|Tennessee, 5 year old Morgan with lack of
rear impulsion and extension of gait ridden in snaffle, short cheek mulin
mouth, liver pool for driving. And ortho flex(western) saddle in riding
ring, and small round pen by intermediate rider.
Question: this horse is a stallion, good natured, trots and racks, is well broke to drive single and double. I work him on farm machinery. Under saddle what training methods will help me to collect the horse from behind and flex correctly at the poll while doing the rack gait..
From Panelist Erica
Getting him to soften and supple while riding. Although, this may not be desirable if you use him for driving. If you teach your horse to soften correctly, he will essentially round his back and engage his hind end better. You could also inquire on a dressage forum for ideas as well - as they emphasize a lot on just this thing.
From Panelist Jonathan
When wanting more collection for a more correct way of gaiting , develop a light hand coordinated with sensitive knees or full leg pressure to start. I find it very similar to driving a standard transmission vehicle . You have to feel the correct amount of gas to clutch release for a smooth transition . I sit in a slightly off center/forward seat . Raise the reins 3 or 4 inches while cueing with the knee/leg in conjunction with retaining contact with the mouth . Do not loose contact with the mouth or the rear will not stay engaged while learning . Only after the habit of going this way is solid will I move on to the loose rein gait . Add to this routine practice , practice , practice .
From Panelist Lee
You are asking something that is not possible, IME. Horses that rack naturally must be in a physical position that is different from the collected, rounded from behind, flexed poll one you are envisioning, or they will cease to rack. If you want to truly collect the horse, do it in the trot, and let him travel with his "other" position when he is racking. You can ask him to flex a bit at the poll, with light vibrations on the reins, one hand, then the other, to relax his jaw and bring his forehead to vertical, while driving him forward with squeeze/releases from your calves.
But don't ask him to collect from the rear, if you want to keep the rack.
Good luck with your gaited Morgan.
From Panelist Liz
I believe some exercises from the flat walk will help first before asking
for more at the rack. I would walk forward at a good fast flat walk and
then stop and ask for a few steps backward and right away go right back
into the flat walk, repeating this several times in a
Remember in a racking gait you can only get so much extension before
you would go to another gait . The rack is a gait where they are to break
at the hock and lift up and forward with the hind legs. Overstride
is fine at the flat walk but is a limited element of the
When going to the rack ask for him to be collected first from the flat
walk and then ask for the rack, don't go to the rack and then ask for him
to flex. Asking to collect after you have gone into gait tends to make
for a stiff straight neck where asking for it before give you a
From Panelist Nancy
I believe a very good exercise to help develop collection is to do a
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