How do I prevent my horse from swinging her haunches?
This weeks question is from a rider who has a problem riding her horse straight from free walk to medium walk. In the transition, the mare swings her haunches inside the track and does not travel straight. First of all, check that the riders position is correct, relaxed and balanced. Any tension in the rider will be mirrored in the horse. The connection must be elastic with the horse’s neck soft and relaxed. If this is true, try to maintain the same rhythm of the free walk into the medium walk. If the shoulders are constricted by a tight or uneven connection, the horse will slow down and lose the forward march. If the haunches tend to swing in, the rider should think renvers to straighten the haunches. A simple excercise to learn to control the haunches is to ride up the long side 3 steps straight, 3 steps leg yielding toward the quarter line, 3 steps straight, etc. until reaching the center line. The horse is parallel to the long side while flowing forward and sideways. Any problem will be clarified if the horse is not moving forward in a clear rhythm.