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keely2682

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i have worked lightening all year without a check

he is moving very level

i loosened the check on his show harness and he looks wpc to me

what do you think???









 

disneyhorse

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Yes, he is moving beautifully and exactly what I'd imagine a good WCP horse should look like. Good job to the two of you! You look great and ready for Nationals!

Andrea
 

Reignmaker Miniatures

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From the descriptions I have read of how a wcp horse should look I'd say he looks perfect for that class. Of course my opinion has very little value since I have no experience in show driving (yet
), I really just wanted to post to say what a lovely horse he is and how sharp he looks in harness.
 

ClickMini

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Hi Keely:

His neck level does indicate a WCP frame at this point. However, I know Lightening, and I think he is traveling short and unengaged, and on his forehand. He is in no way "tracking up," as you can tell when you look at the photos his hind foot is landing well back from the fore print. Ideally, Lightening should be at minimum stepping up into the print left by his forefoot. In addition, he is not taking contact, rather he is ducking behind the vertical and that is putting him even more on the forehand.

I hope you take this as constructive criticism, because you know I love both you AND Lightening!


I am a little curious why you are taking him in this direction? He is a beautiful classic horse with a neckset and body that really allow him to come up into good contact and engagement. I thought he was just perfect as a CP horse.
 

hobbyhorse23

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Hey Keely, I think his neck position looks very wcp.
What a handsome boy! Does he normally move like that (front foot hitting the ground before the diagonal hind foot) or was he taking it pretty easy? I KNOW you know your harnessing so tell me about the breeching thing. And the traces. My curiousity is killing me!


Leia

Edited to add: Amy and I posted at the same time and she had the guts to say what I was really thinking. I agree, it's meant entirely as constructive criticism! Fill us in on what's going on with you two. Are you using wcp as a stepping stone while he learns to move higher without a check or because that's the direction you want to take him permanently?
 
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keely2682

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yes amy good observation

we are fighting the behind the bit and less egagement thing

it had been previously "fixed" by use of a tight overcheck

i have been trying to get him off the check and engaging his back end

we have been working on balance and bending

lots of circles

i know he previously was shown in country but i hate to check him back up

this is how he is naturally carrying himself

note- the check and martingale are doing nothing

the breeching is an A size one and with both hip straps buckled rides up under his tail

fastened like this it effectively stops my very light cart on flat ground

there are no shaft stops on this cart and my show harness has nothing to grab

so we need breeching to keep the cart from running over the horse

i would like the cart back a little more, but i am out of holes on my breeching

i just need to order a b sized one

i know he is not really moving out in the pictures

we are in an arena crowded with 4h kids riding horses

(he was having a hard time keeping his attention on driving with giant horses ready to run him over-lol)

and doing pretty tight circles around the photographer

this also partially explains his behind the bit thing, as he is using me for balance in the absence of a check

i am mostly posting to get feedback on whether he looks wpc with his current headset

i hate to check him back up for country after putting time into work on carrying himself without it

i don't think he has too much action for wpc

he moves pretty flat kneed, i think
 
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ClickMini

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Yes, I think so. What I am thinking is that Lightening will need to work on a lot of straight lines and and transitions within the gaits to get forward. How much do you know about dressage? I am thinking that is the direction you are going...(highly approve!). Here is a really good article on understanding the issues I pointed out. http://www.artofriding.com/articles/trainingscale.html

There are also some really good videos and books on long-lining to achieve this balance also. I recommend the following books:

Training the Horse In Hand, Alfons J. Dietz

Long Reining, the Saumur Method, Philippe Karl (he also has some excellent videos)

Lungeing and Long Reining, Jennie Loriston-Clarke

Schooling Horses In Hand, Richard Hinrichs (there is a companion video for this one)

I strongly encourage you to do some long reining with Lightening. You will be able to see when he gets out of balance and make a correction. Make sure everything is smooth and soft, but keep the contact with his mouth because otherwise you are dropping the conversation.

