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Good mover + Good mover = Bad mover? What happened?!

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  • Good mover + Good mover = Bad mover? What happened?!

    My 3 month old filly, for the first time ever, really showed me her trot today, and I was slightly... horrified. She's very pretty, but she moves like a frickin' pony (and not one of the good ones!)!

    Dam's a good mover, sire's a GREAT mover, I really did my homework, and I have no idea how I ended up with what I have. My question is, is what I see now at 3 months a good indication of what I'm going to see when she's mature? Does anyone have some stories of hope for me? Or is what I see what I get?

    I'm going to get them both in the indoor this weekend to see if I can get some more out of her to assess everything a little better... this is not a good feeling!

    Words of wisdom?

  • #2
    What does she look like. I know they say 3 day 3 months 3 years. Is she is a growth spurt now? That will make a difference in her movement. I would ask to see a video but you know once you put it online... it is here FOREVER!!!!LOL.
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    • #3
      Unfortunately it's not a quarantee to start with good movers. If your not used to looking at babies it's easy to mistake baby things for a bad mover also. I wouldn't panic yet.
      www.grayfoxfarms.com Home of Redwine, Aloha, Federalist, Romantic Star and Rated R.


      • #4
        Movement is on the lower end of heritability as a starting point. Probably because so many factors go into creating "movement". So genetics aside

        Sometimes 3 month old foals go through a bit of a growing phase and can have mild joint stiffness and pain. Also the hoof is growing down and might be a bit short causing her to feel some concussion (over weight can do that too).

        Back to genetics - were mum and dad great movers as foals or are the great movers now? In Europe stallions are renowned for making "baby movers" and others create FEI dressage horses. Your very lucky if you get one which does both. Jumping bred horses tend not to make such expressive babies (something to do with tendon, ligament tensions) but when they get older and stronger they can really "let go".


        • #5
          Originally posted by alliekat View Post
          What does she look like. I know they say 3 day 3 months 3 years. Is she is a growth spurt now? That will make a difference in her movement. I would ask to see a video but you know once you put it online... it is here FOREVER!!!!LOL.
          3 WEEKS, 3 months, 3 years. 3 day old babies are usually fighting their way's out of paper bags still - doesn't tell you anything.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cataluna View Post
            My 3 month old filly, for the first time ever, really showed me her trot today, and I was slightly... horrified. She's very pretty, but she moves like a frickin' pony (and not one of the good ones!)!
            Words of wisdom?
            give her lots of room to play and don't panic...I don't guess your part of the world is known for it's hills like mine is...but plenty plenty of big turnouts can do wonders...

            Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
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            • #7
              You just can't evaluate a foal reliably. In our breed, they typically do get better as they grow. If it's a WB, I'd say all bets are off as they go through some crazy growth stages.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Tamara in TN View Post
                give her lots of room to play and don't panic...I don't guess your part of the world is known for it's hills like mine is...but plenty plenty of big turnouts can do wonders...

                "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                • #9
                  I have a success story. I raised a foal out of a beautiful moving mare and a top stallion known for producing fabulous gaits. I got this sweet laidback colt who moved like... a foundation Quarterhorse. To make it worse his pasture buddy was boinging around like a gazelle. Now, several years later, my sweet guy has beautiful gaits under saddle and is climbing the levels easily.


                  • #10
                    I don't think you should panic, or for that matter even be concerned. I wish someone would do a study of the relationship of the length of the cannon to the forearm and shoulder starting with foals and ending at maturity. Seems to me that a foal cannot possibly move the way it will when mature as a youngster until the relationships of the bones approximate the lengths at maturity. My youngsters have grown up to move much better than they did as foals. I, like you, have stood in the pasture and exclaimed things like: oh my gosh, it moves like a sewing machine. At 2, 3 and up, totally different and quite nice.


                    • #11
                      Definately don't panic. Give her some time, foals really do go through some funky growth stages.

                      I will also agree that some stallions are just "foal makers". I can think of one in stallion particuliar off the top of my head, that throws rather nice foals. I've not seen ONE of these foals grow up into above average horses, as they appeared to be as foals.

                      I think that most of the time, foal movement is just a little "sample" of what is to come. Turnout is essential, keep UTD on her trimming too.

                      Just the other day, I saw one of my colts, at 2 months old, really TROT for the first time. This particuliar one had sold in-utero, and he has a lovely canter right now. However, the trot steps that I had seen prior, were less than exceptional... to say the least. Finally (when I was holding the dam to get shoes put on, of course), the colt was playing with my 3yo across the fence, and he really sat down and lifted up his front end in the trot... very, very nice. Sometimes you just have to wait for that *moment* of brilliance. Now, I hope this colt does that trot at Inspection on Monday!!

