develop
their bodies and learn how to carry the tack and rider. Furthermore
faulty actions are sometimes caused by the rider’s error/s. Lack of
communication may lead the horse to take erratic steps, which may also
cause faulty action.
Other sources that may trigger faulty action are erroneous hoof trimming
and / or shoeing. If the medial / lateral (i.e. inside / outside) balance
of the hoof or the heel toe axis are incorrect, the foot falls and break
over will be altered. Unprofessional farriery may also cause faulty
action by fitting the wrong type of shoes. Selecting the correct type,
size, weight and appropriate shaping of shoes after considering the use of
the horse will minimize faulty action.
To avoid and / or correct faulty action, it is imperative to employ a
qualified knowledgeable farrier, who can keep the feet properly balanced.