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Sudi's Girl
Dec. 28, 2009, 11:01 PM
Ok, so I was reading George Morris' critique's in this month's Practical Horseman, and he mentioned it. I keep seeing this "critique" pop up, yet I cannot find anything explaining to me what this means?

Can anyone offer a description - or better yet, photos? I must be missing something.......

Thanks! :)

ens0613
Dec. 29, 2009, 11:17 AM
I'm not completely sure, but I think these are good examples of "back legs trailing": (Just warning you, these are *very* old and horrible photos!)

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/DFi6WLtX-XD69IsRoeHYZw?authkey=Gv1sRgCPDLw5ez7srqYQ&feat=directlink

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/W41F0AdfFTh4VdN2bylWEQ?authkey=Gv1sRgCPDLw5ez7srqY Q&feat=directlink

And here's an example of back legs NOT trailing:

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/W7ZGYzXaPGxhExS0ih3FkQ?authkey=Gv1sRgCPDLw5ez7srqY Q&feat=directlink

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/8XiSf9mG-5VRM_xHFta5sQ?authkey=Gv1sRgCPDLw5ez7srqYQ&feat=directlink

Hope this helps! :)

lacy859
Dec. 29, 2009, 03:31 PM
A horse that trails its hind end over fences is usually one with a very stiff back, and often goes hand in hand along with a horse that is a "splitter belly jumper" (i.e one who doesn't use its back and thus it's belly is the lowest part to the rails. Many times, horses that aren't terribly athletic over a fence and ones who "squirt" will trail their hind ends; conversely, athletic horses whom are described as having good scope and ability to jump big jumps generally have more push and follow-thru with their hind end. Even a lazy horse athletic horse, however, can trail their hind end if they don't meet the fence with enough pushing power coming from behind. Some horses naturally have good form with their hind over fences, but even a poor hind end can be improved to an extent :)

Bobthehorse
Dec. 29, 2009, 04:26 PM
It means that they arent tight with their back end over fences. It can either be because they just dont have the ability to jump with a tight hind end (just like with the front end) or it is often because they are being lazy, either the jump is not a huge effort for them, or they jumped out of a lazy canter.

My horse is an awesome jumper, but he never puts in more effort than he knows he has too, so he often gets loose with his legs (but rarely touches the fences), especially when they arent big enough for him.

Trailing hind end.
http://photos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-sf2p/v295/63/99/292400180/n292400180_274158_699.jpg

Compared to this, which is still not his best but it shows more effort in his hind end.
http://photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs228.snc1/7520_508494069575_292400180_402496_2385377_n.jpg

Sudi's Girl
Dec. 29, 2009, 04:33 PM
Thanks for the replies!

BTH - For the first picture you have posted, --how could it be different? I thought most horses looked like that at that point in the jump? Or are you saying that he "should" have lifted his back legs up already?

TwinGates
Dec. 29, 2009, 04:43 PM
Thanks for the replies!

BTH - For the first picture you have posted, --how could it be different? I thought most horses looked like that at that point in the jump? Or are you saying that he "should" have lifted his back legs up already?

Sudi's, I agree w/you. The ones posted by ens0613 (esp. the 2nd example) shows what is meant by back legs trailing behind

Bobthehorse
Dec. 30, 2009, 08:02 PM
I think GM means when they take off, as no one ever sends him in pics of their horse on the landing side. When he says hind end trailing, he means a loose hind end in the picture, which is often a takeoff picture.

Sudi's Girl
Dec. 30, 2009, 08:19 PM
So - are you saying that they should be taking off more quickly? or evenly? Unfortunately, I'm still confused. :-\

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 30, 2009, 09:18 PM
So - are you saying that they should be taking off more quickly? or evenly? Unfortunately, I'm still confused. :-\

It is more in the hocks. You don't want them to have their legs cramped under them...but you want their hocks bending. Best way I can think to describe it.

The first picture is a mare that is very good behind...always. The shot is closer to take off so you can see the difference. (no commet on the rider...although I look skinny in the picture so I like it...ducking and all ;) )

I'll take a horse good behind over a horse good in front any day (although good in front and behind is best :) ). A top jumper trainer (who I greatly respect) once told me that it is far easier to improve the front end than the back end....and the scope is really in the hind end even though most people focus on the front

Second horse is her half sister...also very good behind....to the point she can be hard to sit on.

EventerAJ
Dec. 31, 2009, 12:21 AM
Pictures can be a little deceiving if you can't translate the snapshot into actual movement. The timing of the photo, too, can make some faults apparent, or hide others.

I'm not sure if this will show enough contrast, but THIS (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4hpYkgTi9A) horse (video) is very good behind-- quite "snappy" with his legs, always gets them up up out of the way.

Conversely, THIS (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9fhhCbDyG4) guy (video) tends to elevate his front end, go "Superman" stretching out his front legs to land while kinda dragging the back end along. His style is mostly due to greenness...it has improved as he gets stronger and more balanced (he's only 4). But I don't think he'll ever be as reliably tight as Tycoon, the bay horse.

