View Full Version : Flatwork advice for downhill built horses?
May. 14, 2011, 08:38 PM
Horse is a jumper, but I figured I would get better responses in this section.
What are some good exercises for horses that are built downhill? I'm looking for some ideas to help supple the shoulder and have the horse carry itself more on it's haunches.
May. 14, 2011, 08:46 PM
Quarter trun "Around" the haunches at canter
May. 15, 2011, 05:55 PM
May. 15, 2011, 09:07 PM
Lots and lots of transitions within and between gaits. Riding shoulder-fore and later developing shoulder-in will help him become more supple throughout the body and require him to step more underneath himself.
May. 17, 2011, 01:10 PM
My SWB mare likes to travel on her forehand although she is NOT build downhill. So my GP trainer has helped me to counter this in a few ways.
#1. If horse EVER gets "heavy" in the hands you "bump" upwards with the inside rein while maintaining the proper hand position with the outside rein. This must occur quickly (do NOT hold just bump/release) then must follow but a squeeze with the legs to push horse forward into bridle, thus preventing horse from trying to come behind the bit.
At first the bump may be hard - but over time you should refine aide to the point where it's not very noticable unless you're looking for it - and of course the result of the horse bringing up it's head and neck.
#2 transitions out the ying yang. I try not to stay in current gait (e.g. working trot) more than 5-6 strides before I ask for a transition - e.g. from working to lengthened trot. Important thing here is the transition itself. When performing the transition the horse MUST have it's nose on the vertical or slightly in front of the vertical - not shoving it's nose out or coming BTV. For downwards transition if you ask for in by placing horse into SF (Inside leg to outside rein into HH) then horse will step underneath itself with inside hind - this promoting more self carriage. Also do 1-2 steps of LY in corners to get horse to obtain more self carriage.
May. 17, 2011, 02:34 PM
Long and low circles, serpentines, half-circles, and tear drops are great for suppling the shoulder. It is easy, however, to have your horse fall on to the forehand doing long and low (at least, with my horse it is!).
To get a horse to rock back, I like lots of halt - trots and rein backs. Some people say leg yielding helps teach your horse to use the hind end, but I haven't found it as helpful with my mare.
May. 17, 2011, 02:52 PM
May. 17, 2011, 02:58 PM
Transitions. And then some more transitions. And then lateral work with some more transitions.
May. 18, 2011, 02:19 PM
I have really found the transitions within gaits to be very effective, when I do them properly. I've just recently had an ah-ha moment with my horse where we both understood how to collect without losing impulsion (me how to ask, him wth I was actually asking for). Going from a little collection to lengthening stride while making sure he is still keeping the feeling of collection has been really useful for us. Now, we have to continue to be straight while doing so....
anyway, I agree that many, many transitions are the way to go, but done properly without allowing the horse to run through your hand in a downward or go above the bit in the upward.