Getting the horse to engage their hind-end?

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Getting the horse to engage their hind-end?

This is a discussion on Getting the horse to engage their hind-end? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    11-04-2012, 11:12 AM
Getting the horse to engage their hind-end?

I think I'm becoming addicted to watching dressage videos and "tutorials", so I'll just come here for some more ideas of what to work on with Indie. I wish there was a dressage coach closer, but there isn't. Maybe in the future though.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any ideas on what we could work on? I'd like some exercises involving transitions, getting her hind-end under her, bending.. etc. I try to include things like back ups, lateral flexions, free walking and side passes in our warm ups. I'm also starting to work on turns on the forehands/haunches as well. We've also been doing some leg yields as of lately. Most of our work is walk/trot since her right lead canter still isn't consistent so usually we just try to get a few correct leads that direction and we'll move onto something else.

So, what kind of exercises do you do with your horse to strengthen up their hind-end and get them using themselves?
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    11-04-2012, 12:55 PM
I've heard lots of half halts, working on hills, turns, backing up, and that's about it.... Not too knowledgeable :p
    11-04-2012, 01:02 PM
Half halts was the way I learned
    11-04-2012, 01:06 PM
Ground poles can be an excellent method of encouraging them to really step up and follow through with their hind legs.
Almond Joy likes this.
    11-04-2012, 01:23 PM
I really hate pestering you about this, but first lengthen your stirrups and put your legs where they belong
Looking at the before - after pics you posted in another thread here I can clearly see that your heels are up in her flank area. Not good for trying to engage her hind end!
Once you do that, you do lots and lots of lateral work and bending. Never ever straight. She will have to put her hind under herself in a turn. Shoulder in, leg yields, turn on the haunches, that kind of stuff. In a walk. Once you master all of that you do the same in a trot. Then the canter, with both leads, will come. Have somebody correct your seat constantly. Without the correct seat you can not give her the seat aids for coming under herself.
Kayty and HollyLolly like this.
    11-04-2012, 05:15 PM
I've been trying to keep myself more balanced in the saddle instead of forward.. is this better?

And thanks everyone for the suggestions, I'll keep those in mind!
    11-04-2012, 05:22 PM
Green Broke
Also, back her up then change direction. Like , back, back, back, back then right turn, step off.
    11-04-2012, 05:28 PM
Better, but still not quite right. You're not sitting in the deepest part of the saddle, and two more holes down with the stirrups, please I know you just bought this saddle, but it's not ideal. You don't want to jump her due to her problems, so no sense in buying a jumping saddle. A nice dressage or AP emphasis dressage would put you right where you need to be. This one almost forces you to have your knees on the pads and to do that you have to pull your heels up to get the angle. Don't worry about legs too long....your leg aids should come from the inside of your calves, not, not your heels.
Lots of riding without stirrups will get you the feel for the longer legs
Kayty likes this.
    11-04-2012, 05:32 PM
I'll try that, flytobecat.

And okay, I'll lower them a couple more when I ride next.. and yes, I know. It was the only saddle that I could find in my dad's ideal budget, I'd like to save up and buy a nicer saddle at one point though.
    11-04-2012, 05:47 PM
A good way to find that famous deepest and therefore most balanced spot: get out of the stirrups, point your toes down, walk the horse and stretch those toes downwards as if you wanted to dig furrows in the sand next to you. Where you slide to sit, doing this, is the deepest point. You can do that anytime you feel you're not balanced anymore. It will help Indie 's back too.

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