\i have been reschooling a horse, he has been going very well, but I cannot get him to really, really use his back end. he is ready to do this, is soft, flexible, has great balance, can do the basics of lateral movement and woeks nicely on the bit, but when you ask him to engage a little more, he finds it hard.

I have been trying with plenty of transitions, and been trying to help him develop more muscle, but am stuck right now. I have not had this with any other horse. He just needs to engage his hocks that bit more to help carry a little more weight on the back end.

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Cavaletti is great for building muscle as is hill work. Reiner Klimke has a book on how to use cavaletti for dressage.
He will of course find it hard. Building muscle and flexibilty takes many weeks/months/years. You only need to do cavaletti three times a week.
Hillwork or just working over rough ground is also great for training and adds variety. Jumping low fences also adds variety and builds muscle. You use uphills for lenthening the stride and downhills for shortening the stride. Do this at the walk and then at the trot. This is a good way to introduce transitions within the gait.
Queenrider has hit the nail on the head with her advice!! Hill work is by far the best way to get the horse to use their back without adding tension . We do it all the time to strenghen the horse's back end. Just walking and troting does the trick.
Thanks for the reminder - feel so daft not thinking that one out myself. We do loads of hillwork with the youngsters, just plain missed that stage with this rehab horse!!


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