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Draft blood and snappy knees

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  • Draft blood and snappy knees

    I was browsing some Amy Dragoo pictures and I noticed that the draft crosses seem to be more consistently tight with their knees than the tbs and other lighter breeds. So that of course made me look for pics of Covert Rights (see video).

    https://eventingnation.com/ens-got-t...covert-rights/

    I am just curious if other people have found this to be so? Perhaps it makes sense conformation-wise, since the drafts tend to have a higher step and thus (perhaps) a less sloping shoulder? IIRC, a sloping shoulder is desired for a longer stride? This would make sense for my draft x, who has a short stride (considering his size and long back) and is usually tight with his knees (although we tend to have rails but that is mostly rider error)
    Last edited by kcmel; Aug. 10, 2019, 01:31 PM. Reason: wrong horse!

  • #2
    My experience is mostly with TBs, and they tend to be quite loose below the knee (As a very general rule) especially over smaller fences. Typically they just jump higher rather than tighter. But also I think they prefer longer distances than the couple of draft crosses I've ridden.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by kcmel View Post
      I was browsing some Amy Dragoo pictures and I noticed that the draft crosses seem to be more consistently tight with their knees than the tbs and other lighter breeds. So that of course made me look for pics of Covert Rights.

      https://www.instagram.com/p/BzEcDOqJdUr/

      I am just curious if other people have found this to be so? Perhaps it makes sense conformation-wise, since the drafts tend to have a higher step and thus (perhaps) a less sloping shoulder? IIRC, a sloping shoulder is desired for a longer stride? This would make sense for my draft x, who has a short stride (considering his size and long back) and is usually tight with his knees (although we tend to have rails but that is mostly rider error)
      Just an FYI that’s not CR that’s Colleen’s newest horse Global Absolute he is a 5 year old Mecklenberg. Sorry if you already knew that.
      http://colleenrutledgeeventing.com/

      http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Col...51101928314503

      Comment


      • #4
        I understand that a more upright upper arm shoulder point to elbow and s cottersponding more sloped shouldet gives more scope jumping.

        It would be interesting to look at conformation and action shots and video of a range of horses at the same level.

        A horse can tuck knees but be quite mexed out getting the upper leg horizontal or above. So knees aren't the whole story.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by brianhr View Post
          Just an FYI that’s not CR that’s Colleen’s newest horse Global Absolute he is a 5 year old Mecklenberg. Sorry if you already knew that.
          Haha no. Damn you Google!

          Comment


          • #6
            A steeper shoulder is often correlated with tighter knees. A pony club horsemanship instructor once pointed out that a more sloping shoulder has less "rotational ability" than a steeper shoulder; the more the scapula can rotate, the higher and tighter the horse tends to tuck its knees. Picture picking up the horse's leg, flexing it as if over a jump, the scapula rotating (moving back toward the saddle) at the withers; a laid back shoulder has less potential to move, compared to a steeper shoulder.

            The sloping shoulder allows for more extension (bigger stride) within gaits, for better movement on the flat.

            Ponies, QHs, and draft crosses also tend to have less scope than other horses...the closer a horse is to his limit of ability, the more he'll snap his front legs to jump cleanly. A lofty jumping horse with a laid back shoulder may be loose at the knees until the jumps get sufficiently large enough for him to be more careful.
            A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
            ? Albert Einstein

            ~AJ~

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
              I understand that a more upright upper arm shoulder point to elbow and s cottersponding more sloped shouldet gives more scope jumping.

              It would be interesting to look at conformation and action shots and video of a range of horses at the same level.

              A horse can tuck knees but be quite mexed out getting the upper leg horizontal or above. So knees aren't the whole story.
              Yes, that's what I mean by snappy knees, more than tight (I'm mixing terms). Rotating the shoulder so that the upper leg is at or above the horizontal.

