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Author Topic: Del Miller's Corner  (Read 377 times)
wilderness
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« on: March 03, 2009, 10:01:20 PM »

from January 1960 Hoof Beats.

Del Miller's Corner

Q. We have a young trotter who has been giving us difficulty when we check him. He has even gone over once. Our trainer has been checking him high and uses a Frisco June bit. Once he gets on the track, he is all business and we have no further trouble with him. Any suggestion will be appreciated.
A. I would check him up in the stall for a half hour or more before you go to hitch him. When you go out before you hook him drive him a while before you hook him. I wouldn't check him too high the first heat then raise his head the second heat if he needs it higher.
If the above does not help let him stand in the stall all day for a couple days with, his head checked up.

Q. I have a two‑year‑old pacer that goes high in front and hits the inside of the hopples. What do you advise?
A. I have had a lot of good horses hit their hopples and cut them up pretty badly—Tar Heel & Direct Rhythm both hit their hopples.
First I took the hopples up in front as far as they would go and also on the side strap near the front. We also try a full swedge front shoe on a pacer that goes high.
If the colt is doing good I would try and take the hopples up and not change him too much.

Q. I have a trotting mare that hits the outside of her right front foot with her hind foot when she goes into the turns. What do you think could be doing it and how would you improve this?
A. I believe your mare is stabbing behind and this sometimes is very hard to diagnosis. I really believe weak stifles cause this as much as anything and age seems to help cure this. They get stronger in the stifle as they get older.
Hardy Hanover did this badly as a 2-year-old and I let him go bare­footed behind as long as his feet would stand it. Then I put a light pair of shoes on him the way he wore his feet. All the time we were irritating his stifles to help tighten them. He improved right along and held the world record over a one‑half mile track that fall.

Q. Under what circumstances would you use a lip strap? Is this the same as a lip cord and will you tell me how to rig it on a horse?
A. A lip strap and a lip cord are the same thing. I believe they will help about one of twenty or thirty horses that take too much hold of the bit and pull.
You can buy them already made out of light rope or make one yourself. It is placed under the upper lip of the mouth, then behind the bit, and then tied under the jaw. The purpose is that when the horse takes hold, the pull on the bit will also pull on the upper lip, and you can either tie your strap tight or loose. I have had this work perfectly on some and it made others worse. I always raced Dottie's Pick in a wire bit and she wouldn't take much hold of this. We always jogged her and warmed her up in a smooth bit to keep her mouth from getting sore.

Q. I have just bought a farm and I want to convert the barn into use for horses. It has a thick concrete floor and would take an awful lot of work to dig it up. Is there anything that I could cover it with so that it would be suitable and safe for horses?
A. If it was formerly a cattle barn I would fill the gutter with stones and gravel for drainage and put clay on top. You would have to get at least 4 inches of clay or horses would paw it up.
We have a barn at Meadow Lands that has a cement aisle in it and we bought some used conveyor belting about 3 feet wide and used this for the horses to walk on. It is inexpensive and we have had it for over ten years.
You may also buy a coating to paint on cement that will keep a horse from slipping.

Q. In some of your answers in the past, you have referred to a light leg paint, a medium leg paint, etc. Will you tell me what you mean by a "paint?" Is this the same as any of a variety of liniments which are sold, or is it something different?
A. A paint usually has an iodine base and will cause an irritation. Most liniments have an alcohol base or something that won't cause as much irritation as the iodine base. A linament is usually used for cooling purposes and a paint is used to irritate an injury or a weakness.

Q. I have a two‑year‑old that has contracted front feet and are now full of corns. What do you advise?
A. In the fall of the year we try to spread the heel's and use Reducine around the coronary band. I usually put tips on them set down in the foot and let them help spread the heals
when they exercise.
If you take good care of the feet and get them soft and spread out, the corns will disappear in the fall and winter.

Q. I would like to know how you may tell whether or not a horse may be shipped by air. Is there any danger of the horse becoming panic stricken while in flight and having to be destroyed for the safety of the plane?
A. I have shipped a lot of horses by plane and have never yet heard of any of them causing any trouble even in turbulent air. Their grooms always fly with them and this helps keep them settled.
You can always tell from the way a horse ships by van if they will get nervous or excited and have what we call a "car fit" and in cases like this I would not take a chance on shipping them in a plane. If you definitely had to ship one like this I imagine a vet would help out with a tranquilizer shot.

Q. What could cause a horse to hitch and hike when going the right way of the track and go without a hitch or hike the wrong way of the track?
A. You are probably going faster the right way and going into the turns different than the other way. If a horse can trot fast and around the turns without hitching then he must be hurting somewhere if he does it when you turn him around. A horse will sometimes carry his head straight going the wrong way then get it crooked when he goes the right way.

Q. We have a four year old pacing mare that broke her proximal sesamoid bone. She was operated on but after four months there was still swelling and she limped. The vet took X‑rays and said she had a sprained suspensory and that sweating would help. We have been doing what he said but she isn't improving. Do you think we should keep on trying to train her or make plans to breed her?
A. There is trouble enough keeping a horse sound and racing with one thing bothering it, but when you have, both a broken sesamoid and suspensory trouble I believe you will be better breeding this mare. If she is not sound now in the winter it wouldn't give her much chance to improve as you jog and train her to get ready for the races.

Q. I have a trotter that I just brought in from the pasture and started jogging. She seems to be a little off somewhere. She comes down harder on her right hind leg than on the left one. Is she lame on the left or right side? Can you give me some pointers on how to determine on which leg a horse is lame?
A. Just vizualize how you walk when you are lame on one foot and take notice of your horse. They just hate to put weight on the sore side, as you do yourself.
When a horse is hurting, but not limping, they usually tell you by taking too much hold of either one or the other side of the bit as they are either bearing in or out trying to get away from the sore side.
If you will remember, Dizzy Dean hurt his foot and by throwing a baseball differently to protect his foot he injured his arm.
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Regards Don
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2009, 10:51:31 PM »

Other kids grew up reading comic books. I grew up reading Del Miller's corner.
I can remember like last night listening to Dick Beonti (sp)with the silver dollar survey on  WLS radio while reading "Hoof Beats". 
What a great way to go to bed.
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I am just an old "Hoss" trainer, that has been raced hard and put away wet. 
As my Friend from Maine(Ora Stratton) says "There are horse trainers, and then there are real "Hoss" trainers.
wilderness
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2009, 11:03:58 PM »

Other kids grew up reading comic books. I grew up reading Del Miller's corner.
I can remember like last night listening to Dick Beonti (sp)with the silver dollar survey on  WLS radio while reading "Hoof Beats". 
What a great way to go to bed.

 Sounds like your dozing off now Wink
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Regards Don
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