gosh I think I'm starting to hate this topic haha
I can get Sonny to have the nice curved headset, and in the right position, but it's the rounding of the back that I can't get. I can't seem to do it on any of the horses, neither Sonny nor the lesson horses. His back still appears to be hallow.
How can I get Sonny to round his back and move his hind quarters more? I know it will take time, but as of now I'm stuck on how to do it.
Also another question, I've always been told that collection will cause a horse to naturally curve his head under and have a good headset...but looking at western horses, obviously they don't have their heads where say a dressage horse would have theirs.
Are those western horses still collected?
^^She looks rounded in the back, but no head set...but when I asked on another forum, and they said that with collection comes the curved head
But not on this dressage horse, he has the head set, but not the rounded back.
I'm so confused! Most dressage horses I see have the curved head/neck, but not the rounded back...where as with western horses it's the opposite...the back is rounded, but no headset.[/list]
Well having a rounded back and deep hocks is often just a trait of the horse. It can take months of intensive riding to get a horse to properly lift it's back that otherwise wouldn't do it. My horse is an example of this. And after you get it rounding it's back, you have to constantly maintain it.
I wouldn't worry about all that crap about collection and headset and rouding. It's more about movement, and what comes naturally to your horse.
This is the only way to really visualize it --
Here is what happens when a horse rounds it's back.
This would be why pleasure horses should have a rounder back. It improves the topline and gives them that suspended look which will allow them to move flatter and smoother.
This is the opposite.
As you can see, this is somewhat like what the dressage horse you posted is doing. It's head is in a position that requires a more hollow back. Also, the position of it's hind legs would suggest a more hollow back as well. Though, I wouldn't call this a problem. It's just that a hollow back serves the position of the dressage horse better than a rounded back would.
so then Sonny, if I stick with dressage, is correct when he has the headset, but not the rounded back?
Also, if I switch back to western riding, and do possibly competitive trails or some other western stuff, would I particually need the rounded back? How would I go about achieving the rounded back?
Well I've heard from many people, including my instructor and my best friend that having a horse not collected can cause a sway back in their older years...where as a horse that collects himself will have less of a sway back if any. I definately don't want Sonny to have a sway back (but then again what happens will happen)...so I thought that dressage work might help with that.
Thanks for the input, Tim!!! The pictures helped explain alot also
In western is all your horse. If it carries itself or not.
In time, you will learn the ways of the force.
This is a quote of my response to your post in the critique section:
the problem with pushing Sonny on with my legs and seat is that he's REALLY sensitive about my cues. And any little thing will drive him faster. So I'm working on desensitizing him a little bit so he won't speed up into a canter when I don't want him to.
I do use half-halts to get him to keep his headset and to maintain a fairly good temp for his gaits
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