How To Get Your Horse Working From Behind? (Perfect answer)

  • The exercises mentioned above are all good to help your horse work better from behind. Try both leg yielding shoulder fore, this encourages the horse to bring his hocks underneath himself this will eventually enable him to work from behind propel himself forward rather than pulling himself along as he is doing now. Good Luck

How do you get a horse to move from behind?

Ask your horse to disengage their hind-end by bringing your rein to your hip and by applying leg pressure to the side they need to step away from. As soon as you feel the horse’s hips swing over, apply leg pressure with both legs behind the girth and relax your rein from your hip to move them forward at the same gait.

How do you tell if your horse is working from behind?

If he’s behind your leg, he’ll lose impulsion when you remove the pressure from your leg. On a 20-metre circle, your horse is less likely to flatten out – you’re particularly aiming for his back to stay up and his neck to stay down. Keep equilibrium between your leg and hand by riding him from your leg into your hand.

How do you encourage self carriage?

Here’s how to develop the engagement you need for self-carriage.

  1. Work on changing the horse’s stride length in trot, using the half-halt.
  2. Ride the same exercise in the canter.
  3. Ride plenty of transitions, especially canter-trot-canter and canter-walk-canter.

What bit to use when pulling a horse?

The peewee is a very useful bit for horses that are not overly strong, but yank in a snaffle. Traditionally Waterford bits have been used to help prevent leaning and pulling but do need to be used with sympathetic hands.

What can cause hind end weakness in horses?

The most common reason that a horse is weak on one hind limb is neurologic dysfunction in that limb, or spinal cord compression. Pain and chronic lameness can result in this observation as well.

How do I get my horse to jump rounder?

To achieve that bascule, your horse must reach his hind legs deep beneath his body as he thrusts off the ground, then he must round his neck and back as he arcs over the jump. For some horses, a good bascule comes naturally. For others, it can be hard because it takes strength and flexibility.

How do I get my horse to arch his neck?

Another great way to encourage a new horse to get on the bit is by asking them to flex left and right, then hold the pressure in both reins to signal for them to soften and round their necks. The flexing motion will engage the neck muscles that will be used when the neck is rounded.

How do you neck rein a horse?

Neck Rein Your Horse in 5 Steps

  1. Hold both reins in one hand.
  2. To turn left, lift your hand slightly and move it left to lay the right rein on the right side of the horse’s neck.
  3. At the same time as you lay the rein on the horse’s neck apply pressure with the left leg to cue the horse to bend around your leg.

What is a Tom Thumb bit?

The Tom Thumb bit is a cross between an American gag and an elevator bit. It offers more precision and control and is very popular for show jumping and cross country.

#SundaySchool: ‘How can I encourage my horse to work over his back?’

  • Dressage rider of distinction Hayley Watson-Greaves provides advice on the most important aspect of proper dressage training: making sure your horse works through from behind. Hayley is an international grand prix dressage rider who has competed for Great Britain on several times in international competitions. She was a reserve for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and she and her horse Rubins Nite are the current British national dressage champions.

Training the stars

Some horses are naturally tight when they first start out, and exercises to help them to work over their backs and relax may be quite beneficial. Rubins Nite, for example, was a young horse that had a rather tight back as a result of this. As an alternative to stretching, I would work into the bit, making several transitions to draw his attention to me.

Tackling the issue

Make certain that the horse is directly in front of your leg, taking a little leg help, and reacting immediately. To achieve this, it is necessary to begin with a stretch phase in which the horse should be extending towards the touch while actively pushing from his hindlegs, reaching out towards his hand, and without falling behind the vertical. 2. Always strive for a gentle, yet constant, touch with the surface. Take care not to allow the horse to fall behind the contact, since this will make it hard for him to use his rear end effectively.

  • Begin with a 20-metre circle and then spiral down to a 12-metre circle, bending him to the inside as you go.
  • Maintain the inside flexion at all times.
  • The horse must be comfortable and in balance in order for him to avoid rushing forward.
  • As soon as you get him into a competition frame, the horse must continue to be propelled forward from behind while staying supple and soft.
  • 4.
  • Transitions can be made upwards and downhill as well as within the pace, with the goal being to prevent the horse from resisting the touch and coming up in front of the rider.
  • Make use of your seat to ease the transition and gradually slow the trot down by rising more and more slowly until he walks on his own two feet.
  • In order to activate the horse’s core muscles while simultaneously helping him to extend across the back and retain balance, some horses benefit from stretching over elevated poles — either raised at one end and alternated, or straight across — raised at one end and alternated.
  • You might also find the following articles interesting:

Consider this…

Make certain that the horse is directly in front of your leg, taking a little leg help, and reacting immediately after. This begins with the stretching phase, during which the horse should be extending towards the touch, actively pushing from the hindlegs, reaching out towards the hand, and not falling behind the horizontal. Aim for a mild yet steady touch wherever possible. Take care not to allow the horse to fall behind the contact, since this will make it hard for him to use his rear end properly.

