Wow. I really thought I saw something at the walk and then "in frame" I couldn't find it again. ARG... I hate that.
Look for it again in the first piaffe, note how he doesn't want to bend his hocks and how that right hind doesn't match the left. Once you see it there it might start popping up everywhere else, especially in the half pass to the left and left lead canter.
You must have a really good eye... very curious to hear what you see.
I'm good at noticing a horse is off, I'm not always so good at pinpointing where. On this horse, though, it looks like the right hind to me. Which is sad, considering this was the winning ride for this particular competition.
I only saw something at the walk and somewhat in the pirs. Rt hind I think.
Yup, I agree. Something is not quite right with that right hind.
Geez, I showed my mom and saw more as I watched again. It was so obvious the longer the video played.
the horse looks almost neurologic to me, a bit like a horse with very mild emnd or shivers or something--or like it has weak/locking stifles behind, which given its conformation and the frame it's ridden in wouldn't surprise me. i've rehabbed a lot of horses with ruined stifles from poor development. but yeah, something looks fishy with his movement for sure, especially at the beginning...and it's funny you mention the jaw flexions! i was just thinking today on my way into work that i was going to do something about that by the end of the week- i have a bunch of notes scribbled somewhere and keep meaning to write something, and i found a good video online. i'd love to read yours when you finish it :-)
Yeah- it comes out I was completely wrong about what jaw flexions really are, D'OH! I'll be interested to see if what I've found matches your knowledge.So you think the problem with this horse is in the stifles? I can't seem to look away from his hocks...
he just looks so loose behind to me, which makes me think neurological or weak stifles, but it could also be hocks. it's hard to tell from the video. definitely weird in spots... i wonder if there are other videos of the same horse...can't wait to hear your take on the jaw flexion thing. my take is a little unorthodox, like with most stuff ;-) but i like to simplify these things so we mortals can make use of it too. i will try to put something together by the end of the week.
I watched this without the sound, so I could concentrate on the performance. This is what they would euphemistically call "gait irregularities". Unbalanced behind, hindlegs splaying a couple of times, horse is ridden behind the vertical, the transitions are not smooth and don't get me started on those pirouettes. Not a pretty picture.Look forward to your flexions post!
It's the pirouettes that really made it look like the horse was hurting to me. He really doesn't want to bend those hind legs at all. I'm bummed out by this, I really want to like Heather Blitz because I don't *think* she's one of those who train "LDR," but I wouldn't compete on a horse that was moving like this.
I agree with everyone else. I saw something in the beginning and the rest of it just didn't look right to me. I'm not good at picking out exactly what is wrong but I know when it doesn't seem right. That's why I rely on my daughter's expertise in pinpointing a problem. Some of us are better than others at this stuff. I'd never make a bet.
Meant to say vet not bet. Should really check my spelling before I hit publish!
Actually bet works there too, I wouldn't make a bet that I could pinpoint lameness either!
You are not crazy. I agree with everyone else. I am not an expert, but even I saw something at a walk.
Thank goodness- evidently an international dressage rider and judges can't see a lameness issue that a whole bunch of people like us saw right away. What does that say about international dressage competition?
It looked like the horse was trying to rush things in order to avoid stressing that right hind (although I wouldn't have been focusing there had I not read that in the comments). What I see is a lot of unhappy tail-wringing, particularly just before the horse is asked to do something new.
That's why I specifically didn't mention where I thought the lameness was. I didn't want to color anybody's judgement.
Definitely looked weird when he walked in, like weak stifles. But then when he started performing, my eyes were immediately drawn to his hocks. They look like they are taking the brunt of the movements and are overly stressed, which is typical for a horse that is weak in the stifle area.I have to say though, I am seeing the 'off' stride in the left hind. It looks to me like that hip drops more than the right hip when he walks and a couple of times when the horse did a lead change, that left hind came out at an awkward angle like the horse was trying to lift and kick to get that hip to engage.
My eye kept flip-flopping between the two, at first I thought it was the left hind, then the right hind, then the left... The problem is probably on both sides. I looked into his history- he was started at 3 yrs when he was 16.3, grew to 18 hands by 6 years old. I'm guessing it was too much, too soon for his joints :(It seems I need to do some research into weak stifles since you and JME said the same thing. Must educate myself!
I don't see it, but the whole thing is out of my league. The horse is being asked to move in ways that are very complex and unnatural, but I guess that's the nature of that sport.
Piaffe and passage are movements horses will do on their own when they want to show off. Unfortunately modern, competitive dressage has turned those movements into ugly parodies most of the time.
I am definitely a bit of newb, I focused on the right FRONT. When he was walking up to the arena he seemed to stiffen the leg a bit. Maybe I'm losing it :P
I'm guessing this poor horse is just sore all around :(
Very first thought was RF, landing very toe-first in the walk at the beginning. Then RH throughout, LH on occasion. All sorts of jacked up, how did it pass the jog?!?! I think it's hocks- back pain looks present as well. (Go to a few auctions and you'll get very good at figuring out lamenesses in person)
Argh, no auctions for me thanks. The last one I went to scarred me for a while.
What a shame, I have always liked this pair. Heather Blitz works with Mary Wanless quite a bit and, from what I've seen, is an excellent rider. I wonder if maybe Paragon is just too big for this type of work; as I recall, he's huge, as Heather Blitz is a tall girl.
18 hands according to her website. Deb Bennet says that the carrying power of the horse is in the width of the hips and not their height. I wish more tall people would consider that instead of breeding skinny giraffes to ride on.
Cool beans! Quarter horses have wide hips. I never doubted their power. ;)
Heather likes to boast that Paragon was doing p & p at six. I've always liked this pair, too, but he's really been put on the fast track, and I'm afraid it's showing.
I'm starting to think dressage is going to start having futurities like the western disciplines- what with everyone crowing about what their babies can do.