Open for critiqueing - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-07-2011, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
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Talking Open for critiqueing

please tell me how my mare looks, dont worry about me as much :)

headed out to the trainers for a week soon!
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-07-2011, 12:56 AM
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Hello Klassic,

Your mare has many good conformational points. Her hind quarters are, IMO, her best feature. Good pelvic angle/length, strong coupling at the loins, Hind legs straigt from what I can see. Her front legs are also good, and shoulder decent. Her only fault that I see is her neck. It ties into the body on the low side, not connecting so wel with her wither and back on the top side. The lower neck muscle kind of bulges out. I think this can be remedied by riding him in such a way so that she lifts the base of her neck while extending the rest of the neck forward and downward, the so-called, "long and low".
You will want to encourage relaxation of that lower neck muscle and engagement of the muscles that cause the neck to arch , in the way that a horse arches his neck when excited or greeting a new horse in the herd.

Have you ever read any of the articles by Dr. Deb Bennet regarding how to correctly develop the horse's neck? She has a website, ( i would just google her name) and lot's of info on this.

Your mare looks really powerful. I bet she has a lot of engine under the hood.
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-07-2011, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Thank you so much this is the first time in the little over a year I have been on this forum that I got this good of a critique! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! LOL

I very much agree with you and she is only 4 and still have about 4 inches of growing left in her, shes growing likea weed these last 2 months! She is tsill downhill, but shoulders are comming up finnally! I think once she has fully grown her neck wont look so low.

Working on relaxtion has been our homework since June, she has come SO far it is amazing, she now is just so focused on where she has her feet, esp in transtions :) I think in the next 3-4 months she will get even better!

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post #4 of 12 Old 02-07-2011, 01:37 AM
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I do really recommend that stuff by Dr. Deb Bennet. I am currently reading her three part series (written in the 90's I think) called "Conformational analysis" I have learned so much from it. I think this series is hard to find (out of print), but it might be available on either her website or Ecclectic Horseman magazine website.

Klassic, I know you did not ask for a critique of your riding but may I share one small observation?
I can see in many of these photos that you have a body twist that causes your right sholder to drop and may also be causing your left leg to advance in front of the right. In the misty canter shot you have your right shoulder held back instead of dropped as in the other shots, but it looks almost over pulled back ( so many riders over advance the outside shoulder at the canter, the opposite of what you are doing). I just wanted to mention that in case you wanted to feel for that the next time you go out and ride.

We all have crookedness, and in fact, as I get chiropractic for my lower back, it fits in perfectly with the fact that I notice that my right leg is always advanced of my left. My pelvis is croooked and paining me now.

Good luck, and check in from time to time.
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-07-2011, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Thank you again! Yes I actuly tiwst to hold my outside leg and shoulder but tense up. We hada very bad scary fall 2 years ago where she came down on top of me and messed me up pretty good, not her fault, it was the footing and she tripped and couldnt get herself up again. so Im very proectove of my right leg and right side in general. But I am slowly starting to get my bodey to start relaxing just so hard when you brain says no, your going to hurt or no she might fall...ugh Thanks again
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-07-2011, 02:00 AM
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that is my worst nightmare; a horse falling ON me. Thank God you were not badly hurt, or killed.
Will you be showing this summer? At Donida?
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-07-2011, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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I hope so! I will be showing on Vashon Island, where I have Klassy now! You should come watch us at some shows!
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-07-2011, 09:26 AM
Green Broke
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I too recommend Deb Benet. I went to one of her clinics years ago.

This is a nice horse and I agree with the critique of her conformation. I suggest you do a little less collection at this point and ask for a lot more drive forward. She is on her forehand.

You can do this at the trot.. and walk. Do lots of transitions IN the gait as well as between gaits. Get her moving forward and then use a half halt to ask her to round a bit.. but mostly you want forward. Don't worry about getting her face vertical at this point.. she is not ready for it.

You can help her a LOT by improving YOUR position. LOOK UP, and shift your weight back (requires a longer rein for the horse) and sit up straight. Look at the center of the circle so you can make the circle even and round. Looking to the center and concentrating on your distance from it will put you body in the correct place. Open your hands a bit and lead her on turns and in circles. Look forward to where you are going and plan your next maneuver (be it a transition in gait on the long side, a corner, a circle or a transition to another gait). Pick a spot where that is going to happen and then set the horse up to respond at that point... when you have accomplished the change at that point, look to your next change point and set the horse up.. and so forth. Ride with a PLAN and choose where to invoke each part, set the horse up to do it at that point and then look ahead where you will make your next change....

Set up cones and so come large, long, serpentines. Also get out of the rin and ride your horse up some long hills at a trot. I would also get out the cavaletti and work on that.

Again.. transitions, circles, spirals in and out making smaller and larger circles and get her topline longer for now until she can physically better engage.

Nice horse. Really.
Deb Bennet uses physics to discuss how a horse works.. sort of like Horse Design Engineering. :)

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
(or woman!!!! ) Dinosaur Horse Trainer
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-07-2011, 10:06 AM
Green Broke
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Another Deb Bennet fan here!

Klassic, I really like your horse, she looks like a darling. What a horrible incident you had, so glad you are recovering.

Mind if I suggest a couple things? In the first photo it looks like she is sucking back and getting behind the bit, you want to drive her forwards and engage her hindquarters. You are doing the right thing in that you aren't 'holding' her in this false posture, however the other half of the equation is to push her onwards.

In the second photo, she looks like she is resisting the bit just a little but I like her overall posture better for a young horse. Soft hands and driving seat! Lots of long and low to build all those long muscles along the top of her neck and back.

Nice horse, good luck to both of you!

All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-07-2011, 04:50 PM
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Agreed with previous posters as well.

One thing you must realize is that your position affects your horse - imagine if you were waltzing with a bad dancer. You can't dance very well with someone stepping on your toes!!

I would like to point out that many of your issues may be remedied with a different saddle - here we see a saddle which does not fit the rider well in the twist - causing her to push her legs forward in an effort to push the seat back onto the cantle of the saddle and leaving her upper body in a defensive position. The extra pad under the saddle also leads me to believe there are some fit issues with the horse as well.
I would encourage you to try some different saddles and find one which not only fits the horse appropriately - but has a better shaped seat for you that allows you to sit towards the pommel and stretch your leg down. In a well fit saddle the rider does not have to grip with her legs to stay on - she will be comfortable in the seat to put her weight on it in the appropriate place.

They say money doesn't buy happiness -- well happiness doesn't buy horses!
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