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ESI Q and A Forums > ESI Q and A Forum > Questions and discussions for the ESI Q and A Forum > Horse with "hind end collapse" -- i.e. locking stifles

Horse with "hind end collapse" -- i.e. locking stifles
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DrDeb
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 Posted: Fri Sep 2nd, 2011 09:55 pm
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Yes, S&D, these images are very typical of the style of riding and mis-training advocated by competitive dressage.

It is a very stiffening discipline. But stiffening is the last thing any horse whose stifles are sticking would need. What the horse needs is something that will harmonize with its physical needs -- a way of riding, and of being asked to move, that is physiotherapeutic rather than destructive.

So rather than her prying on your hands because you're being told by your coach to make the mare move above tempo all the time; and rather than your prying on her mouth because you have been mis-taught that this is what contact is, we can begin teaching you to ride properly at this time.

This begins with your having a correct understanding of how the horse's physical mechanism actually works. To this end, I ask you to scroll above in this thread and find the link in the Lindsey Lewis post, which is a link to a previous discussion about sticking stifles. You must read that thread and think about what it says.

I also have mentioned to you, in another thread, that the icon or small picture that you are using with your name shows incorrect work too. And what I have suggested there is that you need to go read the "How Horses Work" series in The Eclectic Horseman magazine. Go to http://www.eclectichorseman.com and have them back-start your subscription to two years ago, when the series began.

You will also find many other articles in The Eclectic Horseman which, you will find, will improve your theoretical concept as well as your practical skills; especially articles by or about Buck Brannaman or Harry Whitney.

You will also notice that in some of your posts there is an "edited by Dr. Deb" note. This is because I have gone in and removed the name of the patent shoes you are using. It is not permitted to name any brand-name in this Forum without prior approval by me. This keeps our discussions away from "my brand is better than your brand" and on to simply learning the concept or principle of whatever the question is. The patent shoes you are using have a particular design. You might mention what that design is, then, for example, and state why you think that design helps, or might help, the locking stifles. Do this after reading the abovementioned thread. -- Dr. Deb

S&D
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 Posted: Sat Sep 3rd, 2011 12:52 am
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Sorry about the mentioning of "patent" shoes. I had no idea that was an issue :(

Any ideas regarding the uneven wear on the rear shoes?


My philosophy regarding contact is that it is "something the horse does to the bit, not something the bit does to the horse"

still working on perfecting my technique though   
 

Last edited on Sat Sep 3rd, 2011 12:55 am by S&D

DrDeb
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 Posted: Sat Sep 3rd, 2011 04:41 am
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Ahh, but so much depends on what precisely is meant by 'what the horse does to the bit'.

Even though your horse is, just as you say, 'reaching for the bit' in one of the photos you have posted, the animal is by no means reaching in the correct way, or in any manner that we would like to see. The horse is, indeed, doing SOMEthing to the bit -- but it's the wrong thing. And it is the same wrong thing that competitive dressage generally teaches.

Now you will be curious, I hope, to find out what the difference would exactly be, between what your horse is doing and what it could be doing that would make it possible for you to:

(a) actually win at dressage shows

(b) have no further trouble at any time in the future with sticking stifles

(c) expand your own horizons and abilities as a horse trainer.

To this end, I'll wait to hear your report after you've read the suggested thread that explains the mechanism of sticking stifles, or why stifles stick. Then we will begin to apply it, one step at a time, to changing what you customarily do with your horse.

Also, as an addendum, I am pleased to see you corresponding with Latina in another thread. If you go ride with Tom Curtin, this is going to make a big positive difference, and after you do that, you will find you understand what I am telling you a good bit better. -- Dr. Deb

 

mary.oconnor@bellnursery.com
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 Posted: Wed Jul 13th, 2016 05:16 am
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Did you ever figure out why your horse's rear end was falling out. My mare has the same issue and I have seen different vets, gotten her in fantastic physical condition and still she falls out behind.
Any ideas?

DrDeb
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 Posted: Wed Jul 13th, 2016 11:28 am
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Have you bothered to go read the several previous threads (in addition to this one), where the stifle-locking issue is discussed at length and in detail, and its entire anatomical and physiological mechanism is explained?

The commonest reason for the rear end "falling out" is that the stifles are catching. Anybody who has a horse that is doing this needs to come to a better understanding of how to produce a horse that does not think that it needs to tighten its back before it can move forward.

So please use the Google Advanced Search function per directions given in the thread near the top of the home Forum page, and use keywords "sticking stifle", "locking stifle", "upward fixation of the patella".

And then, once you have been courteous enough to do the homework, I will be glad to answer your specific questions that are based on the reading you have done and your experiences with your horse. -- Dr. Deb

 

 

Kuhaylan Heify
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 Posted: Thu Jul 14th, 2016 10:19 am
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Much food for thought here. So from reading several of the threads it would seem that getting the horse to stretch down with his head and neck prior to entering the cavaletti, while being lunged would be advisable. And also to not push the forward stuff at all while being lunged. Rather just to ask for relaxation.
Reading some of the background threads I came across Paulines talking about doing fingernail rubs from the midpoint of the croup down to the midpoint of the thigh. What does it mean when you don't get a tuck of the pelvis?
best wishes
Bruce Peek

DrDeb
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 Posted: Thu Jul 14th, 2016 11:10 am
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A book that is filled with images of horses moving exactly as we do not want them to move -- with evidently tight toplines, stiff hindquarters, bases of neck dropped, prying against the bit, and on the forehand, is Reiner Klimke's on lungeing. This applies to the old original editions and to the newer revised editions co-authored by his daughter.

