No Engagement in HQ. Any tips?

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No Engagement in HQ. Any tips?

This is a discussion on No Engagement in HQ. Any tips? within the Western Pleasure forums, part of the Western Riding category

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    11-19-2011, 10:18 PM
No Engagement in HQ. Any tips?

My appaloosa Magnum did Western Pleasure, Trail, Halter and the like until he was 6 years old, when he became a dressage horse. Now that I have him I have done a bit of this and that, but would really like to show him in the Western rings. He's 15 now. I don't think he has any engagement in his hind quarters, they don't seem to reach under and 'propel' him forward. Also I have never ridden Western before properly. What is there I need to know and how can I get him to reach under himself and slow down?
Any help greatly appreciated. Will post a video when I get one.
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    11-19-2011, 10:41 PM
Well, it will be good to see your video. Then we can see waht you mean when you say he doesnt reach under himself. I also ride an Appy!
    11-20-2011, 06:59 AM
Just quickly in words his back legs don't come underneath him and push, and the power that I know he has doesn't get used. When I ask him to collect his back end just seems to disappear completely and swing away, leaving gim extremely unbalanced. Will post video tomorrow. That probably confused the situation even more, sorry.
    11-21-2011, 06:32 AM
Anyone know how to upload video? - don't have youtube
    11-21-2011, 01:06 PM
I always use Photobucket... There's also Flickr and Tinypic that do quick uploads.
    11-21-2011, 04:49 PM
Ok thanks!
    11-21-2011, 05:06 PM
From what you describe, when asked for "more" forward, he simply falls forward faster while his hind end lags out behind. That is the easiest way for a horse to move. Takes more work for the hrose to engage and work his hind end under him. There are just tons and tons of threads on here about engagement and "collection" and such and you could do some scanning through to see if your situation hasn't already been covered. It's totally fine to ask again, of course.

I think sometimes when a hrose has been trained incorrectly in WP they learn to go this way, with the hind end just hanging out behind and the hrose "falling" onto the forehand as they move foreward. Initially, to get more engagement of the hind end, you may need to get him moving MORE foreward, and maybe it'd be faster, too, though you say you want him to slow down.

YOu might have to really move him out forward at first so he must engage his hind to push more. Any time a horse acceleates, he should be using more push from behind. So, do things that require acceleration, like going up hills, over cavaletti, some pretend "barrels" or just some work going up and down in gaits.

After the hrose is better at jumping into a proper accleration, then you would begin working on disallowing him to fall onto the forehand and moving his center of balance back to his pushing hind legs.

There's lot of people here who know the sequence of training for this better than I do. But for the first thing, if te horse has spent a lot of time being held to a slow gait, then I'd work on getting him to open up and Go!
    11-22-2011, 07:12 AM
Thanks for that tinyliny, yeah, he rushes his canter, and it sounds like there's four beats, it's really hard to keep him cantering. And he doesn't seem to use his hind end at all, here's the link for the video, sorry couldn't put it straight on here, couldn't figure it out, please excuse my riding, please tell me what you think and what I may do to improve (both me and the horse) Thanks!
    11-22-2011, 07:13 AM
Oops, forgot the link, sorry. Here it is:
P1010569.mp4 video by CBRDM - Photobucket
    11-22-2011, 04:01 PM
I watched your video and you are not going to like this, but I think you are worrying too much! You ride really nicely. So light, balanced and quiet. The horse is really happy under you and thought he isn't givng you his all, he does not appear to be resistant in any way. I see an even three beat canter and a horse that would be a really cute hunter . He isn't engaging the hind end like you would want in a dressage test, but he looks like he is not inhibited about it. I mean, I dont' seee a horse that is stiff or has been trained to go with his hind end trailing. I just see a hrose that is moving along with a fairly easygoing, energy conserving way of moving, and this has to do with how easyily you ride him. It's a great place to be and to build upon. You are a really nice pair and he's a lovely horse.

If you want to bring him more under himself you might have to take up more contact with his mouth, so that you can disallow his energy to fall out forward, while also kind of "gathering" his hind end energy to ask him to step more under, lift a bit and compress the forward energy into a more vertical energy.

That sounds like gobbledy gook. REally, the thing you might enjoy doing is taking some dressage lessons on him.

Work more on real circles, not just following the lines of your property. Add in more trot poles from time to time. More transtions into and out of canter and other gaits.

YOu know, the "usual" stuff that we do to build up a horse's balance. You strike me as a very capbale rider who could get a lot out of some lessons with a GOOD coach. Nows the time to invest in that if you can.

Thank you for sharing .
Annnie31 likes this.

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