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Corner By Judy Wardrope

talent. And Ravel (with rider/trainer Steffen Peters) certainly meets that criterion. As I have mentioned in prior articles, superior

T

equine athletes need to be able to transfer their power upward and forward. To do this with the most efficiency and the least risk for injury, the lumbosacral gap (as denoted by a palpable depression just in front of the high point of croup and where the articulation of the spine changes) should be bisected by a line from the upper point of one hip to the upper point of the other hip. The LS functions similarly to the balance point of a teeter-totter and must be strong in order for the horse to consistently perform at the

o claim the top spot in the 2009 World Cup Finals after a very credible fourth at the 2008 Olympic Games, a horse must have

point of view

Revelling in Ravel’s Accomplishments

upper levels. Such is the case with Ravel. But unlike jumpers and eventers, the dressage

horse’s stifle (we’ll use the visible protrusion) is not well below the level of the sheath. Rather, the stifle is at or near the bottom of the sheath, which allows for sustained collection while still allowing sufficient range of motion for extension. Again, Ravel meets this criterion. Although it is often difficult to see in a confor-

mation photo, having a stifle that points out instead of towards the underside of the horse is an advantage as it allows for a full range of motion with the hind leg without having to turn the hocks in or pivot on the hoof in order to move the stifle outward while in motion—a better flight path. The action photo shows this. The rear triangle of the top dressage horses

46 May/June 2010

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