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Please Critique Sky

This is a discussion on Please Critique Sky within the Horse Riding Critique forums, part of the Riding Horses category

     
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        10-19-2011, 11:35 AM
      #11
    Teen Forum Moderator
    She looks a tad betterin that last picture, but theres still something very strange about her back.

    Honestly though I don't know how to critique her. In each of those pictures she almost looks like a different horse. In the first, her conformation looked absolutely terrible. Short neck, upright pasterns, bad coupling, camped under. In the second, her neck looks to be a fine length, but she appears even more camped under.

    All I can really tell you is that it's probably best that you keep her as a trail horse. Her back looks very iffy, and I don't think barrel racing will do her any favorts. Her color and face are adorable though!
         
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        10-19-2011, 11:50 AM
      #12
    Yearling
    Just out of curiosity, if someone can pinpoint what it is about her back that looks so troubling, I could look into it more.
         
        10-19-2011, 11:56 AM
      #13
    Teen Forum Moderator
    I'm thinking it's a roached back, and then she has a fair to poor topline which makes it appear more dramatic. It isn't severe, but it's enough that you need to be careful with her, and allow her to build up lots of muscle and a better topline at a slow, even pace.
         
        10-19-2011, 12:08 PM
      #14
    Yearling
    What are some good ways to do that with her? She isn't trained in barrels so anything would be kinda slow right now. I've taken her around them at a walk and a trot and her turns are really nice, but other than that we have just been trail riding. I'm in no hurry to rush her into it, so I'm perfectly willing to give her what she needs first.
         
        10-19-2011, 12:20 PM
      #15
    Teen Forum Moderator
    If you did decide to do barrels (I'm not for it, but it is your horse) I'd recommend a vet check first. Point out her back, have them do a thorough exam. If they give you the go ahead, then you'd need to start with LOTS and LOTS of walking and trotting. How often do you trail ride? To be fit for barrels, she'd need to build up to 30+ minutes of straight trotting.

    Can she do a flying lead change? If not, you'll need to teach her to change leads quickly and accurately. Start doing serpentines and circles, gradually making them tighter and tighter. Do some canter work and build her up to 5-10 minutes of cantering. Teach her to yeild her hindquarters, bend into her circles, and teach her to stay in frame. That's the only way you're going to improve her topline.

    The biggest fault I see in barrel horses is that they're underdeveloped and hold their heads high when they're running. You'll want hers down and her body rounded, to counteract her back. Once she can do all of that and can canter for a while without being too winded, then I'd get another vet check, and begin her barrel training.
         
        10-19-2011, 12:23 PM
      #16
    Green Broke
    This horse is not blessed with great conformation (but I bet she has a great disposition!). Her neck is short and poorly placed which will make it difficult for her to roll back onto hind legs and shift her weight to the rear to slow for turns or to change leads with a rider on her back. Her back is stiff looking and too straight into a peaked and steep croup. She is stiff looking through the barrel.

    Her hind legs are sickle hocked. This is partly due to how her entire hindquarter is built with the high peak and steep croup. The stiffness in her back is likely due to the straightness of it and the sickled hocks. Of course, if she is stiff in the back, the standing under herself will help take pressure off her back.

    This horse needs caveletti work and hills.. trotting up hills with a loose rein and your weight in the stirrups and forward off her back. This will build her "ring of Muscles" that support the entire hourse during athletic endeavors INCLUDING trail riding.

    She is not physically ready for barrel racing at all. She needs lots of circles, spirals in and out, caveletti, serpentines and practice at changing speed IN a gait and BETWEEN gaits. When you can get smooth transitions.. extension and collections IN a gait (trot) and smooth transisitons without head tossing or resistance between gaits (trot to walk, Walk to trot, walk to halt, trot to halt first then canter.. trot to canter, walk to canter, canter to trot and canter to walk) you can then start Barrel training. I would not expect a stellar performance but you will learn a HUGE amount in the process.
         
        10-19-2011, 12:33 PM
      #17
    Yearling
    Ok thanks. I will definitely get her checked before I make any final decisions.
    We trail ride about 3 times a week but I could make it more if I needed too.
    She can't do a flying lead change yet. Her previous owner didn't bother with small details like that. He bombproofed her and that was about it. She does neck rein and yeild her hind quarters though.
    Thank you for all your advice, I'm glad to have a starting point as I didn't realise how much work she actually needed.
         
        10-19-2011, 12:41 PM
      #18
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Elana    
    This horse is not blessed with great conformation (but I bet she has a great disposition!). Her neck is short and poorly placed which will make it difficult for her to roll back onto hind legs and shift her weight to the rear to slow for turns or to change leads with a rider on her back. Her back is stiff looking and too straight into a peaked and steep croup. She is stiff looking through the barrel.

    Her hind legs are sickle hocked. This is partly due to how her entire hindquarter is built with the high peak and steep croup. The stiffness in her back is likely due to the straightness of it and the sickled hocks. Of course, if she is stiff in the back, the standing under herself will help take pressure off her back.

    This horse needs caveletti work and hills.. trotting up hills with a loose rein and your weight in the stirrups and forward off her back. This will build her "ring of Muscles" that support the entire hourse during athletic endeavors INCLUDING trail riding.

    She is not physically ready for barrel racing at all. She needs lots of circles, spirals in and out, caveletti, serpentines and practice at changing speed IN a gait and BETWEEN gaits. When you can get smooth transitions.. extension and collections IN a gait (trot) and smooth transisitons without head tossing or resistance between gaits (trot to walk, Walk to trot, walk to halt, trot to halt first then canter.. trot to canter, walk to canter, canter to trot and canter to walk) you can then start Barrel training. I would not expect a stellar performance but you will learn a HUGE amount in the process.
    Thanks. I really just want to have fun with her and any performance she can give will be fine with me. Hills are hard to find here. Plenty of mountains but not the best footing. As for the rest of it, I can definitely work on all that. I'm thinking of getting my trainer back that helped me with one of my other horses. I am actually looking forward to all that I can potentially learn with her.
         
        10-19-2011, 12:52 PM
      #19
    Teen Forum Moderator
    Absolutely! If nothing else, the two of you will form a better line of communication, and she'll be in much better shape. And who knows? Maybe there is a little bit of barrel horse hidden in there ;)
         
        10-19-2011, 01:51 PM
      #20
    Super Moderator
    I am glad that Elana and Endiku better explained what I was seeing in her back. She is a cute horse, and has really good bone. If she becomes a stellar trail horse, there's a lot to be said for that!
         

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