Sidepasses and Forehand Turns - Page 2

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Sidepasses and Forehand Turns

This is a discussion on Sidepasses and Forehand Turns within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Equestrian term "sidepasses"

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    06-28-2010, 05:44 PM
Can someone explain the difference between disengaging the hind quarters and engaging the hind quarters please? I've only started hearing the term disengaging the hind quarters recently and would like to understand what it means a little more.

Thanks for the help.
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    06-28-2010, 07:26 PM
Trying to get a mental image of a turn on the forehand in motion - would haunches-in be the start of such a maneuver? I have seen upper level horses ridden down the center or quarterline, switching from haunches-in left to haunches-in right and back... Sorry if I'm being dense...
No a turn on the forehand in motion is exactly that...a turn on the forehand where the horse is trotting, the front legs cross over ( as do the rear legs) and the horse will do a 360 around an object either visible or invisible. The horse is straight with no bend and it will appear to be something like a sidepass but also encompasses a turning of the horse around the front legs that describe a small circle. If there is no object for the horse to turn around this move requires the rider to have a good sense of spacial displacement and awareness of where they are.

To me this is the ultimate movement in control of both the fore quarters and hindquarters.
    06-28-2010, 07:26 PM
Originally Posted by Silvera    
Can someone explain the difference between disengaging the hind quarters and engaging the hind quarters please? I've only started hearing the term disengaging the hind quarters recently and would like to understand what it means a little more.

Thanks for the help.
I would say in a nutshell, disengaging the hind quarters means to take the energy out of the hind quarters by displacing them from the rest of the horse. If the horse isn't straight, he cannot effectively move forward.

Engaging the hind quarters would be the exact opposite, harnessing the energy of the hind quarters to create impulsion and power. This is done by keeping the horse "straight" as defined in dressage terms.
    07-08-2010, 02:33 PM
Had to grab my book for this. Phillippe Karl, past head of Cadre Noir in "Twisted Truths of Modern Dressage" - on engagement of the hindquarters and propulsive force - This theory of the shortening of the horse's frame by jointly developing the 'propulsive force of the hindquarters and their 'engagement under the horse's body' is very appealing to the mind, but it does not withstand analysis. ...It is naturally through forwards movement that the rider develops the 'propulsive force' of his horse. However, it is the extension of the hind leg which propels the mass, or in other words its disengagement. Propulsive forces do lower the haunches, but this is by extending the lumbar back and pulling the hind legs out beyond their natural plumb line (frame which lengthens), the opposite of the official theory. ... In terms of locomotion, "development of the proplusive force: and engagement of the hid legs under the body" are absolutely incompatible. This concept of the horse which shortens its base due to the engagement of the hindquarters resulting from the development of their propulsive force is one of the dogmas of modern dressage. The laws of locomotion disprove it categorically.
The official drawing in the FN Guidelines for Riding and Driving German Equestrian Fed. Showing a horse which flexes it's haunches and shortens its propulsive base energetically in trot towards the rider's hand, illustrates the obsession of a system, but in no way resembles reality.
While I didn't type a few sentences of deeper explanation, Please, Please read this book! Taken from pages 76-77. This is a fantastic read.

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