The better-educated-than-me riders reading already know why this is a problem, but, in case you are emerging out of the tunnel of ignorance like I am, here's why riding an inverted horse is bad in a nutshell: It damages their body. Since I plan to ride this horse well into his twenties, I need to teach him how to carry himself better so his body doesn't get hurt carrying me around with poor posture.
This is how he looks under saddle right now: His back and neck are hollow, his weight is on the forehand, and his hindquarters trail out behind. You can watch us at work here if you feel like assaulting your eyes.
|picture borrowed from http://www.classicaldressage.co.uk/|
|pictured borrowed from Sustainable Dressage|
Yesterday I ran across this exercise at Sustainable Dressage, the shoulder-in volte. It's an in-hand exercise that's supposed to help horses learn to stretch over their backs. I introduced Coriander to this exercise last night, just the beginning part where you activate the inside hind to step up further, with dubious results. I made the mistake of trying to lump too many pieces together before he sufficiently understood what I wanted, now I'll need to spend a few days fixing that mistake. Anyway, I have high hopes that this exercise will help him to round instead of invert.
Has anyone tried this exercise? If so what were the results? Does anyone have other suggestions? My plans for him over the winter is to do in-hand work on stuff like this to help his posture, so having a few tools in the box would be helpful.