• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Looking for ideas on a downhill hunter?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Looking for ideas on a downhill hunter?

    So, my 4 y.o. is about an inch butt high and I'm not convinced that his front end will ever catch up. Any helpful hints/suggestions/bits/equipment for helping him to transfer more weight to his hind end and elevate the forehand?

  • #2
    There is no shortcut that will really work more than proper flatwork. And whatever you do, stay away from draw-reins! That will just make the situation worse.

    Make sure he understands what engaging the hind, lifting the back, and impulsion are. Get him to understand how to move off your leg: both forward and sideways. Teach him to lengthen and shorten his stride while still pushing from behind by incorporating poles on the ground. Do lots of transitions to teach him to pick himself up and back. Etc.

    I have ridden several downhill hunters, and when they knew how to work properly on the flat, they were able to transition to doing it o/f.

    It is just flatwork, flatwork, and more flatwork.

    But don't be too worried, I have had downhill horses suddenly level out at 6 years old. It's always a possibility!
    Cherry Blossom Farm - Show & Field Hunters, Side Saddles


    • #3
      I rode a pony for a while who was built downhill; when I sat on him, I actually felt tipped forward until I got used to him. What was really important with him was to make sure that I kept my weight back so that he was able to really be off his forehand. It was tough to get used to it, but it reflected in his movement and jump when I did not get my weight back enough. I also did a lot of work in a frame with him and got his hind end really strong (I like hill work for that, but I never did that on this particular pony).

      In keeping your weight back, you can still be up off the back though... I didn't sit the canter on him, but you can see in my videos of him that I was pretty careful not to get ahead of him. I kept him up and light with a lot of leg.

      I feel like I'm not explaining myself very well, but here's a video that shows the way the pony went with me that worked best. You can see that while he still looks huntery, he doesn't have the nose-pointed look that some horses do. It worked best for him though; he jumped a 10 if I had him off his front end.


      Good luck!
      Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!


      • #4
        Much as I hate the terms, the downhill ones need to be "framed" or "packaged"-they need alot of help to stay ahead of your leg and coming from behind. Left alone, they end up on their noses.

        Not a ton of equipment out there that is going to change much but you probably will find something that adds lift is going to make it easier for you after you get him broke and going. But most you can't show a Hunter in...and I think you'll like him in a pelham for showing.

        They also take a ton of leg. Your whole goal here is to get him to accept ALL the aids because you will need them. So highly recommend going the Dressage route with your flatwork, the more precise you can get him, the better he will be able to carry himself when you add the fences. Go slow too. Don't rush him.

        One word of warning-hocks. It is harder on the downhill ones to rock back and push off, keep an eye on that and, again, go slow building his balance and strength on the flat.
        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


        • Original Poster

          Findeight...end up on his nose...be both did the other day. I like the mindset of going the dressage route for now. Yes, he does take a ton of leg and at the same time is dull to the leg. We have been working on more responsiveness off of the leg and that has been improving until he had a "greenie" moment and set me on my a@@ instead of him


          • #6
            Dawn...really, having had a couple of these, you need spurs and will love the Dressage whip in fixing that dead to the leg.

            They aren't really dead either, it is just harder for them to arrange themselves properly. Not like working with the more athletic, level or uphill ones at all where you can be subtle. It's ALOT more work for the rider when you have to create the engine and everthing has to start with keeping them ahead of your leg and engaged behind. Get you legs of iron though.

            He will get easier as he develops strength and balance. Is there somebody you can work with on that flatwork??? Always helps to have a set of eyes on the ground-helps you to stay motivated and do things correctly, also helps in not overdoing it.

            I know you realize some of these are a tough ride over fences, the more you can accomplish before you go there, the better on one like this.
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


            • #7
              What's his breeding? He may still level out.


              • Original Poster

                appendix QH...TB sire/ QH dam...


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dapple Dawn Farm View Post
                  appendix QH...TB sire/ QH dam...
                  Not going to say no chance with that but most of the Qhs are done at age 4. not impossible but unlikely.
                  Specifically what is his breeding? Who were sire and dam???? Any info on them?
                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                  • #10
                    Correct flatwork and a hill! Hike his butt up and down the hill several times a week until its strong enough to hold the rest of him. Lounging him over raised cavaletti (when he's ready) won't hurt either.


