Bending exercises - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-17-2011, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Bending exercises

I just found this website....sounds like good solid exercises. I've tried the neck bending and countless figure eights and circles. He doesn't bend in fact he just speeds up! -_- but this is really helpful for me as far as leg/hand cues so I thought I would share.
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-18-2011, 12:36 AM
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awesome just what i was thinking of last week!! Thanks!
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-18-2011, 12:50 AM
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It takes awhile for a stiff horse to become supple and soft. It could be many things.. they could be holding a lot of tension in the jaw.. so releasing that tension will enable the horse to bend by the poll. Also, if they have wrong neck muscle development it is very hard for them to bend.. also the horse could not be understanding what you are asking, which is why it is beneficial to teach bending on the ground.
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-18-2011, 06:51 AM
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Firstly, what style do you ride? English, western etc.

Secondly, how are you asking him to bend?

Any more details on age, experience etc of the horse would be great!
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-18-2011, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Well I ride English but my boyfriend rides western. We bought him together. I just had a lightbulb moment when I put him on the lunge(which I don't do often I admit and need to do more) and was REALLY studying him. I noticed no wonder he can't ever keep a canter, he's not bending. I could tell even standing at his girth area that he was swinging his butt around almost like he was sidestepping. We've been doing neck stretches bending to the left and right but not untilled after he's a little warmed up and loose.
I've most likely need asking him to bend half correctly. I've been doing as the website says with the hands, yeild with outside slight pressure with inside and pressure with inside leg. I haven't been applying pressure with outside.
He's a 13 year old paint. He was trained western as a kids pleasures/trail horse. All pictures iveseen of him at his previous owners are shank bit loose neck reining. Which he does wonderfully. But I'm the first to ride him English with contact.

I'm not sure exaclt what his experience is. His previous owner is a horse trainer and from what I've seen of their horses for sale he's good. However like I said he's just been a beginners horse to put around on. However we discovered he LOVES to jump. We had him free lunging and someone previously had a jump set up off the rail, he went for it everytime. No matter how high,had it set up the height of a barrel standing up and he went right for it. So we're going to take formal jumping lessons come spring for him and I. But I already know that hesgoing to need to bend so I'm trying to get a headstart so I'm not paying the trainer to tell me what I already know. Does that make sense?
Did I leave anything out? He's willing to please I just don't know if he's ever been taught to bend.
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-18-2011, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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I've thought about having him evaluated by a chiropractor. His teeth were done a year ago and checked in August he's good for another year per the vet. He has great feet no lameness or soreness anywhere. We do lots of stretching once he's warmed up to ensure he's nice and loose.
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-19-2011, 12:07 AM
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I read that article and felt that it was a bit odd in its' description of bending excersizes, but what I watned to ask was, is this a gaited horse? because the article is talking about suppling gaited horses, who can often become remarkable stiff in the back.

Really bending a horse in the way you are wanting, ( to improve the horse's balance under saddle) means that you must have the bend go all the way through from the bit/poll to the hind end and feet. So, just having the horse bend its' neck around and tough its' nose to it's shoulder is not going to make a big change in its' way of moving. This kind of bend might be nice for a start, but done incessantly (as some NH training regimines do) will make a horse with a "rubbery" loose neck, with no connction to the hind end.
Oh, but that's another rant.

So, what I meant is that bending trhought the body is evidenced ultimately by the inside hind end stepping under the horse's midline, and well in front of the outside hind. But doing this, it makes the horse's barrel swing outward which creates the feel of him bending in the middle part of his body (where is is actually virtually impossible for him to actually bend those vertebrae), That stepping, barrel rolling, lifting of the inside shoulder, gently arching of the neck with the poll at the top and flexing at the jaw such that the jawbone kind of tucks into the throat and the face stays vertical (not tilting sideways) is the vision of bending that you are looking to have.

So, do not leave out looking and feeling for that all important inside hind leg to step under when you do whatever bending excersizes you choose to do.

Thanks for letting me mini rant!
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