So this might just be because I rode a leggy 16.1 hh gelding for the last 10 years and I'm used to a massive ground-eating stride, but I feel like my new gelding Red (about 15.2 hands) does not stretch out his back legs when running.
I primarily like to barrel race, so of course, it's important to have a horse that stretches out and runs.
Red is going to be 7 this year. I bought him last year in May. He wasn't ridden much at all (which is why he was for sale) and so most of the summer was spent teaching some basic fundamentals.
I have started him on the barrel pattern, and I do "breeze" him in a safe open field about once or twice a week. He is a very hot and energetic horse so I'm placing lots of emphasis on keeping him relaxed and listening to me as much as I can. Hence I don't breeze him if he's not listening. I'm not out to create a nut job of a horse.
I am sure he was never RUN flat out with his previous owners. So I figured it would take some time for him to learn how to stretch out and fly. He hasn't seemed to have pickup up on it yet though.
I just took this video last night, of him goofing around in the corral. Quick back story: Just over a month ago, he got his back leg into the smooth wire fence, and he's been stalled and bandaged since then. He's completely sound on it, but it's just taking time to heal. Need some healing prayers for my boy Red (some graphic photos -- beware!)
Last night was the first time he's been outside in over a month. (The vet said he can be outside, as long as the bandage stays up.) I knew he'd go bananas, and he did. If I was smart enough, I would have started video'ing from the beginning.
But you can kind of see the way that he gallops. Granted, this is a small pen with snow and frozen ground, and he's probably a bit stiff from being in a stall, but I feel like it is still a good representation of how he does gallop. I'm always the one riding him, so I haven't exactly seen it, but how this looks is how it FEELS to me in the saddle.
His injury has sidetracked his "regular" care. He has never been seen by an equine chiro, but I will be doing that when he heals a bit more. And he will be having a complete health check by a lameness specialist (who is now his regular vet helping us with his injury). His feet do need the farrier, but again, that's been on hold until his leg heals a bit more.
So am I crazy???? Or does he seem to have a choppy back end when galloping at speed?
Maybe I am just over-analyzing.
This was last September. We're not going real fast at all, so I wouldn't expect him to "stretch out" on this, but maybe it can give some sort of idea for how he moves.
But even when he bucks in this one, he doesn't extend into the air like a "normal bronc" would.
These are the sort of "stretch out like crazy" horses I am used to riding. I just don't feel like Red does that, even when I breeze him.