"behind" the leg/bit - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 15 Old 11-21-2011, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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"behind" the leg/bit

I've heard this phrase before as wel as a horse being "in front" of the leg/bit and was wondering what it means as I am completely clueless and only a beginnerish rider. Thanks guys. :)
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-21-2011, 03:57 PM
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Behind your leg is too slow, in front of your leg is the speed your horse should be traveling.
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post #3 of 15 Old 11-21-2011, 04:17 PM
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Behind the bit is a horse in "improper frame". Also known as rollkur, behind the verticle and hyper flexion.

Behind the bit:
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post #4 of 15 Old 11-21-2011, 04:23 PM
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Behind the leg or bit both have relatively little to do with the position or speed of the horse.
The picture posted above shows a horse extremely behind the vertical and the previous description is one of rhythm. A horse who is infront of the leg gives the feeling to the rider that they are willing to go forward and are often anticipatory of the aids, but not in a tense way. A horse who is on the bit is willingly taking a contact and softly accepting any supplying aids while allowing the rider to ride to the hands.
A horse who is behind the leg is often also behind the bit, but the opposite is not true. Both of these must be present for a horse to be collected. Both of these can exist regardless of a horses speed or neck position. A horse can theoretically piaffe with his chin on his chest and still be infront of the leg and on the bit.
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Last edited by ~*~anebel~*~; 11-21-2011 at 04:30 PM.
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post #5 of 15 Old 11-21-2011, 04:34 PM
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A horse can be behind the leg without being behind the bit, though.
Behind the leg means that when you put the leg on, the horse's energy does not move forward, but almost sucks backward, such that though it moves forward, there is a feeling of "dragging" and resistance. Even more resistance, the more leg you put on .
A horse that is in front of the leg will kind of "surge" forward when you put a light leg on. It feels like the horse moves briskly forward and in the best of cases, it will "lift" in front the way a speedboat lifts when it accelerates suddenly. Ahorse behind the leg will move more but it's as if it is accelerating with the hand brake on, kind of diving heavily downward and making your work harder and harder fore whatever forward movement you get, and you may even feel "resentment" eminating from the horse's mind.
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post #6 of 15 Old 11-21-2011, 04:39 PM
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"Behind the vertical" has to do with the horse's headset. It's frequently associated with false collection or evading the bit. Certainly not something desirable.



"Behind the bit," though, to me, means that the horse's momentum (there's an ambiguous quality) is trailing behind the rider's aids. Either the horse is deliberately lagging out of bad training, fear, or stubborness, or the person is over-riding. It's kind of one of those things that you just know when you see.

For example, this horse is behind the vertical, but he's also behind the bit, as evidenced by his avoidance of rein contact:

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post #7 of 15 Old 11-21-2011, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
A horse can be behind the leg without being behind the bit, though.
No.
Contact comes from the hind end being engaged (among other things but this is the biggest factor). If the horse is behind the leg, he is definitely not engaged and so any kind of contact he is giving will be pulling or leaning, meaning he is not on the bit and likely any suppling aid would result in the horse falling behind the bit, truly.
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post #8 of 15 Old 11-21-2011, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba13 View Post



"Behind the bit," though, to me, means that the horse's momentum (there's an ambiguous quality) is trailing behind the rider's aids.

Not necessarily true.
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post #9 of 15 Old 11-21-2011, 08:17 PM
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My own take on it is, if a horse is truly in front of your leg, he is ready to step into whatever gait you wish, or transition within a gait at any time.

Behind to bit would be simply not reaching forward into it. Behind the bit can be caused by a variety of things, but the end result is a horse not "stepping into the bridle" as I've learned it.

The two things do happen together. A horse that is in front of your leg is ready at a moment's notice to be half halted and sent forward into the bridle, hence, on the bit.

That's all I've got to say about that.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-21-2011, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ View Post
No.
Contact comes from the hind end being engaged (among other things but this is the biggest factor). If the horse is behind the leg, he is definitely not engaged and so any kind of contact he is giving will be pulling or leaning, meaning he is not on the bit and likely any suppling aid would result in the horse falling behind the bit, truly.
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I envisioned a horse perhaps , head up and above the bit, or just on a relatively loose rein, thus not behind the bit or leaning on.
Not ON the bit, but not behind it either. I always think of behind the bit as coming falsely off the contact, over bending behind the vertical perhaps . Maybe I need to widen that definition.
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