I mentioned before that Dot Com didn't have such great movement patterns in the past... by that, I mean the way he moved and used himself, or his biomechanics - which is partially genetic, but can be changed dramatically with training, therapy and conditioning.
A couple reasons it's important be particular about how our horses move is because it has a huge impact on how athletic they can be, and ultimately how sound they will stay over the long haul.⠀
Now you might notice the biggest difference between these pics is the rider. It's certainly true that the gal in the AFTER photo (Heather @barrelracertips) both has, and continues to play a HUGE part in DC's development. ⠀
This horse was born a natural athlete, just a one-in-a-million freak of nature - he's so, so very quick and strong. And he's has had some good hands on him over the years - the folks who trained him as a head horse really did fantastic and some top notch headers have roped on him.
Dot Com's extreme sensitivity is what makes him challenging, but it's also what makes him great. He'd be a handful for anyone to be honest, and is a horse that requires more mental maintenance than most folks can provide. Without really specific care and training, it's easy for him to come unraveled... or more accurately tense and tight.
We hit it off and started winning right away, but decided to put roping on the back burner and rebuild DC mentally and physically with the goal of totally resolving his box issues.
Now days, he moves like the bottom pic, while maintaining responsibility for gait (based on our body language) on a completely loose rein, and he's been rock solid in the box.
He'll probably always keep us on our toes - but he'll ALWAYS be worth it!
#zansbarchex #horsemanship #craigsmithteamroping