Vertical imbalance is a dimension of natural asymmetry.
The shift of the center of mass to one side of the horses body can cause the horse to walk non-vertically.
The increased weight on the inside shoulder in a turn or on the circle makes the horse lean to the inside and become vertically crooked.
At liberty the horse will bring the head to the outside as a counter balance:
When a fast moving horse loses its vertical balance, then it loses balance in its entire body.
The "red" horse in the drawing below can only keep its balance by speeding up. Compare this with a motorcycle: the higher the speed, the more it leans to the inside of the curve.
Vertical imbalance while leaning in
On the pictures below, you see the center of mass is going towards the inside front leg and the horse leans in. The horse is therefore vertical out of balance:
The horse on the pictures below has equal distribution of the weight on the front legs and is therefore vertical straight:
Vertical imbalance while leaning out
The center of mass of the horse on the pictures below is going towards the outside front leg and the horse leans out. The horse is therefore vertical out of balance:
The rider must be able to recognize the vertical imbalance of the horse and he needs to bring the horse in balance.
Straightness Training is very helpful in this process.
What about your horse?
- Does he lean in on his shoulder?
- Especially in canter?
- Does he speed up automatically, but unwanted in a turn or on a circle?
- Do you have the feeling that you have to sit on the outside of the back of the horse, otherwise he will fall?
Please share your thoughts and experiences on this phenomenon in the comments below, thanks!