Help with getting a horse to lift his back

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Help with getting a horse to lift his back

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  • Getting a horse to lift his back

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    03-24-2012, 12:39 PM
Help with getting a horse to lift his back

My horse's chiro has suggested that I get my horse to lift his back more while undersaddle and to introduce very brief (1-2 second) periods of where he lifts up his back and holds it. The horse likes to hollow out during the warmup period and I'm trying to get him to lift up instead of hollow out.

On the ground, I know I can run something along his belly and he will lift.

Under saddle, I can use my spur to get him to lift a little, but we lose a lot of our engagement of the hind and he slows down.

Does anyone have suggestions on how I can get him to move a little more properly with lifting his back? I want to build up his back muscles. Arena or trail exercises are fine. If you have suggestions on other things to do to work up to it more, that's good too.

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    03-24-2012, 07:44 PM
Bumping up.
    03-24-2012, 08:06 PM
I am a little surprised you lose engagement as rasing the bak allows the hind end to move under the horse which should allow for better is what dressage riders strive for :).

When you get him to raise his back under saddle, what are you doing with your hands and do you keep the pressure on with your leg or do you relax? The idea is to create a wall of sorts with your hands and push the horse into the bridle using your leg. The "wall" you create with your hands keeps the horse from speeding up and forces him to lift his back and engage his hindquarters to counter.
    03-24-2012, 08:55 PM
Riding him in a nice relaxed long and low outline, riding over ground poles, riding up hills can all help to build up the correct muscles over his topline. Start with the ground poles directly on the ground and as this gets easier for him to do you can begin to raise them slightly off the ground. You can buy pole raisers especially for this. They will allow you to raise the poles in small 2 inch increments and they can stack together to make them higher. You could also try some cavaletti once he gets really good with the ground poles/raised poles. It is best to do these exercises in long and low outline, having him moving nicely forward into the bridle stretching out his topline. Riding him this way out on the trails is great as well. Carrot stretches are a good exercise for on the ground.

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