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2 1/2 yr old MFT filly with cat-hams?
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DCA
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 Posted: Sat Dec 15th, 2007 04:31 am
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Ok, I am posting some pictures of Mocha--both from behind and from the side.  You have to excuse her "winterness".  I tied up her abundant tail to get better shots, but it looks like I could have gone higher.  My hands were so cold, I could hardly get the rubberbands around her tail in the first place (the ones that didn't break in the process, anyways!).

I whipped out my PCA series III to go back over exactly how I should envision the plane.  I am almost seeing conflicting things.  But, I do believe that she is bowlegged.  If I take a straight line and draw it up from the bulb of her heel, her hock lies mostly to the outside of that line.  I know the stifle angle must factor in as well, but that is the hardest part for me to visualize.

Am I correct in what I'm seeing?

I've also included pictures of her hind cannons as vertical as possible.

 

Attachment: Mocha hind2.jpg (Downloaded 283 times)

DCA
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 Posted: Sat Dec 15th, 2007 04:32 am
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Another shot...

Last edited on Sat Dec 15th, 2007 08:49 pm by DCA

DCA
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 Posted: Sat Dec 15th, 2007 04:33 am
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Deleted...

Last edited on Sat Dec 15th, 2007 08:49 pm by DCA

DCA
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 Posted: Sat Dec 15th, 2007 04:34 am
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Deleted...

Last edited on Sat Dec 15th, 2007 08:50 pm by DCA

DCA
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 Posted: Sat Dec 15th, 2007 04:35 am
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Second shot...

Attachment: Mocha cannon.jpg (Downloaded 282 times)

DrDeb
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 Posted: Sat Dec 15th, 2007 06:30 am
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OK, DCA, thanks for posting the images. You have mis-taken them as I will explain, but your error in this is innocent, since you have approached the photography just as a horse show judge would line up her line of vision. This is an error because it provides a distorted view of the hind limb, particularly of the plane of assessment that you are struggling to be able to see, but your having made this error is not your fault I think, because the whole industry does it. So we will get to that in a minute.

First thing I want to say, though, is that your query and quandary as to whether your horse is adequate or normal as to hindlimb conformation serve to emphasize to me that there is a gap between what I have tried to say, and illustrate, in all the books and publications, and what you appear to have gotten out of same. Every author should pay attention to warnings such as you are giving me here that the author has not, for some reason, managed to communicate.

Actually, I have heard this for years about the conformation book set, from many people besides yourself. What they tell me is that they have to read each thing three or four times before it sinks in. Part of this is because the approach I take to almost everything is that of a zoologist, and this is not knowledge that the industry generally utilizes (although it is certainly knowledge that has been available to the industry, beginning with Gobaux and Barrier in the middle 19th century, followed by Horace Hayes at the turn of the 20th). What you find published in most magazines and books since the end of WWII is either watered-down or just plain incorrect, and this is why it is hard for people -- their heads are full of mud that they have not known WAS mud, because people do not expect magazines or books that they have paid good money for to be filled with junk information.

Sometimes, after the person shows me (by asking a question, like you are asking here, that reveals all that the student did not get out of what the author presented), I can discuss it with them and it seems to clear up some, or they get re-oriented in some way. Then they come back a second time, some time later, and at that time the question they ask or the statement they make causes me to know that they DID get what I was trying to present.

You see, when an expert on any subject writes and illustrates a book on that subject, the writing and the illustration are the author's best effort to put before the eyes of other people what is before her own inner eye. That is what an illustration is: a bodying-forth of the artist's inner vision.

So I have a picture in my mind that I am trying to get across to you. And the way we do that is by envisioning a plane, like a sheet of plexiglass, that slices through the "face" (actually the rear face) of the horse's hock.

To have this happen, the first thing we do is we don't stand with our camera smack behind the horse's tail, because if the photographer stands here, it is impossible to sight the plane. So Step One would be for you to delete the pictures that you have posted, and replace them with new pictures. Leave ONE of the original pictures up that shows the horse from the rear, and ONE that shows it from the side. Delete all the others.

Now the new pictures that you will be taking involve you standing not smack behind the HORSE but smack behind EACH HOCK SEPARATELY. So for the animal's right hind leg, you would stand straight behind the horse but you would walk to the left of the midline, would you not? Because the "rear face" of the animal's right hock faces toward the left, does it not?

And likewise, when you are shooting the left hind leg, you would start by standing behind the animal but then you would walk to your right, because the "rear face" of the animal's left hock faces toward the right -- does it not?

And if this is the case, as the photos you present clearly show, then how in the world can you have decided that the animal is bowlegged?

Neither does she have her weight on the outside rims of her hind hoofs. Go LOOK at somebody's feet, anybody's feet. Ask them to weight the outside edges of their feet, then the inside edges of their feet, then the front edges, then the back edges, and from looking you may learn what this means. See what it does to the person's knees when they weight the outside vs. the inside edges. See what the weight itself looks like. Weight flows; it is visible to normal human eyes. After having her do this shifting around for you, then finally ask your friend to go ahead and weight her feet outside or inside or front or back, but not tell you which it is, and you will nevertheless be able to tell. She can do it as "small" as she likes, and down to a very small level, you will still be able to tell.

Now when you re-take the photos, deleting all but the two of the present set as I have requested, and you post the new ones, then you will also almost have to see the plane of assessment. If you do not see it then, then the only other way I know of to teach it -- shy of having you enroll in an actual dissection class -- would be to have you take some sticks of wood or blocks of styrofoam and build a model hind leg.

