Hind leg technique - post your photos!

We all know what the perfect front end looks like. I would like to see examples of what is considered the “perfect” or text book hind leg technique, and perhaps an explanation of why it is the preferred technique. I have been searching online but have not found any good articles on this subject.

Is it generally considered better for a horse to kick out over the jump, or is tucking the hind legs tightly under the body just as efficient?

Even if your horse doesn’t have the perfect hind end technique, post your photos as well, and say whether you think it has been a disadvantage or not in competition.

(I will post photos of my two horses as soon as I find them!)

From what perspective are you asking?

There is no “perfect” form so long as the horse clears the fence cleanly. There are biomechanics studies suggesting the most efficient manner by which to jump but those don’t match what I suspect you think is the perfect front end form.

The Biomechanics of Movement of Horses Engaged in Jumping Over Different Obstacles in Competition and Training. Christina Ferchera (2017)

That work includes 5 more studies covering fence heights from 1m to 1.5m. And in the end, the actual from has less input than the take off velocity and limb acceleration in determining a clean jump.

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It depends on what you are doing. For a hunter it needs to exactly follow the arc, so neither over kick up, tuck, or god forbid trail.
For a jumper, they can kick up or tuck and be clean about it, but I think everyone prefers to see one kick up with power even though experience and science tell us both work. The kick up has the concern of overpowering the front end; the tuck the concern of cutting down too early if not scopey enough, so all these horses are successful or not depending on the training of the front end, overall scope, and appropriate riding. But if it trails behind there isn’t a darn thing you can do about it, so the “buy the back end; train the front end” adage is definitely gold.


I have one horse who prefers to gold his hocks and keep his hind legs close to his body. He is a careful jumper, but he does struggle somewhat as the big fences get wider. He does not naturally open up the stifle to let his hind end swing up and over. He is still successful up to 1.2m.

Another horse has a good natural hind end, though not always careful and can be lazy. But when he gives a good effort, his hind end opens up and clears wide fences with lots of room to spare.