View Full Version : Schoolmaster changes late behind

Aug. 17, 2009, 08:53 PM
If she were perfect in every other way-temperament, size, age, price, general training but was late behind about 50% of the time would you still purchase her? (For learning and some showing, not looking for regional championships here!)
Edited to add that she is late behind when current owner rides her (in the video). I haven't had a ride yet.

Aug. 17, 2009, 09:08 PM
What would worry me that if she is late in the video, what is she like in real life? Most people would not make a video with a big mistake in it unless that's as good as it gets. How late was she? If she is perfect for you in every other way and its not a physical issue, it just depends on how much you want to win.

Aug. 17, 2009, 10:44 PM
Have your trainer look at that video. Maybe the owner overrides the changes, has her crooked or not enough RPMs for the change... or if the horse is really slow behind, it'll be harder to get her to quicken. But it is odd for someone to put out a video for a *schoolmaster* with those kinds of mistakes.

Aug. 17, 2009, 10:58 PM
depends on whose fault it is, and the price, and what the new owner intends to do with her.

Dressage Art
Aug. 17, 2009, 11:08 PM
It's very difficult to fix late changes. For me it’s easier to put brand new ones, than change late ones. Late changes should score a "4". There are a couple of them at 3rd level and several of them at 4th level. So I would say that it'll be quite difficult to get 60% on 4th level with late changes, but at 3rd level, you might be able to compensate with other movements. Do you know if this horse can score an 8 on something at 3rd level (aka extended trot and canter?)? Can you see a test score sheets from that horse?

I personally would not buy late changes, since the door to tempis is closed with late changes. But if you want to show at 3rd tops and learn the rest at home - it can be a good horse for you to earn your Bronze Medal on.

Surviving the Dramas
Aug. 17, 2009, 11:57 PM
I agree with a previous poster that it depends on WHY the horse is late behind.
Get a good instructor or someone who knows what they are talking about/looking at to watch the video.
Also have this person there when you go to try the horse - and possibly even ride it for you.

I'm surprised that a late behind change was shown on the video.... as Dressage Art has said, that's a BIG fault.

If it is a problem with training you are always going to have this problem. Very VERY hard to reteach the horse to do correctly, particularly if it is a well established (ie been late behind in his changes for years).

My very opinionated tyke decides to be late behind by 1 stride if he isn't 100% straight, or sitting behind well enough.... sure is a good incentive to ride better! He is fab to teach on as black and white is so clear.
Its usually when he isn't sitting enough behind that he is late. If he isn't straight he normally boing's into the air, throws his head like a giraffe and his legs flail onto the correct lead (normally with a cowkick just for good measure). Funny to watch, but somewhat of a give-away in a test :lol::lol:

Aug. 18, 2009, 07:12 AM
Another reason the schoolmaster could be late behind is that the horse is not 100% sound behind and unable to really swing through.

In this economy, its a buyers market.

I would keep looking.

Aug. 18, 2009, 07:35 AM
It is a little surprising to see late changes on a sale video. You have to think that the seller and the videographer don't know what they're doing.

But....keep in mind, that a lot of horses are being sold right now, sometimes in desperate circumstances. Sometimes they get traded around to different dealrs (they will send a horse to another dealer out of town frequently) or the poor owner can't get them to someone good because they can't afford it because they just lost their job!

Too, imagine if the horse was sold to some novice who thought he could 'learn' from the horse without taking lessons, and really messed the horse up, and then decided to sell him.

And horses can wind up in the hands of an agent that has NO idea how to present them or ride them. They get bad riding, occasional riding, they lose fitness and training. SOMETIMES a person gets a nice deal and a horse that can be fixed easily. For the right price, if the person doesn't mind taking a risk, sometimes these things work out.

A friend (this wasn't during this economic crisis, but some time ago) took her trainer along and found the 'badly trained' horse she liked simply had wound up with a dealer who had no clue how to maintain changes. The trainer hopped on the horse, schooled him a couple minutes, and did a couple perfect lines of 3 s and 4s....beware....don't get a horse only the TRAINER can get to do the changes! If it takes meticulous trickery and set up that's one thing (one horse we had in the barn required about ten minutes of struggle every time to get one lead change...oh what a production, and only the trainer could get the right lead change).

