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Activate your horse’s “engine”

Activate your horse’s “engine”
Many coaches say that the horse’s back should be “active.” But what is this “activity” and how to achieve it? What activity can be considered correct, and how can a rider use his controls to activate a horse’s “engine”?

Activity and balance

Requiring activity is one of the coaching methods to encourage the rider to look for the right impulse. Imagine the horse’s hind legs are the engine. The engine naturally pushes the horse forward. When you add activity from the backside with your schenkels, you increase the engine revolutions per minute. At the same time, on occasion, you signal the horse to wait. You should feel an increase in power, but not speed. The pace should remain unchanged or become only slightly faster, the rhythm of the pace should remain clean, the stride should not be extended, and “kilometers per hour” should not increase.

The impulse is an integral “accessory” of a properly balanced horse and one of the most important qualities that riders should focus on. If the horse is in the right balance at a certain level of training, each exercise and movement at the appropriate level should be performed with ease. Activity from the backside is important for achieving longitudinal balance, since the horse needs more pushes, more control and connection of the hind legs to keep them under him. When the horse’s hind legs are energetic and in the right place, which allows them to carry weight, the horse’s back can relax, and this will allow energy to flow through the body from back to mouth. If a horse lacks activity, and the hind legs begin to lag, it cannot bear its weight on the rear and its energy will be blocked and will not make a circle.

Before you can ask a horse to be active, make sure that:

You can ride at a steady rhythm and adjust the pace on each gait.
The horse is elastic and you control its lateral balance.
You feel uniform contact on both occasions.
If you’re trying to get a little bit more

Correct alignment on the circle. The shoulder fell to the left.

If you try to add activity when the horse is not aligned, the energy you create in its hind legs disappears due to the curvature, does not pass through the back and does not connect the horse’s hind legs and mouth. Use the contact that you feel on the occasion to monitor the lateral balance, because the weight on the occasion reflects the weight on your shoulders. In other words, if you feel that a horse is heavier for one reason, in most cases this will mean that it relies more on one shoulder; a horse is unlikely to be stiff only in the jaw or neck. If the horse is in even contact, this means that his shoulders are in the correct position and carry the weight evenly on the left and right. To help a horse that falls for one reason, to even out and become more uniform in contact, work with a scraper from the more “hard” side to move the corresponding shoulder under it and level the shoulders.

“Tap-Tap”

When I teach the rider to add momentum to the “engine” of the horse, I say: “Tap-tap!”, Which corresponds to the correct effect of the schenkels to activate the horse. The Tap-Tap idea helps the rider find the right energy in his own legs. Impact is not a blow, but a quick tapping of the shin, heel, or spur. The rest of the leg is relaxed, which allows the horse’s energy to pass through the horse under the seat and leg. Since all of us, like horses, are different, you may have to experiment. Some horses respond better to the lightest touch, some need a normal message, and some need to tickle a little whip along with the impact of the schenkel. The timeliness and energy of the activating message is more important than its power. Sometimes the horsemen push the horses constantly. Then it becomes lethargic and stops responding to the controls. The rider must act in the rhythm of “Tap-Tap” to teach the horse to activate in response to a light Schenkel. Then he will be able to work more easily, and the horse will offer more in return.

You need to use a reason to tell the horse: “Take your time” when you activate it with a schenkel. The speed leads to the fact that the horse begins to lag behind, and this negatively affects the longitudinal balance. Use a quick impact — for a step or less — close the brush and don’t pull back when you ask the horse to wait. Immediately after this, the rider must soften the excuse to allow the horse to walk on his own. Repeat the exercise until the horse has learned the lesson and is in a hurry in response to the activating schenkel.

When done correctly, activating a horse’s “engine” will give you the strength you need to improve its longitudinal balance and therefore.

How smart is your horse?
Andrew McLean played a leading role in educating horse owners around the world, in particular, he tried to convey how horses think. This article appeared in 1995, but is still…

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Activate your horse's “engine”
Activate your horse's “engine” Many coaches say that the horse's back should be "active." But what is this "activity" and how to achieve it? What activity can be considered correct,…

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