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Question about Totilas' movement

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  • Question about Totilas' movement

    I know this might open a big can of worms, but curiosity has gotten the better of me. I was watching a video of Totilas this morning and while admiring his snappy leg movements I began to wonder something. Will Totilas' freakish movement lead to a trend of using chains and maybe other training methods usually geared toward high stepping gaited breeds? Something about the way he snaps his feet off the ground just got me thinking about the movement of showing Saddlebreds and TWH's. If that movement is now considered largely desirable it follows that people will be trying to recreate it through whatever means necessary. If this has already been discussed I apologize. I did a search and nothing came up.

  • #2
    You never know what people will do for that little blue ribbon

    Comment


    • #3
      A) it's been discussed - extensively. B) any half-educated eye looks beyond simple leg action and sees the foundational training beneath - which is nothing like saddleseat. C) You'll find that the use of chains on feet is actually the methodology of certain "trainers" on this board who decry Toto as the Armageddon of proper dressage
      Proud COTH lurker since 2001.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Lost_at_C View Post
        A) it's been discussed - extensively. B) any half-educated eye looks beyond simple leg action and sees the foundational training beneath - which is nothing like saddleseat. C) You'll find that the use of chains on feet is actually the methodology of certain "trainers" on this board who decry Toto as the Armageddon of proper dressage
        Biggest nonsequitor of the day, totally (pun intended) off base. To the point though, I doubt it. I don't think it would work, not that someone wouldn't try.
        http://TouchstoneAcres.com
        Touchstone Acres Lipizzans, Standing N. Samira VI (Gray), N. XXIX-18(Black), more in 2014

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        • #5
          Having used surgical tubing, ankle chains, and heavier shoes in the arab world (NOT gaited)... It's just NOT going to give you the same movement. It will give you a lot of up and down, sewing machine type front end. You lose a lot of the FORWARD. You will also end up losing a lot of the topline as the horse starts flinging feet out, hind end trailing, and creating more of the "banana" muscling, not the round "beach ball" with strength over the back.

          Maybe used sparingly? I could see possibly weighted bell boots or ankle chains giving a little more flair to a trot... And i sure dont see those as inhumane, more as something to make the horse think about that body part a little more. Sort of like the Jumpers that wrap an elastic bandage in a figure 8 around their horses to get them to think about their body and what it's doing. I often do that when i'm working out, use a belt around my waist so i focus on working my abs correctly, if i dont have a reminder, i stop using my core correctly... Just as an example.

          I hated using surgical tubing "bungies" for the front legs, it tends to give a very mechanical looking movement and typically one leg will strike out stronger than the other too. You can usually peg which horses live in bungies and which dont. Weighted shoes will again give you sewing machine movement, no forward/round movement.

          Try it if you want, it's not going to create a Totillas for you... My 2 cents.
          Your Horse's Home On The Road!
          www.KaydanFarmsEquineTransport.com

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          • #6
            But why wouldn't it work? Chains, soring, etc. are used to encourage a horse to tap the ground with their front feet and then snap them up in an exaggerated way.
            I agree that heavy shoes wouldn't do the trick b/c people aren't looking for knee action in these horses, but there sure is a lot of hype about Toto's "snappiness" for lack of a better word. While weighted feet create more lift/higher knee action, irritants are geared toward getting the feet to snap off the ground.
            I guess what one sees as humane or not is a rather personal thing. I, for one, would not enjoy having heavy chains on my ankles that move around as I work. I KNOW they would hurt and would leave soreness and bruising even after their removal. Nor would appreciate having my feet weighted. Chains and heavy shoes/weighted bell boots absolutely cause damage to a horse over the long term and increase the chance of injury in the short term. In my book they're a major no-no.
            I'd like to think that dressage competitors would never go this route, but who could ever have imagined the current state of the big lick TWH's would've come to be?

            ETA: claiming that putting something like chains on a horse to make it "think about that part of its body more" is often a bullshit excuse to justify inhumane treatment. A horse with chains on its legs isn't thinking, "Okay, right leg, left leg, right leg, left leg, pick em up, step up high, right leg, left leg..." The dramatic movement is created as the horse struggles to deal with the annoying, very likely painful, heavy thing now on its legs. It is not "thinking" about how you want it to use that body part. If it is thinking anything about that "training implement" or its legs the though is more than likely, "Ow, my legs! Yikes, it's hard to lift them. This is hard work! And..ow...why is this jerk on my....ow....back....ow....doing this to me?"
            "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen
            http://www.etsy.com/shop/tailsofglory

            Comment


            • #7
              Hate to say this, but I've been under the impression that people have been using such methods on dressage horses for years.
              Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
              Thank you for everything boy.


