Teaching an old hunter new tricks - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 04-23-2019, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: New England
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Teaching an old hunter new tricks

Hi there friends! My mare has the most lovely, hunter-y way of moving with a nice round back and relaxed neck. She goes bitless and is light in the mouth, even over fences. It's wonderful for the hunter ring and the hack, but I get the feeling she's not quite pushing off her hocks in the trot and canter as well as she could be. She can also start to lean on my hands just a bit and be on her forehand - not ideal heading to a big old fence

She has always prefered to go "long and low", which I have no problem with as I love that she's stretching through her back, but I'm looking to develop her hind end as much as her front end. Think transitioning a hunter to dressage perhaps!

I'm looking for more collection and more uphill-ness without losing the lightness of her mouth and relaxation through her back. Any suggestions?
gray2bay is offline  
post #2 of 3 Old 04-23-2019, 11:24 PM
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hm m . . maybe work on some cavaletti?

and, transitions, more frequently asked for, will keep her seeking to shorten her balance in preperation for a change of gait and speed. Some backing her up, and canter off from a stand still. Work on hills, too. Maybe take some lessons in dressage to experirment with how she will react to more rein contact, and if you are not used to having rein contact yourself, then some lessons on how to do this yourself. basically, eyes on the ground, to wathc and advise.

First you get with the horse, then you get the horse with you.
tinyliny is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old 04-24-2019, 12:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: California
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I second the canter transitions from a halt.

Try doing some turn on the haunches work, and try backing her both with her head low, and medium, and high so she can stretch it the other way sometimes too!

For jumping you can put her in some low tight bounces to get her to back off without having to take up contact, and on the flat practice some transitions of pace with the seat so you don't have to don't have to take up contact, start slow with it.

I like to walk some turn on haunches, then sit trot them, then canter them, then work up to a hand gallop. I try to get the horse to stop politely and keep momentum into the haunch turn before unleashing it's torque back to a hand gallop. I don't do this too often, but usually it gets them off your hand and sitting down a bit.

If it's less severe leaning on the hand try a little bump with one hand to get her to stop dragging her head along, a premonition of turn on the haunches work that's to come if she doesn't stop.
Filou is offline  

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