Recently I started straightness training with my horses without a longe line. In the video Romanesque, El Blanco, Prince Elmelund and Toronto are willing and focused and are doing their very best while they are at liberty. On the circle I am searching and striving for lateral bending, a forward down tendency and a stepping under of the inside hind leg. It is still work in progress, but it’s a start:
The forward-down tendency and lowering the horses neck is an important part of riding horses, but it is only part.
When a rider rides a horse only in forward-down – without engaging the hind legs in a proper way – the following symptoms can occur:.
- The horse leans on the rein and uses the hand of the rider for support, like a fifth leg.
- The horse shows little shoulder-freedom.
- The horse will develop only pushing ability and not any carrying ability , so he will never learn to carry the rider in balance.
- Due to the weight of the rider that is added to the front legs, strain injuries can occur.
Only running a horse onto the forehand with no parameters except the lowering of the neck can damage the horse.