The Horse Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

Registered
Joined
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am purchasing a 6 year old QH who still needs some work on self-carriage at the lope. I can prop his inside shoulder up with no problem, but I was wondering if y'all have any other tips. He isn't difficult to work with at all and loves to please, so I want to make sure I won't confuse him.
 

Super Moderator
Joined
11,228 Posts
He will need to learn to stretch forward and down and engage his hind end beneath him him to develop strength and balance for carrying himself.
 

Registered
Joined
479 Posts
Self carriage is a result of correct training with rhythm. suppleness, contact.. etc. If all those are able to be done, then your horse will start to carry themselves. The best way to achieve this is by having eyes on the ground that can tell you when and where your horse has lost something in the list, as sometimes we feel something completely different undersaddle from what is actually occurring.



That being said, I really like focusing on riding lots of changes in direction and bend to keep the horse thinking and on the aids. Consistent transitions will eventually have your horse sitting back, and waiting for your signal.
 

Registered
Joined
7,525 Posts
I am purchasing a 6 year old QH who still needs some work on self-carriage at the lope. I can prop his inside shoulder up with no problem, but I was wondering if y'all have any other tips. He isn't difficult to work with at all and loves to please, so I want to make sure I won't confuse him.

Are you working with a trainer?


What precisely does he need help with? There are many components to "self carriage".
 

Registered
Joined
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
He just needs to learn to not be reliant on the reins to keep his headset. :)
 

Premium Member
Joined
12,531 Posts
He can't RELY on the reins if you don't USE the reins to keep a headset. But then, I don't understand how "headset" and "self-carriage" can be used together. Horses naturally use their heads for balance. They are graceful animals with little need for us to tell them how to "improve" their balance.
 

Registered
Joined
48,573 Posts
I'm curious as to what his headset should be? I know that they used to want a WP horse to keep his head real low, but are not wanting it to not be lower than the wither, right? Is this what you are working toward?
 

Registered
Joined
48,573 Posts
Since this is a Western Pleasure specific sub-forum, I'm not sure my view would help, but in general, getting a horse to use the hind end well helps build self carriage. I think by that term you mean that the horse is not just going faster and faster if you put a leg on, and dropping hard on the forehand?


So, yeah, you may need to have some use of a bit to ask the horse to not speed up, or drop the head too low, and plow onto the forehand. Is your horse leaning on the bit? are you using a snaffle or curb bit?


Some things that help engage the hind end are upward transitions , like a good leap forward from walk to canter, backing up, especially backing up a slight hill, doing roll backs, lateral trot work.
.
 

Registered
Joined
7,525 Posts
He just needs to learn to not be reliant on the reins to keep his headset. :)

Headset does not come from the reins, really. Headset comes from the body being collected and traveling correctly. The reins are there for support but the reins are not what is putting the head into place. So if you get the horse properly driving from behind and using the hindquarters, the head goes into the correct place (because it has to for everything else to go).


I understand you are probably asking about WP but I'm going to share this picture of mine anyway b/c I love it. Excellent example of collect. The hind end is under. The back is rounded. And the head is low. I'm just along for the ride and not doing much of anything. I have not told him where to put his head. He is putting it where it needs to go, which is low.






So relate that concept to WP. If you are creating a false slow gait by the reins, of course your horse will fall apart when you "let them go" off the reins, because they have not learned what to do with their body. But teach them what to do with their body FIRST, then the slowness will follow and so will the headset.
 

Registered
Joined
83 Posts
Following this! Great input from everybody!
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top