              The horse in my profile picture is a combination of 3 different carriage breeds (Dutch harness, hackney, Clydesdale). He has the higher action and can really get his knees up. I'll look for a confo pic.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by EventerAJ View Post
                Ponies, QHs, and draft crosses also tend to have less scope than other horses...the closer a horse is to his limit of ability, the more he'll snap his front legs to jump cleanly. A lofty jumping horse with a laid back shoulder may be loose at the knees until the jumps get sufficiently large enough for him to be more careful.
                That makes sense. I'll have to look at some BN pictures and see if the draft x's are less snappy.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I would guess that it’s as simple as the draft crosses being larger, heavier horses usually with less scope, and often calmer temperaments, than the TBs or lighter WBs.

                  Less scope +/- quieter temperament (and therefore less propensity to overjump) will lead them to often have a more “economical” jumping style, where they jump just high enough to clear the fence, and fold their knees tightly to get them out of the way.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well, I will just add my 2 cents. I have been noticing because he has been all over the news this year, 'Thomas', Sexy legs REALLY has tight knees. I have been noticing that. I do look for horses that are really tight. Some top-level eventers seem to be sort of loose over fences. But he seems to be really tight.
                    Another killer of threads

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      There are a couple of really heavy drafty horses that go around Burghley every year (with lots of time obvs). It would be interesting to see videos of their jumping style.

                      ETA: Here's one Mulrys Error. Half Clydesdale and knees to chin.

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_K06ZM9PU8

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Knees definitely up!
                        Half Cob

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This is an example of a horse that has tight knees plus the ability to get the upper legs above the horizontal. Horse may be doing this because it's a wider jump. But it's an added element of scope beyond just the tight knees. Horse is presumably a warmblood.

                          https://www.google.com/search?q=jump...Z9ldhtA80eh7M:

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I always thought the tighter the knees in these cases were because the horses are not as scopey and springy so they have to tighten to clear the fence. The TBs have more lift so they can jump higher with sloppier knees and clear. Their knees tighten up once fences go 4 foot plus. Just my observation.
                            Boss Mare Eventing Blog

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              over the years of watching horses (just observation, not looking at conformation), some horses with more knee action while trotting really snapped up their knees, but then you'd see this amazing floating mover whose jump form was just a awesome as the trot. and then some who were horrible movers and equally bad form over fences - so there goes the theory LOL

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by gottagrey View Post
                                over the years of watching horses (just observation, not looking at conformation), some horses with more knee action while trotting really snapped up their knees, but then you'd see this amazing floating mover whose jump form was just a awesome as the trot. and then some who were horrible movers and equally bad form over fences - so there goes the theory LOL
                                Yeah I was thinking the same thing. On a hunter you want the daisy cutter movement AND the snappy knees. (As a matter of fact my paint draft x moves more like a hunter, although doesn't snap his knees to the exaggerated extent of my higher stepping horse).

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by kcmel View Post

                                  Yeah I was thinking the same thing. On a hunter you want the daisy cutter movement AND the snappy knees. (As a matter of fact my paint draft x moves more like a hunter, although doesn't snap his knees to the exaggerated extent of my higher stepping horse).
                                  haha, yeah and one time in Ireland a huntsman was talking about this horse being a great hunter - which didn't exactly match up 100% to what our show hunter standards are LOL.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by gottagrey View Post

                                    haha, yeah and one time in Ireland a huntsman was talking about this horse being a great hunter - which didn't exactly match up 100% to what our show hunter standards are LOL.
                                    2 completely different animals. The qualities of a British/Irish hunter would give US show hunter heart palpitations!!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I would guess that a British or Irish hunter would be much better suited to the eventing world than to the US show hunter ring!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Coming from a show jumping back ground.....snappy knees are probably the least important feature of a truly good jumping horse. Yes...lots to draft crosses may have them...especially with a straighter shoulder. But while some are really good jumpers....others lack scope and carefulness and I wouldn’t want to sit on them jumping over 3’! Being good with the hind end is significantly more important. And some super scopey jumpers will not have the best form over little fences (sub 4’).
                                        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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