View Full Version : Spinoff***Conformation of the Daisy Cutter

Aug. 5, 2009, 12:48 PM
Based on a couple of responses I got to a thread I started about the optimal conformation of show hunters I became curious about what it is about a daisy cutter's conformation that helps them to move the way they do and whether or not this limits good jumping form. In general do you find that the hack winner is not necessarily the best or even a particularly good jumper? I would love to see jumping videos of daisy cutters if anyone knows of any.

I used to know a stunning large pony who had it all, the model and hack winner and a beautiful jumper, so I know it is possible or perhaps it's different for ponies. Unfortunately he was also the dirtiest stopper I've even seen.

Aug. 5, 2009, 01:48 PM
I'll take a shot. I just took a video of our 4 year old hunter prospect. I purchased him based on his movement as he hadn't been jumped yet. I taught him how to jump in October last year and think he shows quite a bit of promise over fences as far as form is concerned. Granted, when he gets a bit long to a spot, he's tight with his knees rather than the classic hunter form, but when put to a quiet distance, he has the classic "parallel cannons to the ground" form. I think that with experience and consistency, he will develop into a nice moving and jumping show hunter.

A video of his movement and jumping can be seen at the bottom of his page: http://sakurahillfarm.com/horses.php?HOID=58

(my apologies, the movie is a bit long and youtube removed my soundtrack :-()

Aug. 5, 2009, 02:02 PM
I'm on my work computer and don't have it with me, but I have an article about this exact topic (conformation that produces hunter movement v. conformation that produces jumper/dressage/knee movement). IIRC, it is something about relative lengths and angles from scapula to point of shoulder and point of shoulder to elbow. I am thinking daisy cutter was low point of shoulder (i.e. long from scapula to point of shoulder) and short and flat from point of shoulder to elbow- but I could have that totally backwards. IIRC, dressage was relatively shorter from scapula to point of shoulder, higher point of shoulder, and longer and more sloped down from point of shoulder to elbow (vs. flat). Obviously the shoulder isn't the only determining factor, but this author thought it was pretty important.

Aug. 5, 2009, 02:28 PM
I would love to see that article, see you can find it! :)

Aug. 5, 2009, 02:58 PM
Conformation aside, I know of at least two sport horse vets who believe the really freakishly good daisy cutting movement is a result of a neurological issue. That the horse is unsure of where to place its foot. True or not, I thought I would throw it out there. Could account for why sometimes the hack winner is not so good over fences.

Aug. 5, 2009, 06:10 PM
I think it is important to clarify what we are talking about when we speak of Daisy Clippers.

A lot of horses people think are daisy clippers truly are not. A true Daisy Clipper is going to have little or no knee action, they basically elevate no more than is necessary to get their feet off the ground, thus the Daisy Clipping, and the "Daisy Clipping" action of the front end is mirrored by the hind-end, there is little bend in the hocks as well. If you watch a true daisy clipper move they look like a pendulum swinging back and forth, pivoting at the point of the shoulder and the point of the hip primarily. You will also notice that there is little lateral movement of the legs when turning etc.

Now for every horse that follows the rule there is gonna be one that breaks it. Conformation is not absolute, but a general predictor, and there are a ton of conformational factors that may usurp a horses movement type that would be positive predictors of an alternative or dominate ability.

When I think of great movers I think of a horse that uses its whole body to move, elevates off the ground front and back. In many cases these horses do look like Daisy Clippers because they have a lot of "extension" front and back, however there is a difference in the way they get there, a daisy clipper pivots, and in my opinion a good mover lifts, bends and extends to create that flat kneed, swinging look at the end of their movement cycle.

Why daisy clippers move they way they do is depends on who you ask, my father always says they are afraid to leave the ground, not good for a hunter/jumper, I think a lot of it is conformation however.

I think that a lot of Daisy Clippers do not have the long sloped shoulder we talk about. They may have a sloped shoulder, but it is not as long as those horses who are not Clippers. Clippers often do not have the deep chest and high withers that you see in a lot of good jumpers. Clippers often do not have the long humerus bone some horses do and that effect’s the way the withers line up with the forearm of a horse.

The long sloped should is going to increase elasticity of the shoulder, make it more free, and enable more extension. This is also going to allow the horse to lift its shoulder better (elevate), and enable them to tuck their legs better, and the combination of length and slope will allow the shoulder to slide back more and become more vertical allowing for more scope. The long humerus, being 50-60 percent of the length of the shoulder, makes it easier for the horse to move the elbow away from the body, forward and sideway's, again allowing for more tucking ability, and extension. I think it is also possible that Clipper because of their conformation, and attachments of the muscles, may not be able to contract as much making them less powerful.

Like I said before show me an example of a Clipper that is not a good jumper and I can probably find one that is, but I think for the most part two things happen with clippers when they jump. One, they simple take long strides over a fence, a reaching type of jump, generally not creating that bascule desired in a hunter. Two, they roll over a fence, Meaning they never really get their legs vertical, or above the vertical, and tend to jump over their should rather than pulling it and the forelegs up square and tight, and again their bascule seems to be stunted, in that their arc is incomplete.

In my experience I have seen lots of true Clippers and they are hard to beat on the flat but I have never ever seen a Clipper that was the best jumper as well. It is kind of like conformation, you see lots of beautiful horses whose ability does not come close to what their conformation dictates.

Aug. 5, 2009, 06:12 PM
Conformation aside, I know of at least two sport horse vets who believe the really freakishly good daisy cutting movement is a result of a neurological issue. That the horse is unsure of where to place its foot. True or not, I thought I would throw it out there. Could account for why sometimes the hack winner is not so good over fences.

I did not both saying that, but that is what my father means when he says they are afraid to leave the ground.