Getting a horse to lift its back

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Getting a horse to lift its back

This is a discussion on Getting a horse to lift its back within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • How to get a horses to lift the back
  • Horse doing back lifts

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    12-30-2013, 04:10 PM
Getting a horse to lift its back

So I don't know a whole lot about dressage. I compete in a few events during the summer at beginner novice level, but don't know much more about dressage than that. My horse is definitely more of a jumper. Dressage is not her forte because she's got a short little stride and is nothing like those big fancy warmbloods that I drool over. However I have recently taken a great interest in teaching my horse more about dressage because of all the benefits it can provide. I am wondering how you go about teaching a horse to stretch down and lift their back. My horse only tends to stretch down after I bring her to a trot from a canter. I think it would drastically improve her way of going. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
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    12-30-2013, 05:15 PM
Have you ever tried trotting her over ground poles? I would set them up- and if the downward transition from canter to trot is what works for you- canter half a circle (with no poles), downward transition and trot over the ground poles. If she stays round through the poles- reward her. Tell her how great she did. Then repeat. The more you do it, the more she will understand that you want her to be round.
    12-30-2013, 08:06 PM
A raised and swinging back comes from active, engaged hind legs and a relaxed body. It does take a long time to develop in a horse that doesn't have a naturally good back, and you need to be a good enough rider to feel when the back is working and when it is not, and what to do when it is not.
I cannot recommend a trainer highly enough. If you genuinely want to learn some solid dressage foundations, you really need someone on the ground that knows what they're doing and what they're looking at. If it was as simple as learning by reading on the Internet everyone would be a grand Prix rider.
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