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do you think dressage has improved/changed/declined in the last 30+ years? pics

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  • Good point, Patootie!

    The other thing that bothers me is when people think "flash" equals "hot". Just because a horse is forward, sensitive and flashy doesn't mean it is hot.

    To me, "hot" is the horse that is so nervous he spends his energy fussing and prancing instead of working. His rhythm is uneven, he isn't straight, he is behind the leg even if he is running away. You feel like you are driving a truck without power steering and with no brakes.

    On the other hand, the energized, sensitive horse is in front of the leg, rythymic, forward and ready to work. You feel like you are driving a finely tuned sports car with all the bells and whistles.

    JMO of course, but I feel breeders really are trying to breed horses that are easier to ride. BUT, until you are comfortable riding these forward, sensitive horses it WILL be intimidating. So it takes time on the riders part to get used to this feeling. Our GP stallion, Meisterwind, is a doll to put beginners on because he will "tone down" his movement to match his rider. As the rider gets more comfortable he will offer more. It's fun to watch the riders expressions and the most often heard comment is, "Wow, he moves his whole body". Most people have grown up riding leg movers and the first time they sit on a horse that uses it's back, it is an eye opening experience.
    Patty
    www.rivervalefarm.com
    Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts

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    • i've never seen any upper level horses with 'a big toe'. what i see, and the way mine is, is that he has a lot of foot, and my blacksmith says it is because he is a big strong horse that moves alot, and he needs more foot to support that. the toe, however, is not lengthened with a low or nonexistent heel like the 'flat foot' some race track people like.

      the heel is deeper, but it is done so that the toe and heel are parallel, and the foot is not unbalanced with a long toe.

      the foot is not overly long either, but it looks extremely different from the way i see a great many lower level dressage, hunters or quarter horses done - to me, their feet look horrific. they look as if they have no feet at all, and like people are trying to cram their feet into tiny little shoes that don't fit, by dubbing everything off til they look like little stubs.

      this isn't done to 'make the horse have more action'. it is done to support the very active, reaching, scopy gait of a large very strong horse. it is also done to support the horse in upper level work.

      but not just the blacksmith changes the shape of the foot; the work the horse does also does that. a speed horse tends to wear his foot like the long toe no heel foot, and the horse if he is correctly built and trained in dressage is not doing that to his foot.

      my blacksmith very firmly believes you can't change how a horse naturally goes, ie, make it crank its knees higher in the air, without paying a penalty in longevity of service, and i don't believe that any dressage person 'lets the horse have a foot' to make him look like a apark horse..

      my blacksmith says if i want an unsound upper level horse, go right ahead and whop that foot off. i also know that just about every clinic i've gone to where newbies are trying to work at higher levels, i have heard comments about the shoeing being inappropriate for upper level work. this is not an exaggerated, unbalanced foot by any means, but i suppose it may look that way to someone who's gotten comfortable with the little tiny dubbed off stumps.

      having worked with several different farriers now i am very sure that this is a correct approach. my guy shoes at the track, and he shoes the 'speed horses' entirely different from mine. the heel is really crucial, and upper level trainers for a very, very long time has tried very hard to shoe for 'healthy heels', parallel to the toe, deep and strong.

      Comment


      • I don't know any good farriers who advocate the long toe.

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        • I'm along the same lines with slc on the shoeing.

          I just switched shoers. From using the same guy for the past 3 yrs to a shoer I have known, used in the past and does the rest of the barn. The new guy leaves a lot of foot. But all the horses are sound. Hardly any brusing, tendon strains and they are 3-day horse, at least 6 out the 15 show prelim and above.

          After switching, I noticed a huge difference in my horse. He was finally comfortable. No 2 week adjustment period within shoeing. No getting worse as the scheduled date approached. It was like he was wearing a nice comfy pair of tennis shoes from the get-go.

          His feet have to be at least 1/2" longer now, with more sole, tougher hoof wall and better heels. His feet finally look like they match his frame and bone. We went up 1 shoe size in the front and 2 sizes in the back in 4 shoeings without flairs, cracking, or forging.

          Nope, you cant change the shoeing to change the movement. You can enhance what god gave them. Make them the best they can be, ensure they stay as sound as possible or you can try to force movement that isnt there, but you wont have a sound horse for long.

