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On this page you will find videos that were used in a study to explore how ridden horses are assessed. The horses were rated by a panel of judges, trainers, coaches and practitioners, as well as general riders. The full study results will be available here (link to be included).

Each video is followed by a summary of judges' and trainers' observations, which are based on the study ratings and additional comments. There are also details about the horse itself, and in some cases additional video footage.

If you would like to share observations about any of the horses, you can do this in the discussion area. Please keep comments polite and constructive as these were genuine rider-owners who kindly volunteered to put themselves on show!

Horse 1

Video




















Judges' and Trainers' Observations


This horse has a good natural energy, and a fairly regular rhythm, but needs to work with greater relaxation and suppleness. The contact is somewhat inconsistent, and so there is a lack of supple connection.

From the horse's mouth....


This is a 12 year old mare, predominantly used for showjumping. She is very athletic over a fence, but quite feisty and difficult to settle on the flat. She has no known physical issues.

Post or read additional comments about this horse here.

Horse 2

Video


Judges' and Trainers' Observations


This horse was assessed to be generally willing and obedient. The rhythm is fairly regular, but she needs to show greater suppleness and a better connection.

From the horse's mouth....


This is a 14 year old mare, working and competing at Preliminary level. She may have suffered an injury in earlier life as she lacked co-ordination as a younger horse and has reduced flexibility in her neck.

Post or read additional comments about this horse here.




Horse 3

Video


Judges' and Trainers' comments


This horse was assessed as willing and obedient. The rhythm is regular, and fair impulsion is shown, though there could be more engagement. Although showing fair relaxation, this horse could be more supple over its back and work into a softer connection.

From the horse's mouth....

This is an 8 year old gelding, competing successfully at Elementary levels. He has just started training in a double bridle. There are no known physical issues.


Post or read additional comments about this horse here.




Horse 4

Video



Judges' and Trainers' comments


This horse is fairly relaxed and mostly works in a regular rhythm, but needs to show more impulsion and engagement. Greater suppleness and a better connection would increase the ease of movements and allow him to be more comfortable in his work.

From the horse's mouth....


This is a 21 year old gelding previously competed to Elementary level, but now in very light work only. He shows intermittent low grade lameness due to arthritic changes in the coffin joint and fetlocks in both fore legs.

Post or read additional comments about this horse here.





Horse 5

Video



Judges' and Trainers' comments


This horse was described as willing and obedient, and generally confident in his work. The rhythm is mostly good, and he has a relaxed way of going, but needs to show greater suppleness and engagement and a more uphill balance, especially in the canter.

From the horse's mouth....


This is a 15 year old gelding, trained to Advanced level. He has low grade kissing spines and chronic sacro-iliac (pelvic) issues which had been aggravated by a fall in the field a month prior to the assessment video. He was consequently in light work only. This horse has a very willing and trainable temperament, so the signs of tension an discomfort are very subtle, and mostly only noticeable in transitions, with some slight tail swishing and subtle snatching at the contact.

Here is a short clip of the same horse coming back into full work six weeks later. He is still a little croup high (he is built that way!) but starting to show more engagement and freedom of movement.




Post or read additional comments about this horse here.



Horse 6

Video


Judges' and Trainers' comments


This horse was thought to have good forward energy and a willing attitude, but some tension in the neck affected the rhythm and balance.

From the horse's mouth....

This is a 4 year old, training and competing at Preliminary level. she has no known physical issues.


Post or read additional comments about this horse here.




Horse 7

Video


Judges' and Trainers' comments


This horse was observed to be fairly willing and showed good forwardness at times, but lacked consistency and needed a more supple connection. There were moments of irregularity in the rhythm.

From the horse's mouth....


This is a 22 year old gelding, previously competed to Medium level, and now in light work as a schoolmaster at preliminary level. He suffers occasional pelvic problems related to previous annular ligament issues in the near hind.


Post or read additional comments about this horse here.




Horse 8.

Video



Judges' and Trainers' comments


This horse was thought to be willing and obedient and generally showing correct work. The rhythm is regular, but a little hurried, and whilst showing good relaxation and suppleness, he could have better engagement and the balance could be more uphill into the contact.


From the horse's mouth....


This is a 12 year old gelding which has been trained and competed to Advanced level, but has shown loss of performance at the higher level work, manifested in lack of engagement, difficulty in the lateral work, and some behavioural issues. Because he is a naturally athletic and forward thinking horse the signs of discomfort are very subtle. At the time of filming he was in light work only whilst undergoing lameness investigation. He has subsequently been diagnosed with bilateral forelimb (foot) lameness and is currently undergoing treatment.


Post or read additional comments about this horse here.




Horse 9

Video


Judges' and Trainers' comments


This horse showed a good natural energy, but needs to work into the contact through a rounder and more supple frame for increased ease of movement.

From the horse's mouth....


This is a 7 year old gelding predominantly used for jumping He has suffered pelvic and stifle injuries in the past, and has reduced muscle development on the off hind.

Post or read additional comments about this horse here.





Horse 10

Video


Judges' and Trainers' comments


This horse was assessed as generally willing and obedient, and showing fair forward movement. The rhythm is good in the trot, but the walk is not always correct. She mostly shows good relaxation and lateral suppleness but to progress needs to work with greater uphill balance into a more consistent contact.

From the horse's mouth....


This is a 9 year old mare, previously competing at Elementary level, but working at preliminary level at the time of filming due to extensive time off with gastro-intestinal issues. She is still reluctant to engage her abdominal muscles, consequently her movement is a little flat. Her full story in the following video.













Post or read additional comments about this horse here.






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