Hollow outline in young horse...
   

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Hollow outline in young horse...

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  • Horse hollowing back
  • Does bareback improve horse outline

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    02-21-2013, 03:20 PM
  #1
Weanling
Hollow outline in young horse...

I've noticed lately that my gelding trots in a hollow outline. I don't really know what to do about it...a martingale doesn't really seem to help. Here's what he does in his other gaits:
Walk- he walks nicely with a rounded outline, steady gait and nice movement
Trot- head very high and straight with a hollow outline. He arches his neck nicely with a round outline when I lunge him and when he trots in the pasture, but while being ridden, his trot is a bit jerky with a HOLLOW outline.
Canter- high head, also hollow outline. Very jerky canter.
Gallop- smooth, flowing canter, nice head movement, very comfortable.

So...what am I doing wrong??? Or what is my horse dung wrong? I have a feeling that it's me....I've tried letting the reins a bit longer but he still does it. I ride bareback by the way. Maybe he's uncomfortable...? I ride in a snaffle bit and also use a neck strap (a non-rubbing lead rope) to keep balance. Otherwise I'd go bouncing around on his back! Here's my list of what might have him trot and canter in a hollow outline:

-he was a pacer and I heard that some young ex-racers travel in a hollow outline
- he doesn't like my weight on him bareback. (but he gallops and walks just fine)
- the pressure on the neckstrap is causing him to lift his head.

My main guess is the neck strap pressure, because I only apply pressure on it wen I trot or canter, because it's hardest to stay on then. Walk and gallop is really smooth with Luca (my horse). I will buy a saddle soon, but I don't want to stop exercising him. Should I stop riding him until I get a saddle and the neckstrap won't be needed anymore? Or is there some way to improve his outline? Advice needed please!
     
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    02-21-2013, 03:47 PM
  #2
Started
My question to you is, how exactly are you riding him? Are you stiff? Are you riding him with your seat? Are you blocking his forward motion? How are you asking him to engage his hind end?

What exactly do you want him to do? Have you had his teeth checked? Does his tack (including bit) fit him properly? There could be a lot going on here and more information is needed to answer your question

Edit--->How old is this horse and how much training has it had?
     
    02-21-2013, 05:08 PM
  #3
Weanling
Luca is 6 years old and he was properly broken in about 5 months ago.
He is a very forward moving horse, and I mostly use my legs and reins. When he gets his "speedy" moments, I sometimes use my seat as well. I think I might be restricting his freedom of movement with the neck strap, because his outline is fine when I'm not putting pressure on the strap. The pressure might be frock g his head up. Also, I saw some pics of him when he was a pacer, and he was pacing in front of the sulky with a it of a hollow outline. Could it be that racehorses like that are sometimes trained to go in a hollow outline? I don't know... But I think it's the neck stap that's making Luca go in a hollow outline...
     
    02-21-2013, 05:10 PM
  #4
Started
Riding bareback does not distribute the weight the same way as riding a saddle. If you think of all your weight and your butt bones sitting in one point on the horses' back, especially if you are bouncing at the trot, it can be discouraging the horse to use his back.

Just think, in order to have your horse round up, he has to round his back and hold his back upwards. If there is a discomfort at a point in his back, he is not going to want to round up, he is going to try and evade the discomfort by hollowing his back. That is why saddle fit is important, and why I don't expect my horses to frame up when I ride bareback.

Plus if you rode in a saddle, you probably wouldn't need the neck strap either...
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    02-22-2013, 08:37 AM
  #5
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher5    
Luca is 6 years old and he was properly broken in about 5 months ago.
He is a very forward moving horse, and I mostly use my legs and reins. When he gets his "speedy" moments, I sometimes use my seat as well. I think I might be restricting his freedom of movement with the neck strap, because his outline is fine when I'm not putting pressure on the strap. The pressure might be frock g his head up. Also, I saw some pics of him when he was a pacer, and he was pacing in front of the sulky with a it of a hollow outline. Could it be that racehorses like that are sometimes trained to go in a hollow outline? I don't know... But I think it's the neck stap that's making Luca go in a hollow outline...

It sounds like you need some lessons. You should always ride off your seat first, not your reins. Just because a horse is "very forward moving" does not mean that you are not restricting his movement. Horses need freedom in their shoulder to achieve what you're looking to do.

You have to start this horse from scratch, which is fine if you know what to do. I've trained a handful of pacers to compete in eventing. It takes a lot of patience and consistency. I think you need to forget about the horse's "outline" and first get the horse moving freely and relaxed. Then you'll have some kind of foundation to work off of. Don't expect this horse to just "get it". Again, I would look at taking some lessons on a horse that is already trained. This way you will learn how to ask correctly and know how it feels when you achieve roundness.
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    02-24-2013, 08:59 PM
  #6
Weanling
I've had lessons for 7 years. I weigh 36kgs but I think my butt is quite bony . I'm getting a saddle in a few days too. I tried sitting more back while trotting (I don't really bounce while trotting) and it seemed to make his outline rounder. I bet when I get a saddle and won't need the neckstrap to stop me from bouncing, his outline will become even better.

By the way: in the area where I live, there aren't any "real" lesson barns, only pony clubs and REALLY expensive group lessons. But still, I think the outline issue was just me sitting too far forward on my horse. This is because he has a slight downhill feel when I ride him, as he is Kind of butt high. But when I get the saddle, this won't be a problem. Thanks for the advice guys!
     
    02-24-2013, 09:23 PM
  #7
Yearling
Work on his relaxation and loosening up his muscles. Lots of circles with correct bend and soften on the bit when he stiffens his neck. Lots of slow methodical work on a correct circle.
     
    02-25-2013, 02:52 PM
  #8
Weanling
I tried the relaxation method from Palogal, and I think he's doing much better! I got my sister to video us and I noticed that the hollow outline is as good as gone! He's just holding his head high. The underside of his neck is in a straight line, but not going straight upwards, but on a slight outwards lean. The top of his neck isnt really the "upside down U" shape it should be, but it's not straight up in the AlR, just a little bit further down. I heard that when a horse has a hollow outline, the bottom of its neck is shaped a bit like a "U", but Luca's neck (the bottom of it) is straight at a slight angle going down a bit as it nears the head. Pretty hard to explain, can get some pics soon.
Oh and also, he's not hollowing his back anymore, it's just a bit tense. Gotta let him relax more!
     
    02-25-2013, 02:59 PM
  #9
Weanling
Here is a pic
Click to enlarge



Luca trotting bareback. Is it a hollow outline? I don't really think so but I'm not sure. What do you guys think? (and yes, I did make my own bareback pad just to be softer on Luca's back)
     
    02-25-2013, 06:18 PM
  #10
Yearling
Good, now step it up and do some more 'yoga' type exercises, with changes in bend and turns. Slow and methodical, moving him off of your seat. Look up the book 101 dressage exercises. They have lots of exercises that promote 'long and low' which is what you're going for.
     

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