North Carolina TWH 2 year old ridden in Tom Thumb broken bit with short shanks in endurance saddle. Using Round pen, riding ring, trails, dirt roads, pasture, ridden by Intermediate plus level rider.

Question: My just turned 2 y.o., 15.2H and still growing, TWH (now gelding) has just come home from basic training.  He is doing a racking gait, which I love, and know it will get better with age and maturity.  Is there anything I can do to get more front end lift without adding heavy shoes?  The trainer had that type of shoe on him, but they caused him to stumble some, and I really didn't think it was good for his growing joints and bones.  He was keg shod all the way around last week, went on his first overnight camping trip and did great.  I don't want to push him at all; I just want to be working toward the goal of higher front end lift over the next year.  Thanks so much for any insight into the proper training technique.

From Panelists Nancy

Without going to artificial gimmicks (or worse) methods, the only way you can get higher front end action is through more collection and impulsion - and then, just as with any other animal (or people, for that matter), every horse will have his own way of moving and limits for high action.  Some might step higher than others.  But to obtain higher leg action 
through correct collection is difficult and rare.  I would advise you to be very happy with your wonderful 2 year old as he is.  He sounds like a great little 2 year old!  Also, if you want to trail ride him, you don't want him wasting energy with high leg action.  I would guess that the action he already has is very nice.

Nancy Cade

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