Teaching horse to lower HQ and push from behind - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-23-2017, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Teaching horse to lower HQ and push from behind

Hi, I am new here, but I was wondering if I could get some thoughts/advice? I have a 6 year old gelding who I got 9 months ago. He was VERY green, and we spent the summer doing a lot of groundwork, liberty, bareback riding/exploring woods, trick training, etc., a lot of bonding and trust building exercises. We have recently started working under saddle, and he has a generally good form, at the walk/trot (we haven't really done much with his canter yet, still working on improving the two slower gaits). He steps up well, engages his back, and bends well. We have started working over cavaletti, doing walk/trot transitions on the lunge line and under saddle, serpentines, circles with leg yielding a couple steps in or out to change the size of the circle, and are starting to do lateral work. I am trying to get him to really lower and push from the hind end, and we are working on learning more lateral work, but we haven't made too much progress on this so far.
Am I expecting/asking for this stuff too soon? He was a green broke trail horse when I got him- he knew how to neck rein, kick to go faster, pull to stop, and that's about it. He doesn't yet have much muscling, but we are doing a lot of hq/fq yeilds, backing, lunging, alternatively raised cavaletti, etc to build it up. I would do hills, but I live in a coastal plain and don't have any. He is getting good at turning/going off of legs and seat, which was necessary for free riding, but finds lateral work to be hard.
Any tips/suggestions/excersises?
Thanks!
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-24-2017, 05:48 PM
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How loose is he in the poll? A poll that is locked or braced can make for a stiff hind end. I mean in particular his looseness in swiveling head from side to side without twisting the neck. So , face stays pretty vertical and muzzle doesn?t twist to one side while ears go the other direction.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-24-2017, 06:55 PM
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Lots and lots and lots and lots of transitions can help. One of the best definitions of collection that I've ever heard is "a state of readiness." If you are able to get your horse to shift gears frequently, he will start stepping under himself more to be ready to make those transitions. Lots of transitions, lots of bending, circling, changing the bend.

Plus, just continuing to get your horse fitter and fitter. And used to moving himself that way. It's a big change to their movement and it takes time.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-26-2017, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteadyOn View Post
Lots and lots and lots and lots of transitions can help. One of the best definitions of collection that I've ever heard is "a state of readiness." If you are able to get your horse to shift gears frequently, he will start stepping under himself more to be ready to make those transitions. Lots of transitions, lots of bending, circling, changing the bend.

Plus, just continuing to get your horse fitter and fitter. And used to moving himself that way. It's a big change to their movement and it takes time.
Thats what I thought, we have started doing a lot of long and slow conditioning rides, and I've only really started asking for any kind of frame, he's been offering it on the lunge line for a while but I haven't really worked much on it under saddle- I just wasn't sure if he would have to figure that out on his own, or if I needed to work on that now, or if it would come with time. Thanks!
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-26-2017, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
How loose is he in the poll? A poll that is locked or braced can make for a stiff hind end. I mean in particular his looseness in swiveling head from side to side without twisting the neck. So , face stays pretty vertical and muzzle doesn?t twist to one side while ears go the other direction.
I'm not sure I understand- we do a lot of giving to pressure (pick up on the rein and he immediately turns to touch my foot with his nose), but I'm unsure if that's what you meant, since his head doesn't stay perpendicular to the ground during that, it does twist so he can stretch further.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-27-2017, 01:35 PM
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I take that to mean can the horse bend his head nose to chest or stretch out his head as he flattens neck or tip his head from side to side. The action starts in the poll not the neck. Two different groups of muscles. A horse bending nose to side (or your knee) is bending through the neck. They may have tilt to the head as well which says they are also soft in the poll.
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-27-2017, 02:00 PM
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My trainer said something that finally clicked it for my horse and I: wrap your legs around and sit DEEP in the saddle. Soldier collected right up in a wonderful up/forward canter. Be mindful of the new muscles your horse--and you--will be using and train accordingly.
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-27-2017, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by kitkat23 View Post
I'm not sure I understand- we do a lot of giving to pressure (pick up on the rein and he immediately turns to touch my foot with his nose), but I'm unsure if that's what you meant, since his head doesn't stay perpendicular to the ground during that, it does twist so he can stretch further.

yeah, moving this way will create a bend only in the neck, as teh hrose twists the head to the side and reaches around primarily by bending the neck. They do this to scratch a fly bit on their own shoulder, or even flank. amazing how far back they can reach.

Im not a big fan of static 'suppling' like that. It doesn't do much for suppling the horse in either the poll or the hind end, and can create a horse that is 'rubber necked', meaning he can and will bend sharply to one side to avoid contact of the rein, and the neck 'breaks' from the body, like a semi truck jack knifing, and the horse can be bent harsh to one side, while still running smack through his outside shoulder, forward or sideways AWAY from the direction you are asking him to bend.

And, if the horse is standing, that severe , twisting bend dumps the horse onto its outside shoulder and does nothing to connect the rein contact to his hind feet.

You want that soft, tucking of the horse's jaw into his own neck, as he just swivels slightly to each side, softly. And if you ask a bit more, he should lift his whole neck, poll going higher NOT back toward you, nor him tucking lower, like taking his chin to his chest to go behind the rein. And if you take a little more rein, the horse should slightly rock back, as he is getting ready IN HIS BACK FEET to move off to the direction you are asking , since you will be having a bit of a bend to one side, you will have that rein a bit shorter, getting the hrose to think in that direction, in mind, mouth, poll and hind legs.

sorry if this sounds a bit woo-woo. it's much easier to show than to tell.
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