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Here you can see the correct movement of the P.R.E. horse with examples of correct and incorrect movement, and how to distinguish between the two.
The movement of the P.R.E. horse is directly correlated to the quality of the conformation of a P.R.E. horse.
When looking at a P.R.E. horse, the viewer should notice 4 distinctive qualities of the horses movement. Elevation, Impulsion, Suspension, and Extension.
--- AT THE WALK ---
The walk is one of the most important elements in the movement of the Spanish P.R.E. horse. Below is a video of a correct walk. To determine if the horse has a correct walk please look at the amount of ground covered between the hoof print of the front hoof, and where the hind hoof (on the same side) lands in relation to the hoof print. A horse that steps Behind, does not cover or pass the hoof print, does not have a good walk and would score a 5 or 6 (out of 10), or less, depending on its severity. A horse that step right in/on the front hoof print should earn a score of a 7 (out of 10) which is acceptable. Any distance after the coverage of the hoof print is considered good and correct. In correspondence with a good walk, conformation does have a pay, in that a horse with a correct hip and shoulder angle (desired 45 degrees), and a correct back to leg ratio, will naturally have a correct walk.
*** Note that during the growth of the horse, there may be some points at which the walk is lengthened or shortened by conformational abnormalities, such as short shoulder or butt high moments.
--- AT THE TROT ---
There should be a harmony of movement with the front end and the hind end with equal elevation, and power.
Now then there is a lack of harmony you will see the following described movements:
Lack of Impulsion --- exp. a horse moving up and down without covering ground, and moves without a 'sit' at the trot, and does not engage in the walk or canter
Lack of Elevation --- exp. a low sweeping movement without much knee elevation, although this does not much effect the horse at the walk, the horse will appear clumsy, heavy and unbalanced at the canter
Lack of Suspension --- exp. a ground bound trot that seems to make the horse stomp heavy into the ground with out any bounce, again there is not much visible at the walk and not too much at the canter, except for a more harmonious flow when performing lead or tempi changes
Lack of Extension --- exp. a horse that only moves up and down or a horse that sweeps its legs forward. At the walk there will not be much ground coverage, and at the canter not much reach in the front end.
In Correct Movement, Lack of balance or uneven emphasis in the front or hind end. Lack of elevation, extension, impulsion, or suspension.
Below are examples of correct and in correct movement at the trot.
1. Lack of Front and hind end harmony
This horse illustrates in the trot a lack of harmony between the front end and the hind end. While the hind end is properly engaged, the front end is lacking elevation, the solid dark line is the minimum height that the front knee should be above.
When looking to see if the front and hind end are equally engaged take a measurement from the top of the croup to the middle of the back raised knee, this should be the same distance from the point of the wither to the point of the front raised knee. A properly balanced and engaged horse those distances should be of equal length (as shown under the Correct Movement to the right)
Looking at the harmony between the front and hind end. Again the hind end is well engages, how ever the front leg in the first horse is not fully engaged and slightly behind, not extended to its fullest. This can be effected in the trimming and balancing of the hooves as well to accurately evaluate a horses movement it first MUST have balanced correct feet of an appropriate length
Below are examples of impulsion correct and in correct. Impulsion is the 'sit' that a horse has, it directly corresponds to the hip angle of the horse, a horse with a flat hip angle (not length), will be behind them selves. Impulsion in necessary for a horse to have any type of correct extension as it lightens up and frees up the front end.
Extension, while is very exciting to watch, ONLY correctly supported extension is desired. The hind end MUST be engaged with extension, there cannot be any natural correct extension without impulsion. In Correct Extension, that is not supported, looks like quick flicking from the knee at the trot, not a movement that comes from and is supported by the shoulder and powered by the hind end.
While the first horse have very nice extension in the front end, it is not engaged and behind himself in the hind end. The second horse also has correct extension and the hind end is fully engaged and ready to take the next step with equal power
Suspension, this is the float, the part of the movement that makes the horses fly over the ground with out un seating their rider. In addition to pictures there is a video of examples of correct suspension to view as well
Notice that on the horse to the right all four feet are over 8 inches off the ground. ONLY a balanced well engaged horse can accomplish this. Suspension also aides the horse in lengthen each stride, so when the hind end is engages and the horse takes an extended step each step covers more ground as the motion is carried over more ground by the speed it was already moving at.
-------------AT THE CANTER -------------
A CORRECT canter is controlled collected and balanced. The horse should be supported by the hind end allowing the front end to be placed lightly, and enabling the horse to be agile in the direction it places the front end. This makes the movements in dressage, jumping, and western very easy to execute.
The Canter should be a balanced and an equal 3 beats, with equal time between beat one two and three. As the feet strike the ground the correct order should be, #1 -- right hind foot strike, #2 left hind, and front right foot strike, #3 left front foot strike. Below are examples of 1,2, and 3
Usually a horse with a correct walk will also have a correct canter.