The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2010
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    72

    Default QH dressage

    As you know, quarter horses are built down hill. I am having the issue of my horse leaning on my hands and holding her head below her topline.

    How do I get her to lift?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
    Posts
    18,472

    Default

    Mine isn't built downhill. But that's beside the point of your question.

    I'd examine your horses conformation a bit closer to help determine if it is possible/fair to ask her to carry herself other than the way she does now. How is her neckset? Pics are always helpful.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2009
    Location
    The Great Plains of Canada
    Posts
    3,066

    Default

    Not all (or even most) Quarter Horses are built downhill, they just might not naturally travel as elevated as say a Warmblood.

    Get yourself a good classical coach who will teach you how to encourage your horse to work from back to front and thus lift her front, through patterns and exercises that work your horse up through the Training Scale. Lateral exercises, circular patterns, serpentines, circles, changes in pace within a gait, transitions up and down, bends down a centerline, etc etc - will all - with an independant seat and soft guiding hands, encourage your mare to start collecting on her own. And it takes two to pull - your horse cannot pull on soft hands. Lastly, in the mean time you can give a little squeeze with your seat (and legs if necessary) to 'bump' your mare's head above her topline, however the long-term solution is of course (as you already seem to understand) to teach her to work from behind.

    Otherwise though EqTrainer has some good points re: examining your mare's conformation.
    ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
    ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 2009
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,156

    Default

    I have a foundation bred Paint mare who is most definitely built downhill. I have the opposite problem. I've been doing dressage for the past few years, but decided to try my hand at a APHA breed show this summer. Despite working with an AQHA trainer for several months, I still couldn't achieve that low headset that the AQHA/APHA breed people like. We're going to stick with dressage.

    As for getting your horse to lift up... I agree with naturalequus that it all comes from getting your horse to work from behind. It's something I've been working with for a long time with my dressage instructor. We do lots of transitions in our lessons. If your horse is leaning/bracing on your hands - bump the rein or pull and release until your horse gives. Your horse won't lean on the rein if you don't give them anything to lean against.

    Here is a photo of my mare showing her downhill build.

    http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j1..._4685091_n.jpg

    Here are my videos. We're most definitely a work in progress.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/graciepa...ature=mhsn#p/u
    Last edited by paintlady; Sep. 4, 2010 at 08:09 AM.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2010
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    8,434

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by horsewhisperer View Post
    As you know, quarter horses are built down hill. I am having the issue of my horse leaning on my hands and holding her head below her topline.

    How do I get her to lift?
    I don't know that.

    My last QH - he was most definitely uphill, and had the most natural push from behind of any horse I've ever ridden.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...5/skippy-2.jpg
    (Post-legged and short strided? Yes. Uphill? No.)

    The advice you've been given here is all good. Regardless of breed, you have to work with your horse's conformation, and you want to start by teaching your horse to lift her back and hold herself up before you want her head any higher. At this point, raising her head will just hollow her back even more. If you get her balance improved and get her lifting her back and pushing from behind, her head will start to raise itself.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silverbridge View Post
    If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 10, 2009
    Location
    NC piedmont
    Posts
    2,450

    Default

    Leaning on your hands is most likely NOT a result of downhill build. That's a training or riding issue, not a conformation issue.

    A downhill build does make things more difficult, but isn't an excuse. My QH's butt is at least an inch higher than his withers, probably closer to half a hand (hey, can I measure his butt instead of his withers and say he's 15+ hh?!) and my trainer and I agree that anything above First Level will be a stretch for him. But the downhill build isn't the only reason for that, either.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2008
    Location
    Sunshine State
    Posts
    2,228

    Default

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvZaNwNEo7w

    This horse was COMPLETELY western pleasure 6 months before this video was filmed. TONS of turn on the haunches, transitions, etc (lots of lessons) to get him to travel uphill..... It was never easy for him but it can be done.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2010
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    72

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JWB View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvZaNwNEo7w

    This horse was COMPLETELY western pleasure 6 months before this video was filmed. TONS of turn on the haunches, transitions, etc (lots of lessons) to get him to travel uphill..... It was never easy for him but it can be done.
    Wow he looks great! This gives me hope!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 11, 2002
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    5,016

    Default

    Two things I focus on:

    Preventative vetting and chiro to make sure your horse is as sound as possible in the rear end and through the back. Sound, beyond just not-lame.

    Constantly visualizing motivating the the rear legs to step deeper and sucking his withers up into your lap.
    Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
    www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 16, 2009
    Location
    Northeastern PA
    Posts
    566

    Default

    My little old QH man is 14.3 on his withers and 15.2 on his butt. SO, we are indeed majorly downhill!

    However, he does not lean, he is light in the bridle, and he is able to sit down and use that big old QH butt as needed.

    What I did with him many moons ago (got him when he was 9, now he is 23) was square turns at the walk, then trot as he got more balanced--boxes and boxes all over the ring. Transitions out the ying yang, and also I love a good rein back to help them get over their butts.

    Do it in degrees, because if you throw it all at him at once your horse won't have the strength to be correct and will get sore. He has to build himself carrying muscles.

    Leaning on your hands is not about his conformation--takes two to pull. Let go. Drop him and do some transitions off your seat and leg, some square turns, and work hard at not setting your hands, elbows, shoulders, or bracing in your back. You have to be the first one to go soft for him to follow you. If you feel him coming down into your hands, you have to change it up to help him rebalance and not hold him too much into it--he has to find his own way to carry.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 26, 2005
    Posts
    546

    Default

    I found hill work, transitions; both forward and back within the gait as well as between gaits, and jumping helped my quarter pony learn to use her hind end better.



Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 8
    Last Post: Apr. 4, 2011, 10:19 PM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: Jul. 29, 2010, 06:24 PM
  3. Replies: 654
    Last Post: Jul. 3, 2006, 04:58 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness