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Satchmo in pain?

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  • Satchmo in pain?

    After I watched Isabelle's GP and Freestyle blowups in the Piaffe, I was wondering honestly if the horse refused because he hurts. After the Freestyle blip, I noticed that Satchmo was not walking evenly behind, he was stepping much shorter with one of his hind legs.

    Could Satchmo just be saying "Ouch, enough already?"

    Just a thought.

    I really thought Steffen should have placed higher than he did, with his tests... He did a great job.
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  • #2
    Didn't he exhibit resistance at roughly the same spot in the ring in both classes? I thought it was more ring/atmosphere related than pain-related, and also I would think if he were in discomfort that would be obvious in the remainder of his tests. Instead, he went well for the other parts (at least, imo). I think maybe he was trying to tell Isabel that she was a pain in his butt, but apparently she won that argument ; ). Totally OT, but I love the name Satchmo as it was the name of my first dog that I had as a kid growing up.

    Also, I believe Steffen actually finished 2nd in the Freestyle, which is awesome. I think they should give a separate medal for the freestyle, personally, given that they give separate medals for all the swiming and gymnastics events, for example.
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    • #3
      I saw the same thing you did La Gringa, I just wasn't going to say anything because you're gann a get skewered on this site.

      Come on slc2, you know you've gatta get your ridiculous, opinionated comments/jabs in!!

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        You might be right.. the rest of his tests were very good. I just noticed in the walk afterwards he looked like he wasn't stepping up as well on one side as the other.. but maybe I was overanalyzing.

        I hope it was just the atmosphere, and not pain.

        Regardless I enjoyed watching them.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by YankeeLawyer View Post
          Didn't he exhibit resistance at roughly the same spot in the ring in both classes?
          Yes, the "big" resistance seemed very similar both tests, too, and I thought it was mainly atmosphere myself. OTOH, during the freestyle, didn't he also break to the walk in a different spot during either piaffe or passage?

          When I fist same him come down the CL (and throughout much of the test), I thought his right hind looked a bit funky... but I don't know. With all the different camera angles they show, it was hard to tell. He seemed a little uneven behind to me and then looked fine at other times. I wasn't sure if he really was uneven or if it was a funky angle I had or what...

          ETA -- I watched Anky's freestyle again and I am seeing similar things that I saw in Isabell's test, so for me, I think the camera angles were playing tricks on me with respect to Satchmo being short behind.


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          • #6
            Satchmo has done this many times in the past. His rearing was so bad at one point he was taken out of the scene for quite a while. Isabell never gave up on him even though many other riders would have let him go.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by ceffyl View Post
              Satchmo has done this many times in the past. His rearing was so bad at one point he was taken out of the scene for quite a while. Isabell never gave up on him even though many other riders would have let him go.
              Has the rearing always been in piaffe or in all other movements? If it's in the piaffe, maybe it just hurts.. or at the very least ... too uncomfortable for him to tolerate?
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              • #8
                I think some of the camera angles were a little funky. But I also suspected, given how well Isabell rode through the issues and how well she knew how to react to get him past it, that this wasn't something new. And I can't believe that the horse hasn't been gone over from stem to stern to try to find a physical issue causing it. I bet her horses have better medical care than I do!
                "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Berry0317 View Post
                  I saw the same thing you did La Gringa, I just wasn't going to say anything because you're gann a get skewered on this site.

                  Come on slc2, you know you've gatta get your ridiculous, opinionated comments/jabs in!!
                  I saw the same thing too...
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                  • #10
                    I actually thought he stepped on himself. But I've heard the same thing cef said above now too, from someone who has followed the horse for some time.

                    He does, it seems, have quite a history of getting nappy like this. That must be why it didn't look like a spook.

                    Years ago I had gotten a horse from a big trainer that would do something similar whenever he was asked to do certain things. We had tons of vet workups done, all sorts of stuff. There was nothing wrong. No pain.

                    For a long time I told myself it was because someone had blown his mind and forced him too much.

                    And if you want to insist every horse that ever gets nappy has been abused, if you want to think that, no one will be able to change your mind. But I think some horses just don't want to work for you, and you can't make them work for you, and they just aren't going to do it.

                    In dressage, there isn't anything you can do to MAKE a horse WANT to work for you. And in dressage, in order to do the work, the horse has to be willing to do it. It's as simple as that.

                    I don't think horses necessarily do these things because they are in pain at all. It is just something that happens. There are many competition horses that over the years, have developed habits like this. Some early on, some after years of competition.

                    Gifted, for example, simply stopped piaffing in the ring.

                    No medical stuff, not a question of bad training, and the rider wasn't forcing him through pain. Carol Lavel is not like that, she just isn't. He was retired after that. She discussed it very, very openly.

                    The horse was not a mean or naughty horse. She wasn't a bad trainer. He was not suffering. He had no pain. She would not have made him work in pain, and she, more than just about anyone, is capable of feeling a horse alter his stride if he is uncomfortable. He just didn't piaffe in the ring.

                    At the time I asked the person I was working with what you do in that case. He shrugged and said, 'You retire them'. Oh well, it happens.

                    Balkenhol's horse Goldstern simply developed the habit of looking up into the stands and just - spooking a huge major spook and proceeding to blow the whole test. He was taken off the team. I have a video of Linda Tellington-Jones working with him and telling Balkenhol all about it, and well, it just stayed the same. I could probably think of more cases if I wasn't so senile.

