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Granada
Sep. 6, 2009, 03:08 PM
First-- Thanks for looking!

From the following schooling show pics (Training level), I noticed my horse's hind leg hits the ground before his front leg at the trot... what does this mean?

http://gallery.me.com/fjkruger#100373/DSC_0193&bgcolor=black

http://gallery.me.com/fjkruger#100373/DSC_0167&bgcolor=black

http://gallery.me.com/fjkruger#100373/DSC_0166&bgcolor=black

http://gallery.me.com/fjkruger#100373/DSC_0160_2&bgcolor=black

His rhythm feels normal, but I've had him since he came off the track and he's now 15 so its possible I'm just used to it. He's also had arthritis for several years so it could be due to that. I'm mostly happy he still likes to go, and that I can finally afford some of these shows. But, I'm wondering if this movement is correct and what I can do to work on it.

eponacelt
Sep. 6, 2009, 03:12 PM
What you are describing is called positive DAP (which stands for something which I can't remember at the moment) and I believe it is generally considered a good thing.

All I can say is you and your horse make a lovely picture together.

And I do have a question...what is the ring around his one hind leg?

tempichange
Sep. 6, 2009, 03:32 PM
Diagnol Advanced Placement

angel
Sep. 6, 2009, 04:31 PM
If the horse travels such that both hind legs strike the ground before their diagonal fores, then the horse can be considered to be collected. If the horse does this when moving freely while not under saddle, it is considered DAP, diagonal advance placement.

But, when you have horse that is not moving straight, then what is happening is that one diagonal is collected and the other diagonal is extended, each to a degree greater than is needed for correct balance.

Your horse is consistently keeping the diagonal from its left hind to its right fore too collected, resulting in the left hind foot hitting before the diagonal fore. If you look at the other diagonal, you will see that the right hind is too high in the air, and the left fore is going to hit before the left hind. What you cannot also see is that the right hind is stringing out behind. The extra height that the camera catches in this first picture is the results of the right hind just reaching the highest point in the stride after the diagonal fore is on the way back to the ground. In other words, this horse is hollow right and on the forehand.

Most horses at this stage are doing the same thing. If you look at your picture (1 st pix), you will see that you have hiked your left leg up, which puts too much weight on your right stirrup. In this counterclockwise direction, your weight should be on your left stirrup to a greater degree. Your extra weight going into your right stirrup is contributing to your horse's crookedness. Happens to the best of us!;)

cutemudhorse
Sep. 6, 2009, 04:39 PM
Angel --- Wow!

Come watch me ride! :):yes:
Would be a great learing experience. And humbling I'm sure. . .

angel
Sep. 6, 2009, 04:42 PM
Lessons are not supposed to be humbling...only the advancing of knowledge.:yes: Knowledge makes us all better.

twofatponies
Sep. 6, 2009, 04:43 PM
Angel - I've seen that in pictures so many times, and wondered myself. Thanks for the technical explanation!!!

Ambrey
Sep. 6, 2009, 04:46 PM
LOL, I wish we could do like or dislike, thums up or thumbs down, or something like that on posts.

I think I'd click "like" on a lot of Angel's posts, she always takes the time to fully explain her observations!

twofatponies
Sep. 6, 2009, 04:49 PM
LOL, I wish we could do like or dislike, thums up or thumbs down, or something like that on posts.

I think I'd click "like" on a lot of Angel's posts, she always takes the time to fully explain her observations!

Ambrey - that's a great idea. Can I pass it on to the mods? (wasn't there a forum suggestions thread a while back?) I suspect this forum software doesn't have that option, but if they ever consider a new system, that would be a great thing to have.

Ambrey
Sep. 6, 2009, 05:33 PM
Absolutely. I am betting there's something similar available as an add-on.

cutemudhorse
Sep. 6, 2009, 06:01 PM
Lessons are not supposed to be humbling...only the advancing of knowledge.:yes: Knowledge makes us all better.

