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Developing a horses HIND leg technique

I have a very talented show jumper currently jumping and competing at 4 ft. He is very quick and careful with his front legs but i want to develop his hind leg technique of "opening out " or “kickback” .

Ive looked everywhere ( i have 101 jumping exercises book) does anyone know of any exercises that could help? I cant find any:cry:

Myself have not found much towards developing the hind end, but if you’re in the jumpers and going clean… does it matter?

Don’t want to open a can of worms, but that was the purpose of poling.

It’s been a really long time since I had jumpers doing anything at a level where this matters. And that makes me very sad.

But I seem to recall low, wide oxers and gymnastics that built to low, wide oxers getting the old hiney flipping on the jumpers. Especially the day after a school.

Aren’t there hind boots known to help horses kick up their back end over fences? No experiences but I know of horses where adding hind boots makes their hind end go up past standards. Obviously it has to do with horses athletic ability too.

Equitational, there are Doda’s I believe they add pressure or weight to the hind legs. I know they are illegal for the Young Jumper classes, and I assume in competition. I know very little about them.

If the horse has a tendency to hang his hind end, perhaps go back to flatwork. Work on connection and having the horse sit back on his hind end. This will definitely give him more strength. As will hills and trot sets up inclines.

A big part of it has to do with the horses natural talent, but there are defiantly things you can do to help improve him :slight_smile:

Try gymnastic exercises that get your horse jumping closer do the base of the jumps. This will get him jumping higher up into the air and get a all round better quality jump. For example an exercise you could do could be 3 small bounces in a row then a small 1 stride to a big oxer (you can build this jump up quite a bit) the bounces will make him come back onto his hindquarters and the short 1 stride will set him up to the oxer closer to the base so that he has to really make a really round jump and kick out his back legs. (Don’t be concerned if he gives this oxer a hit/knock a few times, if he isn’t careful enough it may happen but it will teach him quickly to pick them up).

In general horses that are balanced and impulsive will make better jumps opposed to horses that are strung out and make flat jumps. So focus on really collecting him in your flatwork.

Hope I could help :slight_smile:

Aren’t there hind boots known to help horses kick up their back end over fences? No experiences but I know of horses where adding hind boots makes their hind end go up past standards. Obviously it has to do with horses athletic ability too.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, you could use pinch boots or Dodas, but that doesn’t actually solve the issue, it just puts a band-aid over it so you can pretend it’s not there. You can show in them as long as it’s not in the young jumper classes - but the FEI just passed something about hind boots and I’m not entirely clear on that.

OP - low, wide oxers. You can even set up a 1 stride, very low, and have ramped oxers into it both ways (so you jump one the wrong direction). Keep it really low if you’re going to do that, though - no bigger than 3’.

Hogsbacks will work as well.

Get that hind end as strong as possible with hill work, if you can, and raised cavalettis.

Descending oxers can work for that.

Agree with Supershorty. Hill work and exercises to build hind end. My trainer is a GP jumper rider and she uses dressage exercises too in building horses back end for this very reason.

The kickback you are seeing is derived from a horse’s natural propulsion and talent, ergo, that back snapping movement is simply something the horse possesses, or not.

You can do a million exercises to tidy that hind end up and make it more efficient, but you are going to have a tough time changing his style to Gem Twist.

Hill work will strengthen the hind end, particularly the stifles. Poles will engage the hind end and strengthen the topline through the back, the longissimus dorsi in particular seems to benefit from lots of pole work - eight trot poles in a row, etc. Setting up a course with low, wide facing jumps will teach the horse to break over himself and clean up the hind end.

I prefer grids, mostly, for this type of horse - something that I find works is to place a big jump (bigger than the grid) somewhere unrelated to the grid - canter over it and do a neat, soft rollback to the grid. The grid will be ascending in height, first a vertical, then a slightly higher vertical, then a slightly higher but much wider oxer, to a larger/wider swedish oxer, to a second swedish oxer that is the height of the unrelated jump.

Grid Legend:

  • : 1 stride
    –: 2 stride
    | : vertical
    ||: oxer
    {}: unrelated large fence
    So the grid would look something like this:
    v < – {} <----
    v —> |-|-||–||–|| ------>

Alternatively, you can change the distances and make the first two jumps bounces.

I like to set up a long low grid of bounces. Also if you ride closer to the base of the jump it will help.