  1. Begin with a 20-metre circle, then spiral down to a 12-metre circle, bending him to the inside as you go.
  2. It is important to maintain the inner flexion during the whole exercise.
  3. In order for certain horses to stretch and become softer across their backs, they will need to begin at a slower pace.
  4. Lie down on the contact and ride in a circle if he begins to tense and refuses to move forward.
  5. Transistioning may be done both up and down the hill, as well as within a given speed, as long as the horse does not fight the touch and come up in front of the rider.
  6. You may make the transition from your seat and slow the trot down by rising gently and steadily until he walks.

In order to activate the horse’s core muscles while simultaneously helping him to extend across the back and retain balance, some horses benefit from stretching over raised poles — either raised at one end and alternated, or straight across — raised at one end and alternated, or straight across You know what I’m talking about.

In addition, you might like to check out the following:

  • Outings: “They’re horses, and it’s very wonderful for them to be able to keep moving, both psychologically and physically,” says the trainer.
  • “Before I go on any of my horses, I do carrot stretches in between the front legs, then to the side, both ways: low down first, then higher up,” says the rider. To urge patients to elevate their backs, I also run a finger beneath the stomach with my index finger. “Ask your physiotherapist about stretches that are specific to your horse.”

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How to Get Your Horse Rounder and More Through

If you look at your dressage score sheet, you could see the comment “could be rounder and more through.” But what exactly does the judge intend by this, and how can you go about achieving it yourself?

The importance of ‘round’ and ‘through’ in the dressage horse

When riding dressage, the ultimate goal of the rider is to increase the horse’s involvement, which is defined as the carrying power of his hind legs. This allows the horse to operate in a more uphill balance, which makes his forehand lighter, and eventually allows him to accomplish the sophisticated work required at the upper stages of the competition. Horses that can step deeper beneath themselves with their hind legs and move themselves along from behind with high impulsion are more likely to acquire engagement.

The dressage judge is looking for a horse that is “round” across his topline and moving “through” his back from behind, which is why the horse must be “round.” In a horse’s method of going, these characteristics indicate that he is being trained in accordance with the dressageScales of Training.

How do you get your horse ‘rounder’ and more ‘through’?

As a dressage rider, your ultimate goal is to increase the horse’s involvement, which is his ability to carry himself on his hind legs. Because of this, the horse can work in a more uphill balance, which makes his forehand lighter, and eventually allows him to accomplish the advanced work required at higher levels. Horses that can move deeper beneath themselves with their hind legs and drive themselves forward from behind with high impulsion are more likely to acquire engagement. Having a horse that has good flexibility and can turn around on his back will make this much simpler for him than having a horse that is hollow and constrained in his movements.

Forward, round and down

It is highly beneficial to work your horse in three directions: forward, round, and down. This will encourage your horse to engage more of his back muscles. A variation of this exercise is used in several of the lower-level dressage tests because it allows the judge to examine the horse’s ability to be flexible and really ‘through.’ You have the option of riding the exercise at a trot or a canter. It is important to note that this exercise should always be performed in rising trotto to allow the horse to utilize his back.

Maintaining an elastic touch with your horse’s mouth, gradually soften your hands to let the horse to carry the reins forward, around, and down the backside.

Instead of reaching around and down, if the horse begins to “poke” his nose, ask for greater inside bend while maintaining the outside rein.

During this exercise, if your horse is performing correctly, his back will start to swing and he will come up beneath you.

His strides will get longer and higher in elevation, and he’ll propel himself forward into a silent, elastic touch with the ground. Complete the practice by gradually regaining control of the situation. Keep your leg in place while doing so.

