What does it mean when....? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-27-2007, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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What does it mean when....?

Most often my horse is pulling from the front legs instead of pushing from her rear. Her chest muscles are quite defined but her rear, butt and hines are lacking. How do I get my horse to run with her rear legs instead of always pulling from the front?

I hope this makes sense because it's hard to say.
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-27-2007, 10:09 PM
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Do you do flat work the most?

To build up rump muscles you should ride your horse at a walk up hills. This forses them to use their hind leg and rump muscles to push themselves up the hill. The steeper hills you can find the better!

Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and, once it has done so, he will have to accept that his life will be radically changed.
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-27-2007, 11:01 PM
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hey... yea hill's help A LOT but if they aren't availible...
*try getting her to use her butt more. you can do this by when you are trotting (for example) ask her to slow down (almost to a walk) with your body and hands, but ask her to keep her butt engaged by either tapping her with your feet and ' or with a whip (lightly). by doing this, you are asking her to step under herself more (aka tracking up), which definetly will get her butt working!!!
*an easy way at awalk to ask them to track up more is going rythmically 'bump bump bump' with your legs, alternating. you want to 'bump' her while her hind leg is just leaving the ground, but half halt with your seat so she doesn't speed up. for example, while her outside back leg is coming up, (when the outside front is going back i believe- someone correct me if im wrong) bump her w/ your outside leg, then same with the left
*caverlettis- very good for butt muscle no matter what your discipline is (and works on back muscles)

umm thats it for now.. haha sorry if i don't make sense but i tried lol good luck! hope i helped
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post #4 of 9 Old 03-01-2007, 03:32 PM
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Transitions and patterns are also good ways to strengthen up your horse's rear end.

Try walking, trotting, then walking again. Walk a few paces, ask for a trot, then down to a walk then to a trot and so on and so forth.

Cavalettis (ground poles) are also good ways to have your horse pick up their hind legs.

Circles, serpentines, figure 8's and backing your horse are also great ways to strengthen your horse.

After practicing all of these things, encourage your horse to round his/her back and encourage impulsion. Extended walks and trots will increase your horse's impulsion and it will involve engaging their hind end.
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-01-2007, 06:08 PM
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hmm. I agree with most of the above.
Your horse is heavy on the forehand. Naturally, a horse caries 60% of weight on his front, 40% with his hind end. Engaging the haunches means the horse is stepping under himself with his hind legs and taking on more weight, creating a balanced horse (in simple terms). I recommend transitions, hill work, cavalettis, and circles. Jumping will also improve muscle mass in the haunches. More then likely, your horse is not developed enough to carry the weight you desire on his haunches. Tight circles are also important to increase balance. Asking your horse for longer strides should be done, but lengthening and extension won't be achieved until balance and engagement have. When you have a relaxed, forward and active hind end, you will see the tail swing, feel the back move, and when you look at the hoof prints of a trot, the back hoof should touch the front hoof.
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-01-2007, 11:57 PM
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Your horse is lacking “collection”;

Collection is associated with the horse collecting his hind quarters where he is carrying most of his weight on his hind legs rather than his front legs.

When you work up hill don’t let him charge up hill make him work his back legs to push him up hill by walking and when you go down hill don’t let him charge down hill either. Make him take his time going up and down hill. When going up hill don’t pull on the rains or the saddle. Hang on to the horse’s mane if you need to balance yourself.

If you don’t have hills try the dressage exercise shoulder-fore. This is where you move your horse forward at an angle where they are making four set of hoof tracks rather than two when they are walking in a straight line. This will help your horse to arch their back and engage the hind quarters.
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-02-2007, 04:20 AM
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Read the posts on Hind End Engagement, we have posted some schooling excercises that will help. This is a basic part of horse education and he will not be a comfortable or obedient ride until you have lightened his forehand
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post #8 of 9 Old 03-20-2007, 07:39 PM
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We have a mare like this.
She leans on the forehand and runs through the bridle as apposed to bringing through her back end.

Try half holting and encouraging more with your legs. this way her front end stops slightly and her hind quarters are made to move.

Hope this helps
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-21-2007, 06:35 AM
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I totally agree with what has been said, but as I read on I realized if I hadn't got horses to engage before, I would not have a clue how to do it even with the information that has been given here.........can i suggest that you find someone that can teach you how to do this. May save you time, rather than not being sure what you are doing is right........you may think your horse is engaged when it is not.
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