^ easy, I take my lower legs totally off and offer no form of communication, with my leg, and because I don't use hand with a drape like that in the rein, I've lost another form of communication. And notice MY posture has changed as well...my upper body is collapsed which then affects my seat...the last form of communication. In other words, I have become merely a passenger and not the driver.
still, I would say, GotaDunQH, fro my amateur position, he doesn§t look toally on the forehand :) Maybe it is due to the correct training methods...
No he's not totally on the forehand, he never really does travel on the forehand because he's so well trained and can carry himself well. But he still needs my help to keep him maintained. BUT he will flatten out, like in the second pic, yet still keep himself elevated in the front. I want the whole package; drive with the hock, a lifted back and soft in the front.
In this still, (the best picture I have as an example), Lizzy is really reaching under herself with her back leg and I think she is using her butt.
And here, Squiggy is NOT using herself like she can. She isn't reaching under herself with her back legs much and isn't using her butt to drive herself like she can (I mean, look at that butt! She CAN use it!)
What does it mean to have your horse "use his hocks well"? Does it feel any different when you're riding?
Using hocks well, means drive with the hock, stepping under, and the hocks don't trail out behind the point of buttock. For a WP horse, good use of hock will be different than say....an HUS or Dressage horse, because at the jog on a WP horse, they don't step under as deep as a horse would in an extended trot. That DOES NOT mean the horse is not jogging with goood use of hock. But good use of hock goes hand-in-hand with a horse using it's back well. And yes, you can feel it in your seat. When my horse is driving with the hock and lifted in his back, I feel his back rise up to meet my seat....and it almost pushes me OUT of the seat...but you learn to sit to it. I have no clue if that makes any sense....hard to explain the "feel".