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Teaching Your Horse To Stretch Their Neck Out In A Hunter Under Saddle Class

Photo Credit: Tricia Booker

Submitted by member: Mandy

How do I get my horse to stretch his neck out in the hack division?

Answer by Julie Winkel

To teach a horse to stretch in a hunter frame, they need to learn to go long and low. This is accomplished by working at a trot and practicing taking a feel of the inside rein as you sink into the saddle (downward position of the post) and simultaneously closing your inside leg. As you rise, relax the pressure of both rein and leg. This repeated action encourages the horse to seek contact and stretch his neck down (not in) while continuing the have good engagement behind.

A hunter should go in a longer, lower frame with light contact (not loose contact) at all the gaits. Once they learn to stretch down at the trot they will also understand the concept at the walk and canter as well. 😊

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Julie Winkel

Julie Winkel has been a licensed Hunter, Equitation, Hunter Breeding and Jumper judge since 1984. She has officiated at prestigious events such as Devon, Harrisburg, Washington International, Capital Challenge, The Hampton Classic and Upperville Horse Shows. She has designed the courses and judged the ASPCA Maclay Finals, The USEF Medal Finals and The New England Equitation Finals.

For more information, visit her website:

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