The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2013
    Location
    Burlington, VT
    Posts
    53

    Default Cantering the downhill horse

    Anyone have experience? I feel the need to lift my horses front end to keep her off the forehand. But that is not helping her balance on her own and is really causing her to haul on my hands My friend said to just sit still and let your hands move the the rocking of your horses neck, steer with your legs, and let her figure out she needs to square her shoulders or she'll fall in/over. Basically just keep on cantering and she'll get it. Is this right? I just feel lost at the canter with my horse. She is just so downhill-> 2" higher in the bum. I have tried training rides with my trainer and I see her canter nicely for him but that doesn't help me ride her better. I'm used to flightly, uphill TBs.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2011
    Posts
    978

    Default

    You cannot lift up a 1000+ lb. animal with your hands. So yes, trying to lift her up with your hands is going to be futile. Uphill movement comes from the horse stepping under themselves which requires forward impulsion.

    You'll probably get some really good explanations and all sort of videos if you post this to Dressage.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2013
    Location
    Burlington, VT
    Posts
    53

    Default

    will do



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 28, 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Lots and lots of transitions. Personally, I would only do a couple of strides of canter at a time before a down transition, many, many times over.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 16, 2013
    Posts
    430

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alternate_universe View Post
    You cannot lift up a 1000+ lb. animal with your hands. So yes, trying to lift her up with your hands is going to be futile. Uphill movement comes from the horse stepping under themselves which requires forward impulsion.

    You'll probably get some really good explanations and all sort of videos if you post this to Dressage.
    Agree, rather than thinking of lifting the front try to think or shifting weight to the back and having sufficient impulsion to push forward form there.

    Easier said than done, esp on a downhill horse, but with practice and the correct technique it'll come.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2012
    Posts
    50

    Default

    I have a downhill horse and what works for us is, first have to get him bending and supple and we do that by doing transitions and collecting and extending the trot. Then at the canter we extend the canter down the long side, collect on the short side and on the short sides we do spiraling circles at a collected canter. My horse likes to slow down and just use his front end and lean and drop his inside shoulder, but with the collecting and making him go forward he learns to push from behind keeping his front end up and not be so much on the forehand. I do have to really help and train him with the inside leg and outside rein, only using the inside rein for bend and speed control. Hope that made sense. Took us a good year-year and a half to get him to do it on his own. I got him as a western pleasure reject and he had so many bad habits.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2006
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    946

    Default

    How is the trot? Are you able to do a controlled, collected sitting trot? TRANSITIONS, TRANSITIONS, TRANSITIONS. I would follow another poster's advice and only canter a few strides or one side of the ring at a time. I would move between the sitting trot, up to canter, back down to sitting trot, up to full trot, back down to sitting, back up to canter. When you feel you have a nice controlled sitting trot, ask for the canter. Don't throw your reins away or tip your upper body, focus on staying perfectly still so your horse stays engaged and doesn't stick its head up in the air and hollow its back. Don't spend a long time cantering, if you get a few nice strides out of it move back down to the trot or give your horse a breather. If done correctly, this will be hard work! Remember, perfect practice makes perfect... meaning don't canter endlessly just get a couple of good steps at a time and work up from there.
    Admitted breechaholic and bargain hunter.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 25, 2007
    Posts
    1,317

    Default

    Ditto on transitions...walk canter, canter walk, canter halt, back four steps then right into canter. Backing up then cantering is a great way to help the horse get their hind end engaged. The backing should be calm and quiet. ( Not that kind of backing some people do to "punish" their horse for being too forward...yikes makes me cringe).



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 3, 2012
    Location
    Among the mosquitos and horse flies
    Posts
    273

    Default

    I used to have a horse w/ the same problem, conformationally he was just built downhill. I started every ride by doing sitting trot to walk transitions and would work up to posting trot to walk transitions. When you come down to the walk, you should be able to feel the horse lift up in the front and become lighter. If you ask for the walk and don't get a soft feel in the reins, back up 2 steps. Sitting trot again for a few steps, ask for a walk. Still heavy? back up 2 steps. Continue this until you get a softening response. Then move up to posting trot, same thing. This gets the horse responsive and off your hand. Working in circles w/ the transitions will also help loosen up the rest of the body.

    I don't recommend starting the work from the canter b/c that is the most difficult gait for balance and correction. By starting at a sitting trot, you can work on your own position and hands easier and the momentum is slower to help your horse build up to the softness.

    Eventually you can work on a canter to trot transition, and then canter to walk.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2011
    Posts
    978

    Default

    Also, you said your trainer seems to be able to get him going correctly. Why not just ask him/her what they're doing?



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2012
    Location
    NOVA
    Posts
    1,406

    Default

    Downhill or uphill you want transitions for balance. Young horses will always let you hold them up if you offer. Don't! Light contact. Canter. Halt. Reinback. Canter. Repeat.
    You don't scare me. I ride a MARE!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 8, 2013
    Location
    Ca
    Posts
    40

    Default

    You and Rissa515 are describing my mare. I find he can start more uphill then flattens out. My trainer has us do the extend down long/ collect on short side exercise which helps a lot. Also lots of circles if you can keep your weight back, I tend to get dragged forward then nothing works til I get my weight back so she can shift her self off the forehand. Good luck, I'm enjoying the responses too.



Similar Threads

  1. Downhill horse...can he still catch up?
    By Pancakes in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: May. 22, 2013, 11:56 AM
  2. Horse doesn't like going downhill
    By SharonA in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: Dec. 20, 2012, 08:20 PM
  3. Downhill/Forehandy horse- help?
    By Gnomeland in forum Off Course
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Jun. 22, 2011, 10:20 AM
  4. Talk about a downhill horse!
    By dmalbone in forum Off Course
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: May. 17, 2010, 02:00 PM
  5. My horse wont go downhill!
    By ThatGirlTina in forum Endurance and Trail Riding
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: May. 4, 2010, 01:25 PM

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