Yep, you must come and be my instructor! :):yes:

Roan
Sep. 6, 2009, 06:13 PM
There are several options in the vanilla vBulletin software that allow such things. Reputation Points for posters and thread ratings could be very helpful here. They have the most recent version, so it would just be a matter of figuring out how they want to implement it and turning it on.

There are also third party add-ons that will do similar things. Most you have to pay for, though.

Eileen

slc2
Sep. 6, 2009, 07:15 PM
That's not DAP.

The horse is a little stiff behind bringing his hind leg forward by using his hip more than bending his hocks, and not getting much suspension in the trot. It may be an age thing or to do with the arthritis (kind of an adjustment a horse makes to keep comfortable); ask your instructor if getting him a little off the forehand and asking him to bend his hind legs and push more would help; you could work on your position and half halts and getting him more together, but in the pictures, it really looks like a compensation the horse is making.

It's a very nice horse(it's a gorgeous elegant beautiful horse, to be completely honest), and at his age and with arthritis, since he is doing such a beautiful job for you in so many other ways (at least that's certainly how it looks, it also looks like someone takes incredibly good care of him), maybe best to just accept how he chooses to go and enjoy him.

narcisco
Sep. 6, 2009, 08:01 PM
We could call the horse "hasty behind," since the hind end is taking shorter, quicker steps than the front end, which is dwelling in the air. So, through judicious use of half halts, lateral work, rein back, and well, you know, good old dressage, you could make the diagonal pairs more even and put a step of suspension in that trot (where all four feet are off the ground).

Granada
Sep. 6, 2009, 11:11 PM
Thanks all for the comments; these are the kind of detailed explanations I was looking for (especially Angels!) I've been reading my dressage books and looking at my show pics from last weekend to find the footfalls... and well these threw me through a loop :lol:.

I noticed also that he does this more on a circle where his haunches are falling out. But at the canter to the right he carries his haunches to the inside, and we get better scores cantering to the left even though his left hind is more stiff according to vets:confused:

So we have many issues and I don't like to push him since I'm not sure how much he can handle. Our normal routine is to do a long warm up, then if he feels good work on dressage (circles, transitions, leg yields) in a flat shady spot in the pasture and if not we hack around the pasture and use the hills and tall grass for exercise. I don't jump him anymore, so I'm really excited that we're doing well at training level. I think we can do 1st with some work for both of us, but past that I'm not sure he could do the collection.

Anyway you all are very good at critiquing photos as most of the comments reinforce what the judge said... that we need to work on throughness and half-halts, luckily we impressed the judge with our obedience and forward and got a 68.8% at training 4 even with me transitioning at a wrong letter:)

eponacelt: he's wearing a fetlock ring (sausage boot) because he's narrow and was due for shoes last week and I didn't want him opening up a spot where he had interfered... a nice perk with schooling shows, being able to wear boots:winkgrin:

Tonja
Sep. 7, 2009, 03:26 PM
First-- Thanks for looking!

From the following schooling show pics (Training level), I noticed my horse's hind leg hits the ground before his front leg at the trot... what does this mean?

http://gallery.me.com/fjkruger#10037...&bgcolor=black

http://gallery.me.com/fjkruger#10037...&bgcolor=black

http://gallery.me.com/fjkruger#10037...&bgcolor=black

http://gallery.me.com/fjkruger#10037...&bgcolor=black

His rhythm feels normal, but I've had him since he came off the track and he's now 15 so its possible I'm just used to it. He's also had arthritis for several years so it could be due to that. I'm mostly happy he still likes to go, and that I can finally afford some of these shows. But, I'm wondering if this movement is correct and what I can do to work on it.
A hind hoof hitting the ground before its fore hoof is usually caused by constraint and imbalance.

In this photo, http://gallery.me.com/fjkruger#10037...&bgcolor=black , the backwardness/downwardness of the contact is interfering with the natural posture of the horse’s neck. The restricted freedom of movement causes the front legs to swing fraction of a beat behind the hind legs which disrupts the purity of his gaits. You’re twisting your torso a bit in this photo and collapsing in your right ribcage.

