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retreadeventer
Jun. 8, 2011, 10:52 PM
Why not take a stab at defining what a "good mover" really is?

Is it form to function -- pushing off and covering ground, fluid strides, elastic, rhythmical, capable of changing balance forward and back....

I have been looking at too many videos and pictures, and listening to too many people, and I swear, some of the horses listed as "good movers" are not what I was taught, and what I thought I knew, as a "good mover".

Am I looking for the hunter swing? The dressage knee popper? Or something in between? I want a horse that has some elasticity to the step, a horse that can cover ground effortlessly, a horse that does not struggle to reach and pull over the ground, but pushes himself forward with ease, bouncing at the canter, uphill in the wither....naturally.

Is that too much to expect for a "good mover"? Am I expecting "fabulous" for "good" or is good a lower standard?

Duckz
Jun. 9, 2011, 06:33 AM
Good mover = the horse that moves me safely from one side of the jump to the other :D

ake987
Jun. 9, 2011, 11:35 AM
Okay, so this is not going to be the exact response you are looking for, because I don't have any real answers, but here is my .02:

When I bought my then 4yo OTTB (at a hunter barn), I was told (okay, I overheard people saying) he was a "crap mover", was a "4", and just didn't have nice gaits. Granted, he was also not in the shape he is in today but..

We just had our first CT, ever, and he got a 7 overall for gaits on a test we had never ridden before and his first time off the property. After all I had been told about how ugly of a mover he was, I was astonished! I think what score you get for gaits on a dressage test depends on: the judge that is watching you and your horse go, and how much training and conditioning you have put on your horse to get them as supple and elastic as they can be.

So, I think, to some extent, quality of movement is subjective, particularly in eventing, where there are so many different KINDS of movement seen (especially with all the different breeds with naturally different gaits/movement at the lower levels), and I think that a "good mover" is just as you described, which also seems to be what judges are scoring for on dressage tests. Freedom, suspension, rhythm, lightness on the forehand, etc etc etc.

I also want to mention that I don't think it's always fair to give a horse a label as a good mover or bad, because proper care and training can improve a horse's ability to carry himself exponentially! Not saying you did that, or that you didn't already know that, but that's all I had to add. :)

There will always be horses that naturally have more suspension and elasticity, but I think all horses have the ability to move well.

Bobthehorse
Jun. 9, 2011, 12:08 PM
A good mover is subjective, no matter the discipline. Outside of hunters it is a bit more form to function rather than aesthetics though. Action rather than lack thereof is beneficial to a horse performing collection and extensions. Too much action can sometimes make for an inefficient gallop. Since event horses spend more time cantering/galloping than trotting, the importance of a good canter generally comes before a good trot, even if a flashy trot is generally what catches the eye.

In eventing, some people prefer a hunter type, some prefer more action, but in the end there is no "one right type". As long as the horse moves in an athletic manner, meaning they push from behind and stretch over their backs and have enough bounce in their step to show a nice change within gaits.

VCT
Jun. 9, 2011, 02:31 PM
I rode both my horses at a CT last weekend and after the show I thanked the judge for her comments and advice. During the conversation she said that she judges horses based on their own potential, not based on the potential of a imported high dollar dressage horse. So, I think the gaits mark is subjective, perhaps depending on the judge. Some may be scoring your horse compared to other horses. Some, like the judge I had, may be scoring your horse compared to what they think is the best that horse can do.

But basically, yeah I think it's mostly form relating to function.

skip916
Jun. 9, 2011, 03:34 PM
i think there isn't really ONE definition of a "good mover" other than to say said horse can safely and efficiently get from point a to point b. i would say hunter and dressage people would have very different answers that eventers would.

that said, there is def. a kind of movement i prefer to see and feel in an event horse. the biggest thing i look for is an adjustability/elasticity of gaits. you can see this often very clearly watching horses exercise at the track, or young horses at play etc. even if you can't ride them. its that ability for natural collection/extension even BEFORE the dressage training. i like them to be able to "ball up" and then "lay out" in a gait naturally. if you have that- you can take it and make a very decent and safe eventer usually, because the natural tendency to be able to adjust themselves and use their bodies translates to safety over fences and making the time!

personally, i like to see some suspension as well, but it's just pretty to me. i HATE extraneous up/down knee action (even totilas bothers me sometimes!) so i think its pretty personal. i think you have to be careful with suspension too, because if you get too much, you end up with the prettiest slowest xc round ever. i have a dear friend with a lovely TB who has the most lovely canter ever, you can almost count a second between when his feet leave and hit the ground, he just boings around xc like a carousel horse but she cant get him to gallop- there's too much "air time" naturally in his gait! i love a good gallop where you can feel their backs drop and a switch of gears when you need it.