                      What are your foal's bloodlines? Maybe it's one of those late maturing lines. In my experiance though, it's well worth the wait!
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                      • #12
                        Some foals also seem to dislike the trot. My ISH was notoriously difficult to get a decent trot out of in hand - in the pasture he would walk or canter, at breed shows he would shuffle trot and barely reach out at all. When I asked for speed he would break to a canter. He came in last place every single breed show he was ever in - talk about discouraging.

                        Anyway - now at 4 and under saddle he has completely reversed, and our dressage shows have been quite successful. He has a huge powerful trot and is not afraid to use it. So give it time! http://s264.photobucket.com/albums/i...t=IMG_4794.jpg
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                        • #13
                          Depends on how he looks growth wise. As a rule most folks do look good at 3 mos BUT....the one colt I had that was proportionally very leggy was still tripping all over his stilts at 3 mos old. His pasture mate would run up to the fence, sit spin and take off. He would try and make the turn, 4 legs would practically go 4 different directions when he tried to stop and almost crash into the fence. By the time he got turned to take off after his playmate she was looong gone! By the time he got out of that phase he was into the growth spurt uglies and butt high instead........I think he never had a good movement moment until he was 2!!
                          Providence Farm


                          • #14
                            Yeah, I don't know about the 3 weeks, 3 months, 3 year thing. Great guideline but not a definite rule. At 3 weeks my foal (3/4 TB 1/4 Hols) was still basically learning where his legs were. Not graceful. At 3 months he had a filling out stage and looked like a quarter horse. Now at 4 months he's grown up again and looks and moves great. We'll see what 3 years brings us. LOL I don't worry about the funky stages because I figure in a months time his body is going to change again anyway. The different growth stages are fun to watch though aren't they?
                            '10 Dolce Latte G - Thoroughbred Mare


                            • #15
                              Have faith.... honestly there are many a time when I remind myself of that as these youngsters are going thru their awkward stages.

                              I second lots of turn out preferably with hills.
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                              • #16
                                Don't despair or panic. Sometimes the little ones just aren't flashy or fancy until they have a reason to show off.

                                Case in point, several years ago we were having a 2.5 year old vetted and for his PPE, we needed to turn him loose in the indoor. Up until that point he was a very flat kneed, hunter type with smooth gaits...well, he marched off in one of the biggest trots I've ever seen. Had he even shown 1/10th of that type of movement, he would have been on the 'keep him, until he's undersaddle' list. It goes without saying that he has a wonderful, loving home and that is the most important thing of all. But...

                                On the other hand, we had a broodmare who was a spectacular producer through the 70's & 80's. Her last filly was completely pony gaited. The full and half siblings were not, they were the complete opposite. So sometimes the genetic roulette wheel spins off kilter. The pony gaited mare ended up as a super jumper and eventually trained up to GP but her scores on a great day would be in the mid-high 50's - she just didn't have a real 7 in her trot/canter - but she could do everything in the test.
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                                • #17
                                  Has she been trimmed recently? An overzealous trim can make a HUGE difference in how a young horse moves..


                                  • #18
                                    I agree with several posters here... don't panic! I have seen movement change frequently from weanling to 3 yrs. If they are butt high and not relaxed ... anything goes!

                                    I have also seen foals produced by very bad moving parents that move great... and visa versa.

                                    I admire all the breeders... you have so many variables to deal with!
                                    ~ Bill Rube ~
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                                    • #19
                                      I agree with all here - as is the case every year, this year's TB fillies that we have go through stages where their trot and canter look like they are on pogo sticks, and other times when they are floaty, extended and lovely. They usually alternate (one filly moves great while the other has a shorter, choppier stride), and sometimes people who see them will say "I like THAT one" when in reality the other filly is nicer. I say, don't panic - you problably have a good mover there. I wouldn't try to force it - they do get sore and have limitations, so you don't want to cause them to over-extend and injure themselves. One of our fillies is sore this morning due to her dam charging all over the place in a T-storm that popped up suddenly. We checked her, and nothing is seriously wrong, she just overextended herself and is body sore.


                                      • #20
                                        I agree, don't panic quite yet! Especially if the foal never trots, like most don't, they are very unbalanced at the trot (hence they prefer to canter as it's easier/feels better) and don't have the strength to really balance, sit and push off behind. I guess you could call it unfit for it! We've had a few foals that were ok but then after about 9-10 months really started to come into themselves movement wise.
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