Tag Archives: Kate Barcelos

November ABCCMM Inspection

In early November, Summerwind requested an ABCCMM inspection  and Dr. Kate Barcelos came to the U.S. for a super quick trip.   ABCCMM inspectors are licensed veterinarians that receive extensive training from the ABCCMM, the Brazilian Marchador Association.

We were able to arrange with other breeders so that more Marchadors also got to be seen in AZ, TX and FL.

Our inspection day was beautiful and  almost 20 Marchador owners and lovers were there to see it for the first time!   Asking questions and learning about what the ABCCMM is seeking in the standard of the breed, they were able to understand more about the Marchador gait, conformation and temperament requirements.   Great for them, that both a foal inspection and definitive inspections were shown and the branding as well.

Foals are inspected for markings, DNA, and genetic defects (disqualification).   Adult Marchadors are inspected and ridden for gait, conformation and temperament.    A minimum score is required to pass for stallions, mares and geldings with the stallion score being the highest.

Inspected in AZ were:

  • Fidalgo do Summerwind – gelding, definitive
  • Jedi-Knight do Summerwind –  foal, provisional
  • Flying Oaks Abaiba Real for Flying Oaks Ranch, OK – stallion, definitive

Inspected in TX were:

  • Destiny do Summerwind – mare, definitive
  • Imperio do Summerwind – foal, provisional
  • Cassandra do MManor – mare, both provisional and definitive
  • Eduardo do MManor – foal, on file awaiting sire’s ABCCMM registration.

Summerwind is committed to the quality and diversity of the Marchador breed here and we think the Brazilian inspection process is a great tradition to uphold.

For more information on the ABCCMM inspection process, you can click on this link to read more about it.

http://ridingmagazine.com/index.php/component/content/article/84-feature-focus-spanish-a-special-breeds/345-may-2015-quality-assurance

 

SW Update — Clinic, Marcha Gaits 2!

Kate riding Cheveyo do MManor, owned by Brooke Little, Marchadors InMotion

We all had a taste of riding and training under Kate’s expert guidance.   Kate was able to ride each of the Marchadors herself to understand the movement and what it might need.   She brought with her a toolkit and recommended different things with each horse, sometimes changing to a milder bit.   Because she only had a short time with each horse and rider, she worked on getting the rider to feel the marcha when it was correct.  Then they could recreate it when they got home.

The quality of the marcha is based on many components, not just smoothness.   So, there was some range in the smoothness of the gait, the extension, the lift of the front legs and the expression of the movement (as compared to the “diagram” that should be in your head at all times.)  Part of the answer in the difference was in conformation, which Tiago evaluated on every horse at the clinic with the owner and sometimes the breeder paying close attention!

Conformation check for Leo (DaVinci do Summerwind) by Tiago with owner Connie Claire looking on.

The Brasilians have a complicated and precise expectation about each body part, the angles, the length and the proportion to one another.   Both the conformation and the marcha are evaluated and tested on all Marchadors being registered in Brasil by the ABCCMM.  Some breeders in the U.S. like us, also follow that tradition.  SW Future Foal is an  ABCCMM breeder.

These measurements and evaluation relate to the horse being able to move and flex the front legs and the back legs in a similar fashion.   In the marcha, the front leg hits before the opposite hind leg – this is called dis-association and it’s why it is a marcha and not a trot.  There is often over reach where the hind legs hit in front of where the front legs landed.

Surprisingly, all but one of the Marchadors in the clinic were marcha batida horses, even though some owners had believed perhaps that they were marcha picada because they were so smooth.

Kate in teaching mode. Bill Kambic, owner and rider on his stallion Ritmo A.J., Haras Lucero

So much valuable information given to each rider and owner!  Much of it was videotaped and I will be producing videos all summer so that we don’t forget!

From this year’s clinic, here are the learnings that are ringing in my ears from Tiago and Kate.

“There are 5 senses to help you feel that the marcha is correct.  Two eyes (if you are watching).  Two ears (close your eyes and listen).   One seat.  (you can feel it).”

“Relax your horse – the neck must be flexible and supple.”  

“Don’t bounce or post! Relax your hips and move with the horse.”  If you move up and down the horse will follow you and not stay smooth.

“Keep your hands steady with his mouth, but relax your arms and shoulders.”  I found this instruction fascinating. How can I keep my hands set but keep my shoulders relaxed?  But yes, you can do it.   If your shoulders are not relaxed, your hands will not be quiet.