                    • Original Poster

                      I agree Findeight...hence the post for help with exercises. This will most likely be a long term issue but I love his mind and that makes up for a lot in my book!
                      Sire, Canadian Sport Horse TB Half Moon Romance
                      Dam QH Triple Deduction


                      • #12
                        A Fine Romance involved with the sire there? Dams side sounds like it's back to Three Bars TB but filtered thru 50 years of selecting for heavy muscle and early maturation-they can be downhill and he is probably done growing. But you can work with it as many others do with some pretty successful horses.

                        Try a series of trot poles, maybe 4' apart, roll them in if he reaches. He should have to collect and carry himslef so a little shorter is better. Start out with just 2 of them so he does not break into the canter in the middle or try to jump the whole thing. Add a pole every few days until you get 4 or 5. If he is not careful or steps on them, use flower boxes or even real low crossrails. You are trying to get him to use his hocks and keep the front end up all by himself and develop the strength and balance to do so.

                        I like alot of down transitions, particularly canter to trot. Pick a spot and ask for precise transitions, go from any gait to any other gait at a spot of YOUR choosing. Not a stride early or 2 strides late. Right there. Include the walk, halt and collection/extension of each gait. That gives you 9 gaits plus the halt to go back and forth with and ought to keep you very, very busy for a good long time.

                        Contrary to popular belief, backing up is not going to do much or build any real strength/balance. You will do better coming forward.

                        And, yeah, getting out of the ring, working on rough ground or on hills is good for ALL of them, downhill, uphill or level.

                        Any equipment opr gimmick is just going to let you hold the front up...in fact will force it up. As opposed to developing everything from behind. Turn into a crutch too if you aren't careful...end up about married to an elevator or 3 ring curb if you aren't careful to build that foundation first.

                        Go slow and build and you can avoid the typical downhill syndrom of loving the long spot so they don't have to rock back and landing on their noses-which is hell in an in and out.

                        ETA< placement poles are going to be your best friend when you jump anything. He has to take that step to the base and not learn to leave long. Probably 4 to 6 feet out at trot fences...I know 9' at a canter fence is considered "correct" but I bet a bit closer is going to work better for you at a slower canter over lower fences. Another example of needing a good ground person.
                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                        • Original Poster

                          A Fine Romance is a lovely horse but sadly, no immediate relationship.


                          • #14
                            I strongly agree with all the posts emphasizing flatwork to teach her to bring up her withers and use her bum. One thing to add though. I used to ride a QH-X pony who had the unfortunate conformation of long back, short neck, and butt several inches higher than his flat withers. I found that all my tack tended to sit so low in front and high in back, that it further tipped me on to his withers, making it even harder for him to lighten his forehand. I found that when I 'leveled' my saddle, it was a lot easier to keep both of us balanced. For schooling, I used a navajo or square pad, folded in half and just layed it over his withers on top of my normal schooling pad. It was enough to raise the front of the saddle a few inches to match where his butt was putting the cantle. While working your mare with all the great exercises already posted, check the fit of your tack, and make sure your saddle is putting you where you're best balanced to help her, not make it harder.
                            A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...



                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dapple Dawn Farm View Post
                              So, my 4 y.o. is about an inch butt high and I'm not convinced that his front end will ever catch up. Any helpful hints/suggestions/bits/equipment for helping him to transfer more weight to his hind end and elevate the forehand?
                              Proper flatwork. Try dressage.

                              Bits and equipment should not be what is relied upon to teach ANY horse to shift it's weight back. You ride the horse back to front.

                              101 Dressage Exercises and Progressive Schooling Exercises for Dressage & Jumping (Islay Auty) are great books ime.

                              He is only 4 though, so right now you should be developing PUSHING power as opposed to CARRYING power. Conditioning, strengthening. After say 2 years (optimally, as per the old ways of doing it) of foundational training where the horse has developed sufficient pushing power, THEN you can start developing that into carrying power via lateral work, progressive exercises such as in the aforementioned books, etc. You can work a little on that now, but your primary goal at this point should be developing that pushing power to start. Trail rides, going over SMALL jumps, riding forward in rhythm on large circles and on trails/canter with a light seat.
                              ....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.


                              • #16
                                In addition to above exercises, anyone have experiences or suggestions on how hind feet should be trimmed or shod?


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by kelsey97 View Post
                                  In addition to above exercises, anyone have experiences or suggestions on how hind feet should be trimmed or shod?
                                  As his conformation dictates is best. Other then being done with a proper trim by a knowledgable farrier, nothing is really going to effect the fact he is downhill. Oh, some say shoes, some no shoes and some will go back with the toe trim a little to help the foot break over. Just don't fall for an "I can fix that". Nope they can't.
                                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.