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This is a discussion on Vertical? within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    03-07-2008, 07:44 PM

I feel pretty stupid, but, can anyone describe what the "vertical" is. And what makes a horse behind or on or ahead of the vertical?
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    03-07-2008, 08:25 PM
A horse on the verical has the line of its nose perpendicular to the ground; if you were to draw a line down the horse's nose to the ground, the lines should make a 90 degree angle:

On the vertical:

In front of the vertical:

Obviously not a good picture, but it outlines my point.

Notice my green lines
    03-07-2008, 08:27 PM
Oh, that makes sense. Thanks.
    03-07-2008, 08:27 PM
Does it only apply to certain disciplines? Like HUS?
    03-07-2008, 08:30 PM
No, most disciplines want your horse to be in a frame, and to be in a correct frame, you horse must be on the vertical.
Of course there are exceptions to this rule, but this is the general standard.
    03-07-2008, 08:35 PM
Are there certain disciplines it doesn't apply to?
    03-07-2008, 08:45 PM
Wherever the horse isn't being judged on their appearance, I.e. Barrel racing, showjumping... etc. or where there's a different standard of a "good" headset, like in saddleseat they tend to have their noses up in the air... as well as some breed shows.
Having said that, being on the vertical isn't just about looking pretty, it's also functional. Once a horse has a proper frame, that includes being on the vertical, but also a number of other things, it means they are round through their back therefore working through themselves.
    03-07-2008, 08:47 PM
Oh, I thank you sweetly.
    03-07-2008, 09:57 PM
The horse I used to ride, Woollii, would Always have his pretty head on the vertical, and tuck his head when you cantered him, in like you see Dressage horses do when they canter. I miss him...

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