How to engage hind quarters? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 04-25-2012, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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How to engage hind quarters?

I have been aware that Rusty is not pushing from his hindquarters, he is, more or less, pushing from his shoulders, and kind of... dragging his hindquarters, to put it simply. So, how do I engage a horses hindquarters, raise up their back, build up their topline? His head set is far from good, and I am unwilling to start teaching him a headset until I have his hindquarters engaged, as I think that alone will make a big difference.

E v e r y horse is good for something. You dont throw a whole life away just cause he's banged up a little...
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post #2 of 23 Old 04-25-2012, 09:24 AM
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Sorry no comment from me just interested in learning about this also.
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post #3 of 23 Old 04-25-2012, 09:44 AM
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You can try doing turnbacks on the rail. Ride about 6' off the rail then turn him in to the rail to reverse direction. He'll stop the first time and that's ok, just urge him to complete the direction change. As you do, move off the rail again. As you do these turns the rail helps keep them tight and he has to get his hindquarters underneath and he'll start lifting his front end. He'll likely lose it after a few strides but don't forget he has a lot of muscles to retrain.
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post #4 of 23 Old 04-25-2012, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Gallop On View Post
So, how do I engage a horses hindquarters
Start with half halts
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post #5 of 23 Old 04-25-2012, 09:56 AM
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All speeds with the horse keeping his head down also helps. Keep the reins at your knees and when the horse releases pressure with his head in the correct position release pressure. Mine learned this in a day. This is a ring exercise that I don't make her do on the trail. She needs her head on the trail.
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post #6 of 23 Old 04-25-2012, 12:45 PM
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A false headset is not hind end engagement.

The energy needs to come from the hind end, asked for by the rider's legs and seat.

That energy is contained and recycled back using the hands, seat, and legs throught the half halt.

We can talk about this until we are blue in the face but doing this requires a lot of feel that can only be developed by riding with a trainer that knows what he or she is doing.

Run away from anyone whose first thing out of the mouth is headset.
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post #7 of 23 Old 04-25-2012, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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This is Rusty engaged, but notice, his head set is still high... so, when I have his hind quarters engaged, how do I get the headset? This is his natural extended trot, and head set.


E v e r y horse is good for something. You dont throw a whole life away just cause he's banged up a little...
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post #8 of 23 Old 04-25-2012, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Gallop On View Post
This is Rusty engaged, but notice, his head set is still high... so, when I have his hind quarters engaged, how do I get the headset? This is his natural extended trot, and head set.

A) You forgot to post or link to a picture or video.

B) Why does headset matter? Is he using his back correctly or not? THAT is what is important.

This is an extreme example, using a super-ultra-fit world champion horse (Totilas). Look at his reaching hind leg. Now look at his "headset". Do you see that there is not necessarily a connection between an engaged hind end and the position of the head? The bulging topline muscles tell you all you need to know about how this horse is using his back.



I will grant you that the average horse cannot carry himself like a Grand Prix horse. In that case encouraging the use of the back is done by teaching the horse to seek contact with the bit and maintain a neck position that keeps the poll at the highest point.

Teaching a horse to accept the bit comes with patience, firm but elastic contact, a comfortable bit, impulsion, and the feel and timing to know when to use the hands to receive the energy from the hind end and when to soften to recycle that energy. Can't be learned on the internet. Gotta ride with someone who knows how to teach it.
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post #9 of 23 Old 04-25-2012, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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^That work?

E v e r y horse is good for something. You dont throw a whole life away just cause he's banged up a little...
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post #10 of 23 Old 04-25-2012, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mildot View Post
A) You forgot to post or link to a picture or video.

B) Why does headset matter? Is he using his back correctly or not? THAT is what is important.

This is an extreme example, using a super-ultra-fit world champion horse (Totilas). Look at his reaching hind leg. Now look at his "headset". Do you see that there is not necessarily a connection between an engaged hind end and the position of the head? The bulging topline muscles tell you all you need to know about how this horse is using his back.



I will grant you that the average horse cannot carry himself like a Grand Prix horse. In that case encouraging the use of the back is done by teaching the horse to seek contact with the bit and maintain a neck position that keeps the poll at the highest point.

Teaching a horse to accept the bit comes with patience, firm but elastic contact, a comfortable bit, impulsion, and the feel and timing to know when to use the hands to receive the energy from the hind end and when to soften to recycle that energy. Can't be learned on the internet. Gotta ride with someone who knows how to teach it.
I believe in that photo he is using his back and hid quarters correctly. Alright, I suppose head set doesnt matter all to much, IF they are using their hind.

Quote:
In that case encouraging the use of the back is done by teaching the horse to seek contact with the bit and maintain a neck position that keeps the poll at the highest point.
Your saying that engaging his hindquarters was done by teaching the horse to look for contact on the bit, and the keep a good neck position, with a high poll, and that makes engagement?

E v e r y horse is good for something. You dont throw a whole life away just cause he's banged up a little...

Last edited by Gallop On; 04-25-2012 at 02:47 PM.
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