A moment to ponder

Following on from CRC's policy of educating whilst refraining from immediate condemnation of this or that... here is a pic over which you may wish to ponder.

I had just got on this horse whose owner had kindly agreed to be a 'guinea-pig' at one of my Demos a few years back, and being a hunting/jumping boy his dislike of dressage was fairly obvious! The tack used was his usual gear.  Bless him - within a few minutes of mounting up, he was doing his best to flex into my asking hand, raising his poll and stepping more under himself.

What must be remembered is very few horses can move into a perfect outline without a considerable amount of time and correct schooling. Even to get this result was quite a miracle.  Yes, the nose is slightly behind the vertical (BTV) - yes, the poll is not yet quite the highest point, but it was a great step forward for a horse used to being ridden on the forehand.

Ideally of course we are looking for a rounded outline, hocks nicely engaged, poll the highest point etc etc .. but when a horse has never been elevated in the shoulders (except when jumping!) it is often difficult for him to move as we would like him to move to start. It would be like expecting a novice in ballet suddenly to be on their points!  For this reason, we have to be very careful about condemning people who have not yet reached this perfect stage. Everyone has to start somewhere.


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