In conclusion

In order for your horse to improve and develop in his dressage career, he must learn to work through his back in a round frame, forward, and without stress. This will take time, patience, and proper riding technique to acquire, but you will be rewarded with greater results in your exams and a more quick progression through the stages. Check out these related articles:

  • How to get your horse off his forehand
  • How Much Contact Should You Have
  • How to Get Your Horse Off His Forehand Why It Is Important for ALL Dressage Riders to Understand The Scales of Training
  • Instructions on how to correct a ‘Poking Nose’
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Tips from Carl Hester

Dressage rider Carl Hester shares his 35 best suggestions for everything dressage – from selecting the proper horse to training and stable management methods! One important point to remember about dressage is that it is not simply for competition. It is equivalent to horse gymnastics, and all horses can benefit from it since they are more likely to remain sound if they have a long, supple neck, a soft body, and the ability to move easily. 2.You don’t have to spend a fortune on a horse to compete in dressage — as long as the fundamental paces are in place, the rest may be learned via training.

  • In walk, the horse should use his entire body and have a nice overtrack, which is when the rear foot falls in advance of the print left by the front foot, as seen below.
  • Above all, though, is the need of a good, natural rhythm, which is always more vital than large amounts of movement.
  • Allow him to continue doing it for a long because it is something you want to encourage him to do.
  • He should be stretched on a frequent basis throughout your training sessions in order to relax him and lessen the likelihood of stress.
  • 5.
  • It takes time and effort, but the goal is to produce a well-schooled horse – something that we would all like to have!
  • 7.Always compete at a level lower than the one you are currently working on at home, so that you are better prepared to handle at the competition, when there are much more distractions to contend with.

For example, how would you know whether your horse is straight without being able to see him?

Before embarking on more rigorous exercises, you’ll want your horse to be long, round, and stretching so that the muscles in front of and behind the saddle can become supple and active — gymnasts don’t jump directly onto the top bar!

10.Your horse must be in front of the leg at all times.

In the event that your horse is not responding to your leg, request halt and, using a loose rein, tap him with your leg in rapid succession until he moves forward – it doesn’t matter what pace he goes at, just allow him to move ahead.

When your horse understands he won’t be required to work while in his stable, he will be able to completely relax while in his stable.

In order for him to carry more weight on his rear end, he will benefit from several transitions between canter and trot.

Before you ask your horse to perform anything, consider whether or not you should use one.

16.The technique of riding your horse ‘on and back’ entails encouraging him to take a few longer steps before asking him to return to his working speed, and then repeating the process numerous times.

In order to assist maintain the horse straight when doing tempi changes (a sequence of flying changes) with more experienced horses, we ride along the wall of the arena.

20.When riding in canter, use leg-yield to make your horse more conscious of your legs.

Consider having someone videotape you riding in order to understand what is working and where things are going wrong.

It’s sometimes more advantageous to have someone on the floor telling you what you’re doing wrong rather than the other way around.

Passage is taught to our horses when they are strong enough, and we employ it to achieve suspension in the trot.

From passing, we continue the trot ahead until he realizes that he must maintain the suspension that he achieved in the previous section.

Enter a rising trot and let go of the reins to see how well your training technique is working.

25, Never scold your horse when teaching him flying changes; instead, keep repeating them until he gets it properly, otherwise he will get scared and uptight about completing them.

It involves training, so to ensure that you are able to do this task, educate your horse that he must always stand straight, even while mounting and dismounting from the saddle.

After trotting a few steps, ask for a few steps of walk, and then step forward into a standstill Instead of going backwards, he must take a step forward to halt.

Keep your hands off the dog during the walk and remember that a long walk on the leash is not a good time to rest during the test!

29.Don’t speed through your education and don’t expect too much, too soon.

As a result, it often takes four to five years to reach Grand Prix level without encountering any difficulties along the way, as it takes that long for the horse to develop the strength necessary to accomplish the maneuvers required at that level.

30-Remember to grin when you come to a halt and salute the judge during a competition.

32.Ample turnout gives your horse the opportunity to unwind, which will help him to be more comfortable during his training.

Suddenly switching to a new piece of equipment on competition day might have an impact on your performance.

34.Patience and persistence are essential in horse training – you will get there eventually!

As an example, find out what size the arena will be and build one at home that is the same size to practice in.

Similarly, if you normally work in a school but the competition will be held on grass, prepare by riding the test on grass before your first ride. Do you want to hear more of Carl Hester’s best advice? Why not have a look at his suggestions on how to enhance your flatwork?