Best wishes -- Dr. Deb

 

 

 

DCA
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 Posted: Sat Dec 15th, 2007 08:48 pm
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Thank you so much for your quick response!  As soon as I started reading the first sentence about me mis-taking the pictures, my mind immediately raced back to the second book in the series about lining yourself up in front of the knee to determine front leg conformation!  I had completely forgotten about that!  And, you are so right, I took the pictures the way I see all hind end pictures taken.  But, I remember that all of the pictures in the third book of the PCA series were taken this way as well, so that's why I thought I was doing it correctly to begin with.  Ok, I will do as you ask and get pictures the correct way and I'll delete the rest (minus 2).

I do want to mention that I really appreciated that series of books because the other conformation books and articles I have read are written in what I like to call a "black or white" format. 

In other words in my other conformation books, if Horse A has X type of conformational trait, then Y will happen and that is BAD.   In your book, I FINALLY got some grey area to the equation!  If Horse A has type X conformation, but also has Z, then Y may or may not happen depending on W.  I hope this makes sense.  I am as far from a mathametician as can be, but it's the simplest way to explain what I saw.

One example off the top of my head is the horse with too high hocks and knees.  Other conformation books would have listed all the reasons why these two traits are bad, end of story.  You go on to say that the "two wrongs almost equal a right" and expected the horse to stay sound during training.  These are the insights that seem so hard to find anywhere else.  I just want to thank you for that!

I won't comment on what I "think" I'm seeing in Mocha's conformation until I get better pictures.  And I will also recruit someone to stand as you explained so that I can see weight distribution. 

I was sure I was seeing her place weight on the outside of her hind feet as she travelled.   I think I'll try to get a picture of that as well, so that I can have it paused as I look!

Thanks so much!  I'll be back! 

Stacee

DCA
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 Posted: Thu Dec 27th, 2007 10:29 pm
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Just wanted to let you know that I haven't forgotten about this topic and plan to get short video clips of Mocha's movement to view.  Hopefully, weather permitting, I can get some footage this weekend!

DrDeb
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 Posted: Thu Dec 27th, 2007 10:53 pm
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Oops, people, we were talking here about conformation -- which means structure -- not movement.

Let's do structure first, OK? Before we go on to do anything with movement. Movement is built on structure. But you have not yet completed even the first step in understanding structure.

Thanks for the courtesy -- Dr. Deb

DCA
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 Posted: Thu Dec 27th, 2007 10:58 pm
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Ah!  You're so right!  Ok, I'll get pictures taken the right way first!  I just got back into town yesterday, so now that the Holidays are over, I should be able to get out there and do that!  Sorry!

 I thought footage of movement could give the best of both worlds!  My mistake!

Stacee

DrDeb
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 Posted: Fri Dec 28th, 2007 03:07 am
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No, actually, videotape is among the most difficult of all media to analyze. This because it fools the eye so very easily. Photographs which don't move or change are the best place to start. I want to get you to the place where you can flop open a magazine and point to any photo and say with confidence, "yes, that horse is cantering on the right lead" or "yes, that horse is performing a false trot." Or whatever it may be that he is doing. I find that most horse owners cannot do this at all.

So, if we begin by straightening you out about the supposed bowlegs, we will have a solid basis. Looking forward to just one photo of each hind leg please, taken from directly behind the face of each hock. -- Dr. Deb

DCA
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 Posted: Fri Dec 28th, 2007 03:29 am
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Oh, I didn't realize that about video at all!  Ok, I will get out there tomorrow and take correct pictures of each hind leg. 

I am still having a hard time with thinking she is cow-hocked because of the way I see her move.  She does not toe out when she walks (nor do I see her hocks go inward) and her hind feet are so near eachother, that at times, I swear she may hit the other as it passes by.  Very narrow-based is the only way I can describe it.

So, I will get the pictures and reanalyze them!  I so want to learn and understand conformation.  Though I've been involved with horses all of my life, it has not been until fairly recently that I've started viewing them in a completely different light and found myself wanted and needing to learn as much as possible. 

Stacee

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 Posted: Sat Dec 29th, 2007 10:12 pm
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Ok, here are 2 sets of pictures of each hind leg.  I will delete whichever ones you want.  I apologize for how dirty she is.  She had JUST rolled before I caught her up!

I hope these pictures are more of what you asked for in order to more accurately assess her hind limb structure.

What I am seeing when I "draw" a line straight down from her hock to the bulb of her heel on her right hind, is that the bulb of the heel falls to the inside of that line.  I see her toe pointing slightly outward on the right side, with her weight more on the inside of the hoof.

On the left side, her toe is pointed more straight forward and, to me, her weight looks to be a little more to the outside of the hoof--not saying that she stands with her weight completely to the outside of the hoof, but just a bit more than on the right side.  A line drawn down from the hock places the bulb of the heel to the outside of the line.  Is it the footing she's standing on?  Is it her position?  I have no idea.  Breaking a horse down like this is very new to me.


I would still like to see more width between her stifles.


The first set of pictures is her right hind, the second, her left--which is probably obvious.

 

Attachment: Right hind best.jpg (Downloaded 204 times)

Last edited on Sun Dec 30th, 2007 10:03 pm by DCA

DCA
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 Posted: Sat Dec 29th, 2007 10:15 pm
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Right hind

Attachment: Right hind2.jpg (Downloaded 203 times)

DCA
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 Posted: Sat Dec 29th, 2007 10:16 pm
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Left

Attachment: Left hind best.jpg (Downloaded 203 times)


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