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Any advise on what to practice to help my horse. He pulls himself around the ring at the trot and mostly the canter. When jumping he has very hard downward landings. I need to lighten him up a tad:)
 

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Any advise on what to practice to help my horse. He pulls himself around the ring at the trot and mostly the canter. When jumping he has very hard downward landings. I need to lighten him up a tad:)
Do some search in this section. There were number of threads with the similar problem. I personally found changing the gaits to be very helpful. I go from trot to walk. If she drops herself I just move her back to trot right away, and go to walk after several strides, till she realizes she wants to be light and ready to go. Also trot-canter, walk-canter, etc. transitions. Circles, serpentine, and poles are really useful as well.
 

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Definitely do a search of this Training forum, and maybe the Riding and Dressage forums as well. Tons of excellent info.

In the meantime, lots of transitions, as kitten_Val said. Don't make 1 lap around the arena without changing something about your horse's gait, direction, speed, or balance. Something else that you might find helpful is backing up 3-5 steps after each halt. It gets them stopping on their haunches more, and "thinking back."
 

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Persimmon - this is your first post - welcome.

'On the forehand' - look it up in wikipedia - put very, very simply it means that the horse is carrying itself and its rider with the majority of the weight loaded onto the front legs - rather than the hind legs - as nature designed it to do. Correcting this "condition" takes lots of work, perhaps even a change of riding style but first it is necessary for you to understand the term and why it is wrong for the horse.
I suggest you read first and then go and talk with a good instructor.

I think it is too big a subject for debating over the Forum.

As for 'landing heavily' - well that has no relevance to 'on the forehand'. Incidentally - a guy I spoke with recently said that the force exerted on the front two feet at landing after a jump is something like three times the horse's total bodyweight.

Give us another question.
 

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When our horses are heavy in our hands, the first thing that pops into my head is that your horse is travelling on their front end, and not working off of their back end.

It could be your horses conformation, but it also could be you - not riding correctly, to aid your horse to move correctly.

Your seat is very important, to activate the back end, your legs are important to lift your horses ribs/spine up into your seat. Your upper body is important to remain over your horses center of gravity. Your shoulders are important to remain back to aid your upper body, your hand carraige is important to aid your horses front end to lift up and rock back.

All are important key factors to aid your horse in moving correctly. Without one, the others cannot be effective. You lose one, the domino effect occurs and all the others fall down.

You can do all the transitions you want, but they wont be effective if you, the rider, isn't being effective in the saddle.
 
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