“More speed!  More leg!” Most of us here in the U.S. seem to be riding our Marchadors way too slow for them to find their way.   The marcha has speeds and often the horses smooth out at higher speed, almost at a canter.

“Disassociation”  The rider should be able to feel AND hear that the hind feet are not hitting the ground at the same moment as the front feet.  The shoulders and hips of the horse should be swinging free and easy.  That’s why it’s so important that the horse stay relaxed.   And it’s also why some horses get smoother after they warm up.

“Inside rein.  Move your fingers!” To keep the head flexed and neck bent and soft.

“Breathe!”  To keep you soft.

Rebecca Boone on Aviadora do Campo Real, waiting her turn. Aviadora was the most improved marcha at the clinic. For her it was all about releasing tension.

Here’s what I wrote up after the 2011 Clinic and it is remains the same too.

  • Perfect the 4 beat extended walk.  (How many times are we told to practice a good walk in other disciplines?)  It is ESSENTIAL for a good marcha as it is the take-off point and retreat point always.
  • Practice in straight lines before teaching in circles, lateral work or ANY other discipline.  Teach the horse to elongate his back, his stride, relax and stretch without speeding up.
  • Always start on the good side for the stretches, but do both sides.  Stretching from the good side will help the bad side to stretch easier.
  • To move into gait:  From the walk, apply more leg pressure and ask the horse to speed up without losing the smooth rhythm that was there in his walk.  Collect the reins (have contact) with the horse’s mouth to ask him to collect his body in a good frame.
  • Do NOT let your horse continue to gait if it is gaiting badly.  Go back to the walk and start again.
  • On the other hand, keep the marcha going for long and longer periods of time.  Don’t stop! Ask for MORE SPEED from his legs while maintaining the collection.   You are trying to build MUSCLE MEMORY.  (This works really well!  I tried it on my horses after the clinic)
  • A marcha picada horse that paces is often still very smooth (I was surprised by this).  You can tell because your hips will go side to side instead of forward and back.  Try to put your leg on for more leg speed, but if that doesn’t work, return to the walk and start over.
  • Place your horse on the marcha gait line L4-D4.   Some horses will need training help because of poorer conformation or genetics, but some horses might need help because someone interfered with their natural gait during training.  The Marchador is a willing partner.  If you ask it to change its natural footfall, it will learn to do what you want.
  • You can use dressage to supple the horse and build muscle, but not too soon (remember straight lines).  Once you can do the circles, you can move to a higher-level figure.  The Marchador can do lateral work and the higher moves IN GAIT!  (Another surprise for me!)

Click here if you want to read the whole SW News article:   SW News411

Also, for Kate’s slides from the 2011 Clinic, follow this link:   http://www.namarchador.org/2012/04/mm-clinic-slides-2011/

Marcha Gaits, Part 1

(For anyone who was there at the clinic, I encourage you to try to hear our instructor’s voices while you read this! Please feel free to add anything you picked up in individual lessons.  I have written about the gaits before, so I will not repeat those comments, but I’ll link to them in case you want MORE!)

Tiago showing the diagram of the Marcha

The Mangalarga Marchador has 2 marching gaits.  The Marcha is the same footfalls in both marcha picada and marcha batida.

The footfall sequence is

3 2 3 2 3 2 3 2
RH RF LH RF LH RF LH LF LH LF LH LF RH LF RH LF RH RF RH RF

When the length of time spent in lateral supports is higher, then the gait is marcha picada.  When the length of time is higher spent in diagonal supports is higher, then the gait is marcha batida.  In both,  there are moments of triple hoof support, which is what makes the gait smooth and easy to ride.

When the length of time spent in diagonal and lateral pairs are equal, it is sometimes described as marcha de centro.

To the human ear, in marcha picada,  there is a much longer time (in lateral) between the footfalls making the 4 beats very distinctive and easily heard.   In marcha batida, the marcha is still 4 beat, but the footfalls of the diagonal pairs land closer together making it harder to hear 4 distinct beats.

Training can help improve a Marchador’s natural gait, but genetics determine the innate quality and movement of the horse.  Breeding for the center of the spectrum is the goal for a smooth and well-balanced movement.

Below is the gait spectrum:

 

Pace                           Marcha Picada             /\            Marcha Batida                                         Trot

(True lateral)                                            CENTER                                                         (true diagonal)

 

 

Here is are some videos comparing the 2 gaits and you can HEAR the difference, although all Marchador gaits are smooth.  These may not be the best examples of the MM breed, but I chose them because the horses were ridden on hard ground so you can hear as well as see.

