Originally Posted by Kayty
Where you get stuck with the horses that lack the bugger steps, are the medium to higher levels where movement is a big factor into how the test is judged, and the bigger, looser steps also help in the more advanced movements where a short choppy gait will struggle.
Actually I disagree (but not on the short CHOPPY gait).
At the lower levels where there is little to judge on, the bigger moving horses have a clear advantage.
At the higher levels it is the suspension and lightness of the movement that is paramount. In fact striding that is too big is a disadvantage. This is particularly obvious within the piaffe/passage transitions and the canter pirouette.
Take for example the two horses Dynasty and Reipo.
Reipo had extraordinary long sweeping movement.
Dynasty had the more compact movement.
Dynasty beat Reipo every time except once and in the 86 Olympics was the leading horse in the team bronze. Reipo had so many problems in the canter pirouette and the piaffe/passage transitions were difficult for him. The piaffe/passage transitions are also a co efficient of 2 so the loss of points become problematic. Dynasty had them done pat and could collect so well.
In the 86 worlds Dynasty's opening movement from an extended trot to a piaffe with a 360 turn and completed the extended trot was amazing and showed off that horse's best way of going.
BTW....my horse is from the Dynasty lines also and also has that compact body and extremely easy to collect.