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Re: [RC] [RC] Heavy on the forehand - Deanna German

To Heidi's reply, I would have to add that with dogs, there's no concern
about them needing to carry weight on their backs. Thus, dogs (like
retrievers) can have more of a rectangle shape (long back) than a horse
ideally would. Travelling wide in an animal built with such a
proportionately long back does indicate a less than efficient gait and thus
a conformation fault. In addition to the reasons you cited, my retriever
travels straight but wide with no overstep at the trot because his hinds are
not angulated enough (he's a little post-legged). He's not heavy on the
forehand because he's managed to compensate by moving wide, but he would be
and would shuffle with his hinds, if he travelled straight. Better to let
him travel wide. I suspect the same is true of many horses.

I tend to look more at fronts than I do hinds in both working dogs and
horses, since the front bears most of the weight. (And I look for a good
slope to the shoulder so the front leg goes forward instead of up for what I
do.) I look at what's between the ears most of all, since I've noticed that
an awful lot of working animals overcome conformation faults if they have
the right set of brain cells. >ggg< And the right trainer who can work with
the animal.

Take care!

Deanna



Bonnie wrote:
At the trot, dogs move with the legs converging toward the center almost to
the point single tracking. The dogs that move wide behind are dogs that are
not balanced front and rear. That is, they may be straight in the shoulder
but have a lot of angulation in the rear. So to avoid hitting their front
paws, they either crab (shift the rear sideways) to avoid hitting the front
paws, or move wide, to avoid hitting the front paws. If the front angulation
and rear angulation match, then the dog can move efficiently and track
properly. Is this an issue in horses... can there be too much rear
angulation and not enough correct front angulation, therefore wide rear
movement?

Heidi replied:
And while there are some basics of movement that cross over between dogs
and horses, the dynamics of the back are entirely different, so one can't
entirely compare the details of the gaits....



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