Tracking Up?

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Tracking Up?

This is a discussion on Tracking Up? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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    08-24-2009, 11:54 AM
Question Tracking Up?

Grady and I had our first show EVER as a team this weekend! We attended an mini-trial at the Pony Club near where we board and had a pretty good time. I don't know if we'll continue with eventing, but I had a lot of fun and wanted to see how Grady would do in a show enviroment.

Anyway, other than my nerves and the fact that some idiot decided to start up a tractor that backfired in the middle of my dressage test, spooking Grady off course, the notes on my score sheet said that Grady was "too lazy," and I needed to "track-up." I saw the phrase "track-up" alot. Ultimately my Impulsion scores were low stating my horse was lazy.

What does track up mean?

Does it mean, go faster? Move forward on the forehand? Less speed, larger strides? I'm not 100% sure!
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    08-24-2009, 12:03 PM
Tracking up means that the horse is using its hind end well and the hind hoof makes a mark in the sand exactly where the front hoof left off.

For example:

You can see that he is using his hind end to power into the trot, and his hind hoof will match where his front hoof touched on the ground.

You do not necessarily go faster, but rather have the horse drive more from behind. I'm guessing if the judge wrote "lazy" and "needs to track up" that the horse is very heavy on the forehand and really isn't using his butt to drive. Always always always ride back to front.

I hope that helped.
    08-24-2009, 12:58 PM
I can see exactly what you mean in that picture. And know this is what to expect from a working trot. I guess I've never heard it called that being this is my first attempt at dressage, maybe?

Before buying my own horse, I rode Hunter's and thus very forward and a bit on the forehand. How do I ask for more power from his behind? He's not in 100% shape yet, but what kind of cues can I use to engage him from behind? I don't use a crop because he's off the track and they make him a little anxious. I wear small spurs sometimes on the flat, but how do I ask in addition to these aids?
    08-24-2009, 01:10 PM
Denny (pictured above) is off the track too :)

In all honesty, getting lessons is going to be your best bet. Even twice a month it is so worth the cost for the benefit to your riding and your horse's well being. More to the point, it will help you better understand the feeling of riding the hindquarter and get instant feedback on your riding.
To get the horse to use its hindquarter you have to get it travelling lighter on the forehand. Suppleness and a good warmup are going to be your best friends. You want to feel like you're riding the horse's hind end ... again, I'm not sure how to type it out .. haha maybe after some breakfast I'll try again for you :)
    08-24-2009, 02:08 PM
Yep, I do take lessons! Just wondering if someone had some insight on it before my next one. I have been riding since I was a kid, but only hunters up until pretty much yesterday! I was just wondering if there was something I could do between lessons to work on while on my own time.
    08-24-2009, 03:12 PM
I agree with JDI. There's no certain cue or instant way to get your horse to travel lighter on the forehand and rock back to use it's hindquarters. It comes with having a knowledgeable eye on the ground and working with your horse on suppleness and impulsion. My horse and I are only just starting to fully grasp this and have some really nice moments, but even with dressage lessons once a week it'll be a while before we're consistent with it.

Good luck!
    08-24-2009, 10:30 PM
I just want to add that it's ok if the hind foot lands in front of the front footprint. Some horses can get REALLY underneath themselves, so they can reach further forward with their back ends. My mare hardly ever tracks up in the trot or canter. It's a work in progress.
    08-24-2009, 10:44 PM
Yes, that's true. It's called overtracking. Denny does it lots :)
    08-24-2009, 11:00 PM
Just curious, where do you ride at? I lived in that area :)
(Sorry to go off topic guys!)

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