          But this topic isnt about shoeing, its about what has changed.

          and I want to meet Sabine's mum!!! Get her over here girl!

          Comment


          • i was responding to the accus. that upper level horses feet are 'jacked up like saddlebreds'. they aren't though it may look like that after looking at 'babyshoe' type shoeing for years.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by knz66
              I'm along the same lines with slc on the shoeing.

              I just switched shoers. From using the same guy for the past 3 yrs to a shoer I have known, used in the past and does the rest of the barn. The new guy leaves a lot of foot. But all the horses are sound. Hardly any brusing, tendon strains and they are 3-day horse, at least 6 out the 15 show prelim and above.

              After switching, I noticed a huge difference in my horse. He was finally comfortable. No 2 week adjustment period within shoeing. No getting worse as the scheduled date approached. It was like he was wearing a nice comfy pair of tennis shoes from the get-go.

              His feet have to be at least 1/2" longer now, with more sole, tougher hoof wall and better heels. His feet finally look like they match his frame and bone. We went up 1 shoe size in the front and 2 sizes in the back in 4 shoeings without flairs, cracking, or forging.

              Nope, you cant change the shoeing to change the movement. You can enhance what god gave them. Make them the best they can be, ensure they stay as sound as possible or you can try to force movement that isnt there, but you wont have a sound horse for long.

              But this topic isnt about shoeing, its about what has changed.

              and I want to meet Sabine's mum!!! Get her over here girl!
              I feel for you knz66. I just moved from WA. It wasn't until the last six months, of six way too long years l lived there, that I found a good shoer.

              I believe the dressage team vet likes to leave the toes long on the team horses to get every ounce of stride out of them that can be gotten, however, they are shod every three weeks to make sure tendons/ligaments are not injured in this process.
              www.stfrancispetmedals.com

              Comment


              • you have talked to the team vet?

                i think if he said in an interview that it helps to get the stride out of them, it is a politically correct way of saying that most peoples horses cant move their way out of a paper bag, because their feet are whopped off.

                it doesnt get every bit out of them. it allows them to stay sound and to move.

                slc

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                • Originally posted by slc2
                  you have talked to the team vet?

                  i think if he said in an interview that it helps to get the stride out of them, it is a politically correct way of saying that most peoples horses cant move their way out of a paper bag, because their feet are whopped off.

                  it doesnt get every bit out of them. it allows them to stay sound and to move.

                  slc

                  I don't think SHE meant that at all and it was not gotten from an interview !
                  www.stfrancispetmedals.com

                  Comment


                  • OK slc2 I don't want to get in it with you about shoeing. My horse has big warmblood feet and plenty of heel and toe. She is not shod too tight with small shoes. That is not what I am talking about. Some of the European horses I have seen and not just the upper level ones are left with more toe. I have seen 4 year old stallions sporting this as well. Did anyone see the feet on that Russian horse at the World Cup in Vegas? Two of the FEI gold medal trainers I was sitting with even commented that they really looked like Saddlebred feet. Now I don't know if it is too get more action or stride or what it is for. Maybe it is just how they shoe horses in Russia. All I am trying to say, is I have seen some dressage horses with shoeing jobs that look similar to Saddlebred shoeing jobs. I am not saying that they are all like that or that it is abuse or something. It is just an observation.

                    Comment


                    • i dont want to get into anything, believe me, i just had a multimaster replication blow out an o-ring and thats enough anything for me for the day.

                      and what you saw on a russian horse, yeah, i have seen some of them with very long feet overall, they look like they are about 6 months overdeue for a trim.

                      but in general, i dont see a 'long toe', but with a very long hoof wall overall, the heel and the toe are overly long.

                      when the toe is long, it throws the horse back onto the heel and causes a poor gait and straisnt he tendons.

                      what im saying is, dont confuse a 'long toe' with a 'long hoof'. if the toe and heel are long, the whole hoof is long, if the toe is long, it throws the horse back on the lower heel. it's the proportion of the two.

                      if a large big moving horse has a 'long foot', to a point, that's not a problem.

                      the last time i went to fla big huge trailers were seen on some horses, so there are fads, but while they overall have more foot than other types of sheoing, no, i dont see a lot of 'long toe'. in europe i saw many of the younger horses i looked at had poor shoeing and trimming, but nothing dire that would harm them. on the upper level horses i rode they all had very normal feet, like what i'm used to - a larger foot, but nothing extreme or unbalanced.

