Before we dive into this question, let's speak about the use of tools in general first:
The benefits of using tack, tools and equipment is, that we can enhance our ways to communicate with the horse, so we can help him the best we can in getting symmetrical in body and limbs.
Of course this is only if the tack is used correctly.
Since childhood, Elaine and Charmaine have been fascinated by horses.
For 21 years they had been twin sisters and best friends.
They were identical in nearly every way.
They had the same grades in school and wore the same clothes.
They were both good riders and had great fun with horses.
At the age of 21 they were still similar in appearance and outlook, but then something changed ....
- Does your horse have an unequal pelvis?
- Is the exercise haunches-in much easier to perform to the left than to the right?
- Is it impossible to make a square halt?
This may have its roots in the inequality in the horse's hind legs!
Horses have unequal hind legs, but it's easier to see in a dog. So if you have a dog, that’s a great opportunity to discover more about how our four legged friends use their hind legs.
Just walk behind him and see what he's doing with his hind legs:
- How does he position his hind legs in relation to the body?
- How is he tracking with the feet?
- Some fox terriers even walk on three legs when they move fast, so they have a very strong leg and a more weak leg.
Also horses have a more pushy hind leg and a more carrying one. If you don’t ride a horse, the inequality is not a problem, but if you start riding, you need to equalize both hind legs in order to avoid the problems as outlined above.
Click HERE for more information about the inequality in the horse’s hind legs and how to equalize them>>
- Does your horse lean on the inside or the outside shoulder during riding?
- Does he puts the same leg always forward and the other always backward during grazing?
- Does he always take the same canter lead no matter what rein?
- Does he suffer from navicular disease?
That may have to do with the natural hoof preference of the horse. Just like humans, horses are left- or right handed. So one front leg is stronger than the other and has the tendency to carry more weight than the other.
Horses have a hoof preference and this is easily seen with foals.
Foals are unequal in using their front legs from birth. Because of their long legs and short neck, they often spread their legs wide. They always have one leg further forward and one leg further back. This forward leg is also called the ‘grazing leg’.
With older horses it’s sometimes more difficult to determine.
Click HERE to do the Hoof Preference Test >>
- Does your horse feels heavy on the reins?
- Does he have a 'hard mouth'?
- Does he stumble a lot?
- Are the back hoofs tapping the front hoofs during riding?
That may have to do with the natural horizontal imbalance of the horse!
Did you know that all horses carry about 3/5th of their weight on the shoulders and 2/5th on the hind legs?
If you don’t change this during riding, your horse can feel very heavy on the reins, as if he uses your hand for support, like a fifth leg.
Click HERE to read about the Horizontal Imbalance + What to do about it! >>