How to engage the hind leg - Hill work

This is great for developing your horses muscle and strength

Ensure your horse is warmed up before you do hill work

Hill work can be done on a hack in walk trot and canter.

When the horse has developed good balance you can allow it to stretch into the contact therefore really working from behind and over its back.

As you can see in the video I incorporate lateral movements such as leg yielding and also allow the horse to stretch.

Walking down hill I let the horse stretch at times, teaching it to find it’s own balance but I do keep a contact.

This work should be built up over time so don’t go out one day and decide your doing half an hour of hill work.

This will over work the muscles and your horse will become sore.

Don’t allow the paces to become big and long.

Keep the hind leg active to encourage the horse to take more weight behind.

This allows them to push up the hill rather than pull up with their shoulders

In canter make sure your horse is controlled and in a rhythm.

You are specifically building strength, not speed and cardiovascular fitness.

Having said that the horse will naturally become fitter by doing this.

The rider should try and stay balanced with equal weight in the stirrups.

If you look ahead this will help your balance.

The trot work can be done in rising trot or a light seat.

Canter work can be either in a light seat or out of the saddle.

It is important not to block the horses back as this will cause it to invert and not work correctly.