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How do judges react to horses that "wing out" in front?

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  • How do judges react to horses that "wing out" in front?

    This horse otherwise moves quite well. Could he still get good scores on his gaits? Somebody mentioned that Don Frederico moves this way. Can anyone speak to that? I have no idea, but if it's true it must not be that much of an issue. Can it improve with good work and riding?


  • #2
    If your horse paddles then no amount of riding or training is gong to change that. Most judges don't hold it against you. I have a friend with a nice FEI gelding that paddles quite a bit. I think a judge commented on it once but, for the most part, she does quite well. I do wonder sometimes if the paddling puts extra torque on the joints but I guess that is another discussion.


    • Original Poster

      yes the joints . . .

      I do not currently have one that does but I saw one today that was otherwise lovely. Yes - It sure does seem like it would be very hard on the joints. Does anyone know if they are more prone to other types of injuries? If I bought him would it be a real problem in re-sale?


      • #4
        My friend has a QH that wings worse than anything I've ever seen, but he still does well at 1st level. She bought him when he was stepping down from showing 4th level and schooling PSG. He wasn't super fancy anyways (mid 50's), but I don't think it was more of a general lack of talent than the winging that held him back.


        • #5
          Originally posted by piggiponiis View Post
          I do not currently have one that does but I saw one today that was otherwise lovely. Yes - It sure does seem like it would be very hard on the joints. Does anyone know if they are more prone to other types of injuries? If I bought him would it be a real problem in re-sale?
          Well, there were one or two at the 2008 Olympics who paddled; I recall one of the "Baroque" horses in particular.

          I think it depends on how they paddle, whether it causes them to interfere, etc...
          You have to have experiences to gain experience.

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


          • #6
            It is not considered a fault, as long as the horse doesn't interfere, and as long as they can still reach in the lengthened, medium, and extended work. A horse who paddles extensively will lose reach, and that will cost you in scores.

            Top soundness vet recently told me - Studies of race horses show those who wing OUT stay sounder then those who travel straight. Those who paddle in (thus interfere) don't stay sound because they beat themselves up.


            • #7
              Paddling does not generally cause interference because the feet are moving with an outward arc.

              Winging has them moving inward and that's much more likely to cause interference issues.

              SOME horses paddle when they are not forward enough because they're moving mostly the leg, instead of lifting and moving through the shoulder correctly. Most paddling through is conformational, and since it's not during a weight-bearing portion of the stride, it doesn't often cause soundness issues unless severe.
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


              • #8
                JB, great explanation, thank you!
                You have to have experiences to gain experience.

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


                • #9
                  Paddling (winging out) is quite common in some breeds, like Andalusians and not uncommon in Warmbloods. You see it in horses all the way up to the top in competition and I've never noticed a judge marking down for it (I do lots of scribing). As JB said paddling doesn't cause interference because the hooves move in an outward arch. As far as soundness problems: it depends on how the foot landes. If the horse wings out but comes down straight, there's probably no more stress on the leg than with a horse that doesn't wing out. If the foot comes down crooked it's a different story.
                  Hoppe, Hoppe, Reiter...
                  Wenn er faellt dann schreit er...

                  Originally posted by mbm
                  forward is like love - you can never have enough


                  • #10
                    At least in the US, judges are instructed not to take off points for paddling or winging.


                    • #11
                      my 2 yr old andalusian filly does paddle, but along with it has quite extravagant, beautiful movement. Glad to hear it is not considered a fault as she is otherwise perfect in every way


                      • #12
                        Ummm...didn't Anky's Bonfire paddle?


                        • Original Poster

                          I sure hope so!!