A neutral contact and sitting in a more balance position would allow the horse a natural head/neck carriage and help restore his natural freedom of movement.

The contact in this photo, http://gallery.me.com/fjkruger#10037...&bgcolor=black , is more neutral but the tempo looks like it might be a little quick and the horse has lost his balance and has fallen onto his forehand. Resting in the saddle, a more relaxed leg, letting the weight sink into the heels, raising the ribcage, broadening the frontline and heavier elbows would enable half halts to be more effective.

Again, here, http://gallery.me.com/fjkruger#10037...&bgcolor=black , the horse is constrained by the backwardness/downwardness of the contact which is blocking his freedom of movement and causing the front feet to land a fraction of a second behind the hind feet.

This photo, http://gallery.me.com/fjkruger#10037...&bgcolor=black ,shows the best balance of the 4 photos. There is still a hint of downward/backward pressure in the reins but the horse’s neck is in a more natural position and his movement is noticeably freer. Again, resting in the saddle, a more relaxed leg, letting the weight sink into the heels, raising the ribcage, broadening the frontline (long line across the collar bones, short line across the shoulder blades), and heavier elbows (while maintaining a straight line from the elbow to the bit) would make a neutral contact and application of the aids a lot easier.

ThreeFigs
Sep. 7, 2009, 05:10 PM
Several years ago, at a USDF convention, I was asked to provide an illustration for a talk given on positive DAP by Hilda Gurney. It is considered a good thing, over-analysis notwithstanding. Around the same time, I found a very good article online by a Swedish (I think) gent who was heavily involved with Warmbloood breeding and approvals. Can't find that one after a quick Google search, but here's a link to an article by Dr. Hilary Clayton.

Congratulations on your beautiful-moving horse, Granada!

cvm.msu.edu/research/research-centers/.../USDF_July02.pdf

slc2
Sep. 7, 2009, 06:09 PM
DAP can only occur when the hind leg drives more actively through the air (accelerates airborn), largely thru flexion of the joints and strength.

When the hind leg is on the ground sooner, it isn't always because of DAP. It can also land sooner because the hind legs are stiff the hock is not bent more, and NOT driving through the air. When the horse swings the hind leg forward from the hip he can be quick yet stiff and is not driving harder, he is swinging from the hip, not pushing harder against the ground or making more of a 'spring' thru flexing his joints.

Granada
Sep. 7, 2009, 07:46 PM
Tonja, Thanks for critiquing my photos, however I disagree that he is backward and constrained in those first photos, yes he is a bit behind the vertical and somewhat downhill but he did not feel backward, he felt flow-y and springy and we got a lot of "good energy" comments and he looks to be tracking up. Also, he has a higher neck set, I always warm him up riding him forward into steady and contact and let his head stay up in the air (I feel silly with my hands so high) until he comes onto the bit himself and seeks heavier contact and we stretch at the end of our warmup. If I ask him to stretch at the beginning we wouldn't have the connection, so from this experience I don't think him being "up" with his neck is unnatural for him.

I'm actually thinking the first photo with me crooked is so obvious with the incorrect footfalls because we just onto the short side to pass C, so we are both out of balance.. need to work on half halts, which I think would have helped steady my position and balance him.

We actually did very well at the show, he placed 1st in both T3 and T4, but I know we still have a lot to work on. I was very curious about the footfalls and I knew COTHers would have the answer. :)

We have a ways to go before we are truly well balanced and through so I don't think his is the case of DAP, I think it is more the bend and "circle straight" issues and his compensating for stiffness that makes it so obvious for him, especially since his opposite hind is so strung out as Angel pointed out.

My other horse also seems to do this, though he is a very different ride than my OTTB, so maybe it's one of those things I've just noticed all of a sudden after having ridden all my life lol.

