"On The Bit"
This 3D printed horse is the best teaching tool EVER!
Remember he is a plastic horse.
This week we will just look at pictures of a round vs hollow horse. Later we will get into more details, but for right now lets really study the outline of a round horse.
CORRECT ROUND TROT
Purple: Back is round. Lower back has come up under the rider/harness, loin is flattened, croup is lowered and thus tail head is lowered.
Pink: Underline is much shorter than topline as the back has come up to stretch round.
Green: Angle of hind and front legs matches OR hind is slightly more under than front (see the piaffe picture for clarification).
Yellow: Face is just ahead of vertical. This completes a nice round arch from tip of nose to tip of hind hoof.
Horse is bringing his hind legs under his body to support his weight (elevating the front end) and thus is able to use his entire body to work properly. He is happy. Horse is athletic, using his body properly and can remain sound and at the top of his game well into his 20's.
PIAFFE - HIGHLY COLLECTED TROT IN PLACE
Extreme collection 99% of the horses are never asked for ... but I wanted to show just how strong and athletic a horse can be.
Purple (shorter line): Round back just as above but even more round, note how much farther down the tail head is.
Pink: Short top line just as above but even shorter as the back is more round.
Green: In this case as we are in piaffe the hind legs have come under even more.
Yellow: Face is on the vertical or slightly ahead. NEVER behind.
The resulting trot is slow, cadenced and balanced. This is not a jig by any means. Nor is it forcing a horse to trot in place by pulling back on the reins and forcing them to trot. A true piaffe is very difficult.
INVERTED HOLLOW INCORRECT TROT
Purple: Back is hollow. Dip where rider would be, loin may also be hollow, croup is not lowered thus tail head is set high).
Red: Spine jammed together and closed off, ouch.
Pink: Long underline nearly matches length of top line. Belly is hanging down and not "sucked up" to support the back.
Green: Leg angles do not match. Remember the hind can come more under the body but never more out behind.
Yellow: Face very ahead of vertical, jaw is probably stiff and set against hands.
Horse can not use his hind legs very well and is forced to pull himself along with his shoulders while his hind legs trail out behind him. While it makes for a "flashy front end" it is not athletic at all. This is very painful. He will break down.