The images are typical of German-style dressage, that which is most currently popular, that which pervades the culture; that which originated with Otto Lorke and Bubbi Ginther, and which has in fact almost zero to do with any form of "classicism." Hence in the above reply to the gal who sent in the photos: that is how she's riding, and hence, causing all her own problems.

Bruce, you misunderstand I think what the intention of "getting the horse to stretch down before entering the cavalletti grid" is. It isn't to get him to stretch down; he is to have the freedom to do that at almost all times. Rather the point is to get him to re-balance himself even a little bit more off the forehand, which means to coil his loins, raise the freespan of his back, and raise the base of the neck just that little bit more; and to slow down a half-notch, so that the steps over the cavalletti become elastic bounces done from strength, rather than the horse speeding up, losing a degree of roundness, and thus "flattening out".

You also misunderstand the fingernail thing. It's a party trick anyway; something of little or no significance; tests nothing meaningful; is not an exercise, just the demonstration of a reflex, similar to running the tip of a nail down the horse's back (which will cause him to drop his back), or so-called "belly lifts" (which cause him to raise it). So what? Your horse is already known to be neurologically normal, and the fact that you can't elicit a "tuck response" means zippo. What you need to do is learn how to ride properly, as we have said before.

The women who have written in here are trying to deal with "sticking stifles". Is your horse "collapsing behind"? They have the problem because they don't know how to tell when the horse's back is functioning properly; they accept a tight, hard back because it's the current German-inspired "norm". Is this what's going on with your horse, Bruce? Otherwise, your comments are just dragging this discussion off-topic. I'm waiting to hear back from any of the ladies who wrote in saying that they DID read the suggested threads, concerning the link between back and stifle function, or how a tight back and tight topline promote stifle-sticking. -- Dr. Deb

 

DrDeb
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 Posted: Thu Jul 14th, 2016 12:08 pm
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Here are drawings made directly from photographs showing horses entering the grid of cavalletti. All three drawings show which major muscle groups are activated.

"A" and "B" show the horse properly balanced, with a loose and high back; and of this horse you get two images, which are sequential film frames of my own horse Oliver. You can see him visibly and markedly rebalance himself to be more off the forehand and more collected in "A", and the expression of that as a "bouncing" step in "B".

"C" is a German-style horse, or actually the "common" horse, that which is commonly seen, with a tight back and the base of the neck dropped.

You note that my horse does not require side reins to "balance". The side reins actually get in the way of balance.

The system DOES NOT WORK like peoples' minds want to make it work. If the horse pries against the tieback at all, it will in that instant cause him to dive through the base of his neck onto the forehand.

No horse can freely raise his back and the base of his neck before being taught to move straight on the longeing circle; taught to, and longed correctly so that he is encouraged to move straight rather than being literally prevented from moving straight.

And no horse can manage to produce straight movement upon the longeing circle before he has been made thoroughly supple in the lateral dimension, per being untracked.

Today I was out at the barn grooming Ollie at liberty in the arena. It was dusty and hot and no kind of day to go for a ride, so we were just enjoying each other's company. And I got into a conversation with a fellow boarder, a gal whom I like very much, who has a beautiful TB mare. This gal struggles to understand straightness, and not because she isn't bright enough. She gets what she calls "emotional" whenever we discuss this, because she wants it so bad and she's bright enough to have seen that Oliver rides, line drives, longes and freeschools straight; and she's furthermore bright enough to see and realize all the potential benefits of that.

And further, she has allowed me sometimes to coach her, because her mare vigorously objects (by bolting and bucking) when asked to take her not-so-favorite lead. And on those occasions when the gal has allowed me to assist her, then we get perfect, quiet, supple, fluid, no-problem departures onto this lead. And the way we obtain that is that I coach her step-by-step into getting the horse perfectly straight on the arc of a circle and through corners BEFORE and as necessary preface to, asking for the depart. In other words, the straightness on the circle is the very "setup" for the departure; in a sense, it IS the departure.

So why does this gal not eagerly and openly and happily carry this on when she's alone and by herself? Of which she would be perfectly capable. And why does she say "I have trouble understanding this", which is just psychological "code" for "I'm not sure I want to do it this way"?

It is because she did not hear it from her 3D Event coach, and she did not hear it in the magazine, and she did not hear it from a German.

So you either get smart and realize that YOU ARE NOT GERMAN, and that what upper-level so-called "successful" riders let on through magazine articles is mostly a lie, or else a brainless repetition of what the German instructor said (which itself is a brainless parroting of what the German instructor's German instructor said, ad infinitum back to Lorke and Ginther); I say, you either do this, or you go on getting bucked and bolted with, you go on injuring your own horse, and you go on being whiny, teary, unhappy, unconvinced, and still trying to have what YOU conceive to be the cake and eat it too. Trouble is -- the person's jaws are moving but THERE IS NO CAKE.

Have a good study of the attached images. -- Dr. Deb

Attachment: Cavalletti Correct Incorrect sm forum.jpg (Downloaded 102 times)

Kuhaylan Heify
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 Posted: Thu Jul 14th, 2016 05:58 pm
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Ok. Good to know about the needlessness of the fingernail rub thing. Hmm. Can you start holding clinics down at your barn or a nearby venue? It would be very helpful.
best wishes
Bruce Peek

DrDeb
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 Posted: Fri Jul 15th, 2016 12:37 am
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Bruce, if you want direct assistance, you have the same option as everybody else. The rate is $750 per day plus all expenses, plus the cost for liability insurance which runs about $250. The minimum if I have to travel far enough to need to stay overnight is two days, so you're looking at about $1900 to $2200 total cost for two days.

You can pay the whole thing yourself and then it's a private clinic; or you can get together with friends and split the cost -- the expense will be the same either way. I do sometimes have dates open. If you decide you want to have me come up, contact me off list by writing office@equinestudies.org. -- Dr. Deb


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