Bending? How to train my horse to do this?
   

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Bending? How to train my horse to do this?

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  • What is horse bending
  • Clinton anderson pole bending

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  • 1 Post By Tianimalz

 
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    06-22-2012, 10:00 AM
  #1
Banned
Question Bending? How to train my horse to do this?

Hi all! I was told that my horse needs to work on bending in the corners. He is currently very stiff and I would like to fix this. However...I'm not sure how. I've never had to train a horse before, so I'm pretty stumped. How can I teach him this? Thanks!!
     
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    06-22-2012, 10:41 AM
  #2
Banned
Well... I've never heard of teaching a horse bending, so that is a new one, specially bending corners!! I suppose you could try to find a Master of the corner elements and see if they can help you.





All joking and my nerdism aside; do you know how to get a horse to flex? If not I could probably dig up some good videos of Clint Anderson getting his horse to bend... horses just like people need to be flexible and practice it every day if we don't want them to get all "tight" and stiff. My favorite is carrot stretches, where you get the horse to bend his neck towards each point of his body using the oh-so-powerful bribe of a carrot piece. You gotta be careful not to over-bend them the first time though, just like people they could pull something or hurt themselves, silly things.

Here is a video of carrot stretches to help get you started, I know they helped my mare a lot with getting her to "loosen" up.



Another thing you might like to try is to set up a couple poles in your yard (I used capped tent poles that were going to be thrown away), and stick them into the ground and get your horse to weave through them (pretty much pole bending on a lower scale), this is a good way to help him learn how to turn and weave. I'd do it on the ground first before trying the saddle, I know for Indie at least it was very frustrating at first.

Hope that helps!
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    06-23-2012, 10:23 AM
  #3
Banned
Smile

Hahaha! Good one! I just know what I was told by a fellow horse rider who was overlooking while I rode. I'm still at the stage of listening to what other people say and taking their word for it; I'm a horse owning n00b, haha! Hopefully I can learn just as my horse does

The carrot stretching looks awesome! I think I'll try that! I also really love the idea of the poles. My barn actually has some actual pole-bending-poles, so I'll give those a shot!! Thanks so much! It's so awesome knowing I have people who can help me out even though I barely know what I'm asking for, haha

Oh..and I couldn't help but notice your signature. You think if she was going to bribe with something non-existent, it would be a sports car or something. I would test ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT for a Porsche

     
    06-23-2012, 11:29 AM
  #4
Trained
My experience might be completely irrelevant to you, but I'm going to share it anyway.

My horse is quite a well educated horse. Done lots of dressage and eventing. So he is pretty good at flexing around corners.

I got on him and he COULD NOT for the life of him flex to the left. I thought it was him, because I had never seen him ridden by someone else. I actually, for a while, thought I'd been duped, because he was nothing like I was told he was. He COULD NOT flex left, he NEVER picked up the left canter lead, he would not load on a trailer (still struggles with that, but I figured out why and we're getting through it), he bolted, he bucked...

IT WAS ALL ME. I sorted ME out, and suddenly my horse was sorted. Flexing around every corner and curve, no more bolting, no more bucking. Canter leads perfect nearly every time. We're now doing counter canter, flexed to the inside (very difficult for the horse), to the outside (what they naturally want to do in counter canter), all beautifully balanced. Trot at all different speeds from a western pleasure jog right up to a HUGE lengthened trot that covers more ground than the average horse's canter.

I sorted myself, and suddenly I had a completely different horse.

So, your horse might actually know, and you might not know how to ask for the flexion. Lessons are brilliant ;) I had two dressage lessons, not even on my horse, and I've been riding so much better since then and it's REALLY showing in how Monty works.
     
    06-23-2012, 11:43 AM
  #5
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentPromises    
Oh..and I couldn't help but notice your signature. You think if she was going to bribe with something non-existent, it would be a sports car or something. I would test ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT for a Porsche

Hmm, I don't know... cake is PRETTY tempting

But yeah! Give it a try and see how it turns out. I also give agreement to blue eyed pony, make sure you're ready to be flexiable as well as this will help your horsey in question figure out what exactly you are asking

Good luck with your "bending" practice Hope all goes well, it's really not bad once you get the hang of it.

Pssst; also if you figure out how to control fire with your bending powers let me know, still trying to figure that one out.
     
    06-23-2012, 11:53 AM
  #6
Trained
I forgot to mention - if your shoulders are pointing where you want to go, your horse is more likely to understand :)
     
    06-24-2012, 08:03 PM
  #7
Foal
Lots and lots and lots of giving to the bit both at a standstill and while moving. In my experience if you can get your horse to bend like that then the bending into the corners should just come pretty naturally.
Clinton Anderson has lots of stuff about bending and everything :)
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    06-24-2012, 08:55 PM
  #8
Weanling
There are alot of different things you can do.
I would try just limbering, working at getting long and low in the bit, softly and using the hindend, to be engaged.

You can try sidepassing, use a wall if you need to at first. First, face your horse toward the wall, use one rein to block the horse from going the way you don't want him too, and open the rein on the side you want him too. Apply pressure from the leg to move him over to one side, his front legs should cross as well as his back.

You can also try carrot stretches, which work very well, a video is provided from another user above.

I would just work on getting the horse soft and supple, depending on the age you could also try previcox, which works very well if your vet feels it is right for your horse. MSM is also great.

Hope this helps! Just be patient, it takes awhile for them to understand what you want ;)
     

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