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Old 03-28-2017, 03:47 PM   #31
VigorsTheGrey
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Originally Posted by HandiTrack View Post
Hi everyone! Sorry to jump in as a stranger (unless you happen to know me as Flute from thoroughbredchampions lol but I hardly post there anymore), but I thought I might add a little more to the technical explanation of this, in case anyone was really THAT curious.

When a horse gallops, they are starting their stride by pushing off with one hind foot, then they move to the other hind foot, and the diagonally opposite front foot, followed lastly by the other front foot (that would be the "lead" that people tend to look at). I would Google "horse gallop foot falls" if you really want to see this visually, there are good diagrams out there that show the "Z" shape. After they move off that final front foot, there is a period of time in the stride where they are completely off the ground (this is also called the "gathering" stage of the stride). This little horse below is demonstrating that part of the stride quite nicely.

This gathering part of the stride is where the horse changes his lead, and he simply switches to pushing off with the other hind foot at that point and then reverses the foot falls. This is something they do naturally in the wild, every horse knows how to do it even though some are more adept at it than others. It happens right in stride, there is no stutterstep or other kind of hesitation that would change the forward momentum of the horse unless they are doing something REALLY weird, and I wouldn't imagine they would finish out the race well in that case.

Ok, back to lurking and fiddling with my little handicapping program (I'm a web/python dev), nice to meet you all.
Welcome aboard to PaceAdvantage website...hoping you post often...thank you for elucidating the "lead change" phenomenon....so is it the case that the lead change is controlled by the hind legs switching while "airing"...? Could the lead change be effected also by the front legs switching while airing as well...? What you say does makes some sense but since the air time is just under human observation limits, we can only see the after- effects of the switch...we see THAT a horse HAS changed leads, but we are unable to observe the actual switch while the horse is " airing"...

Last edited by VigorsTheGrey; 03-28-2017 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 03-28-2017, 04:23 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by rsetup View Post
I'd have thought this would be something that just comes naturally after watching enough races.

Of course, lead changes are not as evident in the headon view.
Well, consider yourself fortunate because I don't think it comes naturally and I've watched a bunch of races.

Actually, Mountainman's suggestion is going to help me a lot because I also was focusing on the horse's front legs.
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Old 03-28-2017, 04:29 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by HandiTrack View Post
Hi everyone! Sorry to jump in as a stranger (unless you happen to know me as Flute from thoroughbredchampions lol but I hardly post there anymore), but I thought I might add a little more to the technical explanation of this, in case anyone was really THAT curious. ...
Thanks for the info. And, let me be one of the first to say welcome.

Your input was great.

Btw, what happened to the jock in the picture?

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Old 03-29-2017, 01:18 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by VigorsTheGrey View Post
Welcome aboard to PaceAdvantage website...hoping you post often...thank you for elucidating the "lead change" phenomenon....so is it the case that the lead change is controlled by the hind legs switching while "airing"...? Could the lead change be effected also by the front legs switching while airing as well...? What you say does makes some sense but since the air time is just under human observation limits, we can only see the after- effects of the switch...we see THAT a horse HAS changed leads, but we are unable to observe the actual switch while the horse is " airing"...
Hi, Vigors! Thanks for the welcome The front legs and the hind legs both need to switch, but the hind legs definitely drive the situation...here is a youtube video of a horse doing something called "one tempi" and "two tempi" changes in Dressage at a canter, which is a slower pace than a racehorse but the mechanics are basically the same as a racehorse gallop. The view from the front where it looks like the horse is skipping is "one tempi" (a lead change every single stride), and the next one that you can see better from the side is "two tempi" (a lead change every other stride, I think you can see better that she is pushing with the hind legs and the fronts are just following).


I can try to find a better video if that one doesn't help, I just did a quick search and grabbed the first decent one.
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Old 03-29-2017, 01:26 AM   #35
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Thanks for the info. And, let me be one of the first to say welcome.

Your input was great.

Btw, what happened to the jock in the picture?
Thank you! Glad to be here

I tried to go back and do a reverse image search on Google to find out the story, and all they said was the jock fell off at the gate but wasn't injured and the horse ran back a week later and won. It was Arabian racing, which I don't follow, I just did an image search on Google and grabbed a good pic.

http://www.resolutefarmsracing.com/c...ut_jockey.html
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Old 03-31-2017, 08:30 PM   #36
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Bow Town Cat AQU RACE 2 tomorrow.

Crazy with leads, especially 3 back (Dec 9th) on backstretch. Watch last 3 dirt races.