Flipping through some more videos... I would say my mare (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjBk7U2JUS0) also has a pretty textbook hind end in the air. It is interesting to focus only on the hind feet, and how the horse uses itself differently in certain situations...some jumps are a little "trail-y" when she jumps a little lazy/uninspired, while others are extremely snappy when she puts some effort into it. And then there's the occasional "snap-KICK" out behind over some fences when the hind end flips up and jumps me out of the tack (see the 3min (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjBk7U2JUS0&NR=1#t=2m59s) mark). :p

Sudi's Girl
Dec. 31, 2009, 11:10 AM
Excellent - thank you all for your help! I think I'm seeing it now! :D

STABLESWOT
Dec. 31, 2009, 11:48 AM
Here is a video or two to continue this discussion and perhaps come closer to the definition of trailing HL.

Baloubet du Rouet has an extremely open hock angle but even tho he straightens the hock on takeoff phase he folds up the hindlimbs on the flight phase.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys0LgHji92E


Touchdown is Baloubet du Rouet's half brother and here in this old clip the announcer is commenting on the folding of the hindlegs to avoid touching the jump poles. Dang ppl he sure was a powerhouse. Serious severe wood allergy right dere

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vphhvVOKao

i hope these horses were good examples- they were successful for sure

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 31, 2009, 12:13 PM
Baloubet du Rouet has an extremely open hock angle but even tho he straightens the hock on takeoff phase he folds up the hindlimbs on the flight phase.



I think that all good jumpers have and open hock angle when they push off on take off...even my mare...but they do fold them up where a horse with a trailing hindend doesn't.

So I agree...much eaiser to see in a video than in still photos but if you know what you are looking for, you can tell in the still photos if they are at a point in their jump where their hind end should start to come together.

Baloubet du Rouet looks fantastic behind to me..and I wouldn't say he has a trailing hind end. A really good jumper behind will tuck and rotate their hind end so that their hocks can end up pointing up (like he does) over the bigger efforts...that's what I meant why you don't want them cramped up behind...that limits their scope over the wider oxers. I think that this is where the location of the SI joint becomes critical in good jumpers. I just used the "hocks" as a basic description but there is a lot more too it.

EventerAJ
Dec. 31, 2009, 12:25 PM
I agree BFNE, Baloubet de Rouet has a great hind end.

I don't think you'll find many GP show jumpers with trailing hocks! Maybe a few with dangly knees, but most of them are super tight behind, with that added "kick" for power. An open hock angle is normal (it's not "trailing") when the hocks are flipped straight up to the sky in a huge effort over a big, wide fence!

Trailing is more the action of dragging the hind toes over the fence; there will always be some bend in the hock angle, but the hocks/fetlocks aren't "kicked up" or tightly tucked. Rather, the caboose just sorta follows the front end after liftoff, folding only as required to bring the hind end under to land.

SEPowell
Dec. 31, 2009, 12:26 PM
So when you're looking at a greenie jumping low stuff what in his jump tells you he has the potential to fold well behind over bigger jumps?

EventerAJ
Dec. 31, 2009, 12:45 PM
So when you're looking at a greenie jumping low stuff what in his jump tells you he has the potential to fold well behind over bigger jumps?


Well, it's always exciting when the green horse jumps like this. (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v103/aljohnd/Horse%20Pics/ArticatMSPCsj1.jpg) Then you pretty much know the hind end isn't a problem. ;)

Over a low, uninteresting jump that the horse barely canters over, you can't tell much. But how does he jump something big or spooky? A talented horse usually matches his front/hind end-- meaning, when he overjumps with knees 4' in the air, the hind end follows through at the same exaggerated height. (the "Big Scary! No Touchy!" effect)

Another horse may look super up front in that big extravagant effort, but instead of flipping the hind end up and over, it just sorta drags across unimpressively. This is relatively normal for some horses as they learn to jump, but the really good ones naturally have their parts in order. Lots of gymnastics can help engage the hind end, and teach the horse to be active back there; also, as he gains "life experience," he'll hopefully learn how to use an extra effort if needed. (unintentionally whacking his hind shins on xc usually does the trick, lol)

This picture (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v103/aljohnd/horse%20pics%202/Athens%20Woods%202009/CabXCramp014.jpg) looks great first glance...but what you don't see is how he knocked his hind fetlocks across the log on the way down-- the back end didn't match the front end elevation ;) Just part of the learning process-- the next time over, those hind feet were well-folded and quite clear of the obstacle.

bornfreenowexpensive
Dec. 31, 2009, 01:11 PM
So when you're looking at a greenie jumping low stuff what in his jump tells you he has the potential to fold well behind over bigger jumps?


Really green horse...hard to tell. For me....I seem to get horses who are very good behind. Must be something that I unconsiously like in their confromation (not helpful I know).

But IME...horses that are very good behind will often over jump behind as green horses. They will kick up more and be a b$tch to sit on;) but they may not be very organized...that comes with more experience.

Some of it is how well they are put together...can they mechanically be good behind...and some of it is how careful they are. It is why I think it is very hard to really improve them behind.

That said....in eventing....we really don't jump THAT big of a jump. Not compared to the GP horses. So I've seen several horses at Intermediate (and even some at Advanced) that are perfectly safe and competitive but who I would say are not fantastic behind--or really scopy. (of course there are also many who ARE fantastic)