On the forehand - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-04-2011, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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On the forehand

I was looking to find out some things I know it's bad but I don't exactly know how to tell. I was told if their striding was the same length on front and back they weren't on their forehand?
Here are some pictures can you please me if she's on her forehand, how heavily on her forehand she is and how you can tell. Thank you!!

She's only 3yrs old and was started about 9 months ago but hasn't gotten much as far as consistent riding since summer.

puppy paws

and these are form summer last year, she had only been under saddle for about 3 months here

since she hasn't been getting worked we seem to have lost a lot of ground on her canter but she'll get better again..

we lost impulsion here right?? If she had to being with? But it definitely isn't here?

Please feel free to critique anything too We can always improve.. But she is 3 ( gonna be 4 ) and I go slooooooowww haha

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post #2 of 3 Old 03-04-2011, 08:33 PM
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They're not the best photo's to go by but yes, your mare is on the forehand. Not terribly, but she's not 'sitting' behind yet. She IS still a baby though and working in snow with your bareback, so thats excusable!! She looks much better under saddle than bareback, and is carrying more weight on her hind legs.

It is not just about their legs forming an 'M'... a horse can be running through the bridle on the forehand and overtracking by miles at the same time.
Legs CAN be a giveaway though, if the front legs are stepping further than the hind legs, then chances are the horse is on the forehand, as it is having to take bigger steps with its front legs to stop itself from falling onto its face!

Another thing to look at is the level of the horse's croup compared to it's wither. If the croup is higher than the wither, again chances are, the horse is on the forehand.
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post #3 of 3 Old 03-04-2011, 09:12 PM
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Hi Mysti,

What a cute girl you have. A very nice little horse and has tons of potential.

At this point, she is very young and I wouldn't worry a lot about the forehand or not. I mean of course you don't want to be forcing her onto it, but keep it as a slow goal that will come as a result of correct development of a young horse. There are so many other more important things to think of first.
Is you horse soft to the bit? Is she repsonsive to the leg, forward, sideways and backwards? Will she stand nice for mounting, will she wait for help if she is tangled, can she carry you in rythm and reasonable balance , is she building her underline (abdominal muscles), how is her mind growing in terms of facing scary things?
I would think about that for a year. I like best the photo of you that is the first summer shot. You legs ARE out in front of you, but you appear to have a light, forward seat that is appropriate for a newly backed horse. You don't want to be sitting down real hard on her back until she is stronger. You want to keep her thinking "forward", even if it is on the forehand, and having her keep her neck reaching forward and even sometimes downward, this is basic training level dressage.
Since you are pretty tall for this horse there seems to be a natural tendency for you to scrunch your legs up and "grip" onto her skinny abdomin. You will want to work on letting your legs go down and getting your weight to flow down into your stirrups. Even if you are forward, in the "half-seat" to help ease her back, you stil want weigth down into your stirrups. This will really make you easier for her to carry and make her encouraged to go forward energetically.
Yes puppy paws, but more important is the leg position. Might be fun for you to take a few dressage lesson on a school horse.
Really cute filly and you have potential to be a great pair.
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