We are doing T1 and T2:
Trot 1 (http://gallery.me.com/fjkruger#100373/DSC_0257&bgcolor=black)

Trot 2 (http://gallery.me.com/fjkruger#100373/DSC_0100&bgcolor=black)

Trot 3 (http://gallery.me.com/fjkruger#100373/DSC_0279&bgcolor=black)

Trot 4 (http://gallery.me.com/fjkruger#100373/DSC_0315&bgcolor=black)

Trot 5 (http://gallery.me.com/fjkruger#100373/DSC_0312&bgcolor=black)
And this one, his right front is firmly on the ground while the opposite hind is coming up.

angel
Sep. 7, 2009, 07:55 PM
Are you left-handed, Granada?

Tonja
Sep. 7, 2009, 08:20 PM
Granada wrote:

Tonja, Thanks for critiquing my photos, however I disagree that he is backward and constrained in those first photos, yes he is a bit behind the vertical and somewhat downhill but he did not feel backward, he felt flow-y and springy and we got a lot of "good energy" comments and he looks to be tracking up.
I agree with you, Granada, that I don’t think your horse is backward. He does look like he has good energy.

What I meant by “backwardness/downwardness of the contact” was that your contact – your hands/arms/seat – have a backward/downward attitude/action on the reins that is interfering with the naturalness of the horse’s neck, restricting his movement and creating the so-called “positive DAP”.

Granada wrote:

I don't think him being "up" with his neck is unnatural for him.
What I was referring to as unnatural was his behind the vertical posture and the tension in his neck in the first and third photos. His neck is a bit scrunched in those photos and horses do not carry themselves that posture when they are displaying balanced movement in nature.

The article about the slow-motion analysis of the trot didn’t take into account what typically happens when the hind hoof lands before the front hoof (“positive DAP”); the hind foot also leaves the ground before the front foot; leaving the forehand to lift itself into the air without the assistance of the haunches. This phenomenon can be seen here: http://www.ridingart.com/dap.htm and is also demonstrated in videos of Olympic rides. Granada, your photos, “Trot 2” and “Trot 5” show this phenomenon too: http://gallery.me.com/fjkruger#100373/DSC_0100&bgcolor=black & http://gallery.me.com/fjkruger#100373/DSC_0312&bgcolor=black The hind feet are just about airborne while the front feet are fully grounded.

By classical standards, “positive DAP” is a sign of restricted movement, tension, imbalance and impurity of gait.

jumpsnake
Sep. 7, 2009, 08:43 PM
I've been lurking on this thread and find it fascinating.
Tonja, thanks for the article link. Do you have a series of photos of 0DAP for comparison?
Thanks.

Angel, your opinion seems different than Tonja's. If you have the time, I would be greatly interested in what your opinion is to the biomechanics of positive DAP- what do you think of the article/ photos??

NOT trying to start anything here-- I am genuinely trying to learn and educate my eye.

Granada
Sep. 7, 2009, 09:20 PM
I've been lurking on this thread and find it fascinating.
Tonja, thanks for the article link. Do you have a series of photos of 0DAP for comparison?
Thanks.

Angel, your opinion seems different than Tonja's. If you have the time, I would be greatly interested in what your opinion is to the biomechanics of positive DAP- what do you think of the article/ photos??

NOT trying to start anything here-- I am genuinely trying to learn and educate my eye.

This is why I started this thread, though I didn't know about DAP yet so I've already learned something:) But I would also be interested in a discussion about DAP and pics/vids of +, - and 0 DAP.

Also how does bend effect DAP, as in trotting a 10m circle.

And thanks for your explanation Tonja. The backward action of my position makes more sense, I have a lot to work on- that's the fun of riding:winkgrin:

slight
Sep. 7, 2009, 09:45 PM
I've learned a lot from this post - thanks everyone! I cannot help but be humbled as my knowledge advances - there is so much to learn!

angel
Sep. 7, 2009, 09:58 PM
I do not view a horse that has only one diagonal in which the hind touches down before the fore a DAP horse. The horse must travel such that both hind legs land before their diagonal mates. Seldom, if ever, do you see evidence of DAP when the horse is under saddle. I have never seen a horse truely present DAP under saddle. What generally happens is that a horse that has DAP when moving freely, is put under saddle and is cranked in. The contact is not correct, and the horse has been pulled behind vertical, but the horse still has extravangant movement because it has this exceptional conformation which creates DAP. Everybody oohs and aahs during performances as the horse's front legs go flying, but the horse doesn't last long in the show world before breaking down. A DAP horse is likely to be difficult to ride because it is constantly feeling the effects of being pulled off-balance by its rider. This is not the same as riding a hot horse, and if a hot horse is subjected to some of this stuff, you quite likely have a big problem.

