A supple horse, How to. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 11-05-2013, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Question A supple horse, How to.

So.... I've reacently been out of riding for quite sometime and decided to do some suppling exercises that I've just reacently learned about =) The nut job (Pookha) does WONDERFUL.... However I had her as a yearling and two year old and remember doing something kinda the same. The other two act like its something they've never seen before. I didn't do this with Suzie, the younger mare I trained for my mother. But the "gelding" went to two professional trainers, should he not have some experince with this? He takes to it worse than either of the mares. He'll do it, but its after hours of trying lol. Not that I'm surprised he always ends up being the difficult one..... This is what I'm doing so far, coming from a web site.

Forward Down:In nature, a higher position of head and neck is linked to mental excitement while a forward down tendency is visible in relaxed horses. In this position (with the head down), the horse cannot make adrenaline. Ask the horse to move away from a slight pressure behind the ears. If the horse lowers the head you remove the pressure and reward your horse.

6 or seven times in the morning. And a few times when I'm checking them in the field

Stelling:Stelling is a Dutch word, used to describe the bending of the head to the left or right in relation to the spine. The lower jaw of the horse should move underneath the extensions of the atlas vertebra, the first vertebra in the neck of the horse. A proper stelling creates therefore a bigger space behind the lower jaw.

You can ask stelling bit by bit, while the horse should remain standing. If the horse takes the stelling and relaxes, you release pressure as well. You can then see that the stelling continues to work throughout the rest of the neck and in a bending of the spine, making the inner hip come forward.

4 to 5 times each side in the morning

I'm not adding any more until they are used to this and doing it with no fuss. I'm not looking to stress these guys out and I won't force them to do anything, I've never had to. If I ask they always respond. Does anyone know of any other exercises, or do you think these are two advanced for just starting out for Suzie and Boo?
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-05-2013, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Also for stelling, is basicly getting the horse to bend its neck all the way around to lightly touch its own side. Its sappoused to streach the neck muscles, and the spine.I know Pookha went all happy eyed and compleatly relaxed after first time on the first side.
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post #3 of 4 Old 11-05-2013, 06:43 PM
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Carrot stretches. Essentially the same thing as your neck flexions that you are already doing, but, use a carrot instead. Bring the carrot to the horse's side and let his head follow..as they become better at it, go back more towards the stifle. Kneel down and put the carrot between the horse's front legs...it gets them to stretch down..you can also put the carrot directly on the chest and let the horse come down to it..this is a rounder form than going between the legs but still helps stretch...repeat the stretch on the other side.

As addicted as my boy is to baby carrots, this exercise is very simple but appealing for him and he gets an immediate award.
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-05-2013, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
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I finally admited defeat this morning when I was trying and used handfuls of grass, for which Suzie and Boo were willing to streatch for lol. I'm just concerned that they seemed to get so stressed over these exercises. They normaly accept everything with not even a blink... normaly with an exasperated sigh lol! However, due to a few herniated disks they also haven't been being ridden or worked like they're used to... I've went from riding all three every day , to riding maybe one a week or every two weeks. So maybe just some pent up energy.
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