How can you tell when your horse is on the forehand?

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How can you tell when your horse is on the forehand?

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  • How to know if a horse is on the forehand
  • Definition of on the forehand horse

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  • 1 Post By Eolith

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    12-18-2012, 08:01 PM
How can you tell when your horse is on the forehand?

Any help would be much appreciated :)
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    12-18-2012, 09:41 PM
Originally Posted by BustertheBay    
Any help would be much appreciated :)
Elana! Where are you?! Haha. :)

I've had a hard time spotting horses on the forehand and Elana's explanations/pictures/recommended reading helped me a lot. I don't know a whole lot about explaining it so I'll let everyone else take a crack before I try to figure out my own definition of it. But briefly, a horse on the forehand isn't driving from their hindquarters; a well-collected horse will raise his back and get his hindquarters under him so that the coupling/croup appears "up" and rounded, whereas a horse who is on the forehand will appear arched/concave at the coupling/croup. Another easy way to tell is on his back-- a horse who is on the forehand will not feel as smooth as a horse who is driving form his hindquarters.

Here's an article that helped me a lot (from Elana) in understanding how horses get off the forehand and "collect" using their ring of muscles.

Aaand that's all I got. Did I do good?
    12-18-2012, 10:05 PM
I also can't give you a very detailed description... but when my horse is on her forehand, she usually feels heavy in my hands and it feels like she's practically "diving" into the ground. Her gaits are jarring and usually somewhat out of control, sort of careening around.

When she is engaged and using her hindquarters, she's very light in the reins and her gaits feel heavenly smooth and completely controlled.
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