The Secret to Rounding Your Horse’s Back

With tanned, toned arms that belied her years as an equestrian, Sarah was plainly dissatisfied with her situation at 43 years old. She had encountered a discouraging hurdle throughout her training. While training with a highly recognized dressage coach, Sarah was beginning to believe that her imported warmblood would never be able to compete successfully in dressage competition. Ace, an eight-year-old Dutch warmblood gelding with a distinguished lineage, was a pleasure to ride and had wonderful conformation.

  • In her previous studies, Sarah had looked at the possibility of health-related, dietary, training, and turnout factors as well as saddle-related factors preventing a horse from rounding his back and engaging his hindquarters.
  • She was continually concerned that his back could be hurting and tight from all of the lifting.
  • Upon discovering my work, Sarah concluded that one additional point of view couldn’t be a bad thing.
  • This does not necessarily imply that the problem was resolved in five minutes.
  • It’s only that I’d uncovered a plausible explanation for her horse’s afflictions.
  • Following my discussion with Ace, I delicately probed the warmblood’s internal organs with my hands.
  • Because of the restriction in the rib cage, it would be difficult for the gelding to elevate his withers, circle his back, and engage his hind legs in the proper manner.

In order for a horse to attain collection, his withers must rise up and his croup must sink and tuck somewhat.

His hindquarters are firmly planted beneath him and are actively engaged.

This seems to be a modest shortening of the underbelly of the gathered horse to your eyes.

Furthermore, because the sternum and spine are connected through the ribs, it will be difficult for the horse’s withers to raise, and the horse’s back would be stiff as a result.

Because of the depiction of an equine vertebral column (rib cage), it’s simple to understand how the horse’s sternum and ribs might impact the horse’s withers and other areas of its spine.

This causes a significant deal of wear and tear on the horse’s joints and muscles, and it can have a negative impact on the horse’s overall soundness.

In order for Ace to become a back mover, we needed him to switch from being a leg mover.

An beautiful fluidity to his movements characterizes such a horse’s “through” state of mind.

One thing to keep in mind: A horse’s rib cage must be free in order for him to be able to comfortably circle his back and engage his hind end.

The exact reason behind this is likely to remain a mystery, but I’ll venture a guess.

It is possible that this will cause the horse to defensively tense the muscles of his rib cage in order to reduce the expected discomfort.

One possibility is that Ace was ridden severely by a rider who sat heavy on one seat bone or couldn’t sit the trot without rocking the horse.

Any of these factors might lead a riding horse to tighten his rib cage and hollow his back in an attempt to prevent discomfort.

In order to persuade the bay gelding that not only was that behavior unneeded, but that he would be better comfortable if certain areas of his body could move freely.

Continue reading to find out why she chose not to ask the horse to elevate his back.

Ace may still expect a large number of spectators and social interaction.

The goal was to remind his nervous system that these components were capable of moving pleasantly and without difficulty.

Yes, you are correct.

Despite the fact that this is a widespread practice, it might have unforeseen repercussions.

However, it’s probable that elevating his back would be difficult, if not downright painful for him.

Definitely not what we’re looking for!

While continually instructing a horse to tighten his abdominals and elevate his back may result in certain muscles being strengthened, it does not teach the horse how to release the limits – both mental and physical – that led to his problem in the first place.

It was also critical that he connected the action with pleasure rather than with pain at all times.

Then, using my hands, I assisted the horse in making each piece better.

And how much his back felt better after relaxing his rib cage.

The components came together eventually, and I tried my best to replicate the movement of rounding the back and engaging the rear legs as accurately as possible.

As it turns out, this was significant since it is critical to link movement with pleasure.

Establishing a link between movement and enjoyment assists the horse in recreating that exquisite movement time and time again.

Instead, equate activity with pleasure and a sense of empowerment.

Photograph courtesy of Wally Johnson After the warmblood became accustomed to this new method of moving, I requested Sarah to progressively introduce bits of tack into our workouts.

Keep in mind that this is true even if the faulty saddle was changed some years before.

I was able to assist the horse in overcoming the bad connection by gently suggesting and encouraging pleasant motions of the sternum, ribs, and back while the saddle was on and the girthing was steadily tightened.

(See also: Simple Steps to Make Saddling a Pleasure.) Mary assists the horse in feeling how his ribs might move in response to his rider’s ascent.

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My intention was to remind the bay horse that he didn’t have to behave in the same way he has in the past.

The warmblood’s joints and muscles were less stressed as a result of his balanced, coordinated movement, and he went on to become a willing, flexible, and sound dressage horse as a result of his development.

