On The Forehand
   

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On The Forehand

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    02-06-2013, 12:30 AM
  #1
Foal
Question On The Forehand

Hello!
I need a bit of help. The horse I am currently leasing is extremely lazy, and so far on the forehand that I'm afraid he's going to trip over himself. He is completely dead to my leg, so I tried to school him with a crop. All I did was completely desensitize him to my crop, and my leg. I have no idea what I did wrong. He is constantly pulling me over his shoulders, and he is so light in his hindquarters that he sort of pops up his butt when he canters. Its awful, and his shoulders are obviously more developed that his back end! He used to be an A circuit hunter, and is a huge warmblood, but seems to have forgotten all of his training. He has never done dressage, and knows nothing of collecting etc. I have a theory that he is bored and therefore not trying, because he is much more active on trail and perks up when we are jumping over 2'3, or oxers. I would think about using a bit that could lift his head up, or some spurs, but that would not be fair as I am not very steady on him because of his bouncy, uneven gaits. I really need help getting him to wake up and carry himself, without having to buy equipment etc. because I do not own him. I am currently riding him in a french link snaffle. He is sensitive to his mouth and will stop with the lightest pressure, but keeps his head practically below his withers!!! He is perfectly sound, though he is a bit underweight. He has been gaining though since I started leasing him, and is doing much better. But I just can't get him to listen to me and wake up! Transitions don't help, circles make it worse, and he is awful to lunge (Kicking out, bucking, wrong back legs in leads, ignores my cues). Any ideas?

Thank you to anyone who read this! I know it was a pretty thick block of text...
     
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    02-06-2013, 12:43 AM
  #2
Weanling
You will find lots of posts on this forum about exercising to bring a horse off of his forehand, so that's where I'd start!

I truly think that his uneven, bouncy gaits will quickly even out as soon as you get him working off of his hind end even the littlest bit more, so I wouldn't rule out spurs yet. Also, make sure that when you are trying to lift his head (and his fore), you are lifting your hands-- not pulling them back. Lastly, I might try switching to a dressage whip so you can really get back at his hind end.

I'm no dressage rider, but this is what came to mind! I'd wait and see what more experienced forum readers have to say. :)
     
    02-06-2013, 12:46 AM
  #3
Weanling
I also wanted to say... not lunging properly would be a huge red flag for me! And I'd go straight back to basics of groundwork and respect. You might have to open that line of communication and get him listening to you before he will be receptive to your "wake up" cues on his back.
katdressagegirl likes this.
     
    02-08-2013, 12:34 PM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by zigzagz    
Hello!
I need a bit of help. The horse I am currently leasing is extremely lazy, and so far on the forehand that I'm afraid he's going to trip over himself. He is completely dead to my leg, so I tried to school him with a crop. All I did was completely desensitize him to my crop, and my leg. I have no idea what I did wrong. He is constantly pulling me over his shoulders, and he is so light in his hindquarters that he sort of pops up his butt when he canters. Its awful, and his shoulders are obviously more developed that his back end! He used to be an A circuit hunter, and is a huge warmblood, but seems to have forgotten all of his training. He has never done dressage, and knows nothing of collecting etc. I have a theory that he is bored and therefore not trying, because he is much more active on trail and perks up when we are jumping over 2'3, or oxers. I would think about using a bit that could lift his head up, or some spurs, but that would not be fair as I am not very steady on him because of his bouncy, uneven gaits. I really need help getting him to wake up and carry himself, without having to buy equipment etc. because I do not own him. I am currently riding him in a french link snaffle. He is sensitive to his mouth and will stop with the lightest pressure, but keeps his head practically below his withers!!! He is perfectly sound, though he is a bit underweight. He has been gaining though since I started leasing him, and is doing much better. But I just can't get him to listen to me and wake up! Transitions don't help, circles make it worse, and he is awful to lunge (Kicking out, bucking, wrong back legs in leads, ignores my cues). Any ideas?

Thank you to anyone who read this! I know it was a pretty thick block of text...
First thing any one should do is get your horse checked out physically and check tack. Since he refuses to put weight on his hind end, hocks and stifle issues would be my first guess.

However, I'm just going to assume you have already checked this out.

So hmm. When I read this, I noticed particularly that he is unresponsive to your leg/crop aids. If it was me riding a horse like that...the first thing I would do is get him to respect me. You don't have to go all crazy and beat the crap out of him or anything but you do need him to him off of your leg.

I know you said transitions don't help, but transitions are one of the best ways to get a horse more on their hind end. I like that you said you don't trust yourself with stronger equipment, but perhaps spurs might be a consideration.

I always have a system when I'm asking for more trot, more canter, bigger, faster etc. First I squeeze with my calf, then a bigger squeeze, then a little bit of heel, then a smack of the whip. Each aid is made bigger the longer he takes to respond. I want my horse to be "yes maam" when I ask for an aid. I don't have all day for them to go "ookkkkk when I feel like it I guess.."


When you ride him, have more of a demanding attitude, less of an asking attitude. "Do it or else!" should be your motto, at least until he understands that being lazy just isn't an option. Don't be afraid to get after him. Make him afraid (not really its an expression xD) of not being prompt. Doing trot-half-trot transitions are excellent. Don't worry about a single thing except how well he responds to you...don't worry about his head, his neck, anything. Just get him forward!

Don't give up until he is alert and ready to go at a second's notice. It might not be an immediate change but over the course of a week hopefully you might be able to get him into a better attitude.

Just through this, this will lighten his forehand quite a bit. That will lessen your other issues as well

Also you are probably right about him being bored. Keep on doing what you are doing..doing some jumping, taking him out on the trails. Take him out galloping, if you are comfortable with that.

Also make sure you aren't holding him back in your seat or reins.

Good luck and I hope this helps a wee bit.
     
    02-08-2013, 10:34 PM
  #5
Foal
Sounds to me like you have a very bored pony on your hands ;) set up different combinations of trot poles, cavaletti, bending lines, anything to make him pick his feet up and pay attention to where he's going. You can make canter poles and gymnastics as well - bounces, one-strides, etc. even with only ground poles they will help keep his attention.

to get him off his forehand, you want to make sure the impulsion is coming from his back end. To do this, try backing him up a few steps or doing a turn on the haunches (if he doesn't know how, they aren't too hard to teach) before picking up a trot. You can also pick your hands up to lift his head a few inches - this combined with the increased impulsion from the back end will help him get lighter on the forehand.

I would also recommend that you use a mild pair of spurs if you're comfortable with them, just to wake him up a bit.

Hope it helps and good luck with him :]
Audacious14 likes this.
     

Tags
lethargic, on the forehand, unresponsive, very lazy

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