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Technical Question re: leads and jumping

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  • Technical Question re: leads and jumping

    Okay here goes: I think I know the answer, but I'd like to know for sure. My question is in regards to the stress of jumping depending on the horse's lead.

    If a horse is landing and cantering away on the left lead, which front leg hits the ground off of the jump first? Wouldn't you say that that leg takes the biggest stress? So a horse that doesn't like to land left could be guarding the left fore?

    Also regarding the hind end, does one hind leg work harder on takeoff or do both back legs push the same. The end legs do line up to take off over a "real jump", so do they push the same?

    I'm wondering this is regards to training the horse that prefers to land on one lead, as many do and whether this preference can be related to soundness issues.
    http://patchworkfarmga.com

  • #2
    They canter away on the lead opposite of the hoof they landed on. So left leg touches down first = right lead canter. Right hoof touches first = left lead canter. You can go to youtube and watch videos and pause to see it if that helps you visualize better.

    I will let others comment re: soundess issues because I'm sure those factor in for some horses but I think in many of the horses I see with a strong prefernce it is more due to strength/weakness issues. A horse that is weak on the left will prefer to continually land on the right becuase it's just easier for them. You can train out a lot of that but sometimes it cannot be fully trained out and rather you as the rider have to anticipate and correct. Just like if you think about yourself. If you are right handed think how long it would take you to build the tone and coordination to write with your left hand? Likely even if you were "trained" to always write left handed you would still prefer right handed. And you are a rationale human being....it's hard to explain to a horse "sorry Ed that your left side is weaker but I NEED you to land on that lead when we go left, every.single.time." Haha. Instead you just have to be the rider and remind them of it. Every.Time.

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      I agree that it's mostly preference/strength. Would you say that the hind end pushes off equally?
      http://patchworkfarmga.com

      Comment


      • #4
        I think ideally the hind end pushes off equally, if the horse is properly balanced and more or less equally strong on both sides. If there's a strength issue, I would think that the stronger side would push off more than the weaker side. I think this is why hunter people don't advocate for asking for the correct lead over the fence, because it can affect the quality of the jump?
        friend of bar.ka

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Okay, from my observation of the videos, it appears that the horse lands on the left fore and canters away left lead. What do you guys see?
          http://patchworkfarmga.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jsalem View Post
            Okay, from my observation of the videos, it appears that the horse lands on the left fore and canters away left lead. What do you guys see?
            The opposite. Left front lands first=right lead.

            Good analogy to a person being right-handed. You can train and practice all you want, but the natural inclination to one side or the other will always be there, even without any soundness issue.

            Comment


            • #7
              I agree with others regarding landing/the front end.

              With the hind end, I think that over really big jumps they use both equally. Over medium- and smaller ones, they also use both but perhaps flex the inside stifle (and hock?) for a longer period of time.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat

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              • #8
                Here is a good slow motion jumping video:
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaNqXNavR8c
                I love cats, I love every single cat....
                So anyway I am a cat lover
                And I love to run.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jsalem View Post
                  Okay here goes: I think I know the answer, but I'd like to know for sure. My question is in regards to the stress of jumping depending on the horse's lead.

                  If a horse is landing and cantering away on the left lead, which front leg hits the ground off of the jump first? Wouldn't you say that that leg takes the biggest stress? So a horse that doesn't like to land left could be guarding the left fore?
                  In a left-lead canter, the right front hits the ground before the left front.

                  Same in landing from a fence, if the horse is going to be on the left lead, the right front has to hit the ground first, so he can extend the left frong before it hits the ground.
                  ( Think if the footfalls of the canter. In a left lead canter, the next footfall after the left front is the right hind. The right front doesn't hit the ground until the NEXT stride. If the horse is going to land on both front legs, the non- leading one HAS to hit the ground first.)


                  Also regarding the hind end, does one hind leg work harder on takeoff or do both back legs push the same. The end legs do line up to take off over a "real jump", so do they push the same?
                  This depends much more on whether the horse is straight than on which lead the horse is on. If the horse is crooked, the one that is closer to the center of the horse is the one that does the most pushing. So if the horse throws his haunches left, it is the right hind that is doing the most work.

                  Except over very small jumps, both hind legs push off at effectively the same time, whether or not they actually square up.

                  I'm wondering this is regards to training the horse that prefers to land on one lead, as many do and whether this preference can be related to soundness issues.
                  Sure, but not necessarily in a predictable way.
                  Janet

                  chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Janet is spot on about footfall. If a horse does not respond to the normal exercises to get it to land on its less favored lead, I would consider a physical issue, but it doesn't have to be in that leg (or any leg for that matter). Will the horse change up easily? Is it a young horse, made horse, lesson-type horse or expensive show horse?
                    Trinity Farm LLC
                    Quality hunters and jumpers at Midwest prices
                    Like us on Facebook:
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Beethoven View Post
                      Here is a good slow motion jumping video:
                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaNqXNavR8c
                      Gah! I know its not relevant but some of the equitation/leg position in that video...
                      “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”
                      -Winston Churchill

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                      • #12
                        I think most of the time when a horse has a landing-lead preference, it's related to the hind end. They tend to land on the lead on the same side as their weakest hind leg, in my very non-scientific opinion.
                        A friend of mine, who was something of a schooling area genius, used to set verticals with one side 3 or so holes higher, on the side he wanted to encourage them to land on. People always looked at him funny, but it works, because the leg that comes up higher in front is not the one that lands first, so they land on the intended lead.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If they land left lead, the right front lands first, but wouldn't the left leg bear more weight as the horse's body is further over the jump when it weights that leg, and that leg holds the weight of the horse longer than the right front?
                          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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                          • #14
                            Regarding the hind end, this is just an observation and kind of a question. I watched a lot of the indoor show videos, and it seemed like some of the big time horses, when at a longer distance, almost take a step behind or almost even hop forward on their hind legs. But it is very subtle and I wonder if I am just making this up.

                            Maybe I will ask in a separate thread and hope some of the above posters, who are among my very favorites, will chime in.
                            Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thank you so much, everyone. I was working with a very well respected vet this weekend with a training issue and neither of us could really come up with a scenario to explain the issue.

                              Perfectly sound, but recently landing split legged after the jumps. Lands left behind, Right up front. Postive flexion on the LF and LH. Nothing really horrible. Hmmmm.......
                              http://patchworkfarmga.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I have seen perfectly sound horses have strange issues crop up that were attributed to weakness, laziness, or youth, only to find out that the real issue is somewhere else in the body like the neck and the horse is starting to compensate. We may use the same diagnostic vet, but I will pm you. I am guessing this is a really nice horse and I'm sure it can be resolved.
                                Trinity Farm LLC
                                Quality hunters and jumpers at Midwest prices
                                Like us on Facebook:
                                https://www.facebook.com/TrinityFarmLLC

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Justice View Post
                                  I have seen perfectly sound horses have strange issues crop up that were attributed to weakness, laziness, or youth, only to find out that the real issue is somewhere else in the body like the neck and the horse is starting to compensate.
                                  My mare started always landing on her left lead and a thorough exam by a lameness specialist revealed some arthritis in her neck. Injections seem to have helped. We haven't done much coursework or showing since then but based on the little we have done, it does seem that though she still prefers to land left, whether due to habit or a lingering weakness, she will now at least sometimes land right and it appears to be getting better.

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