If you would like to get our FREE video masterclass, please click here: 3 Things You MUST Know to Ride Well.

Exercises for a Horse Heavy on the Forehand

In the meanwhile, I’m leasing a Thoroughbred/cross horse that’s 14 years old. We get along perfectly on the trails, but when I go to a dressage class, my horse goes really heavy on the forehand and sticks his head out of the saddle. But how can I keep him away from the forehand as we are steadily getting into a healthier state of mind? (Source: Raul de Leon) A:Most horses lean on their forehands to some degree or another at some point in their lives. Assuming your horse is in good health and does not have any severe conformation issues, it is only through proper training that you will be able to acquire the proper balance with him.

  • Here are a few exercises that I recommend you try out to assist you get your horse off his forehand and in front of your leg, allowing you to achieve greater balance.
  • Longitudinal training is intended to gather and lengthen the horse’s body and stride, whereas lateral work is intended to make the horse flexible in his neck and back, allowing him to stand up straight and without bending.
  • First, I’ll show you two longitudinal exercises that are absolutely necessary for balancing a horse and training him to stay in front of your leg when you’re riding.
  • This exercise trains your horse to respond quickly to the modest pressure of your calves applied immediately below the girth with your stirrup leathers on the vertical while you are riding in the saddle.
  • Give a small leg help to the person walking forward from the standstill.
  • Maintain the repetitions until your horse’s reaction to your leg is immediate in all uphill transitions, then discontinue the exercise.
  • Starting with a deep seat in the saddle and your spine vertical to the ground, you can learn how to do this.

At the walk and on contact, propel your horse forward with enthusiasm.

Now, by allowing the resistance you feel in your horse’s neck and mouth to flow from your hands down your arms, down your back, and into your pelvis, you can practice linking it to your steady, silent hands.

In order to press forward onto the pommel, your crotch or pubic arc must be pressed forward.

In response to your resistive, but never pulling hands, the horse softly backs off his bit, and it is at this point that you offer him an instant reward by allowing your hands to yield slightly with the rein, softening the contact-relaxing the joints of your ring fingers-but never losing it.

When you sit in a well-designed seat, the negative force of resistance is recycled into a collecting help for your horse, which in turn improves your position.

This is another another way of describing the help we refer to as a half halt, which is the single most critical factor in ensuring that the horse is obedient and balanced.

Raul de Leon |

Raul de Leon |

Riding at the walk on the inside track or quarterline on the left rein, for example, is recommended.

His neck is slightly twisted to the left, allowing you to catch a glimpse of the corner of his left eye from the side.

Place the inside of your left (inside) leg four to six inches (but not more) below its regular position, right behind the girth, on the floor.

Apply palpitating pressure on your active left leg with your active right leg.

In the same manner, ask for the next step—apply your active leg and cease when you sense a reaction coming on.

Encourage your horse to move a few inches forward with his left front foot, while his left hind leg crosses over and in front of his right hind leg, as seen in the picture.

Start this workout when you’re out on a stroll.

Turn left off the track and onto the first quarterline from the short side of the track.

Continue to apply pressure on your active left leg in the same manner as you did in the last exercise, pausing only if you feel him move away from it.

His body remains parallel to the long sides of your training space during the whole exercise.

Then you should adjust the flexion and leg yield and ride your horse back to the quarterline.

Leg yield can also be used in conjunction with transitions between the walks and the trots.

The leg yield from the quarterline to the second track is a lateral yield.

This pattern should be repeated as many times as feasible, with as much precision and promptness in the transitions as possible.

When it comes to judging your progress, the greatest judges will be your horse and your teacher.

A former pupil, Olympic eventing gold winner Tad Coffin, is the director of the Long Island International Equestrian Institute, and he previously served as co-director of the Institute for Instructors at Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia, for six years.

How To Stop Nagging And Get A Lazy Horse In Front Of The Leg

So, what is the best way to bring your slow horse in front of your leg? It’s actually fairly straightforward, as long as you are completely dedicated to the task at hand. For this practice, you’ll need to carry a long whip with you. Here’s a simple advice to help you get started with this procedure. If your horse has a tendency to buck or if your seat isn’t totally stable, you should use a neck strap or saddle strap before you begin. You must be self-assured in order to truly propel your horse forward and ride past any possible enthusiasm.

