LFS on a straight line is an important exercise to reduce the thrust of the hind legs, to improve the coordination with the inside hind leg and to connect the inside hind leg to the center of mass.
LFS stands for:
1. L ateral bending of the body
2. F orward-down tendency of head and neck
3. S tepping under with the inside hind leg under the center of mass.
So the L is for Lateral bending, the F stands for Forward-down and the S for Stepping under.
When the LFS is correct, the horse moves in a balanced way on a straight line, without falling on the inside shoulder, or leaning against the wall with the outside shoulder.
LFS on a straight line is a good exercise to prepare the horse for the exercises shoulder-fore and shoulder-in.
During shoulder-fore and shoulder-in you are working with an outside rein, but it is important to understand that you can only start to bring the shoulders in with this outside rein, once the horse is soft and supple on the inside rein.
LFS on a straight line helps the horse to find softness and suppleness on this inside rein.
LFS vs Shoulder-fore vs Shoulder-in
- In LFS we strive to have the horse step with the inside hind leg at least into the track of the inside front leg. So both inside legs are aligned. We also call this ‘bended straight’.
- In shoulder-fore (picture on the left) we strive to have the horse step with the inside hind leg in between the tracks of the two front legs. Here both outside legs are aligned.
- In shoulder-in we strive to have the horse step with the inside hind leg into the track of the outside front leg – on three tracks (middle picture) – or even move on four tracks (right picture), depending on the extent of the bend.
LFS on a straight line can be done in groundwork, where you work with a single line. Shoulder-fore and shoulder-in can also done in work in hand with help of the indirect outside rein.
From left to right: shoulder-fore, shoulder-in on three tracks, shoulder-in on four tracks
Teaching the exercise to the horse
Bringing the 3 keys on the straight line can lead to a real breakthrough in the training of your horse and can bring your horse to the next level of balance.
In this video I’ll show you how to teach it to your horse and how it worked out for my horse Toronto:
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