View Full Version : On the forehand
20th Sep 2006, 01:22 PM
Just thought I'd see whether anyone has any tips on improving a horse that is on the forehand & exceedingly light behind? :confused:
I've been working my boy on the lunge to try to teach him about balance, which seems to have worked a bit, and undertake regular schooling on him to teach him to carry himself properly, but when he's out hacking it all goes to pot again, probably down to him being over excitable.
Hoping somebody out there has some heart warming stories to tell me of their own horse coming through this, to show me there is light at the end of the tunnel!!!!
20th Sep 2006, 01:29 PM
transitions, transitions and yet more transitions. half halts can also be helpful aswell. work on a 20m circle, do a quarter circle trot, then walk for the next quarter. Keep repeating this. If he tries to speed up or do the nose poking and running on thing then half halt. That will slow him down and help him to take his weight onto his hind quarters. My RI describes it like a half full lemonade bottle on it's side. When the horse is on it's forehand and running on, all the weight (i.e. lemonade ;) ) is at the front. Half halt, slow things down, the weight will be transferred to the hind quarters (like the lemonade bottle rocking back, and the lemonade pooling in the other end of the bottle). Certainly has helped with my horse :)
20th Sep 2006, 01:35 PM
Try 5 strides of trot, five of walk (will take a bit more than 5 to start) or use the makers in the school or objects i.e trees when out hacking to mark changes of place between walk and trot. As your horse responds and lightens the forehand you can shortend the gap between changes of pace. Make sure you add a few halts and change rising trot for sitting to add some variation. Eventually you can try in canter with walk and trot transitions.
Hope this helps, have fun. Trotting poles might also help to improve balance, I have a very good book called 101 schooling exercises (great in the winter when I cant hack) with lots of exerciese designed to improve balance and lighten the forehand etc might be worth getting.
20th Sep 2006, 01:37 PM
Thanks Eventerbabe - I like the lemonade bottle analogy - my lad's certainly fizzy at the best of times!
20th Sep 2006, 01:38 PM
spirals in walk and canter. 10m circles in trot. direct transitions as well as normal ones. as said above, trot-walk-trot. try some trot-walk-halt-trot. always make the upward transitions more direct so the horse has to use the back end more. the downwards cannot be as direct as the horse will not be used to having quite that much power from behind.
20th Sep 2006, 01:51 PM
If your looking for hacking tips then here's a few that I found helped on my rather excitable tank
Transitions! I know everyone says it but it does help if you never stay in any pace for too long. Certainly if he starts to get heavy do a transition (or several) straightaway.
Control the speed but use as little rein as possible. If he's allowed to trot on my lad will plough down into his forehand, if I pull to steady him he'll happily lean on me & carry on. However if I encourage him to use his energy by doing a very slow, energetic trot that I hold with my back, seat & legs he becomes much lighter & more lifted. Well timed "good boy"s encourage him to show off & can produce some quite flashy movement :p
Leg yield can also be useful, either to & from the kerb or across a track. By making him step across & under you engage his hindquarters & should lighten the forehand. Reinback is also useful, but only ask for a step or two then walk or trot straight off.
Don't forget that you may ride differently hacking so remember to sit up, sit back & keep your hands up! For some reason the second I leave the school I tip forward, drop my hands & hey presto my reasonably schooled horse drops onto his forehand - and who can blame him :o !!!
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.