                    1.) I think it's unrealistic for anyone would assume that these riders all ride nothing but perfect horses, that they never get horses with problems or a history. In fact, MOST of the horses these people have achieved great success with have been very challenging in one way or another.

                    2.) I also think it's unrealistic to assume that if a person is skilled enough, they can erase all traces of every problem. THat's unrealistic.

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                    • #11
                      Read this possibility on a thread last night, went back and scrutinized the poor beast. He is definitely short in the walk afterwards, right hind, but I could not tell that it was bothering him at all during the remainder of the test . . . just the walk.

                      I have a hypothesis, but I'm just a hunter rider so I need to get my facts straight first . . . tell me about his piaffe- before he blew his lid- what type of scores would he have gotten? It was my understanding the piaffe should be an animated movement and, IMO, Satchmo looked kind of dead in the water in the piaffe (though everything else was very, very nice). The pink pony, again IMO, had a beautiful, alive, vibrant piaffe, where the hind literally tracked down about 12 inches behind the front feet. He was sitting, and he was bouncing. He seemed to maintain the same suspension he held in the passage. I thought Satchmo's passage was stunning, but he seemed to go flat in the piaffe . . .

                      educate me dressage ones, before I open my mouth and express any sort of opinion as to why he blew it . . . having spent more time than usual in the dressage section of this board the past two days I must admit I have come away a bit shy of inquiring . . .
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                      • #12
                        After the first resistance in the Special, the CBC Bold commentator Cara Whitham (who is an "O" level judge...cannot tell you how nice it is to listen to commentary from someone like that) speculated he might have gotten pinched by the bits or that something was bothering in the mouth. It sure looked like something like that in the Special because of how quickly it was gotten over.

                        However, she did not make similar comments during the Freestyle.

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                        • #13
                          Interesting. I wasn't aware of his past history. More kudos to IW for being so successful with him. Surely they have had physical issues ruled out many times.

                          But I agree that they can sometimes get into irreversible ring habits - I remember reading Carol talking about Gifted - and there can be a time to retire a certain horse. Whether Isabell is there or not I'm sure will be a decision she considers thoroughly.

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                          • #14
                            Whatever happened, it was definitely not a spook like Isabel has been quoted as saying. Going backwards and humping the back while looking down is some type of resistance for sure! She was spurring him pretty heavily right before as he was losing impulsion in the piaffe pirouette.

                            It was too bad - I was rooting for her! I loved watching Satchmo go. Hate to say it, but I think Salinero is ugly and has an odd way of going.

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                            • #15
                              I noticed he carried his tail up and funny only when asked to piaffe. I think it is more than wringing from being 'nappy'. I have had intentionally spooky horses (snake hunters) who got much better when the source of a microscopic pain was eliminated. In my (non-dressage) experience, a sub-lame level of pain, make horses look for a way to get out of doing what is uncomfortable.
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                              • #16
                                I don't think he was in pain,

                                Originally posted by YankeeLawyer View Post
                                Didn't he exhibit resistance at roughly the same spot in the ring in both classes? I thought it was more ring/atmosphere related than pain-related, and also I would think if he were in discomfort that would be obvious in the remainder of his tests. Instead, he went well for the other parts (at least, imo). I think maybe he was trying to tell Isabel that she was a pain in his butt, but apparently she won that argument ; ).
                                Because like the above poster stated, I don't think he would have been as brilliant in the rest of his tests... I think the passage would have suffered, the extensions, etc... not just the piaffe in that spot in both tests. I love the way she finished the tests, so calm and cool etc...

                                BTW Yankee Lawyer... I think she was being told by Satchmo, "lay off already mom... you're going to get what you get..." hehehe
                                Lori
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                                • #17
                                  I agree

                                  Originally posted by Janeway View Post
                                  Hate to say it, but I think Salinero is ugly and has an odd way of going.
                                  I just like Satchmo's overall appearance and movement and style much better. Though I wouldn't complain if Salinero was suddenly in my barn... He's just not always pleasing to look at in my humble opinion...
                                  Lori
                                  Fly Teddy Fly!
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                                  • #18
                                    I also saw when he came down to the walk that his right hind was not reaching up as far as the left hind...
                                    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by TeddyRocks View Post
                                      I just like Satchmo's overall appearance and movement and style much better. Though I wouldn't complain if Salinero was suddenly in my barn... He's just not always pleasing to look at in my humble opinion...
                                      According to a speech that I heard Anky give a couple of years ago, that's exactly what she said the first time she saw Salinero..."too ugly for me to ride," I think was the exact quote.
                                      "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by La Gringa View Post
                                        Has the rearing always been in piaffe or in all other movements? If it's in the piaffe, maybe it just hurts.. or at the very least ... too uncomfortable for him to tolerate?
                                        Quote from Isabell after WEG 2006
                                        Isabell Werth (GER) and her 12-year old gelding Satchmo rode the Grand Prix Special of a lifetime. With a result of 79.480, they are World Champions. "It was the best test I've ever ridden," a very emotional Isabell declared. "We made no mistakes; I can't tell you what a feeling that is." This result is all the more rewarding given the impossibly difficult horse Satchmo used to be. He would rear in the middle of test never giving his rider a chance. No specialist could believe that such a badly behaved horse would ever be any good to anyone. And yet a miracle has happened. With much hard work and faith, the former hooligan has now turned in a World Champion. "Satchmo is the best horse I've ever had," Isabell maintains...

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