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Building the top line

This is a discussion on Building the top line within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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        04-17-2014, 03:13 PM
      #11
    Trained
    To add some ideas, I (living in the middle of nowhere with one car a day maybe going past) lunge my youngsters and ones not being ridden, by standing on the (dirt road) and lunging them in and out of the ditch, or by standing on a slope and working them quietly.

    Walking or trotting over ground poles, getting them to look and lift themselves over is good.

    Lastly walking in hand, and then backing up, making sure that they actually round up into the reverse really helps.
         
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        04-18-2014, 02:29 PM
      #12
    Foal
    My horse had back surgery recently, so I have had to build up his topline from the ground. Long lining and lunging in the Pessoa system have been very effective.
         
        04-18-2014, 04:54 PM
      #13
    Weanling
    Forward/down/out/'chewing the reins from the hand is a TEST that the horse has been ridden properly up/open/connected to the hand. (Whereas hacking out on a loose rein has no connection).

    When work in hand (i.e. Lungeing/driving) is done the horse should still be up/open/taking hh. Only w/o s.r. Etc can the horse lengthen and open and use the entire top line.

    Side reins used improperly just cause a closed posture in a lower position. Pessoas create a l/r action on the mouth (because the movement of the hind legs affects the bars of the mouth in a closed posture). Imho that is a false low and not longer because the horse is not allowed to open (the throat latch). But many h/j riders use it a lot.
    ~*~anebel~*~ likes this.
         
        04-18-2014, 06:23 PM
      #14
    Trained
    Simple, correct work will simply build correct muscles. There is no way to fake it. There are no shortcuts.
         
        04-18-2014, 07:42 PM
      #15
    Trained
    Long and low in its true sense requires a great deal of balance and strength to be established in order to maintain that working 'frame'. You are asking the horse to keep its hind legs active and engaged, lift and swing over the back, remain light through the forehand while the head and neck is being carried low. As equitate said, it is a great way to test the quality of the work.

    Unfortunately, most people will just drop the reins and when the horse lowers its head they cheer and call it long and low. Sure it is good for a horse to learn to stretch but this doesn't build topline and if anything, causes tension in the back and haunches.
    A young horse can hold a few steps in this position with a good rider but will quickly fall on the forehand when the hind legs lose the strength to carry.
    It is a very difficult position for a horse and until it is working comfortably into contact with a neutral head/neck position, long and low is about as useless as a chocolate tea pot.

    If you're just slopping about on a loose rein for a relaxing ride then yes, great for the horse to stretch forward and down but that is not to be confused with long and low.
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        04-18-2014, 07:45 PM
      #16
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kayty    
    Long and low in its true sense requires a great deal of balance and strength to be established in order to maintain that working 'frame'. You are asking the horse to keep its hind legs active and engaged, lift and swing over the back, remain light through the forehand while the head and neck is being carried low. As equitate said, it is a great way to test the quality of the work.

    Unfortunately, most people will just drop the reins and when the horse lowers its head they cheer and call it long and low. Sure it is good for a horse to learn to stretch but this doesn't build topline and if anything, causes tension in the back and haunches.
    A young horse can hold a few steps in this position with a good rider but will quickly fall on the forehand when the hind legs lose the strength to carry.
    It is a very difficult position for a horse and until it is working comfortably into contact with a neutral head/neck position, long and low is about as useless as a chocolate tea pot.

    If you're just slopping about on a loose rein for a relaxing ride then yes, great for the horse to stretch forward and down but that is not to be confused with long and low.
    Posted via Mobile Device

    Mmmmm chocolate tea pot...

    But yes, this is all true and correct! Think of it like trying to keep a tester totter balanced - it's easier when the load is closest to the fulcrum! A long neck is a long action arm, making the teeter totter harder to balance
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