my horse is very heavy on his forehands - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-07-2010, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Ontario
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my horse is very heavy on his forehands

Hi everyone wasn't shure were to post this but cause im training my horse for eventing hoping you guys can help!

So my horse is very heavy on his forehands i've been worcking alot with him at the trot and his really coming along. It's just the canter his really having a hard time with. So i'm hoping you guys could give me some tips :)
Thank you
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-08-2010, 07:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Make sure you're sitting up tall and really engaging YOUR core muscles and back muscles.

When I have to work a horse that likes to get on the forehand I love having them go over poles and small cavalettis. Make sure your horse is good with them at the trot, and then canter over one at a time for a while. When he's comfortable with just one you can start adding more. Be aware of how big his stride is and be sure to space them according. Don't make them "jump sized" either or he'll end up jumping them! You just want him to take a step over them, but since they'll be slightly higher off the ground he'll have to lift up his front end to get over them properly.

He probably lacks the back muscles to hold himself up, so do some hill work and trot sets to help him build up the proper muscle. I can't stress enough though, make sure YOU are in the correct position. If you lean forward even a little you'll be encouraging him to fall onto the forehand.

"Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then, always be a unicorn."
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post #3 of 6 Old 12-08-2010, 07:07 PM
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My mare has been having the exact same problem as your horse. She used to be very heavy on her forehand throughout all her gaits. Now it's just the canter. I'm not sure if your an experienced rider or not......(I have a lot of riding under my belt, but I've only been riding for a couple I'm really not experienced, lol) this is comming from a rider in training!
I asked my instructor the other day why my mare was heavy on her forehand in the canter and she said it was because of my weak legs.(Which is true!) She also said that I'm still developing my leg. Anyways, my advice is to keep your leg on! You want to wrap your legs around him and almost have the feeling like your lifting hime up. Half-halts help bring the horse back under himself as well.
I also got in the bad habit of dropping my hands below the withers and my mare took advantage of that. SHe used me as her support by leaning on the bit which led to her being heavy on her forehand. That also made me lean forward and loose my seat and leg. Keep your hands above, but not too high above, the withers.

I Ride. I Win. I kick butt, like a girl! So get over it!
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post #4 of 6 Old 12-09-2010, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Ontario
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Okai thank you so much I really appreciat it !!!! I'll really worck on everything you guys said :) Certainly my position and to keep my legs on him !

Our Hoofbeats were many, but are Hearts beat as One.
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post #5 of 6 Old 12-09-2010, 08:23 PM
Green Broke
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Half halts and sitting DEEP and straight have done my mare wonders...
good luck


I was a dreamer
Before you went and let me down.
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post #6 of 6 Old 12-10-2010, 02:09 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Bunbury, Western Australia
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my horse was always hollow in the back and drags is feet. i got dressage lessons and worked on lateral exercises to supple him up. it took a few months but it worked. ozzie was now on his quarters and on the bit, that is what you need to do to get your horse off his forehand, you need to engage his quarters.
i did this with alot of 10m circles, 10m tear drops (do a half 10m circle then head back onto the track of the arena so you're going in the opposite direction), rein backs, walking pirouettes, and school figures like, in the arena place 2 cones on either side of the centre line, so you ride down the centre line then turn left or right and go back to the start and go the other direction, serpintines.
these exercises will get your horse using his back and his quarters so he's lighter on the front, he will become softer, in frame and so he will be off his forehand

Elly ::: Diam ::: Ozzie
~~~Introducing Barney~~~
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