We all know where the weight of a pickup is right? If you split this truck in half, as I've done, you'll see a majority of the weight resides in the FRONT half of the truck, making the truck HEAVY on the front end. For example, if you are driving along and then you come to a complete stop, the truck will dive down in the front end temporarily. Why? Because that is where the weight is carried. Now, where does the power and forward motion of the truck come from? From the rear wheels. The rear wheels engage and PUSH the truck forward when we step on the gas pedal. There are many times where we NEED to have the weight of the truck balanced out, where we attempt to get the weight closer to 50/50, by adding bricks or other material into the bed of the truck.
Your HORSE is no different.
Your horse naturally carries a heavier load on it's front end. When sliced down the middle, as shown in the photo, you're looking at about 65-70% of the weight in the front half. Why is any of this so important? Because when training, it is important for us to understand how the horse naturally carries itself.
So what does this all mean??? Well, it's the same as with the pick up truck. We desire to have our horse's weight balanced 50/50 a majority of the time, by why is it so crucial to be balanced? Carrying a majority of it's weight in the front end we can run into some major problems while training such as, a horse not picking the canter, lack of impulsion, not trotting out properly, tripping, peanut pushing, hollowed out spine, not bending into a circle properly, refusing jumps, tripping on trot poles and so much more. Really? All this is reliant on how we ask our horses to carry themselves??? YES.
Now while it is easier for a horse to carry itself on the forehand, it is counter productive to us as riders. What becomes of a horse when we have them properly carrying themselves in a balanced 50/50 manner? Engagement of the hocks and hind end, cadence, balanced transitions and gaits, proper jumping, we can ask for extension and collection properly, balanced circles, a round solid frame, advanced movements such as flying lead changes, half pass, shoulder in/out, haunches in/out, pirouettes, trail courses, dressage tests and reining patterns.
Understanding where your horses weight is, is the first step towards making progress in ANY training program or riding discipline.