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[RC] traveling wide - rides2far

I'm very interested in someone explaining the pros and cons of a 
horse going wide behind.> However, both dressage trainers that have
worked with him have said > that> horses that go wide like this do so
because their backs aren't 
strong enough> to lift their front ends off correctly.  That it is a
sign of the 
horse> still being on the forehand, 

Both our horses go wide behind, but Kaboot is more extreme. Kaboot drops
and lowers and kind of gives the impression of a horse swimming taking
these long strokes with his hind legs. He is bowlegged and his hocks get
very wide at the trot too.  Ben is more parky, kind of squats and looks
like a football player running through the tire drill. He spreads his
feet, but the hocks don't seem to go that wide.
Neither ever interfere. 

Pros:  Kaboot has round feet and needs a size 2 easyboot in front. The
heel of it sticks out a good inch behind his foot and he's never touched
one even though he's worn them a fair amount. Nobody who sees them
sticking out like that can imagine that he doesn't pull them off. Neither
of these horses ever pulls a front shoe by stepping on it, etc.

Con: If I'm working him on a really great hill that happens to be the
shoulder of the road with a good slope, it seems to me that the extra
width makes the slope more extreme so one rear foot is hitting about 5"
lower. I can slow down and bring the rear end in some or canter where he
can sort of line everything up.

Pro: Even though he's a little horse he's passed many a big guy because
he's got a tremendous power trot. I think the traveling wide gives him
more scope.

Con: He does not hit level in the rear. There's no way he can be shod
level because "level" depends on his speed. He completely wears though
the outside of his shoes, and his hooves try to grow back under the
center of his body by almost turning under on the outside and developing
a flair on the inside. This is Kaboot, not Ben. The bow legs may
contribute to this.

As to the claim from the dressage riders that it means they don't carry
themselves well using their back and are on the forehand. Kaboot travels
as wide as they come. They even put the notation "base wide" on his card
at the PAC. Nina Barnett said, "Nobody's gonna pull that horse because
when he's trotting away all you can think of is how wide he trots and
when he's coming back you just want to get the hell out of the way". I
will admit Kaboot's a bit heavy on the forehand. He's a puller with a low
head. He has a long back but a strong loin. He's never had back trouble.
He's a bit rump high but levels out when he drops for the big trot. He's
been competing 10 years, 2,950 miles...7 100's hills & flat, lots of top
10's, two jackets, one win, one BC so I don't think traveling wide has
hurt him any. I'd love to see my next prospect travel wide.

Ben, who also travels wide is a bit hollow when he trots, avoids the bit
(feather touch) and a tad parky.  He is a higher RPM horse, trots as fast
as Kaboot though. He does get a sore back at times. He's 21, been
competing 11 years, around 2500 miles with many top 5 finishes and 2
BC's.

As far as I'm concerned, I think traveling wide is a plus.

Angie

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