              Better View.

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              • #8
                JB, re-read Butlerfamilyzoo's post. I think she describes the why not very well.

                One of my students has an old Arab who was a Park Horse in his past life. What she says about the banana muscles is true. This horse was old when student got him and there was a mountain of trouble to overcome. He can now stretch his neck forward and down and move freely forward, but, alas, time and past abuse have given him irreversible "furniture disease".

                His chest has fallen into his drawers...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Beasmom View Post
                  JB, re-read Butlerfamilyzoo's post. I think she describes the why not very well.

                  One of my students has an old Arab who was a Park Horse in his past life. What she says about the banana muscles is true. This horse was old when student got him and there was a mountain of trouble to overcome. He can now stretch his neck forward and down and move freely forward, but, alas, time and past abuse have given him irreversible "furniture disease".

                  His chest has fallen into his drawers...
                  If you reread my post you'll see that I, and I believe the OP as well, am talking about exaggerating the snap, not the lift or knee action. High stepping can certainly lead to a hollowed topline, but IF a horse is encouraged to snap it's feet up off the ground WHILE being worked in rounded dressage fashion, I do not believe that is what you'd get.

                  Remember, we're not talking about turning dressage horses into park or gaited horses. We're talking about borrowing a select few "training methods" from another discipline while maintaining the essence of this one.
                  NOT that I would do any of this, but I'm interested in whether there are people doing this already.
                  "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen
                  http://www.etsy.com/shop/tailsofglory

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    http://www.equestriancollections.com...upcode=DA00023

                    Step # one (no pun intended). This is NOT a speciality catalog.
                    Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Inhumane ankle chains? what are you picturing? The 1" thick chain hooked to a pit bull out in some alley? The only ankle chains i've ever used were a narrow SOFT leather strap with small VERY LIGHT metal dangly S hook type things, or sheepskin lined. Why on earth would you put something on an animated show horses ankles (a place people tend to focus on since it's the "cool" part if you call that cool) that would scar or damage them?

                      Weighted bell boots have been used for years on dressage horses that i've known, usually on their hinds to get them to lift a bit better. Is this inhumane? How weighted do you think they are? No more than a pound i assure you, and i'm not sure if they even go that heavy!

                      If you think it's inhumane to put something on the horse to "remind" it how it's body is moving, then get your own rear off it and leave it out in the pasture... What do you think a rider is doing by constantly giving cues?

                      Now, if you want to talk about the inhumane treatment of the big lick TWHs, that's a whole other bag of worms... I'm not from that world, i can only speak from my non-gaited arabian experience and what we did to get action into the country/english pleasure horses. Note, i have not even owned an arab in over 10yrs... Maybe it's better/worse today, but i doubt it's changed looking at my tack catalogs i still get.

                      This is what you would use to attach bungies to:
                      http://www.sstack.com/action-aids/bi...nkle-hobbles-/
                      or i used to attach a little bell to (like those for bird toys), i found the horses used to get into time with their jingles like they do to music.

                      These would be ankle chains:
                      http://www.sstack.com/action-aids/si...-action-chain/
                      i never used them, but my trainer had some, they were very light and would never leave bruising or sores.

                      This is similar to the ones i used to use, though they did not dangle this long:
                      http://www.4showhorsetack.com/images/42-505ankletts.jpg

                      I've also seen these:
                      http://www.4showhorsetack.com/images...umrattlers.jpg
                      These are made of aluminum, VERY light, but they make a light rattle noise.

                      Bungies will make them "snap" off the ground, this is true, but this is where you will tend to get one leg snapping and the other following, it gives a very uneven look. Overlooked in the breed ring, it would probably be called lame in the dressage ring and excused from the ring. If used excessively, you WILL get knee action with just bungies, not just the snap off the ground. Horses with a longer stride will realize it's easier to lift the knee than keep the sweeping stride while wearing bungies. This will give you more movement "in front" of the horse, causing the back end to get strung out and your "banana" body frame. I just dont think it's going to give you the Totillas movement with the same body frame he carries himself in, no matter how much people here think it will.

