Friesian cross-the round-stretch challenge - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 08-08-2013, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Friesian cross-the round-stretch challenge

I'm wondering if my coming 5yo Friesian-Appendix QH is using her back and contacting the bit properly. 20 yrs ago I took a Trakehner up to 3rd level but haven't brought up a youngster since. I've been told it's harder to get Friesians to round and stretch. I'd be really thankful if someone would take a look at our trot work on
and let me know what you think? Unfortunately I didn't show off her trot stretch in these clips. She stretches out nicely at the trot, but only if I open and lower my hands. I'm trying to get out of that bad habit... Thank you!
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post #2 of 13 Old 08-08-2013, 10:50 AM
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First off welcome to the forum

Seeing how tense the horse is, I would go back a few steps and start off your work day with some lunge line work. Before you can ask a horse to stretch down and move forward from behind, they have to be balanced and get rhythm. I have a feeling that horse is not either. I would do some short sessions before each ride on lunge line and work on simple transitions while allowing her to move forward and relax her top line.
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post #3 of 13 Old 08-08-2013, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your advice. Longe with side reins? Otherwise she'll go around just as hollow.
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post #4 of 13 Old 08-08-2013, 03:24 PM
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What a nice lively trot---I envy you!

I wouldn't keep trotting her, though, while she's tense and braced. Makes a bad habit and could make her sore. I was wondering how she would move if you just went loopy-reined, and I saw her stretch at the walk she's wonderful!

Maybe you could ask for the trot from that stretched out walk? Let her know that's what you want, and keep asking for it. You can get more contact gradually.
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post #5 of 13 Old 08-08-2013, 08:42 PM
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At this point, she needs more leg. Until you've found her BIGGEST, most swinging trot, she isn't using her back. And until she is using her back properly and has sufficiently developed the muscles, you need to be doing 90% of your trot work posting and in the stretch. She has an absolutely gorgeous trot with a hollowed and tense back. Just imagine how she'll look when she's truly stepping under herself. You have yourself a horse with a lot of potential.

If you have an hour to spare and want to see what I mean, check out ArttoRide - YouTube. Watch as many of them as you can; you will not regret it. These videos I chose in particular because they give a great explanation of WHY you want your horse to be moving correctly. If you want videos on HOW, there are many more on his channel that you can benefit from. Enjoy!



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post #6 of 13 Old 08-09-2013, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, thanks y'all! She loves to GO and so I've never used much leg on her, but we definitely need to get the energy going in the right direction. What do you think about longing or riding in a German martingale to get her stretching more?
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-09-2013, 06:09 PM
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Make sure your arms aren't hesitating to follow your horse's movement.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-15-2013, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Working on rounding

Hi friends,
Here's an updated video clip of us - we've been working on stretching! We don't look like the videos Azarni sent yet, but I think we're going in the right direction.

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post #9 of 13 Old 08-15-2013, 07:39 PM
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Much better trot work :) She's starting to relax a lot more.

But your stretching needs more forward as the back isn't swinging underneath you.. she's just stretching her neck out.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-18-2013, 06:14 PM
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The horse looks more relaxed with less rushing about in the second video. But.. while the rhythm and relaxation has improved, the horse is still unsteady in the contact and is not coming through, from back to front, and using her back. Probably not the easiest thing in the world, however, for a horse of that breeding and build. The horse is also still young. In the land most of us inhabit, however, the horse is doing perfectly well for a five year old. If you can get your youngster feeling relaxed moving forward steadily, not rushing around like a maniac, you have something to build on.
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