"Today, Tennessee Walking Horses are known throughout the industry
as the breed that shows abused and tortured horses."

~ Jim Heird, Ph.D., Do Right By The Horse, February 2010

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity,
you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."

~ St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, September 13, 2010

RESEARCH - How to Create Mechanical Movement

I found this video online today. Be sure to listen to the narration.


What I want to point out here is within the narration. Note that at the beginning he says they WANT the pace so when they stack her they will get the four beat gait. So what does that tell us? The natural gait of our horse is being ruined by this. The BL people want to breed for pacey horses because once they're stacked (and most likely sored) they will perform a four beat gait. The description of the breed's gait on the TWHBEA website does not include a description of the pace. What is so wrong with the natural, four beat gait of this horse that we have to breed for another gait altogether to get a hideous characture of the natural beauty of this animal?

This is also a good example of how mechanics are "making" this horse. Instead of using methods that encourage using the horse's body correctly, we see a laboring, upside down frame and false collection that will cause problems for this horse later in life. (Click here for information on collection vs. false collection.) Whether or not this horse is sored I don't know, but she does look extremely uncomfortable and in pain, most likely in her back and neck. But hey, using mechanics is quick and easy, gets the youngest horses possible in the arena, and makes money the fastest. I find there's nothing quite like the attitude of sacrificing quality for quantity.

And the funniest part of this video: he uses the word "infamous" wrong.

"And really being the show horse that has become infamous with our padded horse or our Performance horse that we see in the show ring."

Hey What A Horse, "infamous" means, from Dictionary.com, "having an extremely bad reputation." OH WAIT! He's using the word right afterall!


GoLightly said...

Okay, I can't watch anymore.

The head-shake wouldn't be a pain response by the mare, would it..
No, of course not.

Infamous, indeed.

That was fascinating, in a "I can't believe people would do that" kind of way.

Anonymous said...

That's a good question, GL. It could be in this case. The natural flat walk of the horse has a head nod, but it's not like that. The head and neck should be engaged correctly, with a roundness to the neck and the horse on the vertical with a relaxed jaw and poll. The obvious strain in this mare is actually counterproductive to the true flat walk--normally a horse that is ridden in false collection like this would perform a stepping pace if it weren't on stacks.

It is physically impossible for a horse to do a flat walk without some kind of head nod because the head counter balances the long stride of the hind quarters. Really, the flat walk is just a fast walk, so if you watch any horse at a normal walk they will bob their head and neck like that. Speed it up and you have a true flat walk. Here's what the natural head nod looks like (you can copy and paste this into your browser): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_RoiNLIExs

GoLightly said...

She just seemed to tighten up through her neck. Gee, wonder why?

A nodding head is one thing. An "ouchouchouch" is another.

Thanks for posting it, kat.
Finally truly understand where the spider crouch comes from.

Such incredible kind creatures they are.

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