                      ETA: I didnt mean that to come off rude or talking down to anyone. I just think it's kinda funny that people jump on the inhumane bandwagon when it comes to something like this equipment, i often find it's just a lack of knowledge as to what said equipment looks and feels like. I dont think the horse finds it anymore irritating or inhumane than lugging around the human on their back or having a piece of metal in its mouth.
                      Last edited by butlerfamilyzoo; Mar. 6, 2011, 01:50 PM.
                      Your Horse's Home On The Road!
                      www.KaydanFarmsEquineTransport.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Agreed BFZ, most of these devices are not harmful, just annoying to the horse, and I too used them in my Saddlebred days. But.....that's why I used to love dressage, no gadgets needed.
                        Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here is a video of one that's had a lot of bungie work that i can tell. I had to search a while for a video of one with a rider not hanging off the horse's face, i wish i could find a video a bit clearer, but i dont have all day.

                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgZ5o...eature=related

                          This is NOT a gaited horse. This is just a strong trot in the English Pleasure ring. Can you see how the front end is uneven? Where one leg snaps a little harder and the toe flicks out stronger but the other doesnt? How the front legs move quicker in the stride than the back legs?

                          I just dont know that you would get a good dressage horse out of using bungies on a regular basis. I'm not sure if you did it minimally if it would make much of a difference as it takes quite a bit of time in the bungies to create this "muscle memory."
                          Your Horse's Home On The Road!
                          www.KaydanFarmsEquineTransport.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by butlerfamilyzoo View Post
                            Why on earth would you put something on an animated show horses ankles (a place people tend to focus on since it's the "cool" part if you call that cool) that would scar or damage them?
                            Um, I really don't know. But people do it all the time. I'm pretty sure I don't need to tell you that.
                            "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen
                            http://www.etsy.com/shop/tailsofglory

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              His flashy gaits may put him at the top of the top, but I would hope most people can see that it is his training and the correctness and precision in which he does the other stuff that got him in that league in the first place. I don't think a snappy mover with so so training is going to get as far as a well trained horse with precise and correct movements.

                              Will people try it? Who cares...the training will still matter, and this is why (in my opinion) dressage is very much different than a rail class where those types of tactics are used. Now if people do it to an extreme, and we start seeing horses with blistered/sore legs, I would expect the associations to step in, but I really doubt it will go there, as you still need the training to get there, and I can't see someone put that much time/effort/money into training to risk their horses legs in that manner.

                              Exagerated action is not of much benefit at the low levels.
                              Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by CHT View Post
                                Will people try it? Who cares...the training will still matter, and this is why (in my opinion) dressage is very much different than a rail class where those types of tactics are used. Now if people do it to an extreme, and we start seeing horses with blistered/sore legs, I would expect the associations to step in, but I really doubt it will go there, as you still need the training to get there, and I can't see someone put that much time/effort/money into training to risk their horses legs in that manner.

                                Exagerated action is not of much benefit at the low levels.
                                But, maybe this is the exact discussion that TWH people were having ages ago before they ended up where they are now. I'm not a gaited or park horse person at all, but I'd be willing to bet there's a good bit of training involved there as well and that the top horses aren't JUST flashy movers either.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Chains, etc are also used without soring agents, people. You don't blister/sore trotting horses. It would make their trot uneven (AKA lame). Only breeds with lateral gaits are sored, because their gait is already "uneven" in that way, so it doesn't make them appear lame.

                                  While I've never used them on a horse myself (and never intend to), the basic action chains like BFZ posted are not by any stretch of the imagination painful when used properly.

                                  I do think it's reasonable to wonder whether weighted boots or other action products will start to become more en vogue: folks at the lower levels who are not as talented as Gal and don't have a horse as talented as Toto will still try to make themselves look like that (why is beyond me - but I might be the only person on the planet who finds Toto's leg flinging highly unattractive in the dressage ring). Why else do people use, say, draw reins on dressage horses, if not to try to achieve a poor imitation of what proper training and talent can provide?

                                  The fact that it isn't "classical" and isn't supposed to be rewarded in the show ring doesn't stop all manner of poor training techniques and gadgets as it is, so why would this be any different?
                                  Proud member of the EDRF

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Before we sink to using chains,etc, perhaps we should step back and look at the important part.

                                    What the hind end and back are doing? I can't stand it that so many people love the horses that are "A General in front and no Army behind."

                                    Snap those front legs all you like, but until the horse is actually over-tracking (or even tracking up), in most of the work, it's just a Red Herring.

                                    NJR
                                    (and yes, I was at WEG and yes, I saw the horse in question go and I still stand by what I say above.)
                                    Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behaviour does.

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                                    • #19
                                      He is just a freak of nature...a beautiful freak mind you!
                                      Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        the weighted bell boots in the link above only have 5oz of weight in them...I've worn bangle bracelets that weigh more than 5oz, and my wrists are a lot weaker than my horse's fetlocks!

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