Latest Blogposts

Horizontal imbalance

horizontal_imbalanceDid you know, that because of the relatively heavy head and neck, horses carry more weight on the front legs than on the hind legs?

This unequal weight distribution between front legs and hind legs is a dimension of the natural asymmetry.

We call it the horizontal imbalance.

You see, naturally, all horses carry about 3/5th of their weight on the shoulders and 2/5th on the hind legs.

For example, let’s say that a horse weighs 500 kilos. Then 300 kilos are carried on the front legs and 200 kilos on the hind legs.

It’s very unequal, isn’t it?

But so far, it’s not a problem: at least, as long as the horse enjoys his time in the pasture and no-one is riding him.

Only what happens when the horse has a rider on his back?

Well, then the horizontal imbalance and the extra weight on the horse’s fragile front legs can cause many problems.

Let’s check out the:

Symptoms with the weight of the rider

When a rider rides a horse that moves in its natural horizontal imbalance, the following symptoms can arise:

  • The horse leans on the rein and uses the hand of the rider for support, like a fifth leg.
  • The horse can overreach because the front legs are too slow leaving the ground.
  • The horse shows little shoulder-freedom.
  • An unbalanced horse can become tense. Such a horse has problems relaxing and can show resistance to the rider.
  • A tense horse will not give the rider a light, equal, elastic and vivid contact with the bit.
  • An unbalanced horse will lose its rhythm when making transitions in tempo.
  • The horse moves “downhill”.
  • Due to the weight of the rider that is added to the front legs, strain injuries can occur.

So, the horizontal imbalance makes riding much less fun and can even cause some serious issues.

How can we enjoy our riding more and prevent our horse from strain injuries?

The answer is simple: we need our horse to be able to carry us properly and in good balance.

This means we need Straightness Training.

Because, thanks to the exercises of Straightness Training we can shift the center of mass more back and as a result, the horse will start to move ‘uphill’:

Natural asymmetry

Click HERE to read more about which ST Exercises you can use >>

What about your horse?

  • Does your horse feel heavy on the reins?
  • Does he have a ‘hard mouth?’
  • Does he stumble a lot?
  • Are the back hoofs taping the front hoofs during riding?
  • Or does he feel light in your hands?
  • And is he moving ‘uphill’?

If you are concerned that your horse is too much on his front legs, or simply would love the feeling of more lightness during riding, it’s really worth learning more about Straightness Training.

Let’s go uphill together!

Join My Free Training

Do you want to learn more about the 8 dimensions of natural asymmetry?

Then jump on over to my free training were you get a three-step process for implementing Straightness Training in your training sessions right now.

Watch two videos and download your free eBook which will help you put the information into action right away:

2 thoughts on “Horizontal imbalance

Comment author said

By Stroebel on 6 September 2015 at 11:47

Marijke, ek is ‘n 79 jarige Suid-Afrikaner, praat Afrikaans en werk 4 keer per week met perde (Nooitgedachters). Ek is dankbaar dat ek jou webblad ontdek het, en geniet jou rubrieke intens.



Comment author said

By Svenja on 16 October 2015 at 17:52

Hi ! My Icelandic horse unfortunately isn’t straight yet, but he is only 8 , so he will be straight soon.My riding instructor taught me very much about bending, circles etc. He has improved a lot, in January He could only Do walk and pace, now he can do anything, but his canter isn’t that good because he is imbalanced, but we are working on it He is Not heavy on the rein, except in tolt when He wants to stretch his neck, so that He can slip into pace. He stumbles a lot, exspecially in trot, I thought it was because of his farrier, but it could also bei a sign oft imbalance.
Anyway, you helped me a lot, I gained a lot of knowledge because of you. Thank you!


Leave a Reply