MOST RIDERS has heard the expression ‘to have the horse in front of your leg’. Today I got the question, and it’s a great question, ‘what does “in front of the leg” actually mean?’
It simply means that when the horse is in front of your leg he’s engaged, underneath you, and when you give an aid he steps forward – comes up from behind and into an elastic contact in the front. He responds quickly to the use of the leg, and with the appropriate amount of impulsion.
You can test if your horse is in front of your leg by giving a relaxed effective aid. You should feel that he reacts immediately and actively from behind, pushing the energy through his body forward and lengthening his neck into a steady contact. He should get quick behind and long in the front – as opposed to long behind and short in front!
Photo of Spring Hill Dressage’s Rick & me.