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'Trots above level'? What is this?

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  • 'Trots above level'? What is this?

    I keep seeing ads lately for horses described as 'trots above level!!!'. Is this some new fad-phrase that I missed? Or is it a crossover term from gaited horses?

    The ads I've seen this phrase on have mostly been Friesians and Friesian sporthorses, though I've also seen a few other breeds (though, from the same farms/groups of breeders) using the term.

    Are they trying to say the horse has uphill movement? Knees above 'level' (parallel to the ground)? Topline is 'above level'? Has anyone else seen/heard/used this terminology?

    I'm just a little confused by it.

  • #2
    Knees above level, in most of the breed show world. The Morgan folks even have a blog called "abovelevel.com"!
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

    Comment


    • #3
      in the south we call it "breaking over level" and it is measured in terms of inches in good moving horses

      as in "That Hackney pony can break 6 inches over level every trot step he takes"

      it is the height that the knee comes over the elbow joint in the trot or rack...
      as in this
      http://www.burleson-arabians.com/ima...obleriding.jpg

      Tamara
      Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
      I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

      Comment


      • #4
        Which means that you don't want these horses for dressage.
        Banter whenever you want to banter....canter whenever you want to canter.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Well, then. Color me even more confused as to why it would be used in ads for horses that are being marketed as dressage prospects.

          Thanks for clearing that up for me. I assumed it was some take on uphill movement, but alas, it's just knee action.

          ETA: NotGrandPrixYet, I'm not horse shopping. Mostly just perusing what pops up in my facebook feed on a daily basis. I have too many horses as it is, and not enough time!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Heinz 57 View Post
            Well, then. Color me even more confused as to why it would be used in ads for horses that are being marketed as dressage prospects.

            Thanks for clearing that up for me. I assumed it was some take on uphill movement, but alas, it's just knee action.
            they cannot move like that in front w/o hind end drive and reach as well..it is a rare gift even in the breeds that covet it.

            as the dressage world seems more and more taken with the front end over the whole picture,it would seem a correct marketing ploy for hooking the less knowledgeable.

            Tamara
            Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
            I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Tamara in TN View Post
              they cannot move like that in front w/o hind end drive and reach as well..it is a rare gift even in the breeds that covet it.

              as the dressage world seems more and more taken with the front end over the whole picture,it would seem a correct marketing ploy for hooking the less knowledgeable.

              Tamara
              This is true. Although I'd argue that I've seen plenty of knee-snapping, 'above level' front ends that still have a back end trailing miles behind.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Heinz 57 View Post
                This is true. Although I'd argue that I've seen plenty of knee-snapping, 'above level' front ends that still have a back end trailing miles behind.
                oh yes...among those whose hocks are higher than their knees esp.

                I have heard the old people call it "stride behind,pull in front" that every step pulls energy in and under like a giant wind lifting something up

                Tamara
                Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I thought it meant that their trot was better than needed for the level of training they are in. I am surprised!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by witherbee View Post
                    I thought it meant that their trot was better than needed for the level of training they are in. I am surprised!
                    I can see how you'd read that in from the title.
                    "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by witherbee View Post
                      I thought it meant that their trot was better than needed for the level of training they are in. I am surprised!
                      This would have been my interpretation as well. How about that!
                      Join a new horse sim where you can train, show and breed dressage horses, jumpers and eventers! Fun and free with mature players.
                      Join Horse Eden Eventing Today !

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                      • #12
                        Hahaha, I have Friesians and Friesian crosses, and I've never heard the term! Must be a "breed show circuit" thing. I do know if you show "in hand" on many of the breed circuits, snappy knees are the thing to have. As for marketing them for dressage - one thing I've noticed is many people will mark the "dressage" box without knowing anything about dressage. They figure big trot = dressage horse. Just like "he jumped out of the pasture" = jumper.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It is a term frequently used in Arabian Park Horse marketing....has been for years and years.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by MysticOakRanch View Post
                            Hahaha, I have Friesians and Friesian crosses, and I've never heard the term! Must be a "breed show circuit" thing. I do know if you show "in hand" on many of the breed circuits, snappy knees are the thing to have. As for marketing them for dressage - one thing I've noticed is many people will mark the "dressage" box without knowing anything about dressage. They figure big trot = dressage horse. Just like "he jumped out of the pasture" = jumper.
                            I'd think this might be it, just another box checked on a Dreamhorse ad, but they are primarily pictures people have posted on facebook of young stock, new foal crops, and a few stallions with typed-out descriptions including the "above level" terminology. All are specifically being marketed/sold as dressage prospects, not geared towards any breed shows.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It's a breed show thing and a very very good thing to have because it gets you in "fancier" divisions and it makes the horse worth more.

                              They are probably being advertised as dressage prospects because the owner/trainer doesn't know anything about dressage. I wouldn't have an issue looking at a horse like that, but if did trot above level it would be out of my price range anyway. I would be more concerned about any training methods I would have to undo.
                              http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                                They are probably being advertised as dressage prospects because the owner/trainer doesn't know anything about dressage.
                                This is not the case, though...

                                ETA: at any rate, I learned something new today!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                                  It's a breed show thing and a very very good thing to have because it gets you in "fancier" divisions and it makes the horse worth more.

                                  They are probably being advertised as dressage prospects because the owner/trainer doesn't know anything about dressage. I wouldn't have an issue looking at a horse like that, but if did trot above level it would be out of my price range anyway. I would be more concerned about any training methods I would have to undo.
                                  There are definitely people out there like enjoy mentioned, that think that because high action is good in show ring, and then they see photos of dressage horses with high action, that the two are the same.

                                  Of course it isn't, however consider a horse that does have NATURAL high action because it comes from a loose shoulder. If the horse has good conformation then you can get some really nice, fancy dressage movement.

                                  Natural high action isn't out in a long grass paddock with chains on! You do get people who say 'above level' by accomplishing it any way possible. I'm talking how the horse moves without incentives.

                                  If it comes from a trained horse with show shoes on, then be prepared to have to undo a lot of training. It can be done, and those breeds can learn fast what you want, but like TBs off the track, sometimes you can and do end up with damaged goods.

                                  Just to give an example, this is a Saddlebred stallion we imported specifically for breeding dressage horses; you can still see his movement despite a severed DDFT injury is high and loose. His first yearling scored just shy of 75% for her assessment. His 3/4 brother is a multi world champion and HOTY in harness and under saddle, and he moves WELL above level with training.

                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijp0G2COVmA

                                  photo of his brother in harness

                                  http://www.uphaonline.com/2009-horses/zhivago.jpg

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Tamara in TN View Post
                                    as the dressage world seems more and more taken with the front end over the whole picture,it would seem a correct marketing ploy for hooking the less knowledgeable.

                                    Tamara
                                    I think you're right. I had a woman tell me I should buy her Dutch Harness horse (when I told her I like dressage) because of his "action". I think she honestly believed that was desirable in dressage.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      "Above Level" indicates show ring worth/talent ~ ASB & Hackney

                                      "Trots above level" indicator off show ring worth/talent for ASB & Hackney breeds ...
                                      Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Problematic.. Because dressage horses have to eventually canter LOL!
                                        ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                                        http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

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