When the horse goes too deep and leans on your hands

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What to do when the horse goes too deep and leans on your hands

One of the problems our students tell us they have at home with their horses when riding and training is that the horse goes over-deep and leans on their hands. Generally they come to our classical riding equestrian centre Il Paretaio, in Italy,to be helped to solve this problems.

I found quite clear for any rider this explanation by D. Lush in her book The building blocks of training.

"If he is young and/or it is early in his training, don't panic! His back muscles may still be too weak to support his posture against the pull of gravity, so he is using your hand to help him. Your goal will be to strenghten him- hill work, trotting poles and lungeing are all good for this. It may be some weeks or even months before he can begin to support himself without your help, so be patient.

If he is actively leaning onto your hand because he is lazy, you need to remove his prop! Use positive, rhythmic lower leg aids to ask him to step further under from behind, and make frequent, unexpected (to him!) releases of the contact by pushing your hands forward suddenly and letting the reins go into loops. He will either support himself or fall flat on his nose! For safety, do this in a school with a good, level surface and sit very upright - you don't want to go over his head if he stumbles. Your giving of the reins must be sudden, or he will follow your hands by dropping even further down. You should find that he quickly loses the inclination to lean on a contact that suddenly disappears without warning." Fm "The building blocks of training , by DebbY Lush.

Anyway we think that all the exercises that will lead the horse to have more balance (lateral work, transitions, variations of speed, outdoor riding, little jumping etc) will bring him to have more self carriage and then he will not lean go too deep and will not lean at all on your hands. During your equestrian riding vacation in Tuscany, at Il Pareaio, very qualified instructors both in dressage and showjumping will teach you all about this.
Staff Il Paretaio 2016-02-11