Is the horse at the forefront? 

 

Whether the horse is on the forehand or carrys the weight on the hind can not be determined from the neck's position. A horse that goes in competition frame, with the neck high and slightly in front of the vertical, can easily still go with the weight on the forehand. So even if everything in front of the saddle looks perfect, that is not necessarily the case. A horse that goes with the head and neck in a deep stretch, even very deep position, may well carry weight on the hind end.

Gitse steps deep beneath him, which means that the neck is stretched and the back just behind the mane is lifted. You get the impression that the horse is going "uphill"

Gitse steps deep beneath him, which means that the neck is stretched and the back just behind the mane is lifted. You get the impression that the horse is going "uphill"

What you can always be sure of is that a horse that goes behind the vertical will always go with the weight of the forhand and it applies even though it may have just been competing at the Olympics. It is quite easy to look at pictures and if you are in doubt you can try to keep your hand over the neck and head. Now I will not show pictures of other equipager here on the page. But try to go on Google and search for example. Dressage World Cup and look at the pictures. If one gets into doubt and thinks, this horse look uphill, then take a extra look on the back. It will often hang down and wither and hip will be up. When this happens the horse is still not working correctly from behind. The wither must be higher than the hip.

Here you can see Noller in trot, behind the vertical and clearly on the forehand.

Here you can see Noller in trot, behind the vertical and clearly on the forehand.

 

And here's Noller in trot where he stretches the entire upper line. He is not on the back, but has moved the center of gravity a bit further back than on the previous picture.

And here you can see Noller in trot, where he stretches across the top line. He is not carrying all weight on his hind but he has moved the gravitational point slightly further behind compared to the previous picture.

 

And here a comparison in walk. Here he goes a little higher with his neck and looks like the weight is more
evenly distributed on the for and hind end, but notice how the spine hangs down. He does not work over
his back at all in this picture.

And here a comparison in walk. Here he goes a little higher with his neck and looks like the weight is more evenly distributed on the for and hind end, but notice how the spine hangs down. He does not work over his back at all in this picture.

 

And here he is also seen in steps with head and neck deep and you can clearly see the "uphill" trend.

And here he is also seen in steps with head and neck deep and you can clearly see the "uphill" trend.

A young horse or a badly traind horse will always be on the forehand when you let it stretch, it will also be on the forehand when it does not stretch. It is through the training that it will learn to carry more weight on the hind. During a period it will be straight with the weight equally spread on front and hind end and sometimes fall back on the forehand, but in time it will be better and better with the right training. When the horse really begins to step deep under itself, it will, after a while look as if it goes uphill, even if it stretches deep.

Here you can see Stacia in a step. Edited before she really was ready for it. She can not figure out to stretch. She is clearly on the forehead and the back is just behind the gut. Had I continued to ride her like she ended up with kissing spine.

Here you can see Stacia in walk. Ridden before she was really ready for it. She can not figure out how to stretch. She is clearly on the forehand and the back is hanging just behind the wither. Had I continued to ride her like this she would probably have ended up with kissing spine.

 

Here Stacia is also seen in steps, she is not yet stepping under her enough, but there is more "uphill" tendency than in the previous picture and she is stretching. Here she has just started up after almost a whole year of training from the ground up.

Here Stacia is also seen in steps, she is not yet stepping under her enough, but there is more "uphill" tendency than in the previous picture and she is stretching. Here she has just started up after almost a whole year of training from the ground up.

Although the horse for example has begun to walk with the weight on the hind end you shouldn't expect it to hold it when you begin trotting. It will most likely fall on the forhand again and the training therefore starts over again but now in trot. And thats how it continues.

Here you can see amaze in the trot, extremely on the forehand, she stretches, but does not yet steps
deeply enough under the gravitational point to be able to lift her back just behind the wither. It will take a
little longer with her as she has kissing spine and other things that make it harder for her than for the other
horses.

Here you can see amaze in the trot, extremely on the forehand, she stretches, but does not yet steps deeply enough under the gravitational point to be able to lift her back just behind the wither. It will take a little longer with her as she has kissing spine and other things that make it harder for her than for the other horses.

For a long time it will be a bit of a mixture where you can momentarily get the horse to work with weight on the hind end, but if the muscles are not yet strong enough then it will fall back on the forehand again. But in time you will experience that the horse can hold it for longer and longer.

Here Amaze is seen in stride, even in stride she has so far been very much on the forefront. But little by little it starts to change and you start to be able to sense the "uphill" trend.

Here Amaze is seen in stride, even in stride she has so far been very much on the forefront. But little by little it starts to change and you start to be able to sense the "uphill" trend.

Many are of that opinion that the horse should be away from going on the forehand as soon as possible because it is wearing it. Unfortunately, you cannot move the gravitational point by making the horse go higher with the neck. If you do so it will still be on the forehand. Instead, make sure the horse is trained well from the ground before you start riding it. When you start riding you need to concentrate mostly on the walk, as it is in this gait that there is least pressure on the joints. One tries out with the trot and later canter, but if you feel that the horse goes on the forehand, then keep these intervals short.

I hope the pictures help to give an understanding that the horse's head and neck position have nothing to do with whether the horse goes on the forehand. You simply have to look at the back.