  1. Give your horse the tiniest squeeze possible and urge him to trot on by merely tightening your calf muscles a little bit.
  2. You want the horse to make a strong forward leap, preferably into an eager canter.
  3. A neck strap might be really useful in this situation.
  4. It is not the goal to strike the horse, but rather to use it efficiently enough that he charges ahead.

As soon as your horse reacts positively, praise him lavishly. Lots of pats and verbal praise is key.

Bring the vehicle to a complete stop and repeat the process. Whenever possible, begin with a very mild assistance so that you may give your horse a chance to react to the soft pressure. It’s possible that your horse will require you to repeat this several times, but most will understand the idea after the first ride. After that, you may repeat the process in various gaits. For example, from the trot to the canter. It makes no difference whatever transition you’re requesting; the procedure stays precisely the same.

  1. Keep your legs still after you’ve requested your horse to trot and received a suitable response.
  2. If he begins to sluggish, a fairly gently squeeze should be sufficient to restore some of his lost vigor.
  3. When this occurs, you may begin to make adjustments to the procedure.
  4. The first is that you must ensure that your horse is not suffering from a medical ailment or pain that is causing him to lack impulsion.

As is always the case, professional views from veterinarians, dentists, and saddle fitters are essential. As a rider, it is your responsibility to enforce the rules if you believe your horse has just been taught to remain behind the leg. Always keep the following points in mind when you’re driving:

  • Horses respond best when boundaries are well defined, thus you must be completely devoted to ensuring that your horse JUMPS forward when you ask him to do so. When your horse moves forward as a result of the “large” aids, it is critical that you praise and then repeat the process starting with the smallest of the “big” aids. Without retesting the reaction, you will have just taught your horse that he only has to move forward with a hard kick and potentially the use of the whip to get what he wants. Maintain complete control of your leg by being quite severe with yourself. Once your horse has gotten used to being off the leg, his reward is for you to remain gentle and quiet without applying any leg pressure. For the final point to remember, keep in mind that it’s extremely easy to slip back into old patterns and allow your horse to get away with a number of careless transitions. The situation will deteriorate before your eyes, and you will find yourself working twice as hard as your horse all over again.

Be fully honest with yourself while determining whether or not your horse would quickly jump forward with enthusiasm if you put your leg on him or her. If this is the case, you may need to go back over the exercise again and be more conscious of your riding patterns in the future. If you follow these instructions, you should have a horse that is in front of the leg and is a delight to ride in no time! Check out our Teach Me area for much more useful information. Sophie Baker wrote the words for this piece.

3 Simple Tips to Get Your Lazy Horse off the Leg

It was Laura Graves who coined the term “the accordion” exercise to describe what is basically transitions inside the paces; it’s an excellent mental image to have because an accordion retains its roundness and consistency even when stretched and squeezed. If your horse is competing at any level, he should be able to transition between paces while being tolerant of the bit and touch, and reaching across the back. This can range from a modest “on and back” in the trot at the lowest levels of the sport to flawless transitions between piaffe and passage at the highest levels of the sport’s competitiveness.

Transitions between the paces may, of course, be included here as well, and you should make sure that the horse is constantly active behind you – notably in the downward transitions, when the hocks can sometimes trail and the horse becomes stretched up.

2. How About a “Recalibration”?

Giving your leg a little squeeze while walking is a good way to start. The squeeze should be the amount of pressure that you’d like your horse to respond to effortlessly in an ideal situation; thus, don’t go absolutely feather-light if you don’t want a horse who is overly sensitive to pressure. You can up the stakes if he doesn’t answer the first time (which is likely to happen!). With your lower leg, you may either provide a stronger squeeze or a delicate touch on the sides with your lower leg.

As soon as the horse starts moving forward, give him a pat on the back and make sure you don’t unintentionally yank the reins back.

After you’ve achieved your goal by having the horse freely respond to the initial, light aid, you may work on the same thing while transitioning from trot to canter.

The ease with which the rider might relapse into the nagging habit will, of course, play a significant role in this.

3. Try Something New

In certain cases, a sluggish horse is simply a horse who is bored and sour to be around. Even if this is not the case, changing the program is beneficial for muscular growth, strength, and the mental attitude of the horse. Consider doing something completely different from your horse’s normal routine in order to try to bring some excitement and diversity back into his or her life. Go for a hack, take the horse for a great long outride, gallop on the beach, give the horse a jump, and it will really freshen them up and make them asking you to go further forward.

