Uphill!Use of back, loin development...pix before, 8 days later
Two unrelated horses, similar build: UP! Pelvis is lower than withers. Up hill stifle to point of elbow. The bigger one came home thin, stiff, and lacking muscle over topline (especially loin). The smaller one was started last fall, had winter off, and is going under saddle again. Smaller younger one has better loin development than older trained one. Smaller one stretches over back in long lines and is learning to seek contact under saddle. Bigger young one does not stretch in long lines (never has - so up!), but I have found recently that he will follow my hand and giving forward under saddle and will stretch into the contact - he is just so darn up! I believe that because the bigger one was allowed to carry himself so up, nose poking way in front of vertical and strung out, the loin development he had before he went to college diminished a bit (a lot to me). The rider of the smaller one with the better loin said he was "stuck in his shoulders", which I attribute to being so darn up hill, having a muscular neck, and being so up headed.
These are not my first really uphill horses, so I am familiar with the idea getting these up hill guys to try to seek contact, forward down out so backs can come up, and work over their backs, back to front. The bigger horse of the two is the bigger of the two challenges, as he just never really seeks down and out so his back can come up.
I would really like for him to lower his head and allow his back to come up and be free, but he just doesn't. Or barely does.
Looking for new ideas and curious how others with super uphill horses address this challenge, and especially for the bigger horse.
Last edited by Dutch Lovin' Dressage Rider; Aug. 8, 2012 at 10:36 AM.
I would ride the big one shorter in the frame, but still round and down, until he likes it better and than try and stretch from there. If he doesnt come than trying adding bending inside at the same time. Some horses, mainly with Jazz lines dont always stretch out from the start since they just dont love it, they simply want to stay up. If you ride them round and down for some time first, untill they get more at ease with it and than stretch forward-downward from there they often come. They just need more encouragement to do so.
The most basic concept here to understand is that horses function on two planes - lateral and longitudinal. You access one thru the other. So the more longitudinally up a horse is naturally, the more you need to bend them laterally. Hope that helps, not just for this, but in the big scheme of things
"Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
--- The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.
Thanks for the advice. I just want the big ones old topline back asap. Has only been back 2 weeks but has gained a lot of weight and muscle. Is not resistant to contact. Is supple in jaw. In first ride went from longitudinally and laterally stiff and crooked 2x4 piece of wood, to remembering bending, spirals, leg yield, shoulder in, walk pirouette with proper bend, like he was before.
Horse came in on April 12. After 5 days of food, I took the first 3 pics April 16, and then again April 23, after 8 more days of food. What a difference some food makes! And riding so horse uses body. It's just amazing when you couple those two ingredients together. Who'd a thunk it? Not the best quality photo of the 8 days later shot, but you get the picture.
Last edited by Dutch Lovin' Dressage Rider; Apr. 30, 2012 at 03:42 PM.