I tried to find a video and watched the 2008 performance at the Olympics. This horse isn't really through the back, which can easily be seen in the poor extensions. The fancy front end knee action disguises this somewhat.
It appears he is rather inflexible at the sacro-ilica joints, also demonstrated by kicking out when doing the passage. It also looks like he's pushing is back either willfully down or isn't using his abs correctly, again all signs that he really is not through his body.
If you read the article in the current Chronicle it says that the horse had a pulled muscle or something like that in his back during the Olympics... "Upon Satchmo's return to Germany, a veterinary exam revealed back problems that might have caused the resistance to piaffe. After his back was treated, Werth turned Satchmo our for a two-week vacation with his companion pony."
The horse won both, the GP for the Special with a 77.37, and the GP Special with a 79.36. Werth then went on to win both GP Freestyles on Warum Nicht with scores of 77.54 and 81.10.
The picture of Satchmo was taken at sort of a bad moment in time, but I don't see how anybody could draw any medical conclusions from it unless they had x-ray vision. :-)
Siegi Belz www.stalleuropa.com
2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.
I didn't see the exact picture that you are talking about but I looked at other pics with them at the 2008 olympics and as far as his feet go, I don't think there is anything unusual. Just my opinion...but would they really be as successful as they are at the level they are if they couldn't find a decent farrier?
I didn't see the picture in the chronicle, but I didn't think is toes looked long in the other photos from the olympics that I could find. Maybe it was the single photo angle. I can't imagine that a farrier shoeing horses in the level of olympic competition would make such an error. Photos can be decieving.
I'm talking specifically about the photo in the Chronicle, and if his toes have been long over his career, it definitely could contribute to pain. Perhaps not, but his feet do look strange in the photo.
KatieD you need a subscription to the Chronicle to see the photo.
BTW, yes, I was astonished to see a horse like Satchmo with feet that looked like that. Yes, it's a photo that may be deceiving, but I don't think it is -- I looked at it a few times before posting.
Let me assure you that Satchmo was checked out by the best of the best in German vets, so I'm thinking that going with their opinion after they actually saw the horse is the way to go. :-)
Well unless you were actually there, that's all rather relative , now isn't it? My sister's horse has a vet who also treats international show jumpers. He recommended the farrier she was using and then diagnosed the horse with navicular a year later. He never so anything wrong with the hoof form......things that make you go hmmmmmm.
Just because someone treats a high level horse, does not mean they know everything or are up to date on everything and hoof health is a notoriously neglected topic in vet school that is also often based on very outdated , traditional information.
I also don't think the "not being through" is only a recent issue - here's a photo at the Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO dressage event 08 July 2007 during the CHIO World Equestrian Festival in Aachen. You see the same thing, primarily a leg mover with a pushed down back and you can see typical forward toe underrun heel syndrome of one of the front hooves:
Perhaps if she posted here and followed our advice, she would have won a gold.
Have you considered that the shoeing is purposeful and perhaps contributes to the horse moving well enough to consistently be the best dressage horse in the world?
That's another one of those myths that won't die. How is this even substantiated?? Very few barefooted horses are trained to Grand Prix. Emma Hindle did very successfully. She found that the horses had much more suspension and bounce when ridden bare. Therefore your statement can really not be made with such certainty!