Before you start this exercise it is important that the Basic Communication with your horse is good, so that you understand the horse and the horse understands you (see Basic groundwork exercises).
Your horse needs to be familiar with Step 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and to master these exercises for 3/4:
The sixth step
From the previous step (Shoulder In), where the horse has learned to take more weight with his inner hind leg and develop more shoulder freedom in his outside foreleg, we can now teach the horse to take more weight with his outside hind leg and develop more shoulder freedom in the inner shoulder.
Benefits for the body
Haunches in a.k.a. Travers ensures that the hind legs learn evenly to carry the hindquarters and propel them forward. Because the hind legs have to bend more and carry more weight, the muscles become stronger, just like with weight lifting.
The horse’s shoulders can move more freely. This is because in this exercise the horse learns to place the outside hind leg more under the center of gravity, so that this outside hind leg takes up more weight and therefore carries better. Because of this effect, the shoulders are lifted more and the inner leg in particular can move more freely.
The horse will automatically move the weight to the hindquarters through this exercise.
Every horse has a difference in the use of its legs. One hindleg is stiffer than the other and one foreleg is more loaded than the other. For this Travers ensures that the horse becomes more flexible in using the stiff hindleg and also the most stressed foreleg, has more shoulder freedom and is less crooked.
Once the horse knows this exercise, the follow-up exercises such as Renvers, Appuyement (half pass) are easy to learn because the body actually takes the same shape.
Are you curious how you too can teach this to your horse?
Go to the Online Gymnastics Basic Course