It requires a lot of experience to judge whether the horse will be a good choice for that rider with his specific abilities.

I disagree with DA that late changes are ALWAYS a reason to reject a horse. It really does depend.

Aug. 18, 2009, 09:13 AM
Thanks for the insightful replies. Mare has been owned by the same person for 7+ years and got low 60's at PSG last year (?). She appears a bit labored and out of shape in the video and she isn't really engaged. Like I said, even with that she does show clean changes, just not all the time. I think it is a fitness/lack of forward issue, but I'd have her thoroughly vetted if I am interested.

Aug. 18, 2009, 10:52 AM
If everything else was OK I'd have a Pro ride her and test out the changes. If Pro can get them clean I'd buy the horse - you'll just have to be very precise on the changes to get them correctly! :cool:

Had a pro teach my mare and when mare pays attention she nails them every time. When I ride (I'm learning changes) I tend to screw up the timing so mare isn't always clean (My bad - not hers!). Neither trainer is concerned about the mares changes - just trying to help me get them correctly. :winkgrin:

Aug. 18, 2009, 11:20 AM
As you say, it could be a lack of fitness. Or a lack of forward. How does she move in the rest of the video? Does the rider show any changes within the gait? half steps? Watch there to see if she is quick with her hind end, or not.

Then take a pro with you if you try her, and get a thorough PP from a dressage knowledgeable vet.

Aug. 18, 2009, 11:21 AM
If she passes the soundness exam, I'd never worry about late behind. Mostly, late behind is a product of the horse not being up in front and off the forehand...so it would be a training problem, which could be corrected by someone with experience.

Dressage Art
Aug. 18, 2009, 01:09 PM
If you saw some clean changes = it's much more promising situation. It might be b/c of the pain or lack of forward as others said already. Also when horse will have an arthritis in his/her hind, she/he will start changing late more often with more pain, if horse had a tendency to change late from the get go. Like before he was able to do 70% of clean changes and now it’s getting harder and harder for him? But you'll be able to rule that out during the vet exam.

Clean changes have a phase of suspension, air jump. Horse needs to load up his/her hind end to jump up. With late changes, there is no jump and there is no air phase when all 4 legs are in the air. Late changes actually have a different architecture than a clean change. And yes, if the horse is not sound behind, he will avoid putting all of his weight there and push for a jump, so he would rather re-distribute his weight on all 4 legs: switch front first and then switch hind latter, thus avoiding the air phase and loading of the hind end. That is not easy to fix.

So when you are correcting late changes, you will have to teach or demand a horse to put all of his weight on the hind end and teach/demand him to clearly jump up in the air with a clear suspension phase. Sound behind and forward horse definitely helps, but I saw some that still will avoid the difficulty of the clean changes and will change late if they are tired or just know that they can get away with it. It’s a battle.

I do put an enormous importance on the clean changes. If my mare changes not clean once in a blue moon, I have a little heart attack every time. It's very difficult to get 2s and 1s with not clean and straight changes.

I don't understand why they put not-clean changes on the video if horse can change clean? I met some people who honestly can't tell/feel the difference between the clean or not clean changes, but if this horse was shown PSG with 60% one would think that the owner knows her changes? Confusing...

OP did you ask the owner why late changes 50% of the time? Is is one lead or both leads? Why the horse is not fit? Was he/she unsound with lots of changes? Can she/he stay at that level and be sound? What’s her response?

Good luck.

Aug. 18, 2009, 06:41 PM
I would pass, sounds like she does not have really great training in collection.

Aug. 18, 2009, 10:14 PM
What DA and SLC said :yes:

Aug. 19, 2009, 11:24 AM
Not to disagree with DA or SLC, but ---a little history would not be amiss. This would not be the first horse trained very well to GP who would not produce changes if asked incorrectly, or S/I or H/P for that matter. :lol:

Too many people buy a horse such as this and are completely incapable of riding it, and too ignorant to get the help they need to either ride or sell it. ;)

Aug. 24, 2009, 09:47 AM
Well I saw the horse in question yesterday. Sweet, calm, patient temperament (in that way, a true schoolmaster), but the changes were late behind EVERY time-with the owner and myself. Sounds like she can get clean changes, but that this has been an issue ever since she learned them 3-4 years ago. It is no use to me to learn the changes "wrong", so I am going to have to pass on this darling mare.