                      Comment


                      • Yeah slc2 you are right- it looked 6 months overdue. Whole foot is long not just a long toe and no heel. Still it has more of a slope and mismatch to the pastern than looks comfortable. I agree big moving horses need adequate foot size and length and shouldn't be shod like a little QH or something.

                        Hope you day gets better.

                        Comment


                        • I don't mean this as an insult, but European shoeing, generally speaking, is not very good. We've seen horses coming from Europe with that type of foot for years and years. This is not a new thing. Of course there are some exceptions, but in general, you see that what you saw.

                          Americans are much more attentive about length and angles.

                          Just like Americans are also much more attentive to things like teeth floating.

                          But you don't see the better American horses shod that way.

                          Comment


                          • I've just read this entire thread beginning to end--phew!

                            Originally posted by NoDQhere

                            The other thing that bothers me is when people think "flash" equals "hot". Just because a horse is forward, sensitive and flashy doesn't mean it is hot.

                            To me, "hot" is the horse that is so nervous he spends his energy fussing and prancing instead of working.
                            Very good point. I might even not restrict it just to nervousness, but would include a "wasteful hypersensitivity" where the horse just can't edit stimuli and concentrate effort.

                            I have way more experience with working dogs than elite horses, but the temperament issues are largely the same, I think. There's this fine line between being sufficiently mentally gifted and driven to be a brilliant athlete/worker and unworkable craziness.

                            Thankfully horses don't come in litters, or there really would be a gigantic problem of homing the "not quites". (Too crazy for ammies/pets, not quite crazy enough for the top of the *sport*.)

                            Our GP stallion, Meisterwind
                            Is a complete and utter babe! *swoon*

                            Comment


                            • Thanks Citydog! Meisterwind says thanks too! Your post brings up interesting points as well. Wasteful hypersensivity is an excellent description.

                              As to trimming and shoeing. For years the "normal" toe length was 3 inches! Like knz66 said, horses would be sore after shoeing. So thankfully, one of the things that has changed for the better is that more farriers have learned that Warmbloods have MORE FOOT.
                              Patty
                              www.rivervalefarm.com
                              Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts

                              Comment


                              • NoDQhere brings up a good point in 387: "To me, "hot" is the horse that is so nervous he spends his energy fussing and prancing instead of working. His rhythm is uneven, he isn't straight, he is behind the leg even if he is running away. You feel like you are driving a truck without power steering and with no brakes.

                                On the other hand, the energized, sensitive horse is in front of the leg, rythymic, forward and ready to work. You feel like you are driving a finely tuned sports car with all the bells and whistles. "

                                That the riders are so fantastic becasue they can handle "hot, sensitive" horses makes me really laugh. Dressage has had hot bloods before:

                                - somewhere about the 1800s TBs (hot blood) were in demand as elite dressage horses.

                                - Keene (hot blood) helped win the US our first Olympic medal.

                                - another thoroughbred was on the Russian Olympic team in the 60s.

                                To me the term used today in Dressage GP just means a horse cranked up and full of tension, which can be achieved in just about any horse. But don't expect me to compliment the rider for "handling" a "hot" horse that was specifically bred for centuries to do his job.

                                Comment


                                • "the horse can't edit"

                                  that's the RIDER'S job, LOL!

                                  Comment


                                  • Rider is co-editor. You cannot absolutely control what sensory input the horse receives or how it is processed. Of course the rider can train/condition the horse to focus on desired stimuli (the rider, the aids), and better riders can get the horse to focus under more trying circumstances ("Ignore that newspaper fluttering around your legs, mister, and give me that piaffe!") but there are some horses that just would never be able to get to that point because of who they are, regardless of rider skill.

                                    If it were *entirely* up to the rider, than any "elite" rider could take any horse that was simply physically adequate to do the job and make a winner out of it. We know that's not the case. Personality/temperament is going to play a role.

                                    Comment


                                    • I'm with Funky MeerKAT. In the older photos the riders and horses make dressage look like art to me. The modern ones make it look more like work, more full of effort. I also think that in the older pics the horse and rider are more in proportion to each other. (But then I like smaller horses.)
                                      Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
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