*Trinity*
Jun. 9, 2011, 03:57 PM
You wouldn't believe how many people claim their horse as a 'good mover,' when the horse is barely moving correctly, let alone well! I take ads that say such with a grain of salt. I define "good mover" differently than "correct mover." I find most seem to think correct=good. Depends what your standards are, I guess.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jun. 9, 2011, 05:29 PM
I suspect you are looking for fabulous. Good is good. They move straight and have movement that doesn't make you think of a washing machine. They can score in the 30s at HTs with decent riding and training. Fabulous....is with training and good riding will be competitive in any company and at dressage shows (for the lower levels) but may not be the mover of a GP dressage horse.

yellowbritches
Jun. 10, 2011, 08:11 AM
We have quite a few "good movers" in our barn- from very flamboyant, springy WB types, to floating, pretty TB types (and one we refer to as "Spider Horse" because of his VERY flamboyant articulation of his very long legs), and a lot of stuff in between. They are all VERY different, but they all can do very well in the dressage and can all get very good marks in the collectives on gaits.

I think the thing that ALL good movers have in common, though, is "suspension", "spring", or "lift." Whatever you want to call it. There is some amount of "air time" to their steps, and they are light on their feet (they don't sound like Mac trucks when they trot by). It doesn't really matter if they are flat kneed and have a "daisy cutter" type step like a hunter, or if they are big and flamboyant and active...if they've got that spring in their step, they are good.

The only thing I REQUIRE for an event horse is a good (preferably great) canter. One that is powerful and balanced. Even when you are on a green horse or out shape horse you should feel like you've got about 6 more gears left. But that's a FEELING, more than aesthetics...but they usually look as good as they feel. :yes: (And bad canters look as bad as they feel!).

retreadeventer
Jun. 10, 2011, 08:58 AM
OK, thanks guys. Getting a better feel for it.
Here's my problem: I am not sure about the "eye of the beholder" type of definition, because, if that were the case, breeders would have a tough time of it! Breeders have to be looking for something with a definition, I would think, rather than just settling for a personal preference. I think that is why they bring in the judges and have the inspections, so that if you breed a colt, your preference is judged against other breeders' preferences, and the judges decide who has the "best" preferences! (ne colts.)

I think there is a definition for a good mover out there but I am not sure I've found it yet.

In any case, Skip, you said something that resonated with me -- about watching horses and the way the canter smooths into the gallop -- yes! Cool description.

But so many horses pull themselves over the ground. Pushing does not mean suspension -- but we are looking for some suspension, or otherwise we'd not have the power to extend, or get the coffin canter on collection, right?

Napoles
Jun. 10, 2011, 09:05 AM
The only thing I REQUIRE for an event horse is a good (preferably great) canter. One that is powerful and balanced. Even when you are on a green horse or out shape horse you should feel like you've got about 6 more gears left. But that's a FEELING, more than aesthetics...but they usually look as good as they feel. :yes: (And bad canters look as bad as they feel!).

Yep. :yes: And a good walk. The trot can always be improved on through training and conditioning to a certain extent, but it's always better to start with a horse that has a good walk and canter.

skip916
Jun. 10, 2011, 09:21 AM
retread-
i totally agree about the pushing vs. pulling issue you mentioned. a lot of what i look for is the natural ability for the horse to be able to push itself off the ground. while i mostly really like to shop for horses just off the track, you can still differentiate this natural ability in a group of young horses that have only had race training. to tell you the truth, my own mare was very much a "pull" mover at first- especially in transitions and at the gallop. she would use her shoulders and pull and flatten herself into the next gait (i call it "grabby" transitions) until trained otherwise that transitions come from behind, with a lifting of back/wither, however, i could see easily when she was at liberty in the pasture, or on the lunge, that she had the natural ability to push herself and did so naturally when not undersaddle. i think a lot of times the OTTB's have been "trained" to pull rather than push in transitions- and i don't know why- maybe it's more efficient for high speeds? if you look at a group of say seven horses exercising at the track- its clear as day which ones have the NATURAL ability to collect/extend. i love to see them trot at the track too because you see which ones will hold themselves with their backs up "round" etc. and move correctly and which ones just curl their necks and play and the movement is shorter/choppier with little suspension. it's really hard to explain without seeing it! the way they move of course changes when they are trained off the track and improves with proper muscling, dressage, etc. but you need a foundation to stand on. i have seen quite a few TB's that move like western pleasure horses naturally- which is not something i am interested in.

