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Movement question

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  • Movement question

    If a horse shows lovely and extravagant movement when really excited and at liberty, does that mean that it can be trained to show that movement when it's calm?
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire

  • #2
    I feel very strongly that the answer to this is absolutely no. Any horse (even a terrible mover) has suspension and expression when its tail is up and it's full of adrenalin. Horses with fractures can look sound when adrenalized...it does a lot!

    Add some slow motion to an at liberty video of a trot with a tail up and every horse is the next Totilas.


    • #3
      The answer is not "absolutely no".

      The answer is - it depends

      There is a difference between "suspension and expression", and " lovely and extravagant movement" A donkey can have suspension and expression but will never have "lovely and extravagant" movement (at least in the context of a sporthorse

      I would say the answer is really inbetween yes and no. It all depends on exactly what "lovely and extravagant" really means.

      Part of the issue is that huge expression has to be suppressed *somewhat* during riding, because some of it is just not correct if you're talking about Dressage, and it's certainly not correct if you're talking about Hunters.

      You just don't want the sproing of a long-strided Peppy LePew. But if the liberty movement is free in the shoulder, with good reach from behind, and a long loose stride, then you have the makings of training the correct movement, in its lightness, in the ridden horse.

      That is how, in part, foals (for registration) and mares (at liberty, for breeding approval) are judged - how loose and big and reaching is the movement, as well as the purity if the gaits.
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


      • #4
        I'm another that says no. When young horse hunting I was shown horses being chased round with whips and plastic bags. I then asked to see then moving normally and assessed their paces based on what they did without the razzle and adrenaline.

        You want basic mechanics that can be improved upon. Hind legs with lots of flexion that step under the body weight. A flexible lumbosacral joint. Front legs with lots of freedom through the shoulder. If a horse shows those things when not full of adrenaline that is a horse who is a good mover and capable of being trained on to show even more expression. If the horse becomes a very ordinary mover without the whips and plastic then they are unlikely to be an extravagant mover under saddle either.

        Personally I hate videos that show the horse in slow motion. It feels like a sort of con. All horses appear to have lift and suspension in slow mo. But dressage tests aren't judged in slow mo. You want a horse whose movement looks good in real time.
        Last edited by stolensilver; Sep. 4, 2010, 09:37 AM. Reason: Typo


        • #5
          The answer is yes, if their backs are up and they are using themselves properly, and they can hold up to the work.

          So often horses can't use themselves properly under saddle because they are crooked.


          • #6
            A horse that runs around with his tail up in the air will also have a tight back and, therefore, not show his best movement. That is if you agree with me that good movement involves a flexible back that allows the back legs to push the movement through the back and to the front.

            Other than that I'm pretty sure I can look at a youngster and tell you what movement potential he has....
            Siegi Belz
            2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
            Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.


            • #7
              No mention of the walk here. It will tell you just about evertyhing.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bayhawk View Post
                No mention of the walk here. It will tell you just about evertyhing.
                I think the walk tends to correlate with the canter but frequently does not correlate to the trot. There are plenty of licensed stallions, for example, that have awesome trots and no walk. conversely, I have seen plenty of horses with a great walk and canter and only a passable trot.

                I also agree with Siegi's comment.
                Roseknoll Sporthorses


                • #9
                  Originally posted by YankeeLawyer View Post
                  I think the walk tends to correlate with the canter but frequently does not correlate to the trot. There are plenty of licensed stallions, for example, that have awesome trots and no walk. conversely, I have seen plenty of horses with a great walk and canter and only a passable trot.

                  I also agree with Siegi's comment.

                  Maybe so , but the walk will give you a vision up thru the entire topline of the horse.


                  • #10
                    This post hits home for me. Last year at my filly's inspection I opted against chasing her with whips and plastic bags at her inspection. I felt since she was bred primarily for the hunters, that kind of forced movement goes against what I was aiming for. She still scored well (8.0) and ended up only 1/10 a point behind the high scoring filly of her inspection. I was one of the only ones who didn't chase with the plastic and bags and whips. Someone approached me afterwards and said I should have chased her as she would have scored higher. Now I am getting ready to take this years filly in a few weeks and have to decide if I want to go that route. I thought it was good that I was showing my filly's natural movement.
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                    • #11
                      I agree with YankeeLawyer. We do see horses with a lovely walk and canter but no trot.

                      Luckily, the trot can be improved with proper training.
                      Last edited by Brutust; Sep. 4, 2010, 01:29 PM. Reason: Computer malfunction. Reason, me...