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Sunflower
23-09-06, 12:00 PM
Hi Guys

Am after a bit of advice. Have an ottb that finished racing last Christmas, was turned out, given to me at the end of March, worked until the end of May, turned out for two months and back in work again now.

He has good rhythm, is reasonable responsive to forward leg aids (with help of dressage whip :-) ), will leg yield (a little reluctantly), is balanced now in canter, can trot and canter over poles on ground and is working more or less on the vertical.

He is light in front, although can be a bit lazy behind sometimes.

Our routine includes diminishing 20 metre circles down to 10 and back up again (slowly), lots of transitions and changes of direction and some leg yielding.

The problem at the moment is that when he gets really soft and relaxed, he tends to overbend. He still has a good soft contact, but he feels to me as though he is too low in front. I feel that he is still stepping through nicely and has good impulsion. My co-rider also feels that he looks very active behind.

How bent is too bent and how low is too low. Should I be asking him to lift up in front, and if so, how?

Thanks is advance.

Reata
23-09-06, 02:32 PM
If your horse is soft,using his hind end and going nicely just a bit low.. I would bump him a little and say "no, not down there mate.. just lift up a little" Any time he gets too low.. But he has to be working nicely.. if hes not working nicely I would try to get him doing that first!!! Hard to tell reading a puter screen ..
A nice training frame is an almost horizontal neck out of the wither .. no lower.. unless of course your giving rein and alowing him to stretch..A lot of people want a more upright frame way before the horse is ready...:-)

improv
24-09-06, 12:51 AM
IMHO, overbending is when they over-break in the neck and close the angle of the jaw to neck. They will not seek a contact, the rider has to draw their hand back to find a contact.

If the horse stays relaxed in the jaw and is lowering from the withers, I would be happy that he is letting go over his back.
With further work and gains in strength, the school exercises - shoulder in, etc. increase the carring power in the engagement and the forhand raises correctly.

Suzie Q
24-09-06, 01:32 AM
An advanced dressage horse goes along with his head fairly high, but that is brought about through training. They do not start there.

If you want to bring him higher it is done so with your seat. Seat and legs and then hands. Always in that order. Even if there is only a millionth of a second in between them.