Hi all, I'm in the market for an event (up to prelim)/dressage prospect and one of the horses I have been looking at is a 2yo holsteiner by Cicera's Icewater. I met her in person and she was the first out of all I have seen who made my heart go pitter pat. BUT...ugh...her pasterns are long.
Given the fact that she is 2 what do you think of these pasterns and her ability to stay sound for x-c. I do understand that this is highly subjective and no indication of true performance in the future. Thank you!
Well, lots of caveats. I think it is VERY hard to tell if a 2 year old will hold up soundness wise to a Preliminary level event career - while you can sometimes rule one out, it's pretty hard to rule one in. In looking at her, I'd say the pasterns are quite long, but hard to tell how much that will affect soundness - she's quite furry through her fetlocks, so I'm guessing what looks to be fill is actually hair. I'd want to know whether or not she's reactive at all there, but I think it's pretty hard to flex a two year old (and don't usually do it). In general, IMHO, horses with long pasterns tend to have more suspension and bounce in their movement but are more prone to doing tendons (that being said, I've seen tendons in very upright short horses too). I'm actually more curious about her angles behind, one of the photos make her look quite straight through the hocks and too open in the stifle. I'm not concerned that she's slightly butt high - she's 2 - but wouldn't mind seeing a picture of her from behind - can't tell if she's being a wiggly worm or if she wants to be a bit turned in and cow-hocked.
I've wondered about this, too. Did a search and found a TON of bulletin board discussion threads about it--so it seems to be a pretty widespread "I dunno" kind of issue. I know a Prelim level mare off the track who has very long pasterns, but is quite clean legged and sound. I had a mare with long pasterns develop windpuffs when she started working at a harder/higher level. They disappeared when we backed off. I have a hunter pony right now with long pasterns. She's a great mover, but ONLY when she is really made to push strongly from behind. If she lollygags, she "sags" in the middle (and with her super-long neck, she reminds me of a damn camel). I think she looks saggy because her long hind pasterns absorb what little forward push she has when she's allowed to be lazy. And yet she is a striking mover when sent forward (round and into the bit, not hollow or flat).
Meanwhile, I thought this person's comment interesting: "longer pasterns are okay if their angles aren't messed up." I found it on one of those BBs.
GS makes good points. I can tell you that my OTTB with very long hind pasterns and some cow hockedness (several vets told me they thought he wouldn't hold up very well) was the soundest thing ever, in fact still is at age 17 after probably more than 50 events at preliminary and above, so even with things that look problematic, some of it is how they carry themselves, general toughness, etc. as GS can tell you about her conformationally challenged upper level horse
even with things that look problematic, some of it is how they carry themselves, general toughness, etc. as GS can tell you about her conformationally challenged upper level horse
Yep - I'd never advise someone to buy a horse with a straight shoulder, a post at each corner, and no neck to speak of as an Advanced horse, but the sucker jumped pretty darn well, and since he didn't know he was put together funny, we never told him. I'd post a link if I had one.
That being said, he was $$ to maintain at the upper levels. The better they are put together (in general - there's always the exception), the easier they are on themselves and the better bet for continuing on. If I had to pick one (first choice is always to go for as close to correct as possible), I tend to prefer to deal with horses who are a little straighter and a little more likely to be arthritis-ey than those who tend toward soft tissue issues, because I feel like the former are easier to manage. Thus, I like short pasterns as a rule, though not at the expense of everything else.