The "Big Lick" as well as the practice of Soring is Breed Specific, no dicipline specific. Out of all the breeds that compete in Saddleseat, ONE breed sores, and that ONE breed gives the rest of the breeds of the dicipline a bad reputation.
Soring is BREED specific, NOT DICIPLINE specific.
Our horses are bred to have that "Look at me" or "I'm the latest TV show personality!" http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h1...ls/Zoltan2.jpg http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h1...PixieDust3.jpg http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h1...reamBaby13.jpg http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h1...s/Filly6-1.jpg
Look, he is on bare ground. He is not stepping out of anything, like high grass, or snow. He has nothing there to "disturb" his legs. http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h1...ieBaby35-1.jpg
The same colt, five minutes before. It is all about timing. http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h1...ixieBaby27.jpg
Look where his neck sits. As you can see, he's not stirred up. This colt is actually one of the most laid back horses. It is HARD to get him wound up. http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h1...ixieBaby39.jpg
Horses like the Morgan and the American Saddlebred are bred to have a higher head and neck placement than the other breeds. They were bred to be able to lift their legs high. They are TRAINED to react a certain way to stimulus. They aren't scared. A scared horse runs away. Trust me, I have seen many a Saddlebred do a spin a QH reiner would be jealous of when they "suddenly" see something they are scared of and run. You see it often at the Saddlebred Breed Sale with the young horses. The end of the ring is big and scary. However once the horses get down there and go down there once or twice, they are no longer hesitant.
Arabians have a higher head carriage than others and "motion", but to a lesser degree than Saddlebreds or Morgans. Then you have the Arab/Saddlebred Cross, the National Show Horse.
None of those breeds are "Gaited". American Saddlebreds have the genetic capability to learn how to rack, but there are very FEW naturally gaited Saddlebreds.
The true gaited breeds, (rockies, TWHs etc) are not supposed to have that very high neck carriage, and they are not supposed to have that very extreme action. They should have relatively high action, and a higher head than, say, a QH, but they shouldn't try to emulate the Saddlebred motion. At best they should go level. But with their necks being a little more "forward" they shouldn't go more. I think that might just be me though.
I have stolen this from a website that I visit often. This is what one of the posters said about Saddleseat.
Someone once said to me that a horse is at its most beautiful when something spooks it. Not the "whirl around and hightail it outta here" spook, but the kind of spook when they do that highly collected bounce-trot, stick their head up, arch their neck, flip their tail up over their back and snort.
EVERY horse does this - not just Saddlebreds. And isn't it perty?!
Saddle Seat tries to emulate that moment, but not by truly spooking the horse - by TRAINING it. We slowly expose the horse to things that get its heart pumping a bit faster, but not scare it out of its mind. A little bit of noise from a plastic bag, maybe some dirt rattling in an empty soda bottle, a whistle or some clapping. Teach it to look, to listen, to learn - and teach it to discover its own strength and courage, and find PRIDE in that strength and courage.
Eventually you end up with a horse who seeks out the stimulus, because with it comes the self-gratification of knowing how beautiful, brave and strong they are. They do not lose their minds. In fact, they have INCREDIBLE minds.
A barrel horse can barely contain itself, waiting to charge down that chute into the ring. That is FOCUSED energy... the rider is not afraid, the horse is not afraid - the horse is ready, willing and completely under control, despite how it looks. That is what a Saddle Seat horse is.
I was thinking about the "You are so far back you have to be hurting your horse." when I was riding my mare a couple weeks ago. When I ride, I post. I don't SLAM into their backs. I move with the horse, and let him or her push me out as far as his stride requires, and even when I am just sitting there at the walk, I am not digging into their backs with my rear. I am sitting there, moving with them, and preparing them for the next thing I am going to ask.