looks like you are making nice progress. The area in front of his shoulder at the base of the neck is filling out nicely and overall his muscle to looks to be of good quality
What a lovely looking horse.
You will know if he is getting the wrong muscle from incorrect work. The muscle under the neck really develops and I will get shot down for this sentence -Then the mane ends up on both sides of the neck.
Topline will be created when the horse starts working from behind and is off the forehand.
Long and Low is a warm up and a stretch but is an exercise that is on the forehand. You don’t stay in that outline.
Thanks so much for your responses! I really appreciate the feedback.
no, he is muscling but not building topline, and never will so long as you ride him a al will faeber. he will get supple and elastic, but will not develop muscling over the topline until he learns to shift his balance toward the hind end and actually carry his shoulder and neck in a smooth uphill curve.
What a lovely looking horse.
You will know if he is getting the wrong muscle from incorrect work. The muscle under the neck really develops and I will get shot down for this sentence -Then the mane ends up on both sides of the neck.[/QUOTE]
the more straight and correctly developed a horse i, the more the mane splits and ends up on both sides of the neck. however, i agree, an incorrectly developing horse will build more muscle on the underside of the neck instead of the desired muscling from the wither to to the crest
Did you know if a horse is moved from one hemisphere to another that, due to the Coriolis effect, its mane will flip and fall to the opposite side?
I have to agree with chisamba–I don’t see the kind of topline development that I would expect to see in four+ months of good work. My thoughts about Will Faeber aside, correct work will result in obvious change to a horse’s physique, especially in the loin area. I just don’t see it, but–to be fair–your “before” pic is not the best. Is you saddle fitting differently?
Aside: low and long should be used as a stretch – a break from the work. Why people think that it’s desirable “frame” or a goal, is a mystery to me. It’s a test of the several elements of training but it’s not a place to stay for any period of time unless you want a lame horse with no understanding of using his back. Take the time to look at all of Faeber’s videos. You will see that the horses never come out of this frame–even when he says they do. The Ingrid Klimke videos that are floating around also contribute to this misunderstanding, imo, but in an entirely separate way. People mistake her contact with young horses as a desirable end for training.
I agree with crash helmet and chisamba - the horse isn’t developing topline. Topline is developed when he learns to use his hind end and lift his front end, keeping off the front end. Long and low does not do this. It is meant as a break, a rest, a stretch.
Bend is your friend. Longeing with side reins, to encourage a bend and stretch the outside, working very very hard to keep him upright and straight while bending on the circle, not letting him ‘fall in’ with his shoulder. He should not be pulling with his front end, which develops the muscled shoulder you have, he should be pushing with his hind end. Keep his head up. Do not let him lower his poll. There is much you need to learn, but long and low is not it.
Thank you for your thoughts! I am a first time horse owner and am still learning about all the different (and often conflicting!) schools of thought and training methods. So, what would you recommend to get more topline development? What should it feel like to me (the rider) when he is using his back and working well?
I want to share these pictures also: here is the “long and low” i referenced : http://imgur.com/eMmz8Wg which we do sometimes but he looks like this: http://imgur.com/3eLmtui most of the time (>85%), which I guess i would still consider somewhat low. Should I be asking him to come up further with his poll?
You need a trainer to teach you how it should feel. Someone on the ground who will tell you when he is using himself correctly so that you can memorize what it feels like when he gets it, and you get it. In the saddle, it will be learning to bend, using the outside rein for support, keeping his inside shoulder from falling in. It can’t be taught through videos, you need someone on the ground to drill it iinto you and give you the exercises.
Its not “asking to come up further with his poll”. Its using his back, checking him when he drops his head (into long and low) which is an evasion, but is natural when they aren’t strong through their back, because its hard to do. He may only be able to do a couple of steps using his back without dropping his head at first. But you need to learn to longe with side reins - this is a gymnastic, like Yoga, to strengthen him and teach him balance without you on his back, first. You should not be spending time in long and low, you are teachin him to use the wrong muscles. Get a trainer.
In your photo, your reins are very long, your horse is running forward onto his front end, and you are tipped forward, with piano hands. Truly, you need someone to help you put it together and feel it correctly and give you exercises.
Ok, thanks for your response. I do have a bad habit of having my reins too long - I am working on it! I do have a trainer also and I need to take more lessons with her. I’m always looking for more advice and trying to improve hence why I’m asking here! Thanks!
The horse will not develop topline when ridden long and low that way as others have said. A horse that has competed at Prelim should be doing a Second Level Frame and starting collection. He should be able to carry himself and work into more of a contact if he has previously been ridden at that level.
Jealoushe, that was what I was thinking. At prelim, he should be carrying himself correctly, unless he has been ridden incorrectly and allowed to lose his carriage and encouraged to go ‘long and low’, perhaps.
Did you know if a horse is moved from one hemisphere to another that, due to the Coriolis effect, its mane will flip and fall to the opposite side?[/QUOTE]
the more straight and correctly developed a horse i, the more the mane splits and ends up on both sides of the neck. however, i agree, an incorrectly developing horse will build more muscle on the underside of the neck instead of the desired muscling from the wither to to the crest[/QUOTE]
I was told the opposite. We picked up a horse that was broken necked from incorrect riding. The mane was on the left near the ear, the right in the middle and the left near the withers.
He was a tb.
I was told that as he became correct the mane would end up on one side of his neck. That did happen.
All my other horses have their mane on one side of their neck and that includes different breeds.
I am not talking about the breeds that have a double mane of course.
OP, I don’t think you should have deleted your OP. It was a valid question and was getting some valid responses. Hope you are able to use it to help you find a good solution for your horse. He was really nice looking and will continue to improve with more work. Don’t be discouraged, we are all a work in progress.
Aside: low and long should be used as a stretch – a break from the work. Why people think that it’s desirable “frame” or a goal, is a mystery to me.[/QUOTE]
I am kicking myself for not bookmarking the Carl Hester clinic in which he says that most people use long and low briefly at the end of a ride or for a break, but they should be using it to work the horse.
I thought most people used it to warm up as well?
I am kicking myself for not bookmarking the Carl Hester clinic in which he says that most people use long and low briefly at the end of a ride or for a break, but they should be using it to work the horse.[/QUOTE]
I thought most people used it to warm up as well?