i think suspension is absolutely necessary- but i DEF believe their is such as thing as too much suspension creating inefficiency in ground covering- whether rider error or natural way of moving. you have to be able to get a horse to move in a forward manner- and a natural forward way of going is much easier than the "kick ride"!

i also agree about the breeding- there sort of "should" be one clear definition, but there doesn't seem to be. breeders breed for very different things- including way of going. this is why some stallions are "hunter" sires, some "eventing", "dressage" sires etc. not to say there isn't any crossover, but it's not too often you would see a "cutting" sire breed for the same type of movement that eventers prefer, or even think that our horses are "good" movers so to speak. i really think it just depends on who you ask! finding one definition of "good mover" is like finding one definition of "good president". ;)

yellowbritches
Jun. 10, 2011, 09:23 AM
OK, thanks guys. Getting a better feel for it.
Here's my problem: I am not sure about the "eye of the beholder" type of definition, because, if that were the case, breeders would have a tough time of it! Breeders have to be looking for something with a definition, I would think, rather than just settling for a personal preference. I think that is why they bring in the judges and have the inspections, so that if you breed a colt, your preference is judged against other breeders' preferences, and the judges decide who has the "best" preferences! (ne colts.)

I think there is a definition for a good mover out there but I am not sure I've found it yet.

In any case, Skip, you said something that resonated with me -- about watching horses and the way the canter smooths into the gallop -- yes! Cool description.

But so many horses pull themselves over the ground. Pushing does not mean suspension -- but we are looking for some suspension, or otherwise we'd not have the power to extend, or get the coffin canter on collection, right?
I don't know about the inspections...it can still be very subjective. My Oldenburg is a good mover and your Oldenburg is a good mover, but they may move differently (one may be more flamboyant and "dressagey" while the other may be a little bit more "huntery"). And if they end up at different inspections with different judges, there is a good chance they will score similarly on movement. WBs, especially, can differ SO MUCH, even with in a registry or "breed" (I have a Belgian WB in my barn who is pretty light and sporty. A friend has one in her barn a few miles down the road, and he is a TANK of a horse), and all sorts of WBs walk around with various brands on their butts...and you can line up horses with the same brands and get a variety of types! So, I think inspections need to be taken with a grain of salt.

The long and the short of it is that there are SO MANY components that go into making an event horse that you can't get hung up on ONE. It is nice to have good movement, but good movement gets you nowhere if the horse is a jerk on the flat. And you can have the best mover in the world, but if he's chicken on xc or doesn't have the heart and lungs to not be exhausted for show jumping on the third day, then what's the point? There are a lot of top event horses that are probably not the most awe inspiring movers, but they put their heads down, stay relaxed, and do what they are asked with the proverbial smile on their face while in the dressage ring...then run and jump the next two days with ease. Those horse still can and do beat the awesome movers (I site Inonothing as an example...pretty average TB type...and a Badminton winner).

And if we're talking ammie or kid type horses...the last thing to be concerned with is a knock out mover. It needs to be fun and rideable and safe with a good mind and forgiving soul. And sometimes the GREAT movers are inappropriate for an amateur rider because they are HARD to ride (just ask the amateur owner in our barn who has the horse with Grand Prix kind of movement). But movement should be a few items down on the list when talking about event horses of ANY variety.

retreadeventer
Jun. 10, 2011, 09:27 AM
But Napoles, the problem is, most of the lower level dressage tests for eventing do have quite a bit of trot. And trot is the first and last thing most dressage judges see. And while I hate to emphasis dressage, the trot is very important in the scheme of how horses get scored in this sport. In addition, I _*personally*_ think a horse that is balanced at a diagonal gait stands a good chance of being balanced also at the lateral gaits; while the other way around, not so much.
While at the upper levels I agree a canter and gallop become much more important, that's a rarified place most of us don't aspire to find a horse for....I'm looking more for a good mover for myself, my own sphere of riding, and for that, a trot is vitally important, because most of how these guys learn is at trot and most of what I will do will involve trot, I think. So I don't want to de-emphasize the trot as a part of the whole gaits picture. Just sayin'.

