Q: What is throughness?
A: Throughness involves your horse working from his hindquarters, swinging through his back, into a consistent, relaxed contact in front. His neck and jaw joints should be relaxed. To achieve thoroughness, your horse must work in a regular rhythm and stay straight and relaxed. You also need to sit in balance, with an independent seat, to help him achieve this. When your horse is through, he will be super responsive to your aids and will work from your inside leg to your outside rein.
NOTE: Head position does not denote thoroughness. Many riders make the mistake of pulling their horse’s head into a frame and then assuming they have achieved thoroughness. Throughness comes from the horse working from behind through a relaxed back. If the horse has a hollow back, his hindlegs will push out behind, and no matter what the head position is, he will not move correctly or be responsive to the aids. Rather, focus on working your horse from back to front; the head position will arise organically once the hindlegs and back work correctly.