Originally Posted by JustDressageIt View Post
Nope. You don't want your hands down to bring the head down. You want your hands correct from the get go.
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Because this is what happens when you have your hands low to get the head down, and this is not correct at all [my horse, not me riding]:
Note the trailing back end and severe difference in stride length between front and hind. It would get horrible marks in pretty much any discipline.
I have a really bad habit of having low hands by default, it's just what my body is determined to do, so while my horse is working better in the next photo, the rider doesn't look much different if at all, and yes I swear it's the same horse.
Not that that's so easy to believe when you compare how she's working between the two shots! Still behind the vertical here but if you look at her overall body, she's working much better. Her balance is nice and uphill - though you'll notice there is STILL some disparity between stride length in front and behind.
My horse is 3, she isn't the best horse in the world to use as an example because she's so young and so green, but you can see that there's a BIG difference in how she goes between my friend and I.
What you have with your horse right now is what is called 'false frame' by most equestrians in my area. It's going to be super hard to fix that. Once a horse learns to tuck its nose in and work behind the bit like that, it's very difficult to get it properly on the bit. But, and this is key, it CAN be fixed.
EDIT; and I thought I'd attach a pic as well. The photo that's attached here is probably the best my girl has ever worked. We get bigger flashier and more correct movement with a longer, flatter frame, but she then works downhill. Second photo attached shows that.
She's a baby... yeah. Definitely not an example of what you want to aspire to, but better than what you've got now.