eventer_mi
Jun. 10, 2011, 09:30 AM
Interesting discussion, since my guy always scores 7s on gaits, but gets 8s on his trot and canter circles, with the comments "uphill and balanced". I always wondered that if he was scoring 8s consistently on his trot and canter work, why not give him an 8 for gaits? VCT's discussion with the judge made me realize that his POTENTIAL for movement is greater, so that's probably why I've been scoring only 7s - the consistency, the push, isn't always there.

And I agree - a good mover is one that gets you from the start to the finish line safely.

vineyridge
Jun. 10, 2011, 09:53 AM
There's good movement and there's good movement. I can quote in detail what Chamberlin says when he is describing good movement for a XC horse. He goes into each gait and what to look for.

That, however, is not at all the same as good movement for dressage. The very basic principles are different. Which is, in large part, why he and all the other experts on XC riding believed that "high school" work in dressage--collection mostly-- was bad for XC horses.

It's too bad the FEI doesn't put more emphasis on XC and less on dressage.

yellowbritches
Jun. 10, 2011, 09:53 AM
But Napoles, the problem is, most of the lower level dressage tests for eventing do have quite a bit of trot. And trot is the first and last thing most dressage judges see. And while I hate to emphasis dressage, the trot is very important in the scheme of how horses get scored in this sport. In addition, I _*personally*_ think a horse that is balanced at a diagonal gait stands a good chance of being balanced also at the lateral gaits; while the other way around, not so much.
While at the upper levels I agree a canter and gallop become much more important, that's a rarified place most of us don't aspire to find a horse for....I'm looking more for a good mover for myself, my own sphere of riding, and for that, a trot is vitally important, because most of how these guys learn is at trot and most of what I will do will involve trot, I think. So I don't want to de-emphasize the trot as a part of the whole gaits picture. Just sayin'.
I have to disagree with this completely. I have yet to ride a horse with a great trot and mediocre canter that I felt was balanced and strong in the canter and that could jump well out of that canter (and, considering that two of the three phases of eventing are still jumping, they've got to be able to jump out of a balanced canter). I have one right now that is lovely, correct, and balanced at the trot...she has NO canter to speak of, thus making her jumping less athletic and balanced. Even of my own horses from the past...Paco was ALL trot, but his canter, while pleasant, did not have the balance and strength in needed, thus he was prone to rushing or "climbing" if not allowed to rush.

And, as we are talking more about amateur type horses, a balanced canter is easier for a less skilled rider to ride than one that is constantly needing be rebalanced or that needs to "carried" by the rider. If a horse is naturally more balanced, strong, and easy to maintain a rhythm on in the canter, then a rider will not only find the canter work and transitions in and out of the canter in the dressage easier, they will find getting to the fences correctly and safely easier.

Speaking from experience- Vernon's trot is nothing to write home about. At its best, it is pleasant and "cute". When he is tense, he is a sewing machine. But he has ALWAYS had a fabulous canter (the first time I sat on him as a 3 year old I said that) and he is VERY easy for everyone in the barn to ride and jump and do it safely and (mostly) correctly.

At the ULs, the canter is important because when you have a good canter, you have a good gallop. And when you have a good gallop, the horse covers ground efficiently without tiring themselves. And, again, a horse that is strong and balanced in the canter is going to be easier to ride to a fence.

One last thought...a trot is a pretty balanced gait no matter how spectacular or unspectacular it is. Even the lowliest of trotters can usually trot pretty handily over trappy ground and over fences. But you can NOT say the same thing for a horse with a less quality canter.

Napoles
Jun. 10, 2011, 10:03 AM
But Napoles, the problem is, most of the lower level dressage tests for eventing do have quite a bit of trot. And trot is the first and last thing most dressage judges see. And while I hate to emphasis dressage, the trot is very important in the scheme of how horses get scored in this sport. In addition, I _*personally*_ think a horse that is balanced at a diagonal gait stands a good chance of being balanced also at the lateral gaits; while the other way around, not so much.
While at the upper levels I agree a canter and gallop become much more important, that's a rarified place most of us don't aspire to find a horse for....I'm looking more for a good mover for myself, my own sphere of riding, and for that, a trot is vitally important, because most of how these guys learn is at trot and most of what I will do will involve trot, I think. So I don't want to de-emphasize the trot as a part of the whole gaits picture. Just sayin'.

