5 most common evasions horses have when schooling

DSCF8262When horse are being schooled, we aim to encourage them to carry more weight on their hind legs ( the strongest muscles) and lighten their forehand.

This weight transfer is better for the rider as the horse becomes more rideable, but for the the horse it it makes carrying the weight of the rider easier and promotes a longer working life on their joints and muscles.

The gymnasically more useful way of moving takes time to develop and can be difficult for some horses, especially those with conformation issues. The horse will ‘avoid’ bringing the hind leg further under the body and using it to push. These evasions could be due to a lack of straightness, loss of balance, lack of coordination, lack of strength or physical conformation.

Like some humans, when there is hard work to do, they may try to find what they think is an energy saving way of going. This is why we need to school the horse into a more economical, balanced way to move. Think of it as a table with the legs too far apart; the centre weight bearing area of the table becomes weak. But with the legs under the table and supporting, the table becomes stronger.ride-201699_1280

The 5 most common evasions I have found are:

1. Bulgeing the shoulder sideways – this causes crookedness so the horse falls in (or out) to avoid pushing forwards and stepping under with the hing leg.

2. Throwing the haunches in – again causes crookedness because the hindlegs no longer follow the front in a ‘corridor effect’ . They lose the ability to push and carry correctly.

3. Lowering the head and leaning on the riders hands – this loads the weight on the forehand and the rider holds them up. The horse is then pulling itself along as the hindlegs straighten and trail. Some horses depending on their conformation may curl up behind the bit.

4. Speeding up and rushing – this usually follows the above as tbe horse loads the forehand and runs along ‘flat’, unable to re-balance and hold themselves up. The horse can sometimes misinterpret the need of more impulsion for speed and avoids the transfer of weight back onto the hind quarters.

5. Slowing down – the horse doesn’t go forwards from the leg. Again the horse bimbles along dragging itself on the forehand and hindlegs trailing. The horse usually doesn’t track up, particularly in trot and often in walk. When the horse lowers its head and neck (also seen in 3 and 4) the hind leg will straighten and the weight of the head and neck help leverage the weight off the hindlegs and onto the forehand. The horse has to learn to go forwards first before being able to bring them back onto their haunches.

Being able to fine tune our focus onto where exactly the horse is putting its hindlegs and shoulders is the first step to correcting the problem. Riding the horse in a ‘corridor effect’ where the hind legs follow the the forelegs, as well as the riders shoulders, legs, hands and body position all follow accordingly.

I have found some horses may try all of these evasions one after the other, some just one or two. By understanding what is happening underneath the rider and recognising these common evasions, you are already one step ahead of your horse. Happy schooling 😉Emma Sonic Beach01

2 thoughts on “5 most common evasions horses have when schooling”

  1. I have lessons with Emma and all of the above happen at some point on different horses I ride.
    The way that these simple evasions are explained makes so much sense and when put into practice the way to correct them makes riding a what seems difficult horse a pleasure to school.
    Lately I have also been tied in whilst schooling so my seat is quieter and my arms stay where they should. This has made a hugh difference in how I ride and how I ask the horse to move on which reflects in the horse and helps me to feel when they are being evasive.
    I am enjoying riding again and it comes from the schooling I am having from Emma which helps me understand how the horse is moving and how to deal with things in a controlled manner.
    Please keep up the excellent coaching.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s