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Wisconsin Farmers' Institutes / Wisconsin Farmers' Institutes : a hand-book of agriculture
Bulletin No. 11 (1897)

Craig, J. A.
The horse and its market,   pp. 154-168 PDF (4.5 MB)

Page 159

loin. In defective conformations of an possible of the other qualities of
this kind the stride of the hind limbs excellence in addition to high action.
ts short and he usually has an uneven, yet all others are considered of minor
choppy gait that is unsightly as well value among horses of this claw.
an being ineffectual in covering dis- "Al-around action only to
be consid-
tances. On the other hand, an oppo- ered" is the current phrase
in the
site relation of the parts, close coup- prize lists that provide classes
ling and short back, with long legs, is competition among the high step-
likely to give use to a slovenly swing- pers, which means a combination of
ing gait, producing clicking, stumb- shoulder, knee and hock action.
Hing or other deficiencies. If there is a
Slaw in the mechanism  of the front   The Carriage Horse In X otion.
legs it is usually made evident by the  A connoisseur of horses will see
movement of the front feet, especially much more than the legs of a car-
as they are about to touch the ground. riage horse when he is moving. As
If  the limb proportions are ungainly he moves along before an appropriate
the feet do not seem  to reach the vehicle with the latitude of a light
ground at the proper stage, either hand assisting him there are flashes
turning too much on the heel or not of gracefulness from every  motion.
turning enough, and precipitating the With this there is a quality of mind
toe.                                that gives buoyancy to step and ac-
The Action of the  High Stopper.   counts in no small degree for the up-
The  A tion of  t e  Hig   Ste per. lifted  carriage  of  the  head.  It
 is  ex-
The highest priced action in the gen- pressive of a  happy  temperament
eral horse market is that of the high that gives gracefulness to every poise
stepper. The peculiarity of this ac-and a smooth flow  to every move-
tion consists in lifting the knees in- ment. Such a minor organ as the ear
ordinately high   and flexing  the plays its part in carriage and quick
hocks so that they come close to the action. The eye shows the fire within
body and keep the legs well under it. and challenges the critic for its mead
From the standpoint of action alone, of praise in measuring the step and
the higher the knees and the hocks alertness in giving it security. Scan
are lifted the more valuable is the the lines of the neck, notice their
horse, provided  that the  type and tenseness, and yet the unusual elan-
other features more common     are ticity it shows when occasion ofters
equally satisfactory. The feet must for a movement of greater graceful-
be thrown forward without any dish- ness. The shoulder plays with free-
ing on either side and  the hocks dom, and the smooth turned loin and
must pass each  other close and in quarter seem the only regions that
line with the forward movement. It are not taking part in this unusual
is easy to  understand  that while display, though  in this immobility
this method of movement is the most they show their real strength.
showy and stylish, it is not service-  As to the action of the fore legs,
able action for a road  horse. The is straight away with a continued
front legs  soon  succumb   to the folding and unfolding. In the action
heavy  concussion  they would   be of the carriage horse there must be
called upon  to  stand  under hard some style and dash and high lifting
driving. But this action  is sought of the feet, but never enough of it to
only in the horse that is used  for make the action  unserviceable.  At
short drives about  the city where no time is the fore leg held in poise,
style is paramount to speed and nor does it dwell either in flexion or
stamina. While it is recognized that extension. The leg  folds and  the
the high stepper should have as many foot naps from the ground and is
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