Yellowbritches has pretty much said it all in her response for me, (I agree with everything she has said) but I would also say that if we are looking at lower levels, then really accuracy is going to be the biggest scorer rather than a more flamboyant trot. Here in Ireland, medium trots don't even appear in eventing tests until Novice (Prelim) level.

And then if you are looking towards the upper levels - Headly Brittania has a small choppy trot, yet through Lucinda's excellent, accurate riding, she still scores high in the dressage marks.

For me looking for an eventer, I want a good walk and canter because these two gaits give me more of an indication of how athletic a horse will be in the two jumping phases.
And I will say again - you can improve a horse's trot quite a bit through correct work, but they have to have a good walk and canter to start with. :)

eventer_mi
Jun. 10, 2011, 10:33 AM
Also agree with YB - my friend's daughter has a lovely Trakehner with a huntery-type of trot - nice suspension, good reach, and could win the hack at an A show, but his canter is lateral. Very, very lateral, and although she's been working at it for about 3-4 months now, I doubt it will get much better. So, just because they can trot doesn't mean they can canter.

vineyridge
Jun. 10, 2011, 10:39 AM
Do y'all think that perhaps eventing dressage should have different scoring/judging than "pure" dressage? That judges should weigh accuracy more than gaits? That eventing dressage judges should be different folks than judges for "pure" dressage? That gaits should be evaluated more on how they affect XC than "pure" dressage?

Napoles
Jun. 10, 2011, 10:45 AM
That eventing dressage judges should be different folks than judges for "pure" dressage? ?

I suppose they kind of are to a certain extent. The amount of extra training (for the other two phases) that FEI eventing judges need to go through is extremely extensive, (which is of course a good thing with safety etc) but I think as a result, at FEI level, dressage judges and eventing judges don't usually cross over too much.
Judges tend to either specialise in one or the other at the very top levels.

FEI dressage list:
http://www.fei.org/sites/default/files/file/OFFICIALS%20%26%20ORGANISERS/FEI_Official_Lists/Dressage_officials.pdf

And FEI Eventing List:
http://www.fei.org/sites/default/files/file/OFFICIALS%20%26%20ORGANISERS/FEI_Official_Lists/Eventing_officials.pdf

yellowbritches
Jun. 10, 2011, 10:52 AM
Do y'all think that perhaps eventing dressage should have different scoring/judging than "pure" dressage? That judges should weigh accuracy more than gaits? That eventing dressage judges should be different folks than judges for "pure" dressage? That gaits should be evaluated more on how they affect XC than "pure" dressage?
Yes and no. A good mover is likely to be an athletic horse, so it means something. Also, I believe (correct me if I am wrong) that there is a coefficient for gaits in pure dressage while there is NOT one for eventing dressage. It DOES mean more to get a good score on gaits in pure dressage than in eventing.

It would be nice to think that dressage judges at events judge a event horses dressage on what a good EVENT horse dressage test and not try to score them based on what a dressage horse would do (although, around here, sometimes the event horses do better dressage than the pure dressage horses!!!). But, I don't think there is much inherently wrong with dressage judging on the surface. I have issues with certain habits and tendencies of judges (ie, not using the scale correctly- 3 points should NOT separate 3rd from 15th), but that's a slow and tedious thing to fix.

katie+tru
Jun. 10, 2011, 11:40 AM
Good movement in a horse is when his way of travelling if symetrical, his hind feet step into his front feet's steps, and he moves with impulsion and rhythm. I agree that there are different "styles" of good movement, such as a horse with a lot of knee action or a horse with a low, daisy cutter trot. I do not have a preference for one or the other so long as the horse is comfortable to ride and travels well. I have seen horses with boths kinds of movement to very well in eventing, though dressage scores can be mixed because, as someone said, some dressage judges prefer one or the other.