Wrong lead on backstretch in last. Probably cost him race in the lane.

Last edited by EMD4ME; 03-31-2017 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 03-31-2017, 09:39 PM   #37
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One of the most famous examples of refusing to change leads is below. Probably cost Firing Line the Derby. Showed he had some health issues. Stevens confirmed in an interview after the race the horse stayed on one lead the whole race. He compared it to carrying a suitcase in one hand for a mile and a quarter without changing hands. Ran up the track in the Preakness - he should have never been in that race given his stretch run in the Derby. Tried to make a comeback but was never the same horse and had to be retired. Soft tissue injury. At lower level claiming races, you see horses refusing to change leads all the time and sometimes they can get away it. If you see it at the stakes level, big red flag. Regardless, you need to watch for it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKGkgyFTK8I
Yep.

Ran nails that day.

Another tough loss was Declaration of War in the BC Classic in 2013. Incredible stretch run battle with eventual winner Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge. DOC never changed leads, got pinched a bit, but still finished strong for an unappetizing 3rd. . The old woulda, coulda, shoulda.

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Old 04-01-2017, 12:32 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by HandiTrack View Post
Hi everyone! Sorry to jump in as a stranger (unless you happen to know me as Flute from thoroughbredchampions lol but I hardly post there anymore), but I thought I might add a little more to the technical explanation of this, in case anyone was really THAT curious.

When a horse gallops, they are starting their stride by pushing off with one hind foot, then they move to the other hind foot, and the diagonally opposite front foot, followed lastly by the other front foot (that would be the "lead" that people tend to look at). I would Google "horse gallop foot falls" if you really want to see this visually, there are good diagrams out there that show the "Z" shape. After they move off that final front foot, there is a period of time in the stride where they are completely off the ground (this is also called the "gathering" stage of the stride). This little horse below is demonstrating that part of the stride quite nicely.

This gathering part of the stride is where the horse changes his lead, and he simply switches to pushing off with the other hind foot at that point and then reverses the foot falls. This is something they do naturally in the wild, every horse knows how to do it even though some are more adept at it than others. It happens right in stride, there is no stutterstep or other kind of hesitation that would change the forward momentum of the horse unless they are doing something REALLY weird, and I wouldn't imagine they would finish out the race well in that case.

Ok, back to lurking and fiddling with my little handicapping program (I'm a web/python dev), nice to meet you all.
Welcome my Chicago friend
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Old 04-01-2017, 02:07 PM   #39
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Bow Town Cat AQU RACE 2 tomorrow.

Crazy with leads, especially 3 back (Dec 9th) on backstretch. Watch last 3 dirt races.

Wrong lead on backstretch in last. Probably cost him race in the lane.
Up the creek, dancing on the wrong lead as the fav.

An obvious throw out today, HA HA HA
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Old 04-01-2017, 02:27 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by EMD4ME View Post
Bow Town Cat AQU RACE 2 tomorrow.

Crazy with leads, especially 3 back (Dec 9th) on backstretch. Watch last 3 dirt races.

Wrong lead on backstretch in last. Probably cost him race in the lane.
I have never paid close attention to the lead change going into the turn, instead looking for acceleration or traffic trouble on the turn. BTC's past races help me see this move a bit better.

It's hard to see the leg action thru the rail and other runners so I watch for movers and for my bet to be clear into the stretch. You certainly give me some food for thought when I am watching replays now. If I keep at it I may have a couple of sharpened tools to add to the box.
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Old 04-01-2017, 02:37 PM   #41
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I have never paid close attention to the lead change going into the turn, instead looking for acceleration or traffic trouble on the turn. BTC's past races help me see this move a bit better.

It's hard to see the leg action thru the rail and other runners so I watch for movers and for my bet to be clear into the stretch. You certainly give me some food for thought when I am watching replays now. If I keep at it I may have a couple of sharpened tools to add to the box.
It's my pleasure Murph!
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:23 AM   #42
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How is the change of leads accomplished...? Does the horse have both front legs in the air at one time during which the flip is made...? Or is there some subtle shuffle that takes place...is a right lead defined by the right hoof being in front when it touches the ground...? Do the rear legs ever change "leads"...
The best close up example of a horse changing leads I've seen was in the movie Seabiscuit. At the end of the movie when Seabiscuit is running down the stretch about to win the SA handicap. They show a close up of Seabiscuit in slow motion in which he changes leads - its kind of a skipping motion.
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:38 AM   #43
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... its kind of a skipping motion.
or like a boxer quickly moving from a right-handed stance to left-handed.
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