Marcha Picada

Marcha de Centro (Marcha Batida)

Marcha Batida

“To help you feel and analyze the marcha, you need to use 5 things:   2 eyes, 2 ears and 1 seat.” says Tiago during the classroom lecture.   Sometimes the marcha is not visible to a untrained human eye.  The feet move too fast for us.   The ears are very good to listen for the gait.   And the seat, it should signal when the gait is smooth.   As the rider, you try to put the horse in that place, and make that feeling and sound last for longer and longer periods of time.

“It is like a dance”.  The horse must stay relaxed in the neck, but driving from behind.  “So, the rider, he sets the boundary in front to make a door that is closed.”  So, the horse moves into collection, but it is a give and take between the horse and rider, especially in the beginning, for the horse to stay relaxed and giving to the bit.

Okay, now we understood the diagram of the marcha.

The quality of the movement in Brasil is judged on many levels:  the showiness of the gait (the C with the front legs), the diagram of the marcha (how close it comes to perfection in footfalls and timing), the length of the stride (they want it to be ground covering, extension is valued) and finally, the smoothness of the gait.

So, now how do you bring it out in your Marchador?    For this, we relied on Kate’s individual riding instruction on the Marchadors brought to the clinic.  Next post!

 

 

 

 

SW Update – The Ocala MM Clinic April 20-22nd

The Ocala MM Clinic was a resounding success.  Hosted by Connie Claire, Ocala FL, everything went off without a hitch for the first ever Sela de Ouro (the Golden Saddle, the way of the Marchador) in the U.S.!  The Sela de Ouro consists of 3 phases:  a long ride similar to an endurance ride with vetting and judging, classroom and arena instruction and judging of conformation and gait,  and also a functional test, similar to an obstacle class.

Some photos from the clinic, just click to enlarge!

The instructors were flown in from Brasil to evaluate the 18 people and 12 Marchadors that participated.  Most were from the East Coast, but some of us came from AZ and OK too.   The breeders and owners there represent 40% of the Marchadors in U.S.  (Next year, the clinic moves west.)  The instructors were ABCCMM (Brazilian MM association) professionals Tiago de Resende Garcia and Kate Moura da Costa Barcelos, both licensed veterinarians and judges in Brazil.

Tiago is the ABCCMM Director of the ENA – the National School of Judges.  The ENA’s objective is to train MM judges on how to evaluate conformation, gait and functionality of the MM breed.  Tiago and his team judge every sanctioned ABCCMM show in Brazil.  Tiago has hosted symposiums and lectures to enlighten and inform MM breeders.

Kate is an ABCCMM inspector (the 1st woman) and education program director.  Kate was the instructor of our 2011 MM clinic.  An accomplished rider, competitor and instructor, Kate was the #2 dressage rider in South America and now uses classical dressage in preparing and training Marchador horses for many farms in Brazil.

We had a fabulous time meeting new people, Marchadors, and of course, learning more about our fabulous MM breed!  Our heartfelt thanks to Connie, Tiago and Kate!!!!

The Champions:

  • Sela de Ouro ride on Friday – Aline Greene, Saint Horse, SC and her mare Erva-Doce de Tesouro
  • Combined Gait and Conformation on Saturday:  for Stallion – Bill Kambic, Haras Lucero, TN and his imported MM stallion, Ritmo A.J.; for Mare – Sandy Kambic, Haras Lucero, TN and her imported mare, Amora or Aliane Fazenda Zouga (bred by Rick Schatz, Flying Oaks Ranch, OK when he was breeding MMs in Brasil), for Gelding – Connie Claire, FL with her gelding Leo or DaVinci do Summerwind (bred by SW Future Foal, AZ)
  • Functional test on Sunday – Jeff Bosley, SW Future Foal @ Lumber Bridge on his mare Bacara do Summerwind (bred by SW Future Foal, AZ)

Almost every person excelled and placed in each competition so the results were exciting and close!   We even had a tie for the winner of the Functional test so there was another run made by Jeff and Bacara against Sue Current on Folego do Lucero!  Brooke Little from Marchadors InMotion, came with her young stallion Cheveyo do MManor (Erva-Doce’s son) who impressed the crowd with his gait,  disposition and performance.  Except for his youth (he had just been started under saddle at age 3), he could have won it all, in my opinion.

And a good time was had by all!  Be sure to come to our next one if you can!