I will be very anxious to see your progress. I am on year 3 with Ally and finally to the point where it is coming together. I had to take my ridden dressage knowledge and bring it to the driving. I had no instruction until last year with Patty, and that is a different type of driving, as you know. I have also taken about 8-10 lessons with Lisa Eckhardt, and I definitely hope to continue that when they return to our area in September.

I am starting Esprit in harness this year, and have been intermittently working him on the longe. We are working on steady rythym, acceptance of the bit, and bend while maintaining forward. Without forward, you are nowhere. But it has to be the right kind of forward, reaching and stretching for the contact, and a stretching stride that is not rushed. Easy, huh??? LOL :DOH!

Keep up the good work, Keely! You are heading in the right direction, and I KNOW you are going to get it. You are a wonderful horsewoman blessed to own some really nice horses. I wish you all the best!

I will leave the harnessing comments to Leia, she is more expert in that area than I.
 

hobbyhorse23

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keely2682 said:
amy, leia, did i cover everything now?
Yep, I think you covered it all!
For the answer you are looking for: yes, he's currently wcp. On the plus side, when you get him truly using his topline and carrying himself (instead of wondering where the support of the check is as he's currently doing) you'll find that he'll start to carry his head higher as he builds the correct muscling. He may yet go back to cp, it'll just take awhile!

As an example, here's a photo of Kody back in, oh, I think early 2005?



He's very forward in a hyper sort of way, his head's on the vertical and he looks pretty good. But note how there's absolutely no reach through the topline and in fact his underline muscles are by far the strongest.

Here are a couple of shots from 2006 showing a much lower headset. His nose is out, his profile flatter and less attractive. In neither of these shots is he really reaching for the bit but you can see that he's been learning to reach down and is tracking up very well at a Training Level frame.





Last year he showed real improvement but I'm thrilled with him in 2008. Now Kody (unlike Lightening) really is a wcp horse as he's a pretty flat mover but you can see in this photo how much his topline has strengthened in comparison to his underline.



And look at him here! I've got clipped show shots now that are even nicer but haven't gotten them uploaded yet. He's got back every bit of that animation and arch but now it's got so much more power behind it.





Not reaching but still free through the back and soft:



All it took was three years of teaching him to reach down, elevate his back, and always always move forward. I was fighting his naturally upside-down muscling, you're fighting check training. That makes it harder but it IS possible and once you succeed the rewards are amazing. I LOVE the change in Kody's neck.

Kody's neck then:



Kody's neck NOW:



That smoothness isn't fur; he was fresh-clipped with a 15 in that last photo. His neck really is that filled in now.

Leia
 
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ClickMini

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Here is a set of progress pics for Ally:

Year 1



Year 2



Year 3





You can really see how she has muscled up, and developed power and self-carriage. I liked seeing Leia's pics laid out like that it really tells the story. You can see the same in this series with Ally. I love the way she has progressed.
 

hobbyhorse23

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Amy, I think you need to let me post some of the pictures I got of Ally at her lessons with Lisa later that spring! It was lovely to see the way she was finally relaxing and stretching down instead of being so tense and short.


Leia
 

MinisOutWest

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watch that your horses do not go behind the vertical, looks best just about an inch out from vertical. then remember level from poll to withers, especially during transistions and also when asked to extend the trot, seeing alot of horses raising their heads way above level to be able to extend. which means they have more of an upward lift when they should have a more forward motion. just came from Lincoln NE- AMHR Area 6 National show. horses trying to get into this class were way too high in head carriage and move like speeding country pleasure horses.
 

Field-of-Dreams

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watch that your horses do not go behind the vertical, looks best just about an inch out from vertical. then remember level from poll to withers, especially during transistions and also when asked to extend the trot, seeing alot of horses raising their heads way above level to be able to extend. which means they have more of an upward lift when they should have a more forward motion. just came from Lincoln NE- AMHR Area 6 National show. horses trying to get into this class were way too high in head carriage and move like speeding country pleasure horses.
I had that at the Area 5 show, too. And last year at Nationals I kept getting lapped....


Lucy
 

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