DAP is not changed by the line of travel, and if it is, it means the horse is not straight, or in balance. When we say that collection is born of extension, and extension is born of collection, it means that we have worked the horse to minimize its natural tendency to travel crooked, and within that work, we have established adjustibility because both diagonals can equally flex (shorten) or stretch (lengthen). When we ride a circle, we are focusing on collecting the outside diagonal...the smaller the circle, the greater is that collection. When we ride a straight line, we are focuing on extending the inside diagonal. We change direction so that we can work on each diagonal. Eventually we want both diagonals to be able to extend or collect, or do both at the same time within the desired stride length. For instance, when we do shoulder-in, we want both diagonals to collect, but the outside diagonal needs to collect to a greater degree, and within that collection, the stride is shorter. When we do half-pass, we want both diagonals to stay somewhat collected, but because the motion passes over the inside diagonal, we are working to stay collected within the extension, or comparatively longer length of the inside diagonal. This is a simplistic explaination at best.

I asked Granada before, but I guess she did not see...Granada, are you left-handed?

Granada
Sep. 7, 2009, 10:25 PM
I asked Granada before, but I guess she did not see...Granada, are you left-handed?

sorry, I saw it but forgot to post... I'm right handed. But I hold my left hand lower than my right for some reason. It's not just these pics, its a long time problem.

Tonja
Sep. 7, 2009, 10:28 PM
Thanks for the replies. I'll put a series of "0-DAP" photos together. It'll probably be a couple of days before it's on my website.

In the mean time, there is video of Olympic riders whose horses show "0-DAP" at times. If you search through videos you'll find a little bit of everything.

Moogles
Sep. 8, 2009, 02:42 AM
Is this somewhat of a balanced DAP? She was training level at the time.

http://i643.photobucket.com/albums/uu156/MooglesC1/My%20horse/IMGP0345.jpg

Still a little on the forehand but again this was at training level.

Tonja
Sep. 8, 2009, 10:51 AM
Is this somewhat of a balanced DAP? She was training level at the time.

http://i643.photobucket.com/albums/u...e/IMGP0345.jpg

Still a little on the forehand but again this was at training level.
In this photo of a horse in a later stage of a stride with “positive DAP”, http://i643.photobucket.com/albums/u...e/IMGP0345.jpg , the hind hoof is leaving the ground while the forefoot is fully weighted. The front end is going to have to lift itself into the air without the assistance of the haunches. This puts a lot of undue stress on the front legs of the horse.

One of the objectives in dressage is to have the haunches assist in lightening and carrying the forehand.

There is no such thing as “balanced DAP”. DAP is a detriment to optimal balance, freedom of movement and purity of gaits.

angel
Sep. 8, 2009, 03:05 PM
I guess though Tonja and I both have a horse's interest at heart, I do not perceive DAP to be a bad thing. When the horse's hindquarters step under to a greater degree, which happens with DAP, the horse takes more weight on the hindquarters...just as it does in collection. The coformation of a DAP horse will also show a highset neck, coming well out of the withers. It is not only the conformation of the hindquarters, but also the conformation of the shoulders. The shoulders rise into the air a greater degree while the hindquarters are stepping under a greater degree. This is more like the ultimate collection, and such horses, when ridden correctly, are a dream to ride. The problem that occurs is that the rider chokes up on the reins, and that limits the shoulders ability to rise to the height that the conformation dictates. Then, yes...I agree with Tonja, because that does cause impurity to the gait, and you do lose the power.