I would, however, argue the idea that a good mover is very athletic, assuming that poster meant athletic as in the horse could jump well. I feel like being able to move well on the ground is a natural, born-with-it ability that the horse does not need to think about in order to do it. Jumping, on the other hand, is not something all horses do very naturally and many have to really struggle to do it well. Tru was considered a good mover. Dressage judges loved him. But he could never obtain decent form over a fence to the point that he probably would've been dangerous to jump above Novice.

fordtraktor
Jun. 10, 2011, 11:53 AM
A horse can be a great mover for dressage/eventing and a terrible hunter mover at the same time. My TB has a wonderful dressage trot -- just trotting around on day 1, he would extend his feet so far forward you could see half his leg in front of his shoulder. Huge stride and suspension. His canter/gallop are naturally balanced and light as a feather.

But he's a piece of crap hunter mover, way too much knee. I wouldn't bother going in a flat class with him, he's just not what they are looking for.

Beam Me Up
Jun. 10, 2011, 12:59 PM
Agree with others that the crucial gait for eventing is the canter/gallop, since jumping is the crucial part of eventing. I don't really consider the trot in horse shopping (though, I mostly shop at the track, which is just an array of bad trots . . . )

Good dressage movement, of course, goes further than canter (though, IMO doesn't conflict--I think a good x-c galloper will have a good enough, uphill canter for dressage).

I'm not sure that stated judging criteria should shift, since eventing is about excelling in 3 different disciplines, and I think changing judging directives to focus on jumping suitability would water that down. (Though, I have had several dressage judges comment that my horse appeared ready for x-c--does that count?)

However, I understand that in straight dressage, as well as eventing, there is a lot of concern that flashy movement is being rewarded more than correct training, or even correct movement. In both disciplines, dressage is training, to strengthen and improve the horse you have, and not a flashy movement show, so to the degree that judging is already veering off, I agree it should reward training over movement, and whatever eventing can do to that end would be a good thing.

netg
Jun. 10, 2011, 12:59 PM
I agree with several of the points already made. I think you can close your eyes and hear a good mover for the most part. Is the gait true with a natural rhythm? And how does the horse land? My 1300 lbs horse lands far more lightly than my first 800 lbs horse did. That's because he's a more athletic, better mover. He has a fantastic naturally uphill canter and by far the best walk I have ever ridden. His trot wasn't naturally as great, but it just means he needs to be ridden correctly to develop a good trot - we can't cheat and still end up with a good trot. His naturally uphill walk and canter means he can really push from behind, so teaching him how to do that at a trot has been fun - and he is starting to have an enormous trot. He is an 8 mover at dressage shows.

For the very upper levels, he's not as great a mover. His gallop has too much of an upward phase to it. It's very balanced, but it's not efficient. You actually see his knees as he goes. It feels super smooth and is easy to ride, but we *think* he'd get tired over an Advanced course and have trouble with making time. Then again, he was bred to be a distance horse and gallops a few miles at a time on his own when he's playing, so maybe he would be better than it seems like he would from his back.

Janet
Jun. 10, 2011, 02:00 PM
When looking at an evnt prospect, it needs to move well for ALL THREE PHASES, not just dressage.

FIRST AND FOREMOST, I want a horse that will stay sound under a conditioning plan. Even at the lower level, we spend much more time galloping for conditioning than we do in competition. And usually on less well prepared footing.

So I look for a horse that gallops lightly OVER the ground. It doesn't need to move like a racehors, but it must NOT POUND the ground with every stride.

The second thing I look for is a true 4 beat walk.
1..2..3..4..1..2..3..4

Not
1.2..3.4..1.2..3.4

I have turned down at least one otherwise nice horse because her walk rhythm, when relaxed, was uneven.

I also look for a big overstep at the walk, because that indicates the ability to engage the hindquarters at all gaits (caveat - race horses that are in training often have no overstep because of the type of muscle development created by the speed work, so I would not look for an overstep on an TB still at the track- but I would look for an even 4 beat rhythm).

The third thing I look for is CORRECT movement. I don't mind paddling too much, but I don't want one that interferes. too much danger of injuring themselves.

The fourth thing is the QUALITY OF THE CANTER, because that is so important to the jump.

Only after that do I look at the trot in terms of "quality". Obviously I don't want one that trots like a sewing machine, or one that is tripping over his own feet. But I don't put a lot of weight into the difference between a "good mover" and a "great mover".

Maybe if I was good enough at dressage that the only reason I was getting 8s instead of 9s was the quality of the trot, I might care more. But I have lots of room to improve my scores by correcting other faults.

