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"tracking up" in the dressage prospect?

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  • "tracking up" in the dressage prospect?

    How much emphasis would you put on tracking up in a dressage prospect? How far would a prospect for the middle levels need to track up for you to consider him worthwhile as a prospect? Does it differ if you are looking at a WB or an off breed?

  • #2
    What are your goals? Do you want to stay at 2nd level and just show at home? Do you have goals to go to 4th level and go to regionals? Are you happy with a score in the high 50s? Or would you want something that would be scoring in the low 70s?

    I know what I would look for personally on this slight area of "check list" while looking for a prospect, but my personal goals might not be your goals. The ability to have a natural overstep is an important one, but there are many things on the list that need to be met and I think its always good to put them into perspective with each other and not just pick them each apart.
    "The ability to write a check for attire should not be confused with expertise. Proficiency doesn't arrive shrink-wrapped from UPS and placed on your doorstep."


    • Original Poster

      I didn't want to get into specific goals so much as just a general discussion on how important this was, and if just tracking up in a green prospect is good enough for the middle levels, or if they need a huge overstep even as a youngster.


      • #4
        If they NEED a huge overstep for what?

        Tracking up is important, moreso for higher level competition than for lower level not so serious competition and personal training.

        The stronger they get the sooner they get the front feet out of the way, so the tracking up improves with strength and agility. A horse whose conformation doesn't allow him to overstep isn't going to be able to make the long stride well, so that horse would be unsuited for me at higher levels, but it might be unimportant for me if I were training him to do his best or showing at lower levels.

        I think the answer to your question is obvious, not sure what you want to hear.
        Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


        • #5
          Sometimes horse will overtrack when they move out a bit more/are more relaxed. My three year old ranges from just tracking up to 6-7" overstride based on his level of relaxation and forward. So a young horse may not show the overstride he may be capable of if he is tense, sluggish, whatever. It may be hard to evaluate in a young horse at any given moment.

          Tracking up is desirable for any prospect. Overtracking is a bonus that's useful as you move up the levels. I don't think a huge overtrack is needed in the midlevels. So much depends on training. Pure basic gaits, a good attitude and soundness is all that's really needed for most people's ability/goals...everything else is just bells and whistles.
          2007 Welsh Cob C X TB GG Eragon
          Our training journal.
          1989-2008 French TB Shamus Fancy
          I owned him for fifteen years, but he was his own horse.


          • #6
            the degree in which a horse will "track up" is based on many factors - one being length of back, another being age (youngsters go thru phases) and a third degree of training.

            as an example of 1 and 2 above: my lovely WB mare never tracked up when she was younger, she has a longish back and was a gangly youngster - and yet now she has lots of over track....

            Do you NEED a horse to track up to "do" dressage? of course not! what i would consider to be more important is articulation and power of the hind legs and temperament.


            • #7
              It also depends on what the horse has been doing.

              At the race track, very few of the TBs have ANY overtrack. But take them off the track, and use different muscles,a nd the overtrack appears.

              chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).