I could not access your pictures, Tonja, but my guess is that they are showing the problem with a horse that is under saddle and not properly being ridden up into contact. In other words, the horse is being pulled into contact.

Tonja
Sep. 8, 2009, 03:36 PM
Horses that DAP naturally lack pure, fluid movement. They may indeed carry more weight behind during the touch down phase of the trot stride (since the hind hoof is the only hoof making contact with the ground at that moment) but at the more critical lift off phase of a DAP stride, the forehand is usually left to lift itself off of the ground on its own. The horse’s front end and hind end are not working in harmony as a unit and the energy doesn’t flow smoothly through the horse’s body. This phenomenon can be seen in videos of top horses.

One of the primary objectives in dressage is to improve the purity of the gaits.

sunico
Sep. 8, 2009, 08:34 PM
What a great thread! It's discussions like these from which we can really learn something - thanks all, especially Tonja and Angel, for your insights.

Moogles
Sep. 9, 2009, 01:32 AM
In this photo of a horse in a later stage of a stride with “positive DAP”, http://i643.photobucket.com/albums/u...e/IMGP0345.jpg , the hind hoof is leaving the ground while the forefoot is fully weighted. The front end is going to have to lift itself into the air without the assistance of the haunches. This puts a lot of undue stress on the front legs of the horse.

One of the objectives in dressage is to have the haunches assist in lightening and carrying the forehand.

There is no such thing as “balanced DAP”. DAP is a detriment to optimal balance, freedom of movement and purity of gaits.

Thanks, makes sense.

Granada
Sep. 9, 2009, 08:10 AM
Is this somewhat of a balanced DAP? She was training level at the time.

http://i643.photobucket.com/albums/uu156/MooglesC1/My%20horse/IMGP0345.jpg

Still a little on the forehand but again this was at training level.

Moogles, your horse is gorgeous!

I think what slc, and Angel may be trying to say is that positive DAP is only a good thing when the hind leg actually beats the opposite fore leg to the ground but still pushes off at the correct time (not too early) is this possible?

When you have some pics like mine there are also corresponding pics to show the front leg weighted while the opposite hind is off the ground which just means they aren't in perfect rhythm and are still downhill.

angel
Sep. 9, 2009, 10:27 AM
DAP is so misused today. Years ago, when researchers wanted to determine which horses would do the best for dressage under saddle (think about how to pick an untrained youngster here), they did studies that concluded if a horse had a diagonal hind leg touch down before its matching fore leg AT TROT, then that horse should have an exemplary future when put under saddle. This diagonal advanced placement of the hind leg was given the nomenclature D.A.P., just as abbreviation. This has today become a totally distorted term. It is not being applied correctly most of the time. It is not as easy to assess the lift of the diagonal shoulder, but had that been easier to assess, we might well be say DLP, today, for diagonal lift placement, such terminology being applied to the fore leg of the diagonal instead of DAP, which is applied to the hind leg. None of this applies to under saddle work. If you see this sort of thing when the horse is under saddle, the horse's balance has been compromised!

Tonja
Sep. 9, 2009, 04:44 PM
I don’t think the problem is that the term “DAP” has been distorted or applied incorrectly. DAP is simply the term used to describe the asynchrony. I think the problem is the faulty premise that DAP (and an increase in the duration of DAP) is a sign of improved balance and increased engagement.

The early articles about DAP discuss Olympic performances and the illustrations depict horses under saddle.

mbm
Sep. 9, 2009, 04:58 PM
maybe has been addressed already, but can someone explain how DAP is a good thing for dressage when the very basic criteria is pure gaits?

jumpsnake
Sep. 9, 2009, 05:06 PM
Wow. This is great. Thanks everyone.

So, angel, you think that DAP (or whatever you want to call it) is basically non-existent under saddle?

I'm getting confused thinking about this. Tonja, couldn't the 'energy wave' as you call it be passed on by the opposite hind foot? I know you say the forefoot is left on the ground too long, but couldn't the hind leg on the same side as the weighted forefoot be compensating some for this?

