Conformation critique for Jasper - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 15 Old 05-31-2013, 02:55 AM
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he is a nice looking horse. was he a trotter or a pacer ? I have seen them come off the track and be retrained as riding horses and the hardest part was to get them past the pace or trot into a canter. Have fun !!
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post #12 of 15 Old 05-31-2013, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks for clarifying. He's actually using his hind end really well, especially when I do round pen work with him, although he does seems stiff when I ask him to position his head.
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post #13 of 15 Old 05-31-2013, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stevenson View Post
he is a nice looking horse. was he a trotter or a pacer ? I have seen them come off the track and be retrained as riding horses and the hardest part was to get them past the pace or trot into a canter. Have fun !!
We don't really know much about his background. I don't think he was either, the past owners had him in a muddy pen and couldn't take care of him anymore, the rest of his history is anyone's guess. Thanks!
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post #14 of 15 Old 05-31-2013, 04:55 PM
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He does look like he carries himself well at a canter for his breed :) he has nice legs for harder work, which is great!

Remember though, that using their hinds when they aren't being ridden, and using their hinds when they have an extra 100+ lbs on their back are two different things, and any horse will have a hard time doing it at first. That's why at first, any youngster should be asked to learn how to just travel 'forward', then 'long and low' before ever being asked to round themselves, push from behind, etc. It takes them a while to build up the muscle and endurance for doing that.

Your guy's stiffness when you ask him to bend his neck and tuck his head has to do with his back, believe it or not! If a horse's back is hollow (very typical of horses just being started under saddle, like him) he can not properly hold his head. If you don't worry about his head position and focus on teaching himself to round his body and propel from the back, you'll find that his head and neck with naturally fall into place. If you ride a horse from back to front, rather than front to back, it will learn to round it's body and its head will follow, rather than you hold the head in position and dragging the rest of his body along with it. Remember that gaited horses (including pacers) also tend to have higher head carriage than other breeds also, so even if it looks a bit 'wrong' to you, he might actually be doing what his body allows him to do to the best of his ability. It isn't bad, its just a 'signature', if you will, of his body type! :)

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post #15 of 15 Old 05-31-2013, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, quite true.

That's what I thought. I only asked him to do it once because I was wondering how he would respond ;) I'm not expecting him to collect anytime soon, just working on more muscle and understanding what I'm asking of him while riding.

By the way, I ride him in a halter and a dressage saddle, as is obvious from that, I don't plan on showing or anything.
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