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When the Longines FEI Jumping Nations CupTM 2019 resumes in Sopot, Poland on Sunday, be sure to tune in to FEI TV to see some of the world’s best equine and human athletes in action.

Engage Your Horse’s Back In Order To Develop Your Horse’s Topline

“Get his back engaged!” said the trainer. In the background, Doris fumed, “If I had a “true” dressage horse, I would have had an easier job engaging his back.” “However, I don’t have that type of cash on hand.” Ralph grumbled under his breath as he disregarded his trainer and directed his horse toward the next jump. “Toplines, toplines, toplines—I’m so sick of hearing about my horse’s terrible toplines,” he thought. “Isn’t it all only for the sake of making the horse appear pretty?” As Doris discovered, the most prevalent factor stopping a horse from engaging his back properly isn’t bad conformation or lack of pedigree, but rather incorrect riding technique.

The malformations were created in each case by riding a horse with a hollow back and an excessively arched neck, as described above.

As a result of the rider pulling on the reins in an attempt to “get the horse in an upper level frame,” the third and fourth vertebrae in the horse’s neck end up separating, as seen in the illustration: Dr.

Sarah le Jeune, and Dr Sue Dyson, together with trainer Karen Loshbaugh, explain why adequate engagement of the horse’s core is critical for avoiding these debilitating and agonizing back ailments.

​ First, it is necessary to have asecure, flexible, and following seat.Do you grip with your thighs or knees? Do you grip with your calves even when you are not in two-point? Then you do NOT have a secure and following seat. You can read more about thathere.Second, you need anelastic rein contac t. A horse will NOT go forward into fixed, rigid, nervous, twitchy, loose, or unfeeling hands. Kick or tap all you want with your whip. It’s a losing battle. But a horse will willingly go forward into an elastic, feeling contact. In fact, he will seek contact with your hands. Read more about thathere.

We figured you’d appreciate it as well. Colouring books for adults with horses and colored pencils are a great way to relax while creating a colorful world.

Get your horse moving forward

Have you ever felt that you were more exhausted than your horse at the conclusion of a horseback ride? Horses that have lost their ability to go forward are often seen as being lethargic and uninteresting. Perhaps some are—and sluggishness can also be a symptom of disease or another bodily problem—but in the majority of situations, horses lose their ability to go forward due to two factors. The first is mostly produced by the monotonous, repetitive nature of the action in an arena. Have you ever witnessed a trail being carved into an arena floor by horses turning around and around, day after day, year after year?

  • The majority of horses see being confined to the same daily routine for weeks or months at a time as equivalent to remaining in kindergarten forever.
  • There are many individuals who make the error of pushing too hard to encourage these lethargic horses to speed up the pace: they kick, squeeze and swatte them in an attempt to get them moving.
  • This is due to the fact that this rider is annoying and unyielding from the horse’s perspective.
  • So, what should we do?
  • Consider the following scenario: It is important that you release the cue after your horse responds when you squeeze your legs together to get him going.
  • Here are some suggestions to assist you in getting your horse going forward once more: First and foremost, remove the horse from the arena and transport him somewhere where he will be stimulated and will have a sense of purpose.
  • I define a “purpose” as anything that can be described as follows: It begins here, you do “this,” and then you’re finished.
  • When training turns into a grind of endless repetitions, you lose sight of the goal—of having a defined beginning, middle, and end.
  • Traveling in long, straight lines rather than making tight bends and loops is preferable for slow horses.
  • Review your fundamental cues.
  • To train your horse’s awareness of your seat and leg signals, you will most likely require a riding crop to reinforce or back up your aids while you are riding.

When applying pressure toward attaining your goal, it is important to utilize the crop regularly instead of applying pressure all at once: Using the crop to swat the horse out for a few paces or even a lap may start him going, but he will merely dull down a little later and become even less responsive.

  • It is my intention to go into further depth about this later.
  • The objective is to achieve the practically imperceptible indications that the top riders are able to achieve.
  • In the event that your horse is slow, don’t squeeze harder; instead, lift your crop out to the side slightly so that he can see it more clearly.
  • You should instantly cease tapping if you see any forward movement.
  • Then instantly release the pressure.
  • When I travel in a long, straight line and then stop, I will slightly intensify the entire process to encourage the horse to put in more “effort.” Until then, I’m looking for progress in my leg cue sensitivity before I go on to anything else.
  • If outside assistance is required, seek it.

