Teaching a horse to use his/her hindquarters

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by gotta a horse, Sep 9, 2006.

  1. gotta a horse

    gotta a horse Senior Member

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    I don't know how many of you saw the post I made on impulsion a while back but I am still stuggling with getting her to use her hindquarters. She does not seem to know how to back up under saddle so I don't know if that is a contributing factor in her not using impulsion. She does it well on the ground. I will ask her to stop, I will ask with my seat and legs she will not back. I reinforce with my reins and use only enough pressure to get a reaction out of her. Sis will side step, walk forward, do a series of stopping then walking forward, throwing her head, etc. until backing is one of her last options. Her tack fits, she does great in her bit and is not in pain. Yesterday I took her out but I used a halter this time. This was the process I was going through...
    1. Ask with seat and legs
    2. Feather my reins (this is where she usually backs up)
    3. If she doesn't respond or continues to walk forward, feather a little more agressively (I have not had to go any further than this)
    It seemed to help. As for using her hindquarters I have tried hill work, asking her to go forward then stopping (and sometimes turning or "backing" or "backing" then turning) and trotting off immediately. My latest attempt has been trot poles which I set a little over four feet apart. I don't know anyone who I can get any sort of dressage lessons from who does it correctly. The only one I know/know of is my previous instructor. No need to go there. :wink: Nothing seems to be helping and I am beginning to think she has no idea how to use her hindquarters. Supposeably she was shown western pleasure but I don't see any signs that she could have possbily shown western pleasure other than her lack of worry in new places which is more than likely from being in drill team for most of her riding career. She will throw her head up when doing walk-trot, walk-canter and trot-canter transitions which I was told is a lack of impulsion therefore by throwing their head they are trying to create some energy to move forward. Any ideas?
     






  2. JBandRio

    JBandRio Senior Member+

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    I would forget about any backwards movements until you have her going forward with impulsion ;)

    If your "still stuggling with getting her to use her hindquarters" is still about getting her forward, tell us where you are stuck at the moment.
     
  3. MaggieSue

    MaggieSue Senior Member+

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    As JB said, you must have forward movement-what I did with my horse was this-I would get him trotting, just this side of a canter-while posting...but really use my legs to ask him to go. Now I'm not talking about being strung out and wild, but really forward. I wouldn't ask him to get on the bit either, I'd give him the reins so he wouldn't feel as though he couldn't go. In the corners I would do a volte (circle)or a half volte(like a teardrop and go the other way)...all the while asking with your inside leg for him to use his hind end. Also, spirals are good-start with a big circle and get smaller, then go bigger again. Haunches in and shoulder in are also good for using the hind end.
     
  4. gotta a horse

    gotta a horse Senior Member

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    I'm not exactly sure how to answer your question so I'll try my best. I have a feeling this is problem #1. :eek: I am basically stuck where I can't get her to use her hindquarters is the only way I can put it. She just drags them everywhere no matter what I do with her and is on the forehand really badly. I can get her into a walk, trot and canter but cantering takes some reinforcement sometimes. I don't know if that helps much or at all but that's the best and only way I can describe it. I wish I still had those videos of her since they may have been a bit of help but my computer crashed so I don't have them anymore. :(

    How do you ask with your inside leg? I am not very familiar with dressage terminology but what is haunches in and shoulder in?
     
  5. JBandRio

    JBandRio Senior Member+

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    Don't worry about haunches/shoulders in for now. First and foremost you have to get the horse off your leg. There are quite a few good threads here on impulsion and getting the horse hot off your leg :)

    ONLY when you have forward well established will any lateral work be of value. Forward has to be there, period.
     
  6. gotta a horse

    gotta a horse Senior Member

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    Thank you for your responses. I will deffinately work with getting her off my leg. I will do a search for those topics.
     

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