Janet
Jun. 10, 2011, 02:20 PM
Do y'all think that perhaps eventing dressage should have different scoring/judging than "pure" dressage? That judges should weigh accuracy more than gaits? That eventing dressage judges should be different folks than judges for "pure" dressage? That gaits should be evaluated more on how they affect XC than "pure" dressage?


The results already ARE different because there are things in the straight Dressage tests (e.g., the entering halt, the stretchy circle) that are not in the equivalent level Eventing Dressage tests.

Also, in the Eventing Dressage tests, GAITS only get a multiplier of 1. In straight Dressage, they get a multiplier of 2.

Finally, the directives (what the judge is looking for) are different. For instance, consider the 20m circles in Tr 2 and in Nov A

Straight Dressage - "quality of trot, roundnes of circle"

Eventing Dressage - "rhythm, bend, balance, shape of circle"

Notice that the directives for the Eventing test make no mention of "quality of trot".


In the straight Dressage test, "quality of the (walk, tort, canter)" appears in EVERY directive.

In the Eventing Dressage test, it appears in NONE of the movements. The only "quality" in the directives is "quality of the transition".


So, BECAUSE the judges mark their scores in terms of the directives, they already ARE being judged differently.

yellowbritches
Jun. 10, 2011, 03:48 PM
I would, however, argue the idea that a good mover is very athletic, assuming that poster meant athletic as in the horse could jump well.
Just to be clear, I said a good mover is likely to be athletic, and, yes, I meant that it should be able to jump fairly safely and athletically. A horse that is a "good mover" in a novice test does not mean, however, that it will be a 4 star xc machine, but that it has the right ingredients to carry itself in balance and in a rhythm....both of which are key in being a good jumper. And, also to be clear, I do not mean good jumper as in hunter ring, giant bascule, knees up to their ears form, but capable of getting itself and its rider safely and efficiently to the other side.

Not every good mover is going to be a good jumper, but I think you are far more likely to find good movers/good jumpers than bad movers(especially the canter)/good jumpers. Movement is just part of a horse's overall athletic ability.

vineyridge
Jun. 10, 2011, 03:52 PM
Do you really believe that a dressage judge at an event will judge differently? Don't they bring their judge's training from dressage to the first phase despite the directives?

Who was the dressage judge who posted such nasty things about eventing on Robert Dover's blog? Cindy Somebody, wasn't it? Don't you think that kind of mentality will bring their "pure" dressage training and beliefs into eventing dressage and will simply ignore the directives where eventing dressage differs from "real" dressage? Sort of an unconscious "This is the way I was taught to judge dressage, this is real dressage and this is the way I WILL judge dressage, whether eventing or not"?

Janet
Jun. 10, 2011, 04:00 PM
Do you really believe that a dressage judge at an event will judge differently? Don't they bring their judge's training from dressage to the first phase despite the directives?

We have a number of licensed judges here- hopefully one or more of them will answer here about how much attention they pay to the directives.

wildlifer
Jun. 10, 2011, 04:08 PM
Do you really believe that a dressage judge at an event will judge differently? Don't they bring their judge's training from dressage to the first phase despite the directives?

Who was the dressage judge who posted such nasty things about eventing on Robert Dover's blog?

That was Cindy Sydnor. And I will say she is (thank goodness) NOT the norm for our judges here. I just scribed for one last weekend who was lovely -- rides GP dressage now but used to event and worked for BNT in eventing. And she was just great and yes, she DID judge in accordance with the demands of eventing.

eponacowgirl
Jun. 10, 2011, 06:07 PM
The judge at my last show was a straight dressage judge and RAILED my draftie girl. What she put in was a steady test that you could have set a metronome to, very accurately ridden, showing average bend and suppleness, with a quiet, plesant demeanor, on the bit and moving somewhat uphill for a downhill built novice horse. 49.5. I was horrified. My trainer thought for sure we'd break into the 30's with the test she put in.

My trainer rode in front of the same judge and her horse had a full on bucking tantrum two or three times and she had a 48.5.

My *feeling* is that she was penalized for her lack of extravagance throughout the test as opposed to judging each movement for what it was and dinging her in her gaits. That is not how I find eventing dressage judges to score.

columbus
Jun. 10, 2011, 07:14 PM
go to the www.chronofhorse.com opening page and you can see a couple of competitors video do their test for Bromont...love Loughan Glen...could have a better walk but I bet walks are tough to ask for on a very fit eventer. PatO