Ugh, my brain is fried today so ignore me if I make no sense at all.

angel
Sep. 9, 2009, 11:35 PM
I do not know if evidence of DAP is totally impossible for all horses when the horse is under saddle. I have never seen the DAP evidenced under saddle. When people point to DAP under saddle, it is not correctly applied, because as Tonja has said, the gait shows as compromised. In those pictures that are presented as to horses under saddle showing DAP, I can point to where the horse is incorrectly balanced by the rider's actions, which then results in the grounding of the front leg so that it lingers there after the hind is already coming off the ground. This is not DAP.

What I would like to see is that upper level horse troting freely without the rider and showing DAP. Then, I would like to see the same horse doing ridden work and showing the same footfalls. But, my guess is that you will not ever see that because today's horses are being ridden too much on the curb, and with the necks too short. It is much easier to ride a DAP horse, but it is also much easier to screw up their balance because there is so little margin for error in establishing correct connection. DAP horses win because in spite of compromised balance, they can still move brilliantly. Not so with a lesser conformed horse.

slc2
Sep. 9, 2009, 11:51 PM
DAP can not be perceived with the naked eye as an asynchrony. It only shows on a slowed down video. If it can be perceived with the eye it is too much, and is likely an uneven or stiff horse.

It is an extremely small difference in how the hind foot drives through the air, the hind foot does NOT take off the ground quicker than the forefoot, it just punches/accelerates thru the air quicker because of the energy in the flexion of the joints.

When the hock and stifle are straight, as when the hind leg is swung from the hip, DAP isn't possible; the hind leg may hit the ground sooner, but it's not DAP. When the stride is actually uneven or stiff, it CAN be perceived with the naked eye.

The energy for DAP comes from the hock (and the other joints that move with it) flexing and storing energy that is released as the hind leg accelerates through the air. It isn't perceived as the hind foot coming down sooner, but as a general 'quality' or 'energy'.

goodpony
Sep. 10, 2009, 11:50 AM
I thought this was an interesting picture as it relates to this discussion--maybe it does'nt, I dont really know. Maybe it doesn't apply he is being asked to stretch vs working trot. What I think it shows is the diagonal pairs working near to unison with the hind tracking well into the foot print of the fore. One pair appears evenly grounded--with the near fore just contacting the ground, while the opposite pair appears to be arching through the air at about the same level--little hard to see from the angle. This ponies tendency is towards becoming lateral so I spend a lot of time focused on tempo/rhythm foot falls etc. So this discussion has been of great interest to me--thank you to the contributers.

Tonja
Sep. 10, 2009, 01:03 PM
Way back when, a photo of Rembrandt under saddle and drawings of horses under saddle were used to illustrate DAP in various articles.

At this point the idea that DAP is an indication of self-carriage, engagement and relative elevation of the forehand has been pretty well debunked.

Granada
Sep. 10, 2009, 01:26 PM
In other words, this horse is hollow right and on the forehand.
Most horses at this stage are doing the same thing. If you look at your picture (1 st pix), you will see that you have hiked your left leg up, which puts too much weight on your right stirrup. In this counterclockwise direction, your weight should be on your left stirrup to a greater degree. Your extra weight going into your right stirrup is contributing to your horse's crookedness. Happens to the best of us!;)

Thanks Angel for these comments. When you said he was hollow right it kind of clicked for me...

so yesterterday instead of focusing on unsticking the left stiff side while warming up (which the way I do it is obviously causing him to stay crooked and unballanced and overcollected on the left) I focussed on staying straight in my own position and asking him to step up and seek the right rein while doing big figure 8 and serpentine loops. It worked fabulously! I think it's the best he's felt in a long time- he was forward and swingy and springy and gooey and felt like he was really TRYING to move himself straight and take contact on the right side.

Because I was finally asking the right question (move freely through the right side instead of give on the left) I was able to get the right answer... or at least a better answer:winkgrin: So thanks for helping me Angel and Tonja... your analysis of my position and photos really helped!