If you are having problems holding your seat while your horse is acting up and he is aware of the situation, you may need to enlist the assistance of a more experienced rider to assist you in resolving the situation.

Pay attention to how fast you’re going.

It might be difficult to discern when a horse is masterful at doing less while the rider is putting in greater effort.

Keep looking for that sensitivity and responsiveness in your horse’s seat and leg by providing pressure to urge him to move forward and letting up when he does.

It has been my pleasure to assist many hundreds of individuals with horses who have gotten so lethargic and dull that they are dragging their feet and causing their toes to wear away.

The Best Way to Deal with a Sluggish Horse Don’t kick to get out of here.

Working to go or maintaining the gait is not recommended since you do not want to be held accountable for forward motion.

Instead of going in circles, make long, straight lines.

Get a sense of purpose!

Take a stroll down a route, follow a herd of cows, or set up some entertaining tasks in your arena.

a little about the author: Jonathan Field is a trainer and clinician based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, and has over ten years of experience.

Field grew up riding both English and Western horses, and he later worked as a cowboy on one of Canada’s largest cattle ranches, where he learned his trade.

Presentations at events such as the Western States Horse Expo in Sacramento, California, are something Field undertakes on a regular basis. This story first appeared in EQUUS issue472, which was published in January 2017.

Working on Rein-Back with your Horse

Working on your horse’s back while on the reins POSTED BY ALJA KISILAK BENCHMARK RESULTS OF THE REIN-BACK EXERCISE When done correctly, the exercise rein-back, in which the horse is instructed to go backwards, can have a significant positive impact on the horse’s posture, movement, and athletic performance. When not done appropriately, however, it can cause injury to his body as well as damage to the rider-horse bond. In order for the horse to properly complete the exercise, he must engage his core muscles, bend his hind legs equally, and tuck in his pelvis.

In a two-beat rhythm, his topline is calm, and he is moving with control in a straight line and with control.

The greater the degree of disassociation between the diagonal legs, the worse the overall quality of the workout.

FROM THE GROUND UP, TEACHING REINVENTIONS Whenever possible, we should begin teaching this exercise from the ground, without the extra weight of the rider.

Ideally, we should begin by placing the horse adjacent to a fence, which will aid the horse in maintaining the proper direction of travel.

We instruct the horse to take a stride backwards by using our body language.

If even this is too delicate for the horse that is just learning this activity, we may use the whip to lightly tap his chest with the handle.

Even a slight movement in the center of gravity is sufficient for the initial attempt.

After a few repetitions and a little pause to allow the horse to collect his thoughts, the horse typically grasps the concept that we want him to reverse direction.

Eventually, we will be able to request more steps backward.

Later on, we can instruct the horse to go quicker and more actively in the reverse direction.

When the horse understands how to execute the rein back in hand, we may add the weight of the rider to the equation and see what happens.

This will assist him in maintaining proper posture while carrying the additional weight.

MOST OFTEN MADE ERRORS Because of the negative emotions like as wrath or fear that can accompany the exercise if the rider attempts to do it wrong, the horse’s back, SI area, and hind leg joints can be harmed as a result of the rein back.

It is one of the most prevalent riding faults for motorcyclists to lean back with their upper body when riding.

This might cause the horse to believe that he is being requested to move forward, or it can cause him to hollow his back and drop the base of his neck in response.

Because of this position, the rein back performed will be stiff, and the aim of the exercise will be defeated.

The front legs will be overburdened if you do a rein back in this position.

This will be especially noticeable if the rider is also not seated correctly, which will prevent him from being able to reverse direction.

This makes it hard for him to raise through the base of the neck and between the shoulder blades, making it impossible for him to transfer weight to his rear end as a result.

On the trail, or in competition styles such as working equitation, it will be quite useful.

She received her doctorate in Equine Psychology from the Biotechnical University of Ljubljana in 2008 after completing a thesis on the subject.

She is continuously on the hunt for new information and experiences, and her quest has taken her all over Europe, where she has had the opportunity to study from some of the top classical dressage trainers in the world.

Previously, she served as the chief trainer, equine assisted psychotherapy facilitator, and riding teacher at MKZ Rakitna, Grad Prestranek, and Cavallista riding schools in the Czech Republic.

Her specialized skill set enables her to comprehend both the horse’s and the rider’s point of view, as well as their distinct requirements, which is